Affiliate marketing enables merchants and publishers to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, in which the publisher helps the merchant by promoting their products and services. In return, the merchant pays a commission on sales and leads.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
- A merchant wants to promote its product or service through various websites.
- An affiliate network connects the retailer with a large base of publishers looking to monetize their traffic.
- Publishers promote the merchant with banners, links, product feeds and other advertising.
- A potential customer finds advertisement, clicks on it and makes a purchase.
- The merchant makes a sale.
- The publishers earn a commission.
Roles of An Affiliate Manager
- Develops marketing strategies to attract new affiliates
- Finds new affiliates
- Nurtures relationships between merchant and affiliates
- Leverages personal relationships with affiliates for the benefit of the merchant
- Manages the payment process of the affiliate program
In-House Affiliate Manager (AM)
Outsourced Program Manager (OPM)
|Connections may be limited and finding new affiliates might prove to be a challenge.||Experienced OPMs have already established an extensive network of affiliates.|
|It is risky to hire an inexperienced affiliate manager who needs training and guidance.||Experienced OPMs know what works and what doesn’t.|
|This is not a one person job. It requires networking and people skills, technical expertise, graphic design and newsletter management.||Established OPMs will have a team of experts to handle all facets of affiliate program management.|
|Often, program management is a secondary task for in-house managers as other responsibilities take priority.||The OPM’s focus is on managing your affiliate program with few outside distractions.|
|Many in-house managers have an employee mentality, requiring direction and permission on even the smallest decisions.||OPMs are business owners. Their income is based on performance, giving them incentive to do good work.|
|Affiliates need to deal with several AMs for several different companies, complicating things in the long run.||Often the OPM acts as one point of contact for multiple merchants, making it easier for the affiliate to promote several programs at once.|
The benefits of outsourcing affiliate management are clear: fast growth and sustainability by leveraging the experience of a professional service provider. Be sure to weigh the options when comparing an in-house affiliate manager to a company that can grow your business while saving you the overhead.