4 Keys to Negotiating with an Affiliate Manager

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Some affiliates like to fly “solo” and others prefer to utilize their Affiliate Manager’s knowledge and resources to maximize their opportunities and payouts. Over the years, I have had numerous negotiations with affiliates on offers and payouts. Before negotiating or discussing payouts, it is important for affiliates understand a networks business model and take full advantage of maximizing their relationship with the affiliate manager. Here are 4 keys to negotiating that I believe will create a “win-win” for both the network and the affiliate.

1. Understanding Margins
A network’s business model is similar to a manufacturer/distributor/retail sales chain. The Manufacturer (Advertiser) creates the product and utilizes the distributors (Network) resources and capital to generate sales through retail stores (Affiliate/Publisher). The network makes a margin for assuming the risk of acting as the middleman between the advertiser and publisher. Some affiliates receive payments daily or weekly which leaves the network assuming risk as most advertisers have longer net terms.

2.  Integrity
Just be open and honest! If you are interested in an offer and need a certain payout, then just ask. There have been times when I have told an affiliate that I couldn’t payout what they were requesting. Conversely, there have been instances when I approached management about giving a particular affiliate a certain payout with very slim margins. Bottom line, you have to be able to trust the affiliate manager and vice versa.

3. Capabilities/Results
Before entering any negotiation it’s imperative to know what’s important to you and what you’re willing to ‘give up’ for the sake of getting what you want. What’s the least you’re willing to accept in order to pick up the offer? Do your research and know what the going rates are. Let the affiliate manager know what type of results you anticipate and discuss any previous success or failures. There will always be “hot” offers, but you shouldn’t place all your focus on what’s hot. You know your business, what you’re good at and what you’re not.  Focus on what you know, and specialize in it.

4.  Communication
As I stated earlier, some affiliates prefer no or minimal communication with an affiliate manager which is perfectly fine. However, if you decide to actively work with an affiliate manager it is important to talk with the affiliate manager about your intentions. Communicate your goals, strategies and what you expect of the network and your affiliate manager. When it comes down to it we all have the same goal – to make money while not compromising our ethics. Be candid with your AM about your experience level. Everyone starts somewhere so don’t be shy; the affiliate managers job is to help you grow your business.

Keeping these four points in mind when talking and negotiating with your network affiliate manager helps foster a good working relationship and ultimately will create a long term relationship.

Colleen Darwent
is an affiliate manager
at RevenueStreet,
a division of TheMediaCrew
She loves affiliates big time.

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