If you’re reading this, you’re already well acquainted with what a powerful tool affiliate marketing is and are tuned in to what it can do for your business. You’ve done your research, lined up your publishers and may already even be reaping the benefits. It seems natural to just sit back and trust the process. Sit back and assume that you’ve got all of your legal and logistical ducks in a row. Well, if by some stretch of the imagination you aren’t on the cutting edge of all the latest developments in affiliate marketing, it might be a good idea to consider affiliate program management. The following 5 components are crucial to successful and legal affiliate marketing strategies. Take a moment to consider whether or not your company should consider affiliate program management. If the following items don’t seem to be hindering your marketing machine, than you can rest easily and trust you’re on track. If a few of these crucial components of a functioning affiliate marketing strategy listed below resonate as things that may be falling through the cracks you might want to at least consider an agency to manage your affiliate programs.
  1. Maintenance. There’s a lot more to consider about affiliate strategy than you might think. It requires a lot of attention (like every other part of your business), and sometimes that attention can be in short supply. Things like affiliate maintenance…who is vetting your publishers? Refreshing and tracking your content? Deciding who gets paid what…and how? Now, maybe you have this part under control. You should know, though, that effective affiliate program management can do so much more to maximize your marketing impact.
  1. Legalities. Navigating the tricky and ever-changing legal landscape of the affiliate marketing world can also be far more confusing than you might imagine. You might understand the gist what defines eligibility information, reasonable opt-out opportunities, or what constitutes solicitation under these rules, but know this: there are far more complexities than you might realize. A few well-intentioned but technically forbidden moves can put you in FTC violations before you know it. Affiliate marketing agencies are well-versed in the ins and outs of these legal issues, and can constantly monitor and adjust paid search violations, questionable sales or leads, or any other anomalies in affiliate activity. In short, they got you covered.
  1. Monitoring and Data Analysis. As with all parts of your business, you want to know what you’re doing is working the way it should. How effective is your strategy? Do the numbers and metrics support your investment? A proper affiliate program management team will give you all that and more. Weekly and monthly breakdowns of what works and what doesn’t, and constant reviews and adjustments give you the reporting and communication you need when you need it.
  1. Recruitment. Affiliate recruitment and engagement is also a crucial part of any functioning marketing machine. Knowing who the right affiliate partners are for a brand, where to find them and how to engage them is something that someone on your team needs to be an expert at.
  1. Communication. The right manager can customize your messaging and optimize your affiliate engagement through constant outreach and follow-up work. A great management team understands your voice and your brand, and does all the legwork to find and keep the best publishers for you.
Basically, having a team of experts in your corner to help manage your strategy is always a solid option. Whether you’re just launching your program, or hoping to maximize and grow the one you already have, affiliate program management can develop your strategy, show you what your competitors have done right (and wrong!), and help you execute the best plan possible. You’ve got a lot to worry about. Leave the tough part to the pros, and keep the rewarding part to yourself. What are your thoughts when it comes to a powerful affiliate marketing strategy and if it should be an “in-house” tactic or if you prefer using an agency.