Choosing the person who will manage your affiliate program is a critical decision for your business.
When you consider how tremendously performance marketing continues to grow year over year – and how many relationships your affiliate program manager will be developing and maintaining for you – you begin to see why this task is incredibly important. Here’s a guide to qualities you should look for in an affiliate manager.
In an industry built around relationship building, perhaps it should not surprise you that the most critical skill an affiliate program manager must possess is strong listening skills. Does the affiliate manager listen? To you? To your business goals? To you pain points? To the hopes, dreams and needs of your customers AND affiliates? We mention this because the best affiliate program managers – the one who outperform all expectations – are those who listen and become so engrained in the daily running of your business that he or she becomes an integral part of your business.
Along these same lines, you want an affiliate manager who takes charge. This person will be reaching out to all sorts of affiliate partners on your behalf. There’s no time to sit on the sidelines. Your affiliate manager needs to be able to reach out to bloggers, to paid search experts, to social media whizzes and to coupon affiliates (just to name a few very different kinds of affiliate partners).
It goes without saying that you need an affiliate manager with experience – or does it? Yes! Experience is one of the qualities you should look for in an affiliate manager. With experience comes wisdom (because a lot of what affiliate managers do is trial and error). An experienced affiliate manager will know what kinds of offers affiliates respond to – and which offers get ignored. They’ll already know affiliates to approach for any given niche. And they will already know how best to attain and retain the best affiliates for your program.
When you’re looking for an experienced affiliate program manager, remember that you’re not just looking for someone who knows how to recruit affiliates or communicate via the networks. No, you need an affiliate program manager who sees the whole picture – who knows about search engine optimization and good landing page design – about paid search and linkbuilding – and about offline marketing efforts as well.
It’s often said that 70% of success is showing up – and that’s so true in affiliate marketing. You need an affiliate program manager who shows up for affiliates – who answers questions promptly and addresses issues in real time. Being responsive is another critical function. An affiliate program manager who continually drops the ball will damage your affiliate program and, by extension, your brand.
When you’re looking for an affiliate program manager to take charge of your affiliate program, these essential skills are basic requirements. Make sure the successful candidate possesses them all – and don’t give up the search until you find that perfect fit.