When navigating the e-commerce world it’s always nice to have experts in your corner. In my last post, I talked about how to get affiliate management experts to work with you without over paying and today I want to discuss when the time is right to start to consider an affiliate management company.
Below I’ve laid out seven scenarios when you, as an e-commerce business owner, may want to seriously consider turning to an affiliate management company.
The first scenario is an affiliate program’s launch. This is the phase where you do not yet have an affiliate program in place but you believe that your online business is ready to create an affiliate program to continue to grow. This is an excellent time to consult with an affiliate management company.
Affiliate management companies, also referred to as OPMs and affiliate management agencies, launch programs for merchants all the time. They’ve been through the process countless times and often have existing relationships in place with affiliate networks that could lead to a potential discount for you. If you’re getting ready to launch an affiliate program, before diving in yourself, definitely reach out to some OPMs and see what they can offer you and how they can help.
2. Initial Growth
Another scenario when it may be time to enlist the help of an OPM is when you have recently launched your affiliate program, but you need someone to get it off the ground. When a program is initially launched, it’s important to have an affiliate manager who reviews applications and communicates with your new affiliate base. This doesn’t even include active outreach and the recruitment of affiliates into the program! You’ll want a diligent team member tackling these tasks and staying organized with follow ups to make sure your links and banners are being placed by affiliates and you start seeing some traffic come in from your affiliate partners.
Over the first few weeks, you should start to see some affiliates become active and drive some sales and then over the next several months your program should start to pick up and grow.
This scenario is the opposite of the last, but still a very good reason to consider an affiliate management agency. Perhaps your affiliate program is running well but you need someone to keep an eye on the day-to-day management?
Some agencies, including ours, have maintenance packages available for this and you can rest easy knowing that new applications are being vetted and constant communication is taking place between your company and your affiliates. This is also a great option if you find that you get a lot of incoming inquires about your affiliate program. It would also be the agency’s job to field these messages and make sure to provide support.
In this scenario, your affiliate program is doing well, but activity has flatlined and you believe it has a far greater potential. This is a great indicator to consider hiring an OPM to see if they can jump-start your program and find some new partners that will help the program grow.
Agencies are quite familiar with aggressive affiliate recruitment campaigns and typically possess many tools to help them tackle this at a higher efficiency than you could on your own. This leads us to our next indicator.
Stagnation is one reason to boost recruiting, but the fact is that an affiliate manager should always include affiliate recruitment as part of their day-to-day management of their affiliate program(s). If you do not believe you’re devoting enough time to actively recruiting for your affiliate program, that’s a great indicator to consider an affiliate management company.
Many OPMs offer packages that just include affiliate recruitment. This is a good option for an advertiser who already has an in-house manager or team but doesn’t have the resources to devote to recruitment. This transitions nicely to our next topic: bandwidth.
Many merchants find that they simply can’t do everything themselves, and it’s hard to find and hire good team members. When it comes to affiliate program management, there are lots of pieces that can be outsourced to an agency due to lack of bandwidth. A popular one is affiliate recruitment, which we’ve talked about above. Whether it is recruitment or sending newsletters, OPMs can help and they’re happy to work with you and structure something that is tailored to your program and business’s needs.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about relationships. In the world of affiliate marketing, relationships are of the utmost value. In any professional industry, those who have been in the industry longest tend to have the most relationships within that industry. It is no different in the affiliate marketing industry.
You might be a merchant selling dog and cat food online. You have a ton of relationships within the pet food space, but you’re new to affiliate marketing and do not know anyone within the affiliate world. This is a perfect time to consult with an affiliate management company. They have been in the affiliate marketing business for years and come equipped with many existing connections, any of which could end up becoming a powerful affiliate partner for your program. Why struggle trying to get your foot in the door when there are experts you can hire who can easily pop off an email or pick up the phone and get in contact with major affiliates? Relationships are as good a reason as any that we’ve talked about today to consider an affiliate management company.
Thank you for reading and, as always, feel free to reach out to us or comment below with any notes or questions. We’re an affiliate OPM agency that specializes on affiliate management and we’d love to help you by leveraging our expertise in the field. We’d like to have a chance to help you grow your business through affiliate marketing!