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Minimum responsibilities to manage your affiliate program Minimum responsibilities to manage your affiliate program

The Bare Minimum to manage your new Affiliate Program

This is a quick summary of the things you have to do to keep your new affiliate program running and prepare it to make sales for your business.

When I wrote the Beginners Guide to Awin Access I spoke to a lot of people with a new affiliate program who didn’t know where to start. There are lots of things you can and should do to grow your program – that’s why the original article was so long. I recommend you read it if you have a chance, but these are the basic things you absolutely have to do.

  1. Review and accept new affiliate applications regularly.
  2. Check and approve commissions on sales.
  3. Pay the network promptly.

To be clear, this won’t make your affiliate program particularly successful, but it will keep the wolves from the door. It equips your affiliates to do things:

  1. Put your links on their sites.
  2. Get paid for it.

Of course, that won’t help you to grow and really make affiliates a success, but it will mean affiliates can promote you and get paid for their efforts. Realistically this will mean you have to log in to your affiliate account once a week at the very least.

That’s it?

Pretty much, yes. Think of these core tasks as a commitment to your affiliates and your network. The success of your program starts with getting these three basics right. Let’s look at each item in a bit more detail.

Review and accept new affiliate applications regularly

You usually have to approve affiliates before they can promote you. Applying to a program is pretty much the first time you interact with an affiliate and first impressions count. As an affiliate I can tell you that this is one of the most frustrating processes because even if you have a great site, you can’t be sure you will be accepted within a reasonable amount of time (or even be approved at all).

Check and approve commissions on sales

Now you have accepted some affiliates onto your program, you need to make sure they are rewarded for their efforts. If you are using Awin Access or another entry level affiliate program then your sales will automatically validate within a few weeks. That means

Pay the network promptly

This isn’t really about paying the network (though that’s important) – it’s more about making sure the money gets to affiliates as soon as possible.

Networks usually provide facilities to make payments run smoothly, from Direct Debits to Network specific features like Awin Accelerated payments. If you are running a smaller program I do recommend setting up a Direct Debit, but don’t forget – you need to keep on top of approving and validating sales, or you could end up paying for cancelled or fraudulent orders.

What do these things have in common?

Each of the above responsibilities is one half of the relationship you have with your affiliate partners. You have to do them before the affiliate can a) promote you and b) be rewarded.

If you don’t do one or all of these basic tasks then you are blocking affiliates from promoting you effectively.

The next steps for your new affiliate program

I called this article “the bare minimum” and that’s exactly what it is – just the essentials. That will only get you so far though, and sooner or later (hopefully sooner) you’ll want more.

The basic we have just discussed are all done within the control panel that the network provides for you, so you should now be logging in to your affiliate network regularly. While you are there there is much more you could be doing.

  • Actively research and invite new affiliates.
  • Register top performing deals and offers for affiliates to promote.
  • Create and submit a product feed .

If you haven’t yet I recommend you read the guide to Awin Access – even if you are on a different network. It covers a lot of the basics of managing a program and will hopefully help you avoid some common pitfalls.


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