affiliate manager


Affiliate Manager: what does this professional do?

The career of an Affiliate Manager has gained more and more popularity in the digital market. Find out in this post what these professionals do and how they can help you, whether you’re a Producer or an Affiliate.

Barbara Santos

08/11/2017 | By Barbara Santos

What will we see in this post

Have you ever heard of an “ Affiliate Manager ”? And do you know what this professional does?

The digital market is a very democratic space, especially when it comes to being an expert and doing what you love. And nowadays, there are many options for those who wish to work on their own, performing activities they already know well.

However, there are people who still believe that the only jobs available in the online environment are operational ones, such as developers, copywriters, and so on. But, as we have already mentioned, there’s plenty of room for everyone who wants to work online. You just need to apply yourself and do your best to stand out.

So, to help you understand what this professional does, and why this is an important position for Producers as well as Affiliates, we have written this post. And if you still haven’t decided what your role in the digital market will be, keep on reading! This may be an excellent opportunity for you to start a new career on the Internet!

What is an Affiliate Manager?

The name says it all: an Affiliate Manager is the person who knows how to manage the Affiliates for a Digital Producer. Let’s explain this in detail!

The Producer is responsible for creating the digital product that will be sold through a distance learning platform, and in some of these platforms, you may choose to have Affiliates, or not. The Affiliates are people who promote and sell your product.

Some Producers prefer to sell their products on their own. Others, however, want to keep their focus on the content they create and leave the promotion part of the business to the Affiliates. In some cases, this may represent 70% or more in the sales volume of a digital product.

The difference is that, with the promotion being carried out by the Affiliates, the Producers are then able to reach people they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own. And this is what multiplies the results.

However, by choosing to have Affiliates, there may be a great number of affiliations. This, in turn, may become a problem to the Producer, since she doesn’t have enough time available to dedicate to these people who are selling her products.

Then comes the need to have someone who will deal with the Affiliates, so there are no doubts when they choose to become an Affiliate to a certain product.

This professional has to know who the Affiliates are and the strategies they use.

This was how the career of Affiliate Manager was born: with the exponential growth of digital business.

As we mentioned in the beginning of this text, the manager is responsible for being the contact between the Producer and the Affiliates. This professional has to be clear and objective when explaining about the promotion processes, helping solve any doubts about the product (or products), and even find new Affiliates in potential.

Moreover, the Manager provides the necessary support so that every Affiliate clearly understands how the product works, the rules that govern the promotion, as well as the best way to perform in order to achieve the best results.

Not only does the Affiliate Manager organize and plan the sales strategies, she also needs to have a profound knowledge of the market and products, so that her role in helping Affiliates and also the Producer, is as productive as possible.

What role does an Affiliate Manager play?

As you saw in the previous topic, the Affiliate Manager is like a manager of a physical store.

Let’s think about it:

Picture a store with many salespeople, but without a person whose sole task is to manage the relationship among these salespeople. Wouldn’t it be chaotic, especially if these professionals depended only on the commissions they earned?

When you open your product to affiliations, but you don’t have clear rules about what can and can’t be done, you may end up turning the Affiliate market into a very unhealthy competition. And that’s not what we want, since this kind of attitude may lead to Affiliates giving up on your product.

So, among the tasks of the Affiliate Manager, you’ll find the one of keeping the environment democratic and healthy. She is the one that determines the rules that have to be followed in the promotion of each product, and deals on a daily basis with issues such as affiliation requests and rewards. There are functions related to the administrative and relationship spheres.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

In the administrative sphere, the Affiliate Manager may work with rewards. These could be prizes to attract Affiliates, besides the commissions offered by the Producers. However, it is necessary to establish clear rules on what can and can’t be done to generate sales, and the Managers are the ones who determine these rules.

In the relationship sphere, the Manager takes care of the daily work the Affiliates are doing, so they can achieve better results. The Affiliate Manager then provides insights and creates groups, on Facebook and Whatsapp, for example. In these groups, she provides copywriting and keyword techniques, promotion channels and strategies that optimize the test for the Affiliates and make them sell faster.

Another task performed by the Affiliate Manager is to make the Affiliates focus on a certain product. After all, the offers can compete with each other on a specific platform, since the Affiliate has to choose the one deemed best for the promotions.

Therefore, the Manager needs to show to the Affiliate that that specific product is the right one to be affiliated to. If this is not done, every time there is a new product, the Affiliate may drop the product previously chosen and start promoting the new one.

It is as if the Affiliate Manager actually sold the affiliation and tried to make people keep wanting to affiliate to a product. The role is then to remind Affiliates of the products they are affiliated to, and sell more and more.

And, lastly, another task performed by the Affiliate Manager is being the voice of the Producer to the Affiliates. Whenever an Affiliate has a problem, like a commission that hasn’t been paid, for instance, she will contact the Manager, who will take care of it.

What is the profile of an Affiliate Manager?

The Producer will always be the person responsible for choosing if she will have an Affiliate Manager or not. Usually, the Manager chosen is someone the Producer places the utmost trust in, like a family member, a close friend, or even a co-Producer. However, there are other profiles that fit the role of an Affiliate Manager really well, and we’ll talk about each of them on this topic.

1. Agencies

Many Producers choose to hire an agency to handle many aspects of their website or blog, and among these aspects, we find the role of management. This led agencies to transform the role of the manager into a Traffic Manager, who is in charge of the Producer’s media and relaying information such as good practices and how to achieve better results to the Affiliates.

2. Coach

Usually, there’s one Affiliate who stands out among the others, which leads to a closer relationship with the Producer. In this situation, it is very common for the Producer to invite one of the top Affiliates to become a Manager. As this Affiliate is experienced in the Affiliate market and knows what it takes to sell a product well, she is able to help other Affiliates with techniques she has already mastered.

3. Handler

The third profile in our list is the one that is closest to a manager of a physical store. The Handler is the person who knows the promotion channels very well, and understands the necessary techniques to make sales, but whose strongest attribute is dealing with people. This kind of manager is the one who understands what is needed to motivate the Affiliates to make them achieve better results.


May the Affiliate Manager make sales?

As the Affiliate Managers usually understand the necessary strategies to promote a product, it is very common that they continue acting as Affiliates and make sales. However, it is important to figure out if this practice suits your business or not. After all, it wouldn’t be interesting for you if the Manager starts to compete with other Affiliates.

A good option is for the Affiliate Manager to test the offer before offering it to other Affiliates. This will make her sure that the product is profitable. There’s also the option that she becomes affiliated to other products, since there’s no need to be a Manager or Affiliate to only one offer.

The important thing here is to understand if it is possible to balance the roles of management and affiliation to perform both tasks admirably.

How does the Affiliate Manager gets paid?

The Affiliate Manager gets a percentage that is set by the Producer. This percentage can be over the total sales volume of the product, including the ones made directly by the Producer, or over the sales made by the Affiliates she manages.

For instance: John is an Affiliate Manager of the product “Winning at Life”, and manages Affiliates Gary, Camilla, Peter, and Jennifer. If these Affiliates make sales, John gets a percentage, previously set by the Producer, over the sales from these Affiliates.

So, there’s no specific rule for the amount in this commission. It all depends on the relationship between the Producer and the Manager, and what has been agreed upon.

But hang on, the Affiliates don’t make less because of this, their commission stays the same. What happens is that the Producer shares part of her profit with the Manager.

Shall we recap?

An Affiliate Manager plays an important role, mainly for:

  • Being fast, since she is totally dedicated to meeting the demands of the Affiliates;
  • Having knowledge and experience, applying good practices from different kinds of Affiliates. She is capable of sharing experiences with the group and foster an environment of growth for everyone;
  • Being careful when setting and analyzing courses of action and strategies to be adopted by the group of Affiliates;
  • Having focus and paying close attention to the actions and results from the Affiliates, as she allows the Producer to have more time to invest in and develop content for the product.

An Affiliate Manager can bring a lot to your business, and that’s why this is such a valued profession in Affiliate Marketing today!

If you want to learn more about the Affiliate world and get inspired, check out our free ebook with the success stories of three Affiliates who started from scratch and managed to turn their lives around.

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