The performance of your affiliate marketing program is highly dependent on your affiliate manager. The challenge of choosing or being the finest affiliate manager is really difficult and has really high stakes. No affiliate manager, no matter how passionate or well-intentioned, can take an affiliate program to its full potential if they lack the necessary skills, experience, and resources.
In this article, we will talk about what an affiliate manager is and what they do to draw a picture for you regarding their roles in an affiliate marketing program and their importance.
What is an Affiliate Manager?
An affiliate manager is someone who oversees an entire affiliate program for the affiliate advertiser or merchant. Finding and recruiting affiliates, pay-out management, determining affiliate commission rates, measuring key performance indicators to optimize the program, and keeping the affiliates motivated and engaged are all responsibilities of an affiliate manager.
From creating new affiliate programs to expanding existing ones, brands collaborate with affiliate managers to maximize the performance and profitability of their affiliate networks.
Whether you choose to handle affiliate marketing in-house, employ a professional, or outsource the task entirely, you’ll need a affiliate manager for your program.
Tasks of An Affiliate Manager
The success of an affiliate program depends on its affiliate manager’s ability to carry out a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Although the specific responsibilities of an affiliate manager might change based on the goals and current state of an affiliate program, some of the major responsibilities that are similar for almost all the affiliate managers out there are given below.
Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Affiliates
Attracting, engaging, and retaining affiliates of great quality is the core of the job of an affiliate manager. Having these professionals on your side will ensure that you connect with affiliates who are a good fit for your audience. In addition to traditional networks, they might reach out to affiliates outside of them through social media, backlinks, and email.
It’s crucial to choose a diverse group of affiliates that can generate sales at various points in the customer’s journey. This way, you can increase your conversions and sales as a result of more potential customers seeing your brand.
This is a vital step since the success of your affiliate program is dependent on the quality and quantity of your affiliates. The recruitment process is just the beginning of the engagement. Affiliate managers are tasked with cultivating fruitful partnerships between affiliates and brands. At this stage, it becomes important to motivate and engage with affiliates.
To encourage top-performing affiliates, your affiliate manager can employ tactics such as affiliate competitions, automated emails, or the creation of incentives.
Managing Both Inactive and Active Affiliates
Not all the affiliates you bring on board will be useful to your company. We will classify an affiliate as inactive if they fail to generate sales or website traffic within a given time frame, and brands should cut ties with them immediately. Since you’re collaborating with affiliates that fail to achieve your sales goals, this would be a waste of time, energy, and money.
You need to weed out the inactive affiliates so you can put more money and effort into the active ones. To find out what percentage of your affiliates are active and which ones aren’t, affiliate managers use tracking and analytics. Affiliate managers can use this data to see if they can re-engage inactive affiliates, expand their affiliate network, or adjust their affiliate recruiting tactics to attract more qualified marketers.
The ratio of active to inactive affiliates is an important metric that affiliate managers should routinely measure in order to ensure the success of the affiliate program. A skilled affiliate manager has the insights to make informed decisions based on data to retain engaged affiliates and attract new ones.
Setting and Measuring KPIs of Affiliate Marketing
How to establish and evaluate an effective affiliate program KPIs are a crucial aspect of an affiliate manager’s role. With this, they can compare the program’s overall performance and the performance of individual affiliates to their program goals.
Your affiliate strategy can be greatly enhanced by monitoring the correct KPIs (key performance indicators). The KPIs that need to be tracked will differ for each program based on its goals, the kind of affiliates engaged, and the nature of the program itself.
While some affiliate marketing KPIs may be specific to one program, others are universal, such as-
- Number of Active Affiliates
- Number of Total Affiliates vs active affiliates
- Average Order Value (AoV)
- Conversion Rates of Affiliates
- Number of Overall Sales vs Affiliate-Generated Sales
- Earn Per-Click Rates
An affiliate manager should track the affiliates’ AoV, EPC, and affiliate conversion rates separately to find the best ones, pay them more attention, and find more like them to recruit.
Researching Affiliate Marketing Trends and Implementing Them
There are probably a lot of brands competing for the attention of affiliates, so it’s safe to assume that they won’t recall your business. It becomes more challenging to form a connection and bring an affiliate on board when their fame and popularity grow.
The key to attracting top-tier affiliates is knowing the wants of the market. To locate the most qualified affiliates, an affiliate manager has to monitor industry trends such as affiliate compensation, successful recruiting channels, and popular products and niches.
One can take advantage of market opportunities by finding out affiliate marketing trends and implementing them before they get saturated. Cross-device tracking is another important trend in affiliate marketing. It allows brands to identify an affiliate’s web traffic even when a user switches devices, which is crucial because 62% of smartphone users make at least one purchase on mobile, instead of computers. It’s a good idea to emphasize your program’s cross-device monitoring capabilities when recruiting to attract potential affiliates.
The job of affiliate managers is to make sure that their brand affiliates take advantage of such opportunities and trends in the market to maximize their results.
Providing Training to Affiliates
You should be aware that not all influencers you contact are experts in affiliate marketing. Even if some of them have prior expertise, they may need to learn about your brand’s affiliate program, as your campaign might follow different strategies.
Financial institutions and other similar businesses are subject to further strict marketing regulations. Restrictive advertising regulations may apply to you as well depending on where you live. For example, it could be against the regulations in your sector or nation to advertise your brand as the best in the industry. Your affiliates must be aware of this to keep themselves and your brand out of trouble.
It’s the responsibility of affiliate managers to oversee the training process of affiliates. They will also design and delegate branded resources and courses on affiliate marketing to properly train marketers and influencers about the affiliate marketing program.
Training could last up to two weeks at businesses with extensive affiliate networks and complicated procedures and regulations. Training can be shorter for startups and small enterprises. The task of a manager is to design and oversee the affiliate training and determine the effectiveness of the strategies and which affiliates aren’t making the cut.
Maintaining Communication with Affiliates
A key component of a successful affiliate campaign is affiliate communication. It also falls under the responsibility of an affiliate manager to devise an extensive communication plan for interacting with affiliates and maintaining their connection to the brand.
The goals behind affiliate managers working on communication strategies include-
- Inform affiliates about your niche, brand, and products.
- Win over affiliates who might otherwise join your rivals’ networks.
- Give your affiliates everything they need to succeed in reaching your goals.
- Encourage and inspire affiliates to experience a sense of belonging to the team.
- Engage affiliates and help them learn about your company and its value proposition, along with the affiliate marketing program.
An affiliate manager will also develop a plan to promote your brand, which involves-:
- Identifying the optimal communication channels depending on the platforms used by affiliates.
- Choosing the frequency of communication and the category of content to share.
- Setting up a communication routine.
If you want to take advantage of expert industry knowledge and precise affiliate cost vs. income management, it’s a must to hire a top-notch affiliate manager. Also, you have the option to simplify your affiliate marketing campaigns through the recruitment of a high-quality affiliate manager. You can gain new insights and ideas from affiliate managers, who can also assist you in transforming affiliates into passionate brand ambassadors.