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:
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.
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.
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