While the work with affiliates does involve a lot of one-on-one communication, relationship building and other non-automatizable components, there are tools that can help you streamline your affiliate program management. This is the topic that my most recent article in the Website Magazine is devoted to. Here’s an excerpt from it:
…there are powerful tools and methods that will dramatically cut down on time spent on day-to-day operations, and bolster overall performance.
Start by grouping your program management tasks into the following three clusters: (1) affiliate recruitment and activation; (2) affiliate program support; and (3) affiliate policing. While many other tasks are involved in affiliate program management, these three groups can be effectively automated to save time.
I them go on to discuss the tools and applications that can be used to help affiliate program managers on each of these three stages. You may find the whole article here as well as in the hard copy of the magazine.
One important comment to make before I close this post: the sentence that begins the article does not belong to me, but was added by the editors of the magazine. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to review the edited version of the article prior to it being printed. Otherwise, I would have asked to have it deleted from the text. Unlike it may sound from that sentence, I believe that individual approach to affiliate program management is one of the keys to building successful affiliate programs. Yes, tools can help you streamline various processes, but they will never replace such an impotant component of affiliate program managment as personal relationships and individual attention.