Automate Affiliate Management and Generate More Revenue – By David Vogelpohl

by Colleen on November 9, 2011

Getting high productivity from affiliate management can be difficult but, with the right tools, affiliate managers can automate relationships and scale efforts across a larger number of prospects.

The first step in super charging affiliate managers is to equip them with a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

A CRM platform is software which automates relationships, tracks status history and forecasts opportunities for prospects and existing customers, which in this case are the program’s affiliates.

Automated Relationships

The most powerful part of using a CRM solution is the ability to scale your affiliate managers’ time by using automated relationship management tools.

CRM software reduces human error by setting up a series of recurring tasks under specific contacts. These recurring tasks eliminate the need for affiliate managers to keep track of relationships in their head or hacked together calendars.

By focusing on daily tasks, affiliate managers are able to work effectively with a much larger group of prospects and affiliates while still keeping up with follow-ups and obligations. The result is more powerful relationships with affiliates, which may come in handy the next time a competitor tries to entice them away.

“All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend”
– Mark McCormack, lawyer and sports agent (1930-2003).

Forecasting

Sure, powerful relationships will result in publishers running longer campaigns and becoming more passionate about your brand, but to really cash in on the benefits of CRM, you’ll need to understand forecasting.

In affiliate management, CRM forecasting revolves around “opportunities”. Opportunities are records (often tied to a company) which include things like projected revenue, clicks, conversions, impressions, EPC and other deal specific data. Think of “opportunity” as a synonym for “campaign”.

Opportunities are then scored based on the chances of closing the deal to calculate a sales pipeline. Here’s where things get really exciting.

Management can use sales pipelines to determine if affiliate managers are prospecting effectively and which prospecting strategies work best. Additionally, the affiliate managers can use pipeline reports to prioritize prospecting based on projected revenue, chance of close and any other data points they prefer.

Your options

CRM software is available from a wide variety of vendors including Salesforce.com, Microsoft CRM, InfusionSoft, SugarCRM and more. Look for a solution with customizable records and reports to give yourself the most flexibility in how you use your CRM software.

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)

CRM software enables you and your affiliate managers to automate relationships, forecast revenue and scale your acquisition efforts, resulting in more reliable growth and loyal affiliates.

If you’re still using calendars, spreadsheets or your head, it’s time to step out of the 90s and start using CRM software to super charge your affiliate prospecting and affiliate management efforts.

David, CEO at Marketing Clique, has over 15 years experience in online and affiliate marketing.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 16 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/69193074/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-16

FeedFront issue 16 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2011/10

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete November 9, 2011 at 11:16 am

Great article:I am a newbie and in my business plan I had
one of the first things to do was to secure a CRM. You mentioned
3 CRMs which one do YOU suggest for thsi business???

Thnak you
Pete

David Vogelpohl November 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hey Pete,

It depends a bit on your budget and needs, but I personally use Salesforce.com. They’re a solid choice for your CRM solution.

Good luck!

-D

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