Employing a manager to run affiliate systems on a retainer with bonuses is a win for product owners, a win for managers and ultimately a win for affiliates. Having them happy is the only way to keep them actively selling your product or service, and in turn improving business.
Russell Brunson knows how to manage his affiliates after losing over two years of work, and 6,500 affiliates in one day when his system crashed. He wrote down what worked and what didnt, then started again and in less then two months he was back. Now 18 months later he has an affiliate list of 30,000 and draws in a six figure amount of cash per month from his affiliates.
So successful has his been in recruiting affiliates that Russell Brunson, along with affiliate manager Stu McLaren, has developed an affiliate training program for managers. Both men believe there was a shortage of experienced managers and yet they were the most important element in an effective affiliate marketing program.
Here is a broad look at the most important three elements to be an effective manager:
1. Affiliate Research
It is important that managers draw in the best sales people to sell the products. The number of affiliates is irrelevant if they dont sell the products each month. Stu collects up to 2500-3000 websites that could be interested in selling the product, and then he looks at which ones collect a large amount of quality traffic. This can be time consuming, but it forms the bases of an effective marketing plan. In the end there may be 150 to 200 sites that could be quality affiliates.
We would divide them into either A affiliates and B affiliates. There is no difference between A affiliates and B affiliates except that A affiliates have more traffic or greater numbers in their e-mail lists, he said. Those are the people you want to go after first because they will have the biggest impact on your business in a short period of time, and have the most influence on the most amount of people.
2. Recruiting Affiliates
Once managers have identified which potential affiliates they wish to pursue, they must pursue. Increasing quality affiliates will increase sales. The secret here is to be pro-active and go beyond what is expected.
It is not hard, we just pick up the phone and call all the people on our A list, Stu McLaren said. The reason that we call, was because every lazy affiliate manager out there will send an email. By ringing them we are instantly separate ourselves from other affiliate systems out there. You instantly start to build a relationship.
Before we call we do our research; what is their web site? What are they selling? What sort of people they are drawing to their web site? Prepare promotions for them ahead of time, the more you reduce the work for them the more likely they will say yes. That is the position you want to be in.
3. Training affiliates
If the affiliates have a reason to sell the product then they will remain active affiliates. Other affiliate programs will create only one program, and then expect affiliates to sell again and again each month with the same material. Russell Brunson focuses on creating a reason for affiliates to sell each month and will focus on events in promotional material.
We create new promotions every month. My advice is start with holidays or events. Imagine if you created tools around these promotions for your affiliates. You are saving them time and work and the likelihood of them selling your product is sky high, Stu said.