An affiliate management program is a network managing platform that allows you to run your affiliate business smoothly.

Before we get into how an affiliate management program works, it’s necessary to understand the meanings of some of the terms you’ll come across.

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which affiliates endorse a merchant’s products or services in exchange for a fee. There are three parties involved:

The Affiliate Manager

The proactive affiliate manager’s day-to-day tasks include:

  • affiliate recruiting
  • activation
  • encouragement, motivation, 
  • events/promotions creation

There is no affiliate program unless strong affiliates advertise goods and drive traffic to a merchant.

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Affiliates come in all shapes and sizes. Affiliate managers must have a solid understanding of all of them, and each has a distinct feature that requires special attention. 

Affiliate coupons must be carefully supervised to ensure proper code promotion. Loyalty affiliates may take credit for another affiliate’s sales or for sales made through other e-commerce outlets that the merchant might have. Any affiliate who uses paid search could jeopardize a merchant’s own PPC efforts. Bloggers and review affiliates must be scrutinized to ensure FTC compliance. Deal sites can deplete inventory and cause a merchant’s website to crash.

There is a lot of work!

To remain on affiliates’ radars and keep the program fresh and active, proactive affiliate managers use network resources and merchant promotions. Although the program newsletter is typically the primary means of contact, active managers maintain an open-door policy for their affiliates. Contact forms, emails, Facebook or Slack groups, forums, and even publishing a Skype contact name make it possible for busy affiliates to reach out to an affiliate manager.

The Merchant

An effective affiliate manager communicates with the merchant on a daily basis, at the very least informing the merchant about new deals and coupon codes that can be delivered to affiliates once a month. A newsletter is a good tool in the toolbox of a proactive boss, and some of the monthly material will come from the merchant. Merchants must be informed about the program’s performance; affiliate program management is all about outcomes, and reports must be provided.

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When the network software, such as Scaleo, introduces new technologies, the diligent affiliate manager takes them to the merchant. When new technology is introduced, it is common for tracking code and pixels to be upgraded and data and feeds to be further optimized.

The Affiliate Network

An informed manager knows and network’s strengths and weaknesses. Being on the wrong affiliate network software can mean the difference between long-term growth with profitable new customers and introducing increased costs to current customers, and seeing program decline. A diligent manager works to ensure that a program is placed on the best network platform for its requirements.

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Not all affiliates promote merchants in the same way, and different attribution rules are needed. It is important to be able to break commissions and prevent hardworking affiliates from losing revenue at the last minute to another affiliate. Responsible affiliate managers use available network resources to ensure that all affiliates have a fair playing field.

Selecting the Best Affiliate Management Team

Merchants looking to recruit an affiliate manager should consider the following recommendations.

  • Seek advice from business experts and team leaders. 
  • Inquire about potential management teams.
  • Analyze with the future manager on how they secure the other e-commerce outlets.
  • Inquire how the prospective manager monitors for fraud, compensated search breaches, and unfair practices by affiliates.
  • Examine how a future manager deals publicly with affiliates and current clients. Examine their online conduct. Check to see if their ideas are compatible with yours.
  • Inquire about the number of programs handled by each manager in the company with the prospective manager. A high client-to-manager ratio makes it hard for a manager to devote much time to anyone program; worse, it may imply that the majority of the emphasis would be on one or two programs while several others lag.
  • Inquire about the average duration of a client contract or client lifetime with the prospective manager. The client-to-agency ratio should be high; while turnover is unavoidable in any organization, short lifespans may be an indication of poor problem management.

Why is an affiliate management program important?

Affiliate management is the management of affiliates within a channel as a whole in order to facilitate the development of the program for the brand or merchant. This can be done in-house or through a third-party company (SaaS).

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Affiliate managers essentially serve as middlemen between the advertiser (merchant) and the affiliates. This involves submitting weekly or monthly reports, attending conferences, authorizing affiliates, maintaining innovative and promotions, and conducting check-in calls with clients and affiliates.

Affiliates are simply the associates that promote a merchant’s products or services. They can be voucher publishers, material publishers, loyalty publishers, and so on.

What Is the Process of Affiliate Management?

Some marketing managers believe that the affiliate channel is something that can be turned on and off, like paid search or paid social.

It is not.

Affiliate agreements are based on openness and genuine relationships, not one-time transactions. An affiliate program’s ultimate aim is to build a win-win framework for brands and their affiliate partners.

How to choose an affiliate marketing software (SaaS) to power your business?

Affiliate marketing software is necessary for tracking and managing affiliate programs. 

Successful affiliate marketing is dependent on two factors: accurate monitoring, which allows you to see how much money your affiliates are bringing in, and prompt fee payments, which keep your affiliates happy. This method is automated and streamlined by Affiliate marketing software.

Affiliate marketing software has many advantages. It allows you to do the following:

  • Locate, hire, and register affiliates.
  • Create and distribute one-of-a-kind affiliate links.
  • Track the sales generated by each affiliate through their affiliate link, using pixels and cookies to simplify attribution.
  • Immediately pay affiliates their commissions. 
  • Identify the top-performing affiliates.
  • Integrate the program with other resources so that it is in line with your other marketing activities.
  • Secure and safeguard your affiliate program against fraud.

As you can see, affiliate marketing software unifies all aspects of running an affiliate marketing campaign into a single user-friendly platform.

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Another important consideration when selecting affiliate marketing software is the opportunity to secure affiliates that have a trusted relationship with their audience. While it is advantageous if they have a previous positive experience with your product, it is not necessary for an affiliate program to be effective.

However, as in any form of relationship-based marketing, you must ensure that the partnership feels normal for the best chance of success. Also, keep in mind that your affiliate program can take some time to produce results – affiliate programs aren’t immediate.

Why choose Scaleo?

Scaleo’s popular affiliate management software gives you all the resources you need to “partner the way you want to” and build a highly scalable affiliate or partner program or network that works well for your company. Manage all of your offers, affiliates, and partners in one location, and see how affiliates are assisting your business’s growth in real-time.

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Scaleo’s versatility, with robust applications on desktop and mobile, helps optimize the affiliate program’s ROI and saves affiliate managers time through task automation. Advertising networks, in particular, appreciate all the automation tools we offer. 

Here are a few key features:

  • Options for mobile tracking and management: With mobile and web interfaces, you can monitor and manage affiliate and lead info. You can choose between pixel and postback tracking. Keep track of how affiliates are doing wherever you are and in whatever way works best for you.
  • Personalization and customization: Fully white label solution, customizable to fit your style. Using an API-based infrastructure, you can completely customize your affiliate portal.
  • Flexibility with commission and reporting: Set up payout terms, affiliate success thresholds, and automatic conditions for approving or rejecting an affiliate sale for a commission. Currency, pay times, and payment procedures can all be customized. Real-time reporting simplifies the monitoring of fee payments and affiliate results.
  • Multiple layers of protection: Scaleo’s Anti Fraud Logic algorithm helps identify and combat fraud in real-time.

Sign up for a 14 days free trial – instant access and no credit card required!

Optimization of Affiliate Channels

In its most simple form, optimization entails tracking the affiliate program and taking action to improve it.

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Tip: try also optimization calculator for affiliate marketing.

This can be accomplished by increased commissions and/or compensated placements in return for increased brand exposure. Reaching out to affiliates that have low clicks and sales year after year is a great place to start.

Auditing ads and content, as well as trademark words, is also part of the optimization process. There’s a lot of strategy involved here, which makes it a fun part.

It is also critical to exploit the network networks in which each of your clients or merchants has a partnership. When used to their full potential, networks are extremely effective resources. They help with recruiting lists, placement opportunities, and seasonal tips and tricks in order to completely maximize a program.

Building partnerships – with network, customer, and affiliate contacts – is at the heart of affiliate management.

To effectively manage affiliates and affiliate services, frequent and reliable contact is essential.

Affiliate marketing is still one of the most effective marketing models for driving new consumers and incremental revenue when done properly and with the right partners.

Affiliate management program – Conclusion

Take control of your affiliate data, make informed decisions, and watch your company grow thanks to affiliates. You’ll be able to streamline and manage your own affiliate program – for a lot less money than affiliate networks require. This is where affiliate management software comes into picture. Launching a merchant on a network and opting for auto-pilot is never a good growth strategy. Proactive affiliate program management is the best way to achieve success. 

Last Updated on June 13, 2024


Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.