Merchant Affiliate Management Tips

A Best Web

You may know Adam as Rollerblader in ABestWeb Affiliate Forum

I am fortunate to be collaborating with Adam Riemer who is the most ethical, hardest working Merchant Affiliate Manager I have come across in all the years I’ve been working with ecommerce stores online.

Adam now provides affiliate management for Executive Gift Shoppe’s gift affiliate program which I wrote about in How to Evaluate an eCommerce Merchant.

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I suspect many merchants are challenged to find a good Outsourced Program Manager (OPM) because they don’t know what to call them. I had never heard of an OPM until I met Adam even though I’ve been researching affiliate management for merchants for years.

Reading Adam’s post on What You Should Expect From Your OPM is an excellent place to start for merchants interested in possibly starting an affiliate program or hiring a manager. I suspect that there are not many OPMs willing to work that hard but you can use it as a guideline on pitfalls to avoid.

I also recommend his post on Common Affiliate Management Mistakes. I have been planning to write about Adam since we started working together and am doing so now to share my comments in his latest post Should Merchants Pay Afffiliates For Repeat Sales.

I encourage merchants, affiliates and OPMs to read that post and then my comments below. I recommend that merchants DO pay on repeat sales to the same customer for these reasons:

1) The affiliate sent you the buyer in the first place so you most likely would not have closed either sale without them.

2) It is very likely that the affiliate able to generate repeat sales has their own mailing list, subscriber base, and regular readers which are resources they own and created and are using to continually promoting your products and services. That next sale is not based on a one-time click – it is likely to be from repeated work they have done on your behalf.

3) If your repeat sale comes from your newsletter, your cookie is most likely going to overwrite theirs and you will not be paying them for a sale that comes from your newsletter instead of their site.

Your affiliates who generate repeat sales do so be reminding their readers about you repeatedly and not from that buyer remembering to come back to you on their own.

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Adam has laid out many examples in this post about ways your affiliates are sending you buyers. Their continued promotion of your products will be key to those repeat sales and they deserve to be compensated for the work they do to send you buyers.

Remember that they are only getting paid for sales they generate and not for all the work they do that may not create a sale. They have to invest their time and expertise and have the same risk you have that it may not pay off. If they are buying traffic they may even have MORE at risk than the merchant.

Affiliates and merchants are partners in what they are working to achieve – not adversaries. Instead of fighting over the existing pie they should be working together to make the pie ever larger!

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Gail Gardner

Small Businsss Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.