Having worked for MarketLeverage for nearly three years as an Affiliate Manager, I have experienced many different types of relationships with my affiliates. I think these relationships are best categorized as follows: little to no communication, small to medium amounts of communication, and those that keep constant communication. I have found that having frequent, relevant communication with my affiliates has contributed greatly to both their success as an Affiliate Marketer and my success as an Affiliate Manager. There are several reasons why I think it can be very beneficial for you, an affiliate, to maintain open, honest, and frequent communication with your Affiliate Managers.
Ultimately, your goal should be to form a true partnership with your Affiliate Manager. I think it’s helpful when a mutual sharing of goals, direction, and ongoing achievements takes place. Remember, Affiliate Managers only make money when you do, so they are there to help you! As you may already know, email and IM typically comprise the primary means of communication in our industry. While nothing beats these tools in terms of raw efficiency, I don’t like the ‘disconnect’ that sometimes results from an email only exchange. Try using the phone! Hopping on the phone not only provides an additional medium to communicate, but it also opens up a whole new side to your relationship. You can feel the emotion, you can hear it, and you don’t have to try to interpret the emotion like you do in typed conversation.
Talking to your Affiliate Manager gives you a real sense of where he or she is coming from, and in return, you can give them a real sense of where you want to go with the relationship. I recommend setting up a weekly or semi-monthly call with them to touch base, find out which offers are hot, or just to check in on the offers coming down the pipeline. You don’t have to make a thirty-minute call out of it. Even a quick call to check in has proven to be extremely beneficial.
Keeping constant communication with your Affiliate manager helps in many ways. You can get the inside scoop on offers and find out which are the hottest niches on the network. You can also gain on offers from the network’s vantage and find out which creative combinations are working the best! If these benefits haven’t convinced you to be in regular contact, what about the possibility of getting the first shot at new offers, sometimes before they even go live on the network? You get the competitive advantage, all because you know your Affiliate Manager! If anything ever comes up where you need their help, you know how to get a hold of them. You may need their help in getting something approved, or ideas on a new site to promote, or new keywords to bid on, and they’ll be there for you!
I know that we are all busy but I highly recommend taking the time to build a strong working relationship with your Affiliate Managers. Maintain efficient, but constant communication with them, and they will help your bottom line in return. After all, that’s what it’s all about, right? Oh yeah, and don’t be afraid to pick up those phones!