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An affiliate manager supports affiliates and manages the overall affiliate program. An affiliate program offers incentives and rewards, such as commission payment, to individuals who refer customers to the products or services offered by the owner of the program. It’s a form of Internet marketing designed to increase the exposure of a business through a number of people who are not employed directly by the company. The affiliate manager's duties include finding new affiliates, managing existing relationships, and developing marketing activities to attract new affiliates. Training affiliates and working to improve the program are also a key part of the job description for this position.
The day-to-day activities of the affiliate manager consist of communicating with affiliates and providing them with customer support. Responsibilities of the manager may require him or her to write and send out emails and newsletters and answer phone calls to help affiliates successfully market the company’s product or service. For example, a manager might send out a newsletter announcing sales on the product that affiliates can offer to the public in order to increase their leads and as a result increase their commission payment. When affiliates have questions, whether related to their accounts or the products, they are often directed to the affiliate manager to address those issues. If the manager is unable to answer the question right away, then he has to conduct research and speak to company representatives to get the answers.
Another major duty that affiliate managers engage in on a periodic basis includes issuing payments to affiliates based on the commissions they earn. For example, the manager may have to write and mail checks to affiliates who are enrolled in an affiliate program that pays a 40 percent commission to them for leads that result in the purchase of a membership fee. Disputes over payments are often directed to the affiliate manager, who has to resolve those disputes and account for payment activities to company management. The manager also has to manage accounts to ensure the best performance possible, which often includes providing individualized help when necessary or terminating relationships with affiliates who are not performing according to the affiliate program’s standards. For example, an affiliate manager might provide training to low-performing affiliates for the purpose of helping them boost referrals or sell more products.
An individual who wants to work as an affiliate manager often needs skills in recruiting and sales. The manager has to pitch the affiliate program to prospective affiliates and convince them to invest the time necessary to market the product or service. Part of the process involves reviewing the skills and backgrounds of prospective affiliates to determine whether they can succeed.
One of the most important things an affiliate manager can do is work hand-in-hand with the advertiser (or merchant) to develop a marketing calendar on a broad, or by-affiliate basis. By getting the advertiser involved with the affiliates, it tends to strengthen the overall bond between the two parties, thus ensuring a better and hopefully more profitable relationship.