Fact: Affiliate managers get picked on like a red-headed stepchild
I’m guilty of it sometimes. It’s always a one sided perspective about pesky affiliate managers. We also have our two cents on how they can do better and mark all their flaws. However there is no voice out there from an affiliate manager perspective. Most communities are run by affiliates, forums are run by affiliates, blogs are run by affiliates, the works.
I’ve always wondered what affiliate managers thought of affiliates, so I decided Interviewed 6 different affiliate managers. I decided to keep them anonymous for health and security reasons. I replaced them with sketched Star Wars characters (I’m not really a fan, just thought the sketches were cool). They tried to be as honest as possible but some specific cases could not be mentioned because it would reveal certain people.
1) What is one of your major peeves about affiliates?
Affiliates that utilize our network as leverage against other networks for higher payouts (ie: constantly raising payouts without running volume to leverage insanely high payouts from us or others) – Mr Rabbit Sometimes I think they are lazy! If it take 5 minutes to make money – they’re in…. If it takes 5 days – they’re out! – Miss Vader What bothers me more then anything is when I put a whole lot of time and effort into helping them be successful and then they don’t give the same loyalty back to try and make us successful as well. Non-team players. – Mr Hood Rat Assuming they will get things for free even if they don’t even know you or work with you. Also sometimes my affiliates refrain from telling me what their threshold for success is….so it’s difficult to gauge a campaign for them. – Miss Leah They request a bunch of offers, and then never run them. – Mr Creepo I never like the mindset of asking “What is the hottest offer?” – There’s never ONE amazing deal, a lot of factors come into play so you shouldn’t be blinded by a single highest grossing deal or what 1 publisher is doing with. – Mr Quarantine
Fact 1: Affiliates are selfish bastards, we expect free services without giving back.
2) I know managers have a big problem with a lack of loyalty from affiliates. What is your definition of a loyal affiliate?
An affiliate who utilizes our team, techniques, guides and newsletters shared by us to grow with us and not others. – Mr Rabbit Same as before, I see my affiliates as part of our team and our company. I understand needing to be part of a lot of networks and wanting to make as much money as possible. But one thing that most affiliates don’t realize is that buck extra they maybe getting by going direct to the advertiser or another network might be costing them a lot. – Mr Hood Rat An affiliate who doesn’t flake for a five cent bump at another network after you helped them build their campaign. – Miss Leah A loyal affiliate is someone who will come to me and tell me that they got a higher offer from another network and allow me the chance to match it before they just switch their links out. A super loyal affiliate is one that finds an offer they like and asks me to get it so they can run it with me. – Mr Creepo Loyal affiliates stomp on those who jump around network to network over pennies. You should always split test your deals to multiple networks, but know who to work with lastly. – Mr Quarantine
Fact 2: A loyal affiliate will give their affiliate manager every chance to work with them. Not be a sly creep and be persuaded by a 5 cent payout bump.
3) What are affiliates losing out on for not being loyal? Can you give some examples on how you have helped loyal affiliates exclusively?
Well, simply put – affiliates that stick around and remain constant volume DO get special payouts that ARE above anyone else within the network. Not only that, I will pass far more information from our internal campaigns to them directly. I don’t shower them with gifts or kayaks full of men, we give them more money and specific techniques / traffic sources / private offers to make them more money.
– Mr Rabbit
We have a lot of campaigns on private that we bring on for one publisher specifically and we build out custom pages or creatives for them. We go to bat against advertisers who try to get out of paying for a certain subid’s traffic, and we take the hit if that doesn’t work out to still pay out to keep our loyal affiliates happy. – Miss Leah If you are one of my loyal affiliates (only a handful truly are), I will drop whatever it is and take care of your issue right that minute. I will also go to bat much harder with accounting and management to get you better payment terms, and higher payouts. I know that a lot of AM’s will tell you that they are doing that for all of their affiliates, but they are lying. There is no reason to put in that kind of effort for somebody who finds you as replaceable as a few keystrokes. – Mr Creepo If you show me exlusivity, you bet I’m going to bend over backwards to help you progress as an affiliate, beyond the norm. When an advertiser skips their bill, I always feel its our responsibility as a network to cover our affiliates 100%. We have standard monthly rewards program, but for affiliates who are at certain tiers in revenue, I make it an obligation to send them a gift of their choice even on lesser volume. I’m also providing cashflow by doing dailies or paying twice a week instead of weeklies. I keep in mind volume AND trust. I also have written guides on how to promote and where on certain niches. I share these with affiliates who have activity in their account here and keep communication open.
– Mr Quarantine
Fact 3: If you’re a loyal affiliate you will can get a lot more than a kayak full of men and gift cards from Hydra.
4) Other than being loyal and running a ton of volume, what are some ways affiliates improve their relationships with affiliate managers?
Shooting the shit I guess. – Mr Rabbit I know my personal favs are the guys that tell me what’s going on out there. I love a little intel from my peeps, what’s cookin’ elsewhere. That makes me want to do the same for them when I can. Also, referrals. When a publisher is inclined to tell their friend / colleague about the stellar job I am doing means a lot and puts them on the “nice list” which means Christmas time all year long :). – Miss Vader Call me crazy, but a friendly heads up before you switch your links to another network. I’m all for split testing, but if there is anything I can do to keep your I would like a fighting chance to do so. Cookies and Starbucks cards are always a plus too! – Miss Leah Talk to us. ping us. call us. send us an email. if i have 100 affiliates in my account, there are 80 of them that i will never, ever talk to besides the initial “welcome to the network” email. – Mr Creepo Keep communication open and check in with your primary point of contact and see what they can do for you. – Mr Quarantine
Fact 4: There is no such thing as a clingy affiliate. Holla at cha boy let them know what’s going on!
5) What is your worst experience with an affiliate?
I can’t mention specifics but I’ve had a few affiliates knowingly send poor quality traffic to networks and burn the network, forcing them to pay them (often times finding loopholes in policy / restrictions). Basic abuse of trust.
– Mr Rabbit
One publisher blatantly disregarded a few FTC regs, and the restrictions, guidelines of one HUGE CAMPAIGN. I get it, it worked, he got paid. It was probably easy. The problem in that case and I am sure many like it, is that one person ruined it for the WHOLE bunch. Lost the deal. A huge huge deal. We feed lots of families and employ lots of people. So when one affiliate is a rat bastard, it affects lots of people. – Miss Vader I had a Myspace spammer send some traffic to us and had to settle with Myspace that was fun.
– Mr Hood Rat
It all began the day I met Mr. Green… – Miss Leah
(Editors note: Miss Leah has recently been fired from her network because of certain false accusations
One guy lied about where his traffic was coming from, then getting all the leads charged back and ruining a relationship with an advertiser. Fun. – Mr Creepo Running 10k+ to a biz opp (rebill). They lost one of their merchant accounts and had to shut us down and freeze some funds. It turned out to be a lot of fake orders from people who didn’t exist and could not be reached… – Mr Quarantine
Fact 5: Affiliate managers have to put up with a ton of affiliate rat bastards.
I was a little sad I couldn’t dig up any good juice from my managers. For some reason they all seem to be kind and considerate of everyone they’ve worked with. Good figure!
So my question to you affiliates
…are you a rat bastard, promiscuous affiliate or a loyal affiliate? Personally I’m a promiscuous affiliate in going through a loyal rehab.
If you are a loyal affiliate what is your technique to fend off managers interested in your traffic?
Thanks to the affiliate managers who contributed to this posted, you know who you are! Your secrets are safe with me ;). Bring on the gifts and payout bumps.
I didn’t forget you special ADHD readers! Here’s your summary:
Managers do not want: Freeloaders. Rat Bastards. Lies.
Managers want: Loyal business partners. Good communicators.
Managers will reward loyal affiliates with: Private/Exclusive offers, internal campaign knowledge and practically build your campaigns.