Affiliate Manager Job Role

You got traffic!

 

What does a day in the life of an Affiliate Manager look like?

Don’t you hate it as an affiliate when you attend an iGaming business affiliate conference, and you have that lanyard/name tag with a yellow or green spotted sticker on you that identifies you as an affiliate! You get these over-enthusiastic affiliate managers approach you, and without as much as a hello, they say, “you got traffic!” I mean, what the heck!

Really what are do you think the response will be!   

Having been an affiliate manager, a super affiliate, and now an affiliate manager with the Lottery Office Affiliate Program, I thought it might be fun to share some observations from both sides of the business.

While our industry is all pretty much online, we are all just people at the end of the day, so treating people in this way is a sure-fire way to ruffle someone’s feathers! Yes, it’s business, people! But people do business with people they like as well as who they can make money from.  

In defense of affiliate managers, it comes down to inadequate training and, in some cases, cultural differences. You have to remember many affiliates especially solopreneurs can be introverted, and for those who are successful affiliates, (introverted or not) they simply don’t like this kind of approach because, at the end of the day, the affiliate managers and programs need the affiliate more than the affiliate needs the program.

The Long Game

Affiliate managers have KPIs. Unlike affiliates who want the best-converting programs with the highest paying revenue potential and who can chop and change brands at the flick of a switch (or changing out some code) an affiliate manager has only their own brand to push, regardless of how well it performs in comparison to other brands they have to get affiliates signed up and sending traffic, or else it’s their job on the line!

Day in the life of an affiliate manager

The role of the affiliate manager can vary from company to company, but in essence, they need to maximize exposure and player sign-ups through their existing affiliates and find new affiliates and get them starting to promote their brand. 

These are the metrics that define if the affiliate manager is performing!

One thing many operators fail to realize is how important the role of affiliates is in terms of reactivation! Neither the affiliate or the affiliate manager get any credit for sending players back to a brand that they have already played at. This is particularly relevant if the brand is long-established, and everyone under the sun has an account at that brand.

The reality is though there are so many other tasks outside of this that an affiliate manager needs to keep on top of including;

  • Answering affiliate queries, Skype and email
  • Reviewing Review Pages for Errors, Compliance and Correctness
  • Giving creative direction and ordering new creatives 
  • Adding and updating creatives in the affiliate tracking software
  • Monitoring for fraudulent affiliate activity
  • Checking that CPA affiliates are sending viable acquisitions
  • Monitoring affiliates bidding on brand terms
  • Checking payment runs and ensuring affiliates are paid the right amount and on time
  • Monitoring industry forums for news and affiliates to contact, being active, and contributing to these communities
  • Sending brand updates to affiliates, new promotions or changes in Ts and Cs 
  • Checking on affiliate performance and optimizing the process
  • Looking for compliance issues that affiliate may have overlooked or not bothered with
  • Monitoring screenshots and logos of the brand used by affiliates to ensure they are in line with the company style guide and that they are up to date
  • Tracking what other brands are doing in the space and how affiliates are promoting them
  • Processing new affiliate applications and the collection identification from affiliates for compliance
  • Negotiating deals with existing affiliates for better promotion and with new affiliates for first-time placement 
  • Monitor creatives and landing pages to identify the best converting 
  • Arranging to advertise the affiliate program in industry publications and in directories 
  • Getting everything in place to attend conferences, including promotional items, airfares, stands, and arranging meetings with new and existing affiliates
  • Liaising with external suppliers such as affiliate tracking providers or vendors like SEMrush.
  • And more… 
That is not the complete list or in detail in any way, so you get the idea there is a lot to do, and given that their KPIs usually comes down to just new player acquisitions from the affiliate channel, it’s a lot to juggle!

My Approach to Outreach

One of the complaints I used to get from affiliate managers when I was an affiliate was that I never replied to emails.  

I can tell you there were a couple of different reasons for that. When you are managing at one stage 1200 websites, you just don’t have the time to reply, and often the outreach from certain brands was not a good fit for our promotions.

An affiliate has a big advantage over an operator! Good affiliates will know better than anyone the types of promotions that work and also what the players want in regards to games and software. Yes, a brand will identify their own metrics, but they are not privy to the stats of other operators, their promotions, and their game results but affiliates can work this out!

So it makes sense that when a brand approaches an affiliate that the affiliate knows it’s not going to work for them, and that’s one reason, affiliates don’t even bother to reply. It’s a shame, but it’s just the way it is.

As an affiliate manager, you need to be persistent and keep asking for a promotion, in some cases you might need to sweeten the deal by offering tenancy plus commissions, or if you don’t have the ability to do those kinds of deals then you need to show an affiliate why they should be promoting you or at least giving you a shot!

To do this as an affiliate manager, it’s great if you have some idea of what works for other affiliates that promote you. Without sharing propriety information of your other affiliates, make suggestions as to what might work for them as you have seen it work somewhere else, or even with your brands’ own internal advertising. 

I experienced a recent win with an affiliate for notifying them that their lotto blog was down. In a couple of other cases where the brand they were pushing would not take Australian lotto affiliate program traffic, meaning that all that exposure was going to waste. They weren’t making anything from that traffic! It’s those kinds of things that are going to stand out in the eyes of affiliates and give you a shot at getting them on board.

Doesn’t that sound like a far better proposition than “You got traffic!”

Make it easy for affiliates.

In the current age of compliance, it’s sometimes hard to make things easy for affiliates. Firstly, an affiliate manager has to collect the affiliate’s identification when they sign up, which can seem like a chore for affiliates. After that, the promotions need to be checked, and in regulated markets, the guidelines of what is required for compliance can once again be tedious. 

That said, it is vitally important for the affiliate manager to make sure that everything is in place. In most jurisdictions, it’s the operator who gets in trouble if the affiliate is not showing compliant information. 

To make it easy, give the affiliate a document that covers all the dos and don’ts and where and where nots you can promote the brand. This will save a lot of back and forth for both parties and mean that the promotions can get started sooner.

The Final Word

As an affiliate, don’t always suspect that the affiliate manager has no clue! They are your best source of inside info as they know what’s working for their brand right now! Don’t be afraid to hit them up for some juicy insights.

For affiliate managers, know your stuff and make it as easy as you can for affiliates to get started with you.

At the end of the day, you both want a win-win with new players that make both the operator and the affiliate money

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