Ah, the telltale signs of allergies: the perpetual runny nose, red and swollen eyes, and the never-ending sneezing. When allergies strike, there’s no doubt – you head straight for an Allergist, right? The same wisdom applies to your affiliate marketing efforts just as you wouldn’t leave your allergies to chance. Managing a potentially million-dollar digital marketing channel calls for a professional, yet, all too often, we find affiliate programs managed by VPs of E-commerce, Marketing Interns, PR Managers, and even Paid Social Analysts. This approach ends up costing companies tenfold what they think they’re saving by not hiring, or outsourcing an affiliate marketing professional.
Every business owner is looking for savings, but there’s an opportunity cost with every decision, and here’s what’s at stake when a company assigns an unqualified employee to oversee their affiliate program strategy: Time, Money, and Profitability
Strategy & Launch
We have a 40-step workflow for creating and launching an affiliate program. This process requires multiple team members and cooperation from the network and client to complete. For someone without experience, this is easily a month-long journey, but for our team, it takes a mere week to complete.
Time: A minimum of three weeks behind schedule.
Money: Your program idles on the sidelines instead of generating sales.
Profitability: No sales mean no profit.
Opportunity Cost: Your Paid Search Analyst is now pulling double duty and has abandoned their responsibilities, leaving your top revenue-producing channel in a state of disarray.
Recruitment & Outreach
Now, you might think that using network-provided outreach tools makes sending templated recruitment emails a breeze. However, out of 100 proposals sent, you’ll be lucky to receive 10 responses and gain the attention of 5 publishers. But, that’s only half the battle. Just because they join doesn’t guarantee they’ll activate and become productive in your program. Effective recruitment takes months, even years, of relationship building and a sound strategy.
Time: The strongest partnerships evolve over months or years.
Money: Building relationships demands one-on-one interactions, requiring travel to industry events and trade shows that your publishers attend.
Profitability: Partnering with a publisher that cannibalizes sales rather than adding incremental value will inflate your CPA, eating away at your profit margin. Imagine this scenario at scale!
Opportunity Cost: As a VP of Marketing, you’re accountable for a company’s overall marketing results. Yet, in your role as a makeshift Affiliate Marketing Manager, you’re perpetually playing catch-up, trying to grasp the nuances of affiliate program strategy. Essentially, you’re a C-level executive stuck doing the work of a B-level manager, costing the company time and money that could have otherwise been spent with a seasoned professional.
To spare you further details (and impending costs), we’ll wrap it up here. Instead, we invite you to reach out for a comprehensive program evaluation. Simply fill out our Contact Us Form and include “free program audit” in the Message field.