How You Manage: Managing Your Affiliates Effectively

By: Lina Stakauskaite

Whether you work at a crowded office in a large corporation, or you work from home by yourself with your assistant Fido, being in business means being in contact with others. This is especially true in online selling because you likely have affiliates. Affiliates are those companies and individuals working with you in a business capacity to help drive business to you. For instance, if you partner with an online shopping website, advertising system, or couponing website, those are your affiliates. Managing these affiliates effectively is the best way to ensure that you are getting what you pay them commission for, and that they are truly working for you. The following steps can help in effective affiliate management.

Communication System

Managing any affiliate is hard if you don't communicate with them. Having a system of not only a way to communicate, but also a way to track your communication, is key. If you have an account with a site like SalesForce, that would be the ideal way to manage communication. Client management systems are also good for affiliate management, as you can make notes and track aspects of the relationship just as easily. Some platforms even have affiliate management programs that are aside from their client management, but it boils down to the same thing.

Make Working For You Work

In other words, incentivize your affiliates. If you have affiliates working for you in marketing, such as you partner with a couponing site, make sure that they know it's worthwhile to promote your product. These sites are going to promote what benefits them most, like it or not, so figure out how much of your profits you can afford to award as commission, and make sure that they know what you're offering. This way, you can motivate them to promote you, and more customers will come in.

Prepare to Ban

It's not fun, but you should have a system set up where you can, if necessary, ban an affiliate. For instance, if you become aware that one of your affiliates is driving traffic to your site using unethical means, you're going to want to ban that affiliate. This can severely damage your reputation as an online seller. This system should also let you approve affiliates, but that is a far simpler process and is almost assured to be built into a banning system.

Back to the Source

It would benefit you greatly to track where your traffic is coming from, and not just to track it to your affiliates. Where are they getting the traffic. Knowing this will help you to tailor your advertising and campaigns that you have running through your affiliates. Demography is important to online marketing in particular, because statistics are all you can see. You don't see your customers or clients walk through the door, you only see their e-footprint, when they stop by your website or purchase. Therefore, knowing where it is they're coming from and who they are helps you to tailor your pitch to them.

There are many things to keep in mind when managing affiliates, and many tips on doing it effectively. However, if you communicate with your affiliates, you make sure you are keeping quality affiliates only, and you have a way to know how best to tailor the material you send to your affiliates, you'll have a very good start at managing your affiliates in the most effective way possible. Make sure to incentivize your affiliates and motivate them to work for you, and you can experience much success!

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Lina Stakauskaite works at Click2Sell ( Affiliate Programs Network. Sell digital products online and run your affiliate program. Accept payments via PayPal, Google Checkout or direct credit card payments. Get paid instantly, provide easy payment options for customers, recruit and manage affiliates successfully.

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