November 1, 2012

Affiliate Network Management – Staying 'Top of Mind' with Affiliates

As an affiliate manager, how do you become top of mind AKA a priority for affiliates/networks? In today's affiliate marketing landscape, it can often be difficult to continually be top of mind AKA a priority with affiliates. Right now, affiliate’s have 100’s of networks to choose from - tad bit overwhelming! Lets take a step back and put this into a new perspective.

WHAT IF and this is a BIG hypothetical WHAT IF, but WHAT IF there was 500 banks to choose from and you ONLY wanted to bank with a maximum of 3 companies.
I can only begin to imagine how difficult the choice would be!
Lets not forget, the majority of the banks are attempting to gain’s consumer interest by offering – high interest saving accounts, air mile points, paperless banking, etc.
Sounds similar to affiliate marketing – high payouts, weekly payouts, best AM’s etc
1. WORK for YOUR affiliates! Be PROACTIVE!
Example 1: Provide insights on which campaigns are currently performing well.
Its important the message is tailored to each affiliate’s promotional method – Display, Email, Mobile, Social, Search, ETC – or you will have little success!
Example 2: Provide affiliate with full details on each campaign – description, geo-targeting, conversion point, landing page, payout, etc.  This way, the setup is quick and easy and less confusion arises.
As well, many affiliates appreciate those partners who provide the creative assets and unique tracking directly. Rather then logging in to gain everything.
Example 1: Monthly calls – find a specific day/time to speak with each affiliate. This way, both parties are conscious and thinking about each other each month.
Additionally, the monthly call is a great opportunity for both parties to review the previous months business and prepare for the next month of business!
For example, you speak to ‘Tom’ every 3rd Thursday @ 2pm PST & ‘Sally’ every 1st Tuesday at 4pm PST. Remember to send a recurring calendar invite!
Example 2: AIM & Skype have both proven to be effective tools for communicating quickly with affiliates.
As well, an efficient way to touch base with affiliates about new offers, pausing offers, rate changes, or best of all – simply to say HI!
Touching base with affiliates 1-2 times a week is completely acceptable!
Example 1: Take NOTES on call’s and Skype/AIM chats.
It’s often the simple things that people appreciate, and ultimately remember – sending birthday wishes, learning about personal hobbies, weekend adventures, the list continues!
To sum it up – GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER!
Example 2: Meeting/Greeting in PERSON – ad:tech, Affiliate Summit, LeadsCon!  If you have the opportunity to spend some one on one time with affiliates, I am positive you have done a few things right!
4. TRANSPARENCY – be honesty, develop credibility, and offer win/win situations!
Example 1: Provide affiliate’s with timely payout increase’s.
It makes complete sense that affiliates and networks work closely together on payouts to ensure ROI is positive and networks are growing along side their affiliates!
Advertiser ‘needs’ Affiliate. Affiliate needs Advertiser. Network needs both parties.
Example 2: Always provide invalid lead reports, NEVER SCRUB – word travel’s FAST!
In theory, the majority of people like to be rewarded for their hard work!  I know, I do!
Now the question, I wonder is – do affiliates prefer to receive intrinsic or extrinsic gifts AKA motivators?
Intrinsic meaning: Positive reinforcement using praise to show affiliates are succeeding.
Further investment from network to continue developing affiliate’s skill-set would be a good example.  For those affiliates seeking mastery!
Extrinsic meaning: Positive reinforcement using rewards such as money, trips, luxury watches, etc
Contests are extrinsic, affiliates compete against each other – ultimately crowning ‘winners & ‘losers.’
Be clever with your gift ideas!  Do you and your affiliate have an inside joke?  Be personal, things people can relate to are often great anchors.  The same is true for RANDOM weird gifts.
One thing money can’t buy, is personality.
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