3 Ways to Be a Happier Affiliate Program Manager

Having read through one of Harvard Business Publishing’s management tips of the day, I have decided to elaborate on the same topic but in a more narrow context — that of affiliate program management.

Are you managing your affiliate program(s) staying continuously motivated and happy? Here are my 3 tips on how to be a happier affiliate program manager:

  1. Lead instead of managing. I always talk about the impossibility of managing affiliates [see this post and this comment, for example]. Don’t even try to! Be a leader. Sensitive to the affiliates’ needs, flexible to change yourself, and always approachable.
  2. Put together a contest. Make marketing fun for your affiliates, and it’ll become fun for you too. To differentiate contests from trivia (which are also good, but not directly tied to your practice of affiliate program management), I divide productive contests into two groups (i) those helping affiliates market better (performance-based contests, guess-the-product in another affiliate’s order, etc), and (ii) those helping you get to know your affiliates better (any photo, hobbies or similar contest).
  3. Start developing relationships. Chances are that you are not happy, because you’re missing out on one of the most important parts of the equation — individual relationships with affiliates. Unlike in traditional management contexts where leaders are appointed, in affiliate program management context much is based on personal relationships, genuine care, and emergent leadership.

Wishing everyone a great weekend, and happier work from now on, as well!

4 thoughts on “3 Ways to Be a Happier Affiliate Program Manager”

  1. Do you have any specific examples of affiliate contests contributing to a merchants overall sales?

    I am bouncing around a lot of different ideas and would love to have some real world success examples to present to my peers.

  2. Sure. Do you have my book? 🙂 There are 30 real-life examples towards the back of the book (pp. 153-190). I’d be happy to review and help you polish your ideas. So shoot me an email if you need any help, Ron.

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