How to Manage Affiliate Programs the Right Way

When trying to decide between in-house or outsourced affiliate program management, you need to consider all factors involved in each strategy. We want you to make the right decision, so here is a guiding checklist for evaluating affiliate program management options:

Step 1: Pros and Cons of In-House and Outsourced Affiliate Program Management

Whether you are deciding how to manage your affiliate program or choosing between two types of cleaning detergent at a store, creating a pros and cons list is the logical first step. Running an in-house program requires hiring an experienced affiliate manager, helping him or set up their workspace and benefit plans, deciding on a regular salary and setting expectations for accountability and confidentiality. In an outsourced option, you would be hiring an affiliate agency of an independent consultant to manage your affiliate program externally. Some factors to consider in this scenario are they type of contract to sign, payment agreements and performance bonuses as well as the agency’s reputation and success in running affiliate programs.

In his book “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” Geno Prussakov outlines a cross-comparison of in-house and outsourced affiliate program management options.


Step 2: Tools for Management

Our digital world hosts an abundance of tools to help manage affiliate programs. Email clients, social media, Google Analytics and standard programs like Excel and Powerpoint are the go-to toolkit. Marketing specialists need to be aware of all tools available to them and be able to integrate them to get a bigger picture of their progress. Using all these programs separately takes a lot of time. Agencies and affiliate managers spend dozens of hours a week just emailing, entering data and tracking social placements. What’s more, going back and forth between different files can cause a massive headaches and errors.


Affiliate Program Management Tools


To save your company time and money (the most important resources, if you ask us), consider using an affiliate program management tool like Mediarails. These tools integrate data sources, automate email outreach and simplify the discovery of new prospects to only a couple of clicks. If you want to build a strong affiliate program, it is a worthwhile investment.


Affiliate Program Management with mediarails

Step 3: Setting up

Lastly, do a little bit of research on how to set up your program before you even hire anyone. We recommend Geno’s book “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” as a good day-by-day guide to building an affiliate program for your brand. It covers everything from basic affiliate marketing terminology to planning budget to mastering analytics.