Three R's of Affiliate Program Management Success

Throughout my own affiliate program management practice, and examining other affiliate managers’ styles and techniques, I have noticed that all successful AMs and OPMs* exhibit the three characteristics that I believe to be the key components of success (not only in affiliate program management, but in any management/leadership). If you want to be a successful manager you want to be:

1) Reachable

Make sure your current and prospective affiliates know where to find you when they have a question to ask. Use all means of communication available out there: from the traditional ones (telephone and e-mail) to the newer ones (instant messengers, Twitter, blog, etc). Being reachable is extremely important.

2) Responsive

Being just reachable is not enough. Affiliates want to work with responsive affiliate managers. Being reachable without being responsive is akin to listening without really hearing. What good is it to have a reachable affiliate manager who is either not capable, or not caring enough, to provide you with the answer, advice or solution.

3) Real

Yes, you want to be real (authentic). Way too many affiliate program managers hide their names and real personalities behind signatures like “Affiliate Support Team” or “Affiliate Management Group”. Why?! I seriously do not see one advantage of being impersonal with your affiliates. They are real people who want to be working with a real person — with real interests and character, authentic personal style, real hobbies and passions, etc, etc. Do not pretend to be anyone else. Be yourself — your real, unique, and therefore, authentic self!

So: Reachable, Responsive and Real are the three R’s that I believe to be the keystones of successful affiliate program management.

*AM — affiliate (program manager) / OPM — outsourced (affiliate) program manager

13 thoughts on “Three R's of Affiliate Program Management Success”

  1. Well put, Geno.

    As the Affiliate Manager for AWeber Communications, I always make sure I can be reached directly by ANY of our affiliates.

    Not only do I make sure I listen to our affiliates needs, but I also go out of my way to see to it that they get the best possible solutions to their problems, or they are provided with the best possible resources available.

    It’s great to be very personable and take the approach that we are all in this together. Let’s work hard and have fun doing it!


  2. Ron,

    Thank you for your input. I am not 100% certain it was AWeber, but are you also sending snail mail welcome letters to new affiliates?

  3. Yes Geno, we do.

    We actually send snail mail welcome letters to all of our customers and affiliates with their login details and details on how to contact us if they need help.

    We also follow up with a direct phone call to our customers from our Customers Solutions Team, to see if they have any questions or need any help.

    I always like to communicate with our affiliates, just so they know I am a live person, am always reachable and will respond directly to their needs.


  4. Believe it or not, but I actually wanted to blog about this technique of yours when I first saw a copy of that letter about a year ago. It was very well put together, and, if I’m not mistaken, it had either a magnetic or a credit-card-size card with the affiliate’s information, and all the necessary contact details for them to get a hold of the affiliate manager, etc. WTG. Seriously.

  5. Yes, absolutely.

    You should still consider blogging about that particular aspect of our service. Our snail mail and telephone calls are being used to communicate with our customers and affiliates.

    It’s important that our customers know that we are going to be there for them if they need anything. With us making that first contact, we reinforce that point as well as begin a relationship with them.

    Many of our customers and affiliates I know on a first name basis and also have a great time working with them and sharing thoughts and ideas.

    You should also sign up for an affiliate account, Geno. If you were to make any reference to us, I would certainly want you to get credit for anyone who purchases a customer account because of your efforts 😉

    Let me know.


  6. “You should still consider blogging about that particular aspect of our service” — I thought we just did. 🙂

    “You should also sign up for an affiliate account, Geno. …I would certainly want you to get credit for anyone who purchases…” — Maybe one day I will, but not for linking through an affiliate URL in my blog. I personally would doubt a review of anyone’s product/service if I saw that the person who’s talking/blogging/reviewing is linking through an affiliate URL (unless it’s someone I personally know and trust).

  7. Great stuff Geno – as always.

    I can’t believe how many programs I apply for and get greeted by a message from the “XYZ Affiliate Team” or programs I look at in CJ that have no manager to contact.

  8. Brent, Wade,

    Thank you for chiming in, gentlemen.

    Glad you’ve found my post of help, and if you have more tips to add, be my guests.

  9. Definitely agree. Makes no sense to me whatsoever for an affiliate manager not to let his or her affiliates not know who they are. Only thing it does is cause there to be mistrust with the affiliates.

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