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Setting Expectations - Tips for Managing an Affiliate Program

Jeff Gordon, founder of Interactive99 (http://www.interactive99.com/) talks about affiliate program management. He lays out steps for setting expectations, and maintaining a satisfied community of affiliates.

  1. Determine the affiliate's prime directive- scale or accretive traffic
  2. Ensure strategic know-how is passed along to inform department purpose
  3. Communicate your over-arching theme & stick with it

My contact points for a lot of my clients are high level executives. I’m working with CMO’s, VP’s, Directors and I find that a lot of these people are responsible for the full gambit of marketing channels. SEO, display, affiliates, search and with affiliates being such a lucrative channel and the busiest channel, it’s often difficult for them to really sit down and initiate change.

One of the things that a high level manager can do to work with their affiliate program quickly is to make sure that they’re setting the right expectations.

What is the affiliates program’s prime directive? Are they marketing for scale or they’re trying to affect the margin and just drive a creative traffic?

You as the strategic executive should know this and trickle that information down to make sure that your affiliate managers are on top of their game and they know exactly the directions which they’re going in.

Whatever you communicate with them, stick with it. Don’t make it a moving target because in tough times when they get into a bad patch they’ll revisit that purpose and that theme to get them through and to get then going in the direction they need to.

So a very quick way for you to be on top of your affiliate team and make sure they’re heading into the right direction, set the right expectations.