Choosing an Affiliate Management Agency vs. Managing the Affiliate Channel Internally
We get it. With so many opposing viewpoints and endless how-to articles, it’s hard to know how and where to manage your affiliate program most effectively. At Schaaf-PartnerCentric, our goal is to implement your program right the first time and ensure that it is performing optimally. With a team of dedicated industry experts, we employ strategies that are tailored to your brand’s unique needs so you can see faster ROI.
After 6 months of Schaaf-PartnerCentric taking over management for a large retail-based client, traffic grew by 33% year over year and sales revenue grew by 59%. If this stat isn’t reason enough to work with us, below are some other points to consider:
A Dedicated Team of Experts
An in-house affiliate manager often works alone and can’t rely on a centralized team of experts to assist with creative, recruitment, analysis and tech. Instead, these team members are often in different departments and are far removed from the affiliate marketing channel. Due to this, the affiliate channel falls by the wayside in a sea of competing initiatives.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric provides a unified and experienced account team who work together to deliver strategic solutions and get results. Every member on the account knows what is happening with a program and can provide support and insights in order to present unique solutions based on their individual expertise. While your in-house affiliate manager has to wait their turn to receive internal resources from other departments, our strategic affiliate manager has a dedicated services team to support them, ensuring their time is spent on high ROI activities. Finally, there are no competing marketing channels, priorities to juggle, or company politics to navigate. We are 100% focused on your affiliate program’s success and will keep you informed at every step of the process.
A Wide Span of Meaningful Relationships
An organization that hires an in-house affiliate manager will only be able to leverage that person’s previous experience and reach.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric touts over 60,000 partnerships and knows how to leverage those existing partnerships to help your individual program. There is no one-size-fits all solution to fully optimize a program and we provide a team of industry veterans who know how to drive success. We have experience working across 16 different networks globally, and are not limited to any one platform or network. Additionally, we maintain benchmark data on every affiliate partner, client vertical, and paid placement opportunity. An in-house team is unable to reference such benchmarks in order to optimize partner conversion rates, improve ROAS or negotiate lower cost paid placements with specific ROI goals. Lastly, in-house teams are typically not kept up to date on changing legal matters like Nexus, international laws or tax forms for partners. We have a team solely dedicated to these matters.
In order for an affiliate program to be successful, it needs to be properly managed. There is no set-it-and-forget-it solution if you want growth and ROI. It is often tempting to hire someone with limited experience to effectively manage an affiliate program because there is a misconception that affiliate marketing is simple to implement.
At Schaaf-PartnerCentric, you get a robust team that invests a lot of time and energy into making sure your program is doing as well as it can be and the right tactics are being employed. Our account managers have an average of 10 years of experience in the affiliate marketing industry. They have seen the space evolve and have evolved right along with it. They know what it takes to bring a program to its full potential and they understand that it’s often a team effort driven by research, data, insights and tech.
Long-run Cost Savings
Organizations are often lead to believe it is cheaper to hire an in-house affiliate manager. At Schaaf-PartnerCentric, many of our clients move to us after testing an in-house resource and quickly realize that the cost of their underperforming program far outweighs the savings from an in-house hire. For the price of one new hire, you get 5-6 affiliate experts added to your team. You also get complimentary technologies and tools, like compliance and fraud monitoring, as well as proprietary technologies for protecting margin. No onboarding, employee training, planning meetings or hand-holding required; just an immediate expert team providing faster and higher ROI.
Facing the Facts
When we take over programs that were previously managed by in-house teams, we usually find and fix just some of the following issues: Overpaid and underperforming partners, lower ROI relative to benchmarks, missed growth opportunities, compliance and traffic quality issues, concentration risk with 10 or fewer partners, coupon cannibalization, and tracking issues. With the ROAS lost from mismanagement and lack of optimization from an in-house manager, can you truly afford not to work with an affiliate marketing agency?
Have more questions? Ready to see how Schaaf-PartnerCentric can cost-effectively grow or jumpstart your affiliate program? Contact us today!
We all know there’s fraud out there – in fact, it’s a huge buzzword in digital marketing right now. Truly, it is crucial that all affiliate marketers monitor the quality of their traffic and converters. Picture this: You are an e-commerce jewelry company. Your affiliate program is skyrocketing, revenue is strong and everyone is happy. But suddenly, all that jewelry everyone bought is being returned. All your beautiful converters disappear in a puff of smoke. This type of problem happens too often in affiliate marketing.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric takes an extremely vested approach to handling fraud. Below are just a few of the ways we ensure compliance:
Our Internal Support team proactively monitors known violators network-wide
Your dedicated account manager is constantly on the look-out for major changes or discrepancies week-to-week by publisher to identify trends that seem suspicious
Vanity code and promotional audits are conducted bi-monthly to proactively address any potential issues
Additionally, here are a few other best practices to prevent against fraud:
Analytics – Look at the quality of your visitors that are converting via certain partners. Now, we know that not everyone has the best tracking tools but even with a free version of Google Analytics, you can see metrics that indicate if these partners are truly high quality. Did the consumer come to your site, spend 30 seconds on the site and then buy a $10K ring? That’s a sign to start digging.
Customer Reps – Track the returns, refunds, and complaints from each affiliate partner. Sometimes this can involve walking over to your customer reps team and talking with them about something a consumer said. But if your consumer is calling to say, “I was incentivized to buy this ring and return it,” you might have a problem.
Legality – Make sure your affiliate marketing agreements state that if a product is returned, the commission is de-valued or nulled. That way, you are also making sure your company isn’t losing money. In addition, make sure your agreements also have strong minimums in returns/complains. If, suddenly, ten of out of the last fifteen purchases made are returned, there needs to be a solid legal plan to opt out of the contract or stop using the affiliate.
By incorporating these best practices, you will be on your way to having a strong affiliate program. To learn more about how Schaaf-PartnerCentric ensures that your affiliate marketing program maximizes ROI while protecting it against fraud, contact us.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric is currently working on a thought leadership piece on incremental revenue and the personalization of the commission segmentation process between advertisers and affiliates. We are looking for insight from both advertisers and affiliates and your feedback is highly valuable to us.
We will be publicly sharing the survey results once our piece is published, and the findings will be used in a presentation Schaaf-PartnerCentris CEO Stephanie Harris is giving at Affiliate Summit East on “Managing Incremental Revenue” this year.
If you have any additional feedback or questions, don’t hesitate to let us know and in the meantime feel free to download our latest white paper on Creating an Affiliate Program that Drives Incremental Revenue…
Last week was very exciting for our members here at Schaaf-PartnerCentric. Our Director of Operations, Adrienne Erreca, and Sales team member, Jose Olaguez, were sent to the Which Test Won’s: The Live Event in Austin on Thursday, April 30th and Friday, May 1st where they were both exposed to case studies, deep-dive sessions, and conversion critiques to gain knowledge on different tactics and insights that could help us grow as an affiliate management agency.
After the event, our company was treated to a nice networking happy hour at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin sponsored by our friends at Avangate. We had a blast bonding with other local Austin companies and enjoyed talking about The Live Event. Stubb’s BBQ supplied an open bar tab with delicious tacos, wings, jalapeño poppers, nachos, and guacamole that just didn’t last long at all.
We would like to thank our friends from WhichTestWon, Avangate, and Stubb’s BBQ for supplying us with an informative and fun way to end a busy week here at Schaaf-PartnerCentric. If you missed out on the happy hour or are curious of how our week went, check out our Facebook Page albums for pictures of the event and more adventures with the team here at Schaaf-PartnerCentric.
If you like what you see, feel free to share our posts and give us a like on Facebook to stay informed with more affiliate marketing and management news and information.
The entire Schaaf-PartnerCentric team is converging in Austin for a four-day long company retreat. On Tuesday, March 24, we’ll be pulling away from our company chats for a night on the town in Austin, Texas. And we’d like for you to come! Join us for poolside drinks and appetizers at a private party at The W pool patio.
Where: The W Residences, Poolside at 200 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas, 78701
The webinar will be held on January 7, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM PDT.
About the webinar:
Businesses want to understand their customers’ journey prior to a purchase being made. They need to know which marketing channels are most effective in moving the customer through the sales funnel.
The same holds true in the affiliate channel: Are certain affiliates more valuable and influential in the sales process?
Are there other more effective strategies to drive traffic?
Join the webinar on January 7th to hear industry experts such as:
+ Brook Schaaf – Affiliate Marketing Expert and CEO of Schaaf-PartnerCentric
+ Brian Cotter – CEO of Tech Live Connect
+ Daniel Scaduto – CEO of iS3
+ Stephen Polinsky – COO at Ve Interactive
+ Shannon MacLeod – Senior Director of Conversion Rate Optimization at Avangate
Several others debating on customer engagement models and best practices to drive prospects into the sales funnel.
Please use #DigitalAlley to spread the word about this webinar on your social channels.
If you’d like to know more about Schaaf-PartnerCentrc and how it might help your company, please request a consultation.
If you’re in the affiliate industry, please submit your nominations for the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awardby Sunday, November 30, 2014. We would be honored for your nomination in the category of Best OPM / Agency of the Year.
As a company, our clients come first and foremost. We seek to develop the most innovative affiliate program on their behalf, often driving industry-wide changes in strategies and technologies. We aim to build credible relationships between merchant and affiliates, thereby forwarding the channel as an honest way for merchants to drive revenue.
In 2014, Schaaf-PartnerCentric was ecstatic to acquire a competitive agency, rocketing our client list to 80+ accounts. In addition, Schaaf-PartnerCentric gained a strong foothold in international affiliate program management, launching affiliate programs across four continents.
Our roster includes 21st Century, Tommy Hilfiger, the Quidsi family of brands, Cost Plus World Market, and LightInTheBox. We have deep expertise across many verticals, with the ability to strategically grow affiliate programs from a start-up to an international perspective.
Our highly experienced team leverages long-standing personal relationships with top affiliates to ensure consistent and accurate communication, a tactic not easily executed in our industry. We consider our affiliate managers to be some of the most experienced in the industry. If one of our team members has performed outstanding program management on your behalf, please feel free to nominate him or her as Affiliate Manager of the Year. In addition, you can email our CEO directly at Brook @ Schaafpc dot com.
We appreciate your support. We have enjoyed working with all of our clients and partners to develop strong relationships, and look forward to many more successful years.
Schaaf-PartnerCentric is sending a large crew to the Big Apple later this week for Affiliate Summit East 2014, which starts Sunday at the New York Marriott Marquis.
We’ll be taking meetings in our suite throughout the three-day conference. If you’d like to set up a time to meet with us, you can email us today and we’ll schedule a time.
If you’re attending sessions, you can hear our CEO, Brook Schaaf, present at a session called “Advertisers: Why Commission Segmentation Matters to You” from 2 – 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11 in the hotel’s Majestic Complex.
Here’s who will be attending Summit East. Look for us there!
It’s time to nominate your favorite advertiser and agency for the 2014 CJU People’s Choice Awards, which will be presented at CJ University 2014 (Sept. 9-11 in Santa Barbara).
CJ University want YOUR nominations for the CJU People’s Choice Awards, which gives you a chance to name the agency and advertiser you enjoy working with the most. We would love for you to show Schaaf-PartnerCentric some love and give us your nomination in the agency category.