Getting The Most Out Of Your Affiliate Manager

A lot of the questions I get asked by newer affiliates are really good questions, but honestly I can’t answer them as I don’t have the information they are looking for. ?It generally involves information about offers, demographics, landing page styles, etc. ?What a lot of people don’t realize, is generally their affiliate managers can give them a ton of valuable information to succeed.

It seems that a lot of affiliates like to keep things secret, so they have little interaction with their affiliate managers. ?However, good communication with your affiliate managers (generally ones that you have built a relationship with and can trust) can do huge things for increasing your business.

I wanted to write this post as sort of a guide for newer affiliates of how they can get the most out of their relationship with their affiliate managers. ?To find out right from the source, I asked multiple affiliate managers, OPM’s, and networks to give me 1 or 2 good questions that they think is?beneficial?for?affiliates?to ask them or that they wish you would ask them to improve the affiliates business. ?The response I got was great. ?There is a ton of valuable information here.

Here is what they said.

  1. Demographics of products – Who are the shoppers and buyers for your products? We post ours here for example and it really helps when writing content, doing landing pages (i.e. showing a 40-something versus a twenty-something playing guitar), and especially targeting on sites like Facebook.?Affiliates MUST ask for that information.
  2. Tell me the keywords that don’t work. Anyone can get a keyword list. Tell me the ones that don’t work and what negative keywords to use. Click here for an example.
  3. Ask for general advice. Give the AM an idea of what you are planning and let them hold your hand a bit. Good AMs can give a lot of advice on things you might not have even thought to ask about such as number of reviews, listing product features, deep linking, etc.
  4. Ask for testimonials from customers. I wrote an entire article about this somewhere…wish I had it now haha. Testimonials are nearly priceless advertisements and, like the three items above, can make the difference between gaining a customer?s trust (and therefore their business) and having them immediately click the back button to go back to the search results. The easiest way to get testimonials of course is to use merchant testimonials when you refer the customer to the merchant?s site. Ask your affiliate manager if you can use these on your pages.
  5. Ask them to review your site when done. IF nothing else, it is an extra pair of eyes. I cannot tell you how many times I find a typo or find that the site looks funky in the new version of this or that browser. Good AMs will usually have at least one or two good suggestions where you can improve, sometimes ten or twenty.
  6. Ask for any content, videos or graphics that are not public.
  7. The last one is kind of unique. If the merchant has a customer-focused newsletter or email list, ask if you can use the content from it on your own list. I have drawn up special agreements with affiliates that allows them to repackage the emails and send them to their list. Some guys are making 5-10 sales a month just off these emails.

Ask the AM for things like this. Ask them for anything you can think of that might help and ask the open-ended questions. You never know what you might learn.

Above all, do not be afraid to ask them anything.

Matt McWilliams, Legacy Learning Systems

Don?t just ask ?give me your best offer??ill show you a list of our top offers in terms of revenue if that?s what you want. Get more specific?.ask for the best offer for a certain niche or maybe a traffic source. Ask if the manager knows how others are doing it or if they have any tips. What kind of volume do you need to get a pay increase? Things like that can help an affiliate manager work with you. If there?s more than 1 LP, ask if there?s a page that?s performing the best.

Timothy Antoian, Azoogle Ads

What is the target demo for this offer?

This will allow the affiliate to better target their ad placements and help them fully utilize their budget. For example the target demo for offer ?RED? is 70% / 30% male and the average age of consumer is 25-40 that would be valuable information to use when buying ad space on social media networks

Should I use a 3rd party tracking software (Tracking202, Google Conversion Tracking, etc)?

One of the biggest hurdles I see new affiliates run into is the inability to optimize their campaigns.??For example a search affiliate will start with a list of 200 keywords but doesn?t have the correct tracking in place and is unable to tell which keywords convert. As a result they continue to spend money on keywords that click but don?t necessarily convert

Peter Varga Jr., Clickbooth

  1. Which campaigns are performing well on your network?
  2. Which traffic sources are converting well in a particular niche (the niche you are focusing on)?
  3. What trends are you seeing in a particular niche or in the industry in general?
  4. Also, you could ask for helpful information or links to read up on the industry to give you some insight on the various promotion methods out there. The best thing to do as a beginning is to sit down and read and educate yourself on the industry and the promotion types. Affiliate Marketing isn?t a get rich quick scheme. There is definitely money to be made, but if you don?t know what you are doing, you can spend money and it goes no where.

Scott Mclaren, Neverblue

First thing I always look for is to see if the program is actively managed.. (not really a question, but a good starting point)

If so.. then you can ask stuff like:

How long as the affiliate program been active??Is there steady growth??Is there a type of site that seems to convert best w/ your product? Coupon/Review/Blog/Shop Comparison/etc??Do you allow PPC and/or direct linking from paid ads?

Jason Rubacky, ShareASale

  1. Do you provide custom (size, color, etc) creatives?
  2. Do you have some kind of tutorial on what we can do to best promote your program?
  3. Do you offer lists of keywords we could use for SEO and PPC?
  4. What are your bestsellers? Are they contingent on seasons?
  5. Do you provide any content help?

Geno Prussakov, AM Navigator (OPM)

  1. What campaigns are doing good (clicks Vs. leads, not EPC)
  2. What is the scrub rate for XXXXX campaign?

Janell Kowalski, Amped Media

  1. What specific ads are working best for your affiliates?
  2. What marketing techniques do you guys recommend?
  3. What is the target audience for your product or service?

Wade Tonkin, GTO Management

What other questions do you find valuable to ask your affiliate managers?

UPDATE: Also check out this response to this post from Jamie Birch of JEB Commerce. ?He adds a few great points that could be added to these questions.

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6 Responses

  1. Good topic. Great post! I haven’t seen one on this topic before…

    I believe there are 3 types of affiliate program managers when it comes to responding to affiliate questions: (i) those that don’t even bother getting back with you, (ii) those that respond, but don’t know much themselves (opportunity to train your very “affiliate manager”), and (iii) those that really know what they’re doing, or at least know where to get the information you’re looking for, and do it quickly. The 1st type is a clear indicator that you will be much better off moving on right to their competitor. In scenarios 2 and 3: affiliates your questions are invaluable education, and more so for the affiliate program manager!

  2. As always you blow my mind with your intellegence and wisdom. I enjoy the fact that you are always willing to learn and teach others (which most affiliates don’t do). Keep bringing the great and valuable information Logan!!

    ~Go Seahawks!!~

    Janell – Amped Media

  3. Logan, great post of course 🙂

    I just thought of another one that NO one mentioned.

    Ask for a custom/print-friendly/radio-friendly redirect.

    Such as learnandmaster . com / drumminlogan or whatever.

    I was just writing to an affiliate and suggested we set that up for him and realized no affiliates ever ask for anything like that.

    Had another one today that strictly markets offline. Much easier for her. Some others mention us on podcasts and elsewhere.

    Definitely something to ask for!

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