Merchants - How to Choose the right Affiliate Management Agency
Choosing an affiliate management agency is an important step in ensuring your affiliate program offering to affiliates and materials are developed properly before your agency starts introducing you to their affiliate relationships.
Affiliate management agencies can negotiate discounted network contracts, they can handle the media needed for your program (In most cases) and they should be on the ball as far as daily tasks and recruiting new partners to your affiliate program.
Cadence - Tasks - Time - Team
A great affiliate management agency should have a calendar of tasks and events like an action plan that you can clearly have access to and visualize. The tasks associated with your affiliate program management should be broken down by team members and you should be able to see team members interacting and working at a cadence determined by the amount of your monthly fee to the agency. Your agency should be transparent and have a login to a project management system for you, as an example we use basecamp and our clients all have access to their unique accounts.
Cadence + Tasks
Example's of bad team cadence * Inability to approve affiliate application within 24 hour period of time * Inability of the team to move forward in a timely manner in launching your affiliate program * Team media development takes longer than 48 hours
Examples of good team cadence * Proactively responding to super affiliate requests (Within hours) * Able to create super affiliate custom media requests (within hours) * Approving applications multiple times every day
* Question - Did your agency provide you with a list of tasks that they would perform daily, weekly, monthly on your account? See our affiliate program plans and tasks here
A GREAT indicator that an agency does not have the time or the team to manage your affiliate program is simple. Go check out their brand Facebook, Instagram, or other social media accounts. If their latest blog post or Facebook post was from a YEAR AGO they can't manage their own company why would you have them manage yours?
The agency team page will tell you a lot about the agency. If the team page has 2 people on it then you need to consider how much time and at what cadence they can dedicate to your brand? If the team page is empty with no photos then you are dealing with an agency with no team and is probably outsourcing tasks to another country. Check the agencies team page and ask questions about their team. See our team page here
* Question - Did your agency provide you with samples of their media or banner development? See our services deck with our media examples here
Strategy + Media
A fantastic affiliate management agency will create a set of banners for your program in the following IMU's (International marketing units) A superlative affiliate management agency will change out this media every quarter as well as create Holiday media on top of a base of branded media. These are the base sizes you need to have for your affiliate program. Your media should include a data feed for your program as well as pleasing brand cohesive media for emailers, web publishers, social media marketers, as well as bloggers.
Banners IMU Sizes
88x31 - logo static - default 120x60 - logo static - default 120x90 - logo static - default 125x125 - logo static - default 234x60 - logo static - default 120x240 - small skyscraper 250 x 250 – Square 200 x 200 – Small Square 468 x 60 – Banner 728 x 90 – Leaderboard* 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle* 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle* 120 x 600 – Skyscraper 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad* 970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard 320 x 50 – Mobile Leaderboard 550x480 - emailer social blogger 600x600 - emailer social blogger
At any time you should have at least 25 text links or more in your affiliate program for affiliates. The strategy around text links includes deep linking for affiliates that want to focus marketing on one of your categories as an example. Do you have text links for your top categories linking to your category pages? Or are all of your text links just going to the home page? Do you have keywords associated with the text links and a call to action? Or were the text links sloppily done with no strategy behind them?
There is so much work involved with an affiliate program and many other items to cover so come back to look for future posts. You will save money and time by hiring an affiliate management agency. If you have any questions about hiring an agency or want additional information on expectations for your brand, feel free to reach out to us. Affiliate management is our passion!
If you want to interact with our team or learn more about affiliate marketing sign up at www.affiliate.FYI