This is chapter 11, Managing Your Program, of Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants.
There are a handful of issues you should address when managing your affiliate program.
One thing is your personnel requirements. With that you really have to focus on finding the right team members.
It’s pretty tough to find a seasoned veteran in affiliate marketing who can manage your affiliate program, so I think you are probably better off just training somebody.
Get somebody who is raw and have them learn the industry from the ground up.
As far as compensation, that varies widely depending on your region, the experience of the person, and some other factors.
Based on statistics I’ve gathered, I would say you can expect to spend $30k – $40k for an entry level affiliate manager.
An affiliate manager that has some years in the business will typically command a salary in the $50k – $60k range.
Also, the affiliate manager’s compensation should include a performance component, where they are getting a piece of the action as an incentive.
Another option is to just outsource your affiliate program management. Just search on the various search engines for affiliate manager, and you’ll see a lot of companies to consider.
The plus there is that the outsourced affiliate managers bring relationships with affiliates to the table.
Also, the compensation when outsourcing can often equal the cost of one employee, but you’re potentially getting access to the relationships of the entire agency.
Another essential element in managing an affiliate program is to keep the affiliate program fresh.
With that, I just mean that you should be on top of seasonality. Don’t have expired or out of date creative. Make sure it’s current and relevant.
Don’t leave the same creative up for extended periods of time. The longer the creative is out there, the less effective it’s going to be.
Additionally, provide creative that the affiliates need. It’s as simple as just asking them what they need, what sizes they want, and then give it to them.
They might just choose not to promote you if you only offer a few standard sizes for banners.
Another important aspect for effectively managing an affiliate program is to monitor what’s happening in the industry.
We went beyond the banner a long time ago. Provide affiliates the latest options in creative. These days affiliates are using video, mobile phones, applications on Facebook, etc.
So keep your finger on the pulse and know what’s going on; what affiliates are looking for from an affiliate program.
And be on top of promotions and special events. Try to have something new every few weeks or so to keep things nice and fresh.
For instance, provide new promotions when applicable for holidays, special occasions, vacation, back to school; whatever is pertinent for your business.
Ultimately, ask the affiliates what they need, and give it to them.
Go back to the Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants Video Book.