When you first sign up for a new affiliate program you automatically receive a welcoming email with basic information about the program from the affiliate manager.
Some affiliates overlook these emails as they all seem to look the same and be mass produced, but this can be a huge mistake in terms of establishing a relationship with your affiliate manager that will later on enable you to get more in depth information that could help you get ahead in the business. The information contained in that email might not be important, but what matters about it is that it is the first step to opening a communication channel with the affiliate manager of the program you want to work with.
Many affiliates believe the responsibility to communicate efficiently falls primarily on the affiliate manager, whereas this could be argued, we all know that this isn’t going to happen all the time and sometimes the affiliate program is worth taking the extra step. This is a guide on what type of things should affiliates be asking their affiliate managers and how this will direct your relationship with the affiliate manager and the affiliate program in a more profitable direction.
(Step 0: Why not just dump them?)
Whenever I write on affiliate manager-affiliate communication, I always feel like I’m giving relationship advice, and in fact I am. However, the truth is that affiliate managers are the channel through which the managers of affiliate programs avoid communicating with you directly and run their business efficiently, so they are here to stay. Once you make peace with the act that they are here to stay, you can start looking at the importance of building a relationship with your affiliate manager (and who knows? maybe even help you with other relationships in the future… right…)
Suggested Reading: Affiliate Guide to Keeping a Girlfriend
Step 1: Get To Know Them!
This might have struck you as dating advice and it is, but experience suggests that the closest your relationship with the affiliate manager is, the better response you will have from them. Don’t worry, this isn’t a Machiavellian* plan to obtain what you want (sort of), but it is a matter of establishing positive relationships with the people around you (keep telling yourself that and you’ll be ok). Seriously though, the friendlier you are with your affiliate manager, the more likely they are to want to help you.
To achieve this closeness you don’t need to find out what her grandmother cooked for Christmas this year, but just keep communication constant, share a joke or two, share opinions on work issues, etc. This may be time consuming, but if only takes for you to throw a few comments here and there to let the affiliate manager know that the relationship is mutual.
Recommended: Affiliate Manager Communication = Increase in Profit (the best part is where you learn to seduce them)
Step 2: Ask Away!
The second step for turning your business into a fruitful enterprise is to have all the information you need about the affiliate program you signed up for, and the affiliate manager is key in providing you with the most up to date information. Here are some topics that affiliates should think about when communicating with affiliate managers:
- Commission Models: Learn your commission percentage, how it is distributed and what options you have for the distribution of various aspects in your commission percentage.
- Bonuses and Extra Incentives: Learn if there are extra things you can do to put more cash in your pocket. Some programs will have temporary incentives that can definitely help you boost your payment.
- Payment Methods and Procedures: Inquire on what payment methods are available and how the affiliate program deals with different situations you might be concerned about.
- Tracking Methods: You should want to learn how to keep track of your players, their deposits, your commission, your traffic, etc.
- Statistics (traffic, revenue, etc.): Learn what the affiliate program can provide you with in terms of statistics, having access to your statistics guarantees transparency and that you have control over your payments and the work you are doing.
- Shaving: Many affiliates have grown concerned about shaving practices and it is absolutely fine to ask your affiliate manager anything related to this, and express your doubts and concerns so that they can hopefully clarify everything.
- Anything Else. Seriously, just ask everything you want to know. Affiliate managers are expected to be qualified to answer all your questions, and even if they’re not, it is still their job to look it up for you. (Fair enough, maybe not ANYTHING else, try to keep it professional even if you hear those urban myths about “outgoing” affiliate managers – they end up badly most of the time!)
Step 3: Keep Records.
Finally, remember to keep records of any important information you receive from the affiliate manager. Why? In the extreme case that they give you incorrect information and that you work with it thinking you are entitled to less/more commission, or any other type of misunderstanding, it will be good to have some backup to prove where you are coming from. This has helped affiliates everywhere to be trated fairly by affiliate programs, so it is definitely a piece of advice to take into consideration.