There is on the Internet an affiliate program for all kind of products. Some merchants with affiliate programs sell a wide range of products like Amazon for example, others specialize on one kind of products, like shoes or jewelry. Affiliates who have joined the affiliate program will earn a commission when a product is bought through an affiliate link posted on their website, blog or social media accounts.
In order to manage the affiliate program the merchant hires an in-house affiliate manager or may hire a firm that specializes in affiliate program management. The affiliate manager is the person who runs the show. He is the person in the middle, making sure that the affiliate channel revenue increases so the merchant makes more money selling his products, and he manages and advises affiliates so they can make money from the relationship.
The affiliate program is usually hosted on an affiliate program network, or in some cases in-house. Some or the most known affiliate networks are: ShareAsale, LinkShare, Commission Junction and ClickBank. The first three are for physical products while the latter has only digital products. Affiliates first join the affiliate network and then apply to one or the many affiliate programs that are in the network. They have to be approved by the Network and the Affiliate Manager of each program.
I have been working as an Affiliate Manager for several years now and this is how I describe the work of the Affiliate Manager:
– The AM first research and write a competition analysis. The main competitors with affiliate programs in the niche have to be identified and the competition report will detail everything, even the kind of banners used.
– The AM will advise the merchant on the commission rate and kind of banners to use according to what was found in the competition analysis. An action plan will be written.
– The AM will then set-up the affiliate program within the chosen network. This includes creating the info pages on the Network and Merchant’s site, creating the sign-up pages, making text links and banners that will be uploaded to the network, making or modifying a data-feed and all kind of work related to creatives.
– When the affiliate program account is finally set-up, the AM launches and promotes it via Press Releases and other means.
– The AM’s duty is then to approve/decline affiliate applications, to update text links/banners/data-feed, to recruit new affiliates, communicate and assist them when necessary, send newsletters…
– With the agreement of the merchant, the Affiliate Manager set-up promotions, coupons for different holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s day or Halloween.
– The AM, then will write weekly and monthly report for the merchant to update him on the progress of the affiliate program.
As you can see the duty of the Affiliate Manager is quite important.
Articles I have written in the past on this topic: