The 5 Breeds of Affiliate Managers.
By on Dec 22, 2011

Before I get started I want to warn you that this post is high cholesterol; it’s packed with a copious amount of cheesy metaphors. Please don’t judge me.

Now, leggo!

Affiliate managers are key figures in this industry. They bridge the gap between advertisers and affiliates. They are extremely useful, especially when starting out. I’ve made some great friends over the years with some of them (some have even visited NZ to challenge me to a dance battle). Over a year ago I wrote a post on what affiliate managers want from affiliates. It’s time to flip it around.

I’ve worked with more than 30 affiliate managers over the years. I’ve broken them down into five groups based on their approach to affiliate management.

1. The Drill Salesman

I got the best offer for you!

This is a hybrid of a drill sargent and a used car salesmen. They hit you up about all the new offers you should be trying, even if you mention that you are not looking for new offers. It seems like every offer they have is the new hottest thing. They have the highest payouts. The best everything…unfortunately not the best affiliate managers. They drill you with offers until you crumble like a piece of racid feta cheese.


2. The Ghost 


Never around. Takes ages to respond. They are there to collect your commission without anything in return. Contact is as scarce as a unicorn with 17 legs.


3. The Tech Support

How may I help you sir?

Pulls your links, places your pixels. Reliable and predicatable. You come to them, they wont come to you. Great for experience affiliates, might be a bit tough to work with when you are starting out.



4. The Premium Concierge

Have you tried doing this?

Whatever you need done, they make it happen. You give them an end goal and they help you to get there. They are your business partner. They have experience so they can suggest improvements for your campaigns. Most importantly they are professional.



5. The Hustler

Check out what I found for ya!

These guys push the line of what affiliate managers do. They have eyes all over the place. They get “inspiration” from other affiliates…on the network. They share entire campaigns with you. Do they share your campaigns to their other affiliates? Of course not…they are your exclusive BFF…yeah right.



Now obviously there are affiliate managers that cross between a couple of these groups, but that is the main crux of it.

no hatingI’d also like to disclaim that I’m not hating on any affiliate managers. There is always just a couple in the bunch that ruin it for everyone. For the most part they act on the feedback they are given by affiliates and mould to their needs. So if an AM suggests a campaign that they saw, and the affiliate reacts in a positive way, obviously the AM will keep doing that.

Personally, I like the “tech support” type and the “premium concierge” type depending where I’m at with a certain campaign.

Trust is the biggest thing for me. I want to know that whenever I run a BAWSE campaign, my affiliate manager won’t go parading it around their network. I’ve experienced a network sharing my campaign, and I can tell you it got saturated as fast as rug at a keg party.

If an affiliate manager comes to me and says “try this campaign, one of my affs is KILLING it. Here’s the lander, run it on this traffic source“, it makes me automatically think that if they are sharing this stuff with me, it is very likely they would have no problem sharing my campaign with others.

I want someone who’s responsive, who’s creative, who treats you like a business partner. I know when an affiliate manager has got my back when they suggest running a certain offer at a competitor’s network.

What do you want from your affiliate manager?

How do you feel about AMs sharing campaigns with you? Have any of your campaigns been shared around by a network?

P.S. To all my affiliate managers reading this, I <3 you.

Comments (31)

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  1. InbeforeDino says:

    FIRST! Great post as usual mr green. Im yet to have an am that shares campaigns and stuff with me but ive certainly had a fair share of those ghost types you mentioned. Where can I find some of those premium concierge breeds 😀 ha?

  2. Tulip says:

    Merry Christmas Mr Green. Enjoy stacking crabby patties with the family

  3. Luke Kling says:

    Interesting. I'm not really sure where I stand as an affiliate manager. I think it really depends on the affiliate.

    I am 100% against sharing campaigns. I'll share MY campaigns, but I never touch another publishers campaign. So stop asking Lorenzo! 😉

  4. d3so says:

    I’ve had AMs 1, 2, & 3. 4 & 5 are like rare pokemon I’ve yet to come across. Merry Christmas!

  5. Ryan Eagle says:

    I like your 5 divisions for affiliate managers-enjoyed reading your blog

  6. Dino Vedo says:

    Damn it! I have been beat…. 😉 Anyways I prefer the ams that actually tell you what offers are hot and what offers are working with their network. Its easy to run traffic with offers that they have exclusive or whatever since they can bump you up and you can trust they wont randomly go down…

  7. Hmm which one am I? I may be a mix of a few:) great article man.

  8. Peter says:

    My favorite is The Ghost that turns into the Personal Concierge overnight once you hit a solid campaign with their network.

  9. pofben says:

    Which one am I, Mr. Green!

    • mrgreenam says:

      Oh dammit I forgot to mention the "Benyonce" type.

      "An manager with high expectations. Someone who knows their stuff. Will never shy away from accepting the task of a Beyonce style dance performance. However whether or not they deliver is a different story."

  10. Alex says:

    Great post Mr Green as usual. Well, I´d like to get an aff, that show me what is profitable and the the full funnel. So, I even I´m thinking in to run a contest. The one that help me be proffitable for let´s say mid or low $XXX a day. and I´ll give a cruise to the bahamas or the galapagos.

  11. […] – The 5 Breeds of Affiliate Managers (Mr. Green) […]

  12. Ryan Buke says:

    LOL – thats pretty much as spot on of a break down as you can get… I'd go on a limb and say more are drill salesmen, however thats not always a bad thing pending on how active you want to be. Great post!

  13. Matt says:

    I’ve experienced a network sharing my campaign, and I can tell you it got saturated as fast as rug at a keg party. Compelling and Rich.

  14. Tom Fang says:

    I don't expect much from AMs. As long as they treat me with respect and dont try to oversell me, I'm generally happy. Takes time to build a trusting relationship

  15. Victoria says:

    I have definitely worked with an affiliate manager who acted like a Tech Support! 😀 And yeah, I was just starting out back then, and that was kind of difficult. 🙂

  16. Very Tue Mr. Green 🙂

    AM’s who take ages to reply,… I dont prefer working with them 😀 If they cant answer my general stuffs then what will happen at my payment time grr….

  17. Stefanie says:

    Hmm, which one am I Lorenzo?!

  18. Affiliate Manager says:

    If they were all personal concierges, how would they be able to make any money to pay affiliate commissions?

    If all affiliates were making solid money (or even "just" making money), every affiliate manager would be able to attend to 10 affiliates exactly and deal with them in the best way possible and every company would have 100 Luke Klings, John Smiths or Jane Does to handle 10 affiliates each.

    There's the other side of the equation in a nutshell for you.

  19. link says:

    Both of you understand, unlike the dimwitted author here, that experience is the key, and that this isn’t an industry of rapid success that happens in mere minutes. It takes time and cultivation, like any proper business endeavor, to found the relationships with the loyalty partners, product comparison engines, and emerging markets publishers that really make this channel worthwhile.
    Next time Jamie, maybe give it a little more time before you preach. Sounds like you’ve been doing this for about 48 hours.

  20. I never try affiliate program with manager. I'am newbie, i I've tried just doing affiliate amazon to build a blog as Home Improvement


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