When we say network-publisher relations, we mean the interaction between an affiliate manager and their affiliates and how this influences the success of any affiliate program they are working on.
So, Cyprus-based performance marketing software company Affise decided to do some research and find out how these two industry players cooperate with each other and maintain good working relations.
Oleg Gorelik, affiliate director in Zorka.Network
Oleg, you are working with lots of partners at the same time. How do you manage your working relations with all of them?
Oleg Gorelik: Well, good working relationship is always based on mutually respectful communication. However, some affiliate managers often forget that publishers are not their inhouse media buyers. They aspire their affiliates to always stay in touch, not to screw up with promo materials, drive only high-quality traffic, and so on. But in reality all the publishers are more like freelancers. They do not have any obligations towards you. Thus, communicating with your affiliates in a friendly and respectful manner is crucial. You should always treat them like partners rather than like traffic-driving machines. This is the key.
But sometimes, no matter what you do, affiliates stop driving traffic to your affiliate program. Why can it happen?
OG: This situation may have a very simple explanation. Some technical issues might prevent an affiliate link from working properly. If not, just ask your affiliate about the reasons why it happened. It doesn’t sound good, but in most cases publishers prefer you as long as you offer better conditions for their earnings. So, the simplest way out is to offer them higher payouts. But it’s too boring. It is much more interesting to challenge yourself and invent some other options, isn’t it? For example, you can persuade your affiliate to drive more traffic to an unpopular offer by promising him an access to a great one which you know is going to be available soon. Anyway, you can always switch on your personal charms and charisma. Believe me, sometimes it works even better than anything else.
So, establishing good relations with your publishers is already a half of success in an affiliate program, isn’t it?
OG: Sure. You won’t have great results without maintaining good relations with your partner. That is why you should treat them with all your care and respect because a satisfied publisher will share his experience with three friends, while an unsatisfied one - with ten friends. So, when you treat your publisher improperly, you risk not only to lose an existing partner but also to gain a bad reputation among potential ones.
With an affiliate network everything is more or less clear. But what about publishers? They may choose any affiliate network, as well as prefer working with direct advertisers. Is proper relationship as important for publishers as for affiliate managers?
Vadim ‘Wildo’ Wildovich (one of the most well-known affiliates in CIS countries.)
Wildo, how do you choose a network?
Wildo: While choosing a network I usually take into account several factors. First of all, a network size really matters, especially when it comes to financial risks the network takes responsibilities for. Second, you should also pay attention to how good their support team is and whether the network provides you with an account manager or not. As a matter of fact, having a dedicated and reliable account manager in your team is a crucial tool itself. Don’t be afraid to ask them for some advice regarding most up-to-date offers, best geo for them and so on, as an account manager is such an amazing source of information! What comes last in my list of “must-haves in an affiliate network” is how interesting their offers are. As for me, I do not find it that important, but some affiliates really do.
And what about direct advertisers? Isn’t it more convenient to work directly with them?
W: As I am working with direct advertisers in 10+ GEOs in different niches, I couldn’t but admit that such a partnership may be very beneficial for both parties. You, as an affiliate, usually receive an immediate feedback, and an advertiser communicates with the very person who controls traffic flow. I do not even mention higher payouts. Nevertheless, most publishers refuse to work directly with advertisers. And there are some reasons for that. First, affiliate usually has no or little influence on advertisers, that is why there is always a risk to be dumped by them. Second, when an advertiser does not pay you for a long time, it’s better to give a part of commission to a network, but have a possibility to turn over your cash flow up to several times. And finally, many advertisers have rigid corporate policy or inefficient business processes. In this case you are wasting your time, and as a result - money.
As far as I have understood, working with an affiliate network is usually more beneficial. But, are good relations with an affiliate manager that important for a publisher?
W: This is not just important. This is a foundation of your mutually beneficial cooperation. The way you’ve built this relationship will influence your future work efficiency, starting from the speed of offer approval, and ending with whether your affiliate manager will stand for you in case of any problems.