How to Assess an Affiliate Network
By Collette McKenzie
I'm fortunate to work with some of the most productive and profitable affiliate publishers in the world. On a daily basis I get to see how these guys think, how they operate, and the incredible results they achieve. For those just getting started or those who want to join the ranks of elite pubs, here's the top 3 things I've noticed about their interactions with networks.
Top performing publishers have been in the industry long enough to know what they need from a network for optimal results. An inexperienced affiliate manager will only slow them down. If you're a proven superstar, you don't want someone to hold your hand, you want a strategic partner, someone who can give you the tools you need to succeed without wasting resources unnecessarily. Let's be honest, most affiliate managers don't have the experience to do this. That's why leading publishers look for offer strategists and advisors who can think like publishers and know how to equip their affiliates with the assets and offer knowledge they need for high conversions and EPC rates. Basing this relationship on facts and metrics rather than pure speculation or hopes will benefit both parties in the long run.
The turnover rate is a telltale indicator of a company's overall health. Networks with a high turnover and a constant transition from one affiliate manager to the next will frustrate publishers who value the partner relationship they form with their rep. Even more, moving from an experienced account manager to an inexperienced one could cost the affiliate thousands of dollars in profits - and may end up destroying the partnership. The most successful affiliates work with networks who understand this, who only hire experienced, strategic advisors, and who value their employees enough to hold on to the winners. Working with the same company year after year can make all the difference when it counts.
Publishers could lose out on as much as 30% of their profits to a default scrub. If a network truly values their partnerships with affiliates, they should go the extra mile to make sure publishers get paid for every conversion, click, or sale. Eliminating scrubs altogether and being diligent about reconciling leads is a great way to show they care.
I'm continuously looking for ways to add value to partnerships by delivering the strongest offers with the most competitive payouts. I recognize the value of strong affiliates and experienced, proven advisors to help them reach their greatest potential.
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