Q: Where can I find a top flight affiliate manager for my company?
A: The first issue you’ve got to address is the compensation you are offering to run your affiliate program. I am frequently asked by company owners to refer them to successful affiliate managers, and often they are only willing to pay on a commission basis.
The reality is most any experienced affiliate manager is going to require a salary, plus a piece of the action, not just a piece of the action.
Salary rates will vary depending on geographic areas. Traditionally, New York City and San Francisco have averaged the highest affiliate manager salaries, based on data I collected for the AffStat reports.
Anyhow, one good place to scout quality affiliate managers is in your own category. Have a look at the people that are running affiliate programs for the competition. They’re already familiar with your space and have connections with targeted affiliates.
If your competitors have no affiliate program or a lousy one, take a look at affiliate managers for other types of affiliate programs. Note – there are different ways to run an affiliate program based on revenue share versus one that pays per lead. Go after an affiliate manager who is using the same business model as you.
Also, if you are using the technology of one of the affiliate solution providers, I’d suggest finding an affiliate manager with experience running an affiliate program with the respective technology, so you don’t have to put your affiliate program in neutral while the affiliate manager tackles the technology learning curve.
You can also post ads on industry classifieds and attend networking events in search of the elusive super affiliate manager.
If you would rather have an experienced third party manage your affiliate program, you can hire an outsourced program manager (OPM).
An OPM is an individual or team of people who will take over all tasks of managing your affiliate program. There are a number of independent agencies, and many of the affiliate solution providers offer management services as well.
And then there is always the option to take somebody off the street and have them tackle the position without experience. If you go this route, realize that it’s going to take many months for your affiliate manager to figure things out, build relationships, and establish your affiliate program as a brand in the industry.