As I write this I’m sat at home on the sofa, having previously nipped out for a McDonald’s milkshake and new laptop charger. Today hasn’t been a typical day in the life of a MoreNiche affiliate manager. But what does a typical day look like? What does an affiliate manager actually do? Read on to find out…
A bit about me
I’m Cat, and I’ve been working at MoreNiche for the past three and a half years. Since joining, I’ve worked in a number of roles across the company. I gained the Senior Affiliate Manager title when I re-joined the MoreNiche Affiliate Team back in April, following an eight-month stint working on merchant site projects and optimisation.
What is an affiliate manager responsible for?
Affiliate Managers are responsible for increasing the performance of the affiliate program they manage; working with the merchant and affiliates to increase sales and revenue. In simple terms, there are two parts to this. Firstly, to grow traffic to the program and secondly, to ensure that traffic converts into sales.
The affiliate channel comes under the performance marketing umbrella because the merchant only pays when sales are made. With MoreNiche this is 100% true; just as the affiliate doesn’t get paid if no sales are made, the same is the case for the affiliate network. There are no set-up fees or monthly fees for merchants and so the network only makes money when sales are generated.
Ultimately this means everyone wins; the merchant only pays out when they earn, and affiliates know that:
1) it is in MoreNiche’s best interests to ensure they are credited with their sales, and no shaving or other underhand practices occur
2) we’ll do our utmost to ensure that all our programs are high performing and converting offers. And of course, what’s good for your customers is good for you.
What does a typical day look like?
Usually when I arrive in the morning there’ll be a number of affiliate queries that need answering. I’ll get my cup of tea, switch on LiveChat so that I’m available for any affiliates on the MoreNiche website or affiliate area who need some help, and get started. Emails and ticket queries usually include questions such as “how do I get started?”, “why has my account been declined?”, “when do I get paid?” and a variety of other general questions, as well as some more in-depth requests for advice.
In addition to answering these, I will also check yesterday’s sales performance and take a look at the MoreNiche forum to see if anything relating to my programs or any general questions has been posted there.
Next, I might work on some site reviews that affiliates have requested. Mainly these involve helping the affiliate convert their existing traffic better, so I would first look at their product review pages and offer suggestions which, from my experience, will help ensure the customer is convinced and ready to buy the product once they click the affiliate link. This could be changes to formatting, improving the headline, better showcasing the benefits of the product, or making sure that the sale is closed by including information about the purchase process, discounts and guarantees.
I’ll also look at how the visitor can reach these sales pages; checking that the affiliate is funneling their traffic through their site from more generic articles into product specific information and making suggestions for additional content to help with this; either articles, comparisons, menu options or sidebar promotions.
Much of the work is done using the affiliate’s stats that are available in the affiliate area and from past knowledge of what converts. But for a more detailed view I might also use tools such as the affiliate’s Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) and Analytics SEO. These can provide me with more detailed information to work with, and it’s always great when an affiliate has the first two set-up and is willing to provide access to the data. Analytics SEO is a tool MoreNiche pays for which helps us improve the affiliate’s on-page SEO as well as giving additional insights into their performance.
Of course, conversion is only one part of making a sale, so I will also provide affiliates ideas on how to increase their traffic using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, non-affiliate sites’ content ideas, Google trends and knowledge from within MoreNiche of which products are performing in which countries.
Whilst we recommend all affiliates have their own website, other ways of generating traffic such as video and social media are also important, so I will provide support and ideas for these too.
So far, “my day” has been fairly re-active, but much of what I do as an Affiliate Manager is pro-active as well. At the beginning of each three month period, we provide the merchant with a plan of what we’ll work on for that period. This will vary from merchant to merchant, depending on whether the affiliate program is new or established, and any changes they have advised us will be happening throughout the period such as new products in a multi-store, new website languages available etc. Based on the strategy and the programs previous performance I’ll then set targets to work towards, and this will form the proactive part of my role.
As well as working with existing affiliates, it’s also important for the network to recruit new affiliates for new niche opportunities, new languages and new ways of reaching customers. We use an outreach tool called Buzzstream for finding and contacting potential affiliates, which saves us loads of time finding contact details and also keeps us up to date on whether a site has previously been contacted by any of the team. We’re also working on getting much more active on affiliate and marketing forums outside of the MoreNiche forum.
What’s unique about being an affiliate manager at MoreNiche?
The main thing that stands out about being an affiliate manager at MoreNiche is that we get to choose which merchants we work with each quarter. So, we get to work with programs that we see have potential, convert well for affiliates and that we enjoy working on.
Sometimes you’ll see us swapping brands each quarter. This could be because we fancy a change, know a merchant has something big planned for the quarter, or perhaps we think that a particular skill or knowledge we have will help grow that program, making it a good one to focus on next.
Other times you may see an affiliate manager sticking with the same affiliate program every quarter; because they are particularly passionate about that program, feel there is more that they can achieve with it, or have developed a really strong relationship with the merchant.
Working as an affiliate manager at MoreNiche also gives us loads of variety. When interviewing for a new affiliate manager, Head of Affiliates Josephin Crichton commented on how many candidates described their job as “emailing affiliates the latest discount codes”.
This definitely isn’t the case at MoreNiche, where our merchants and affiliates keep us learning more and more about marketing. It’s not unusual for us to send conversion improvement ideas to the merchant, research the latest SEO news to share with our affiliates or dig into their analytics to help them understand it better.
And of course, there is the fact that we work within an amazing little company where plenty of cake, fun team experiences such as ice hockey, and pets in the office are all part of the norm!
What’s coming next at MoreNiche?
Over the coming months, we’re expecting to launch a number of new products onto the network, as well as continuing to grow our existing programs. I’m really looking forward to pushing myself, my merchants and our affiliates to take our affiliate program performance to the next level.
One thing is for sure. Being an Affiliate Manager at MoreNiche is never boring. And we never stand still.