On January 13-15 2013, a new Affiliate Summit conference will be held in Las Vegas.
Their West Coast conference has traditionally been the biggest not only between the conferences that Affiliate Summit runs, but, by far, the biggest show in the industry.
I was honored to have been asked to moderate a panel on affiliate program management at Affiliate Summit West 2013. After two books on the subject and over a thousand of articles, it may well be needless to elaborate on how “near and dear” this topic is to me. This will be my 8th time speaking at Affiliate Summits, but pre-speaking excitement just continues to build!
The title of our session — which will be held on Monday, January 14 at 3:30-4:30 pm — is Affiliate Program Management: Launch & Maintenance and besides yours truly, we’ll have Amy Ely of Under Armour, Karen Garcia of GTO Management and Kim Salvino of Chateau 20 on the panel.
Just as half a year ago — in return for your participation — this time I would, once again, like to give away two Networking Plus Passes (which are currently being sold at $549 each).
To enter for your chance to win one of the free passes, simply submit a comment under this blog post, naming one important component of affiliate program launch or ongoing management/maintenance. If you want to elaborate on why it’s important, I would really appreciate it. Having said this, simply mentioning a component will still qualify you to enter the draw.
Deadlines: To allow the time for your travel planning, the deadline to submit your comments/entries is Monday, December 17 (of course, you’re most welcome to comment after this date too, but those “submissions” won’t qualify you for the draw). Please limit your entries to one per person. I will announce the winners on December 18 2012, or nearly 4 weeks prior to the conference.
Looking forward to your comments!
21 thoughts on “Comment to Get a Free Chance to Win Affiliate Summit West 2013 Pass”
Thanks for the opportunity to win a free pass! I’ve never been to an affiliate conference before but would love to…
Ok, my tip is about ongoing affiliate program maintenance. I’ve personally had a crash course in management when I took over a program 2 years ago and it has been a wild ride and a great learning experience. The #1 thing I’ve learned is that you have to give affiliates personal attention. Impersonal affiliate newsletters simply don’t cut it. Each affiliate has different needs whether it’s access to content, special marketing materials, custom coupons, or just some encouragement.
I would say that 90% of our affiliate sales come from affiliates that I have a conversation with at least once every month over email, phone, or social media. This personal touch means the world to them. It not only helps with getting things done, but it generates loyalty. Many affiliates I know will choose to promote our program over another one on key days like black friday simply because we have a great relationship… even when the commissions may not necessarily be higher than another program.
I just can’t stress that enough… you can mess up a lot of things (I’m proof of that), but if you invest in real relationships and really take the needs of each affiliate to heart, you can succeed in affiliate program management.
Show them the love, and they will show you the sales.
Hope that helps…
Justin, “personal touch” is a great point/tip! Thank you for expanding on it. Reminded me of the 5 Keys to Building High-Impact Relationships in Affiliate Marketing post I did not too long ago.
Thanks again for your comment.
Planning. That’s the single most important component of an affiliate program launch. Thinking about questions like, “who do we want as affiliates? What types of activities do we want to compensate with our program? What activities should be prohibited or excluded? What are reasonable incentives for the specific affiliates we want to recruit? Are there aspects to a compensation structure that might attract or reward unethical or unhelpful activities by affiliates?” So many merchants just launch a program, and then discover that there are categories of affiliates and of affiliate activities which they don’t want participating, and then the merchant is stuck trying to think of ways to extract from those relationships without alienating valuable affiliates.
Excellent thoughts, Mark!!
I certainly wish you luck when my daughter picks names of entrants out of that Christmas stocking [like a couple years ago]! 😉
Consistent personalized contact with affiliate partners. Strong relationships are the foundation for a successful affiliate program!
Amen to that, Stacey! Constant, consistent and personalized communication is vital to the relationship-building (everywhere, but especially in this context).
I totally agree with planning. What is a purpose of your affiliate program? How many leads/sales/actions do you need for your business? What’s the reasonable price that you are ready to pay to your affiliates? And many more questions.
But with “planning” already taken – let it be “technology”, how your affiliate program is implemented, how do you track actions, what tools do you have for your affiliates etc. 🙂
Technology is undoubtedly one of the most important components in the mix (from affiliate program tracking to finding new affiliates, to ensuring compliance, and so on, and so forth). Thanks for distilling things down to this word, Sergey.
As a newbie trying to learn the nuances of this space I find it can be humbling some days – this despite having a background in marketing an biz development.
So while I like and agree with all of above I am going to add flexibility. What decisions are we going to make when faced with changed circumstances that represents the optimal balance between customers, affiliates and the bottom line?
One important aspect of an effective affiliate program is keeping up on the program on a regular basis. “Plug & Play” never produces an optimized result. Study the performance of the program and test several versions. Also, stay in contact with your partners. Show that you are trying to provide value to them and are willing to work hard on growing the program AND the relationship.
Vijay, Dhaas, thank you for these comments. Good ones!
I am a newbie and only attended ASE2012 for the first time. I thank you for the chance to win a ticket.
What I have learned on my own with Affilate Programs is that I choose products that I believe will help people not just make money. I let Affiliate Partners know I am confident in the program and I feel honest in representing it. Communicating this and any steps I am taking in marketing and growth of the program. Also letting Affilate Marketers feel the door is always open when it comes to a professional relationship. Especially, in assisting new comers to the field.
I think that one of the most important elements of managing an affiliate program is knowing how to slice the data. There’s so much data and if it’s not looked at through the right lens, it can lead to devastating strategic decisions.
Time management. There are so many ways to spend (and waste) time when running an affiliate program. Of course, this is the case in any job, but a lot of affiliate managers spend 90% of their time doing things that they think makes a big difference but really doesn’t. Make sure that the things you’re spending your time on really help your program grow.
I think that an underrated element of managing an affiliate program is gaining industry knowledge about the ways affiliates drive revenue. You need to be up to speed on what works and what doesn’t, on what’s new and what’s old, so that you can have intelligent conversations with affiliates about how they’re driving sales and how you can help them drive more sales. The more knowledgeable you are about how they’re driving sales, the better job you’ll do of deciding whom to work with and how to help them help you.
Elizabeth, Joe, Emelia, Jose, thank you for your excellent input! I appreciate you taking the time to comment; and wish you all luck in winning one of those passes.
Thank You for the opportunity to win a free pass! I am a newbie and I’ve never been to an affiliate conference I am sure it would be a great jumpstart to my Affiliate Career. As a new affiliate still trying to get it all figured out, I feel that Communication key a great working relationship keeps everyone interested and motivated!
A lot of important things have already been said: Communication, tracking and statistics.
Another very important aspect of program launch are the commissions. First you need to define the commission structure: Pay only for new customers or for returning customers as well? Pay per sale and/or lead and so on? Pay the same commission for every product or different commissions for different products?
After these decisions it is important to determine the amount. And it is important to keep in mind that it is possible to raise the commission ex post. But it is never a good idea to reduce it ex post.
An obvious one, but paying on time and communicating if there will be any delays. This is a trust relationship and we all have been there. That’s the key, trust, and payment on time or communication why there’s a delay ahead of time is crucial for trust.
Many aspects of the Affiliate Program have already been mentioned but I will add one. Recognize the top producers and increase their payout as motivation.
There has already been a lot of good suggestions so far, but I’d like to touch upon another important quality, which is, consistent mutual feedback/respect about the growth of the currently available offers and fielding questions/comments about new offers. For example…
What type of offers would you (affiliate) be interested in pursuing? Often times networks are looking at things from a bird eye’s view vs what is actually going on with search and the world. Additionally, some people, myself included, pursue affiliate marketing as a break from our normal routine and because of the challenge involved. The money is a nice incentive, but getting to the Top 3 in Google is MORE rewarding. Money comes after that is achieved for the SEO guys/gals. Since the bulk of income from affiliate sales is secondary, we (multiple income stream earners) are on the ground and can recognize things that could be maximized within 6-12 months because of our main careers.
For example, the recent elections will open up A LOT of different product opportunities, but without feedback from the trenches (affiliates), some networks would be hard pressed to learn the in’s and out without getting the “insider” knowledge. Public sources can only convey so much to a news outlet, which is why they ask experts for opinions.
Mutual respect must be given on both sides. Often times it seems many affiliate managers only care about recruitment without taking into consideration how to increase productivity of their current affiliates. Here’s a good way to motivate some people. Find out what motivates a particular affiliate and design an offer to appeal to that person. Some people want money, while others would be happy with a plaque or some other form (inexpensive) of appreciation. Challenge yourself, as well as the affiliate, and both of you will profit from it.