Affiliate marketing is a full time job. Successful affiliate program management requires a trained, experienced professional with a highly diversified skillset. As e-commerce merchants are learning increasingly, qualified talent with expertise in effective affiliate program management is hard to find yet critical to the success of any affiliate marketing program.
When it comes to affiliate program management, e-commerce merchants have three options:
- Do it in house
- Turn it over to an affiliate network
- Entrust the program to an outsourced program manager.
Increasingly merchants are discovering the wisdom of outsourced program management, and there are a number of reasons why. First, managing a program in-house is problematic. Finding talented professionals who have the experience and expertise in affiliate marketing is hard to do.
Because effective affiliate program managers need to excel at a number of skills including: expertise in Internet marketing concepts such as site and landing page design technical proficiency in understanding tracking pixels, how cookies work and implementation processes. proficiency in written and verbal communication for relationship building strategic development experience and knowledge of what works and what doesn’t proven ability to attract and retain top performing affiliates across all verticals ability to understand and respond to site and landing page analytics and trend reports insights that are key to designing effective commission structures.
Finding someone with this mix of social, technical and marketing skills is extremely difficult. Even when you find a qualified professional, the cost proves too much for most merchants. Merchants find that they save money when they outsource their program. This is because they don’t have the overhead expenses of employees devoted to the affiliate program.
They also get redundancy of additional program managers who cover for one another when one manager goes on vacation. These skilled individuals are few and far between, so there’s no guarantee that you will find them within your community. Many companies rely on a marketing person on staff to multi-task with affiliate marketing being only part of their overall duties.
The problem with this approach is that affiliate marketing requires daily attention on tasks such as approving affiliate applications, answering e-mails and tracking sales. According to the most recent AffStat Survey, which tracks developments in affiliate marketing, 71% of e-commerce merchants had dedicated affiliate program managers. The need for strong management is clear. Finding the most cost-effective solution is key to the success of affiliate programs today.
The major affiliate networks focus solely on sales without regard to the growth of your affiliate program. Professional outsource affiliate program managers focus on recruiting and maintaining relationships with top affiliates who will remain loyal advocates for your brand. A good program manager always has the big picture in view. What type of affiliates are adding value to your brand and its affiliate program and where are they? How can these affiliates be targeted, recruited and retained even outside of your current network? With outsourced program management, you have to look all over the Internet for affiliate and good public relations not just inside the network framework.
The affiliate network’s add-on management services are fine for working inside the tools offered by the network but none of them go outside of the network to promote your program or recruit affiliates outside of the network. list your program in directories, perform forum and blog posting on your behalf. The big picture is outside the view of the network, and that is why outsourced program management is preferable to relying on the networks for program management.
Experience and expertise key to success. The process of planning, launching, growing, maintaining and sustaining a healthy affiliate program that meets your goals are not easy. That’s because affiliate marketing requires a mixture of highly specialized skills.
A good affiliate program manager has years of experience, knowledge and expertise and comes to your program with existing relationships with top affiliates and networks that will benefit your affiliate program. Managing an affiliate program effectively requires a combination of different skills but the key ingredient is relationship building.
You need strong affiliates who will drive traffic and leads or sales through your affiliate program, and affiliates need strong programs that have great products and the creative support to promote them. You can trust that Kudometrics can build lasting relationships for your business and your affiliate program.
The affiliate marketing space is small with a tight niche of professionals and is centered on trust and comfort. No matter how much equity a brand may have in other areas, newcomers always start out as suspect in the affiliate marketing world.
Let Kudometrics make the introductions and create the relationships that will build solid partnerships between affiliates and your brand. That’s where our experience and expertise once again comes into play.
We have spent years building relationships with the best affiliates in the industry, and we spend a great deal of time and energy making sure these affiliate partners are actively promoting the affiliate programs under our management. We work with all types of affiliates, from coupon and content affiliates to paid search and comparison shopping engine affiliates. It’s important to note that our attention doesn’t focus solely on the affiliates. We also seek, find, recruit and activate new or emerging affiliates who in the long run will add value and drive success for your program.
That’s part of our commitment to you and to sustainable growth – a cornerstone of any healthy affiliate program. Our team comprised of tenured professionals does all of this important work on your behalf from cultivating and tracking relationships with existing affiliates to delivering the support and customer service they require.
We also detect and reverse the effects of fraud and keep our merchants informed of the trends that emerge within the affiliate channel. We are continually evolving our methodologies and acquiring new technologies to optimize performance in each of these specialties, and we look forward to bringing our experience to work for your program.
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