Common mistakes with hiring an in house Affiliate Manager

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So one thing I always see that almost every company makes is that they always put an entry level person in the role of an Affiliate Manager.  This is an amazing opportunity for the entry level person, but a really dumb move for the company.  The Affiliate Manager should be someone who has at least 3-5 years of Online Marketing experience in everything from Search and SEO to Email, Comparison Shopping and Article Marketing.  For the entry level person that gets this role, well, you can leave it with a wealth of experience by learning how to do PPC, Product Submit, Social Media, etc… even though you went in knowing nothing and come out with a great shot at getting a job as a Marketing Director, etc…  The thing though is most Affiliate Managers that start as entry level never get to do much because in reality, they never really learn their job, they never learn to protect their company from theft and for the most part, are never devoted enough to properly manage their program or communicate deals and information to their Affiliates in a proper time frame.  So what I want to do with this post is help people who want to hire an in house Affiliate Manager  some tips and pointers that you cannot sacrifice if you want a quality and low theft to theft free program.

1.  Make sure you have someone with experience in a lot of different types of Online and Offline Marketing.  Make sure they know CANSPAM laws (If you have an Affiliate who spams, guess what you could be help responsible), who knows adware and the toolbar theives that the Major Networks promote as their top performers who will steal from you (If they don’t know the term parasite or cannot name 5 to 10 parasites on the big 3 US networks, then move on to the next candidate because you will probably end up being stolen from), if they cannot do PPC, they cannot help your new PPC Affiliates grow and may have a harder time catching day parting and geotargeting with trademark bidders, etc…

2.  Make sure you have someone who doesn’t punch the clock at 5pm.  Affiliates work throughout the day and night and if your Manager is not willing to give out their personal number and take calls at 11pm, then guess what, you will miss out on a lot sales and potential additional placements.  Many Affiliates keep off schedules and write to you late at night.  If you get back to them late at night then from my experience, they promote you a lot harder because you are not only available, but also attentive to their needs and their time schedule.

3.  Your Affiliate Manager must know html.  Not all Affiliates, even experienced Super Affiliates can code.  If your Manager cannot guide them through placing html or altering it, even basic html, then guess what, they are useless to that Affiliate and that Affiliate will move on to your competitor who can create and place their links with and for them.  This has been a deal breaker that lets me win above competitors over and over again.  It is a very valuabe skill to edit basic html and if you want the advantage, hire someone that can.

Anyways, experience and being able to create custom campaigns and be creative, not to mention be able to create custom banners, etc… without the help of your design team since Affiliates need them within the hour or day, combined with experience and attentiveness will not only impress your Affiliates, but make it much easier to work with you.

Putting in an entry level person will not only allow you to get ripped off with trademark bidding and can get you in trouble and fined because of spammers, but will also easily open you up to adware theft which the major networks, besides Share a Sale turn a happily blind eye too.  You can read all about these companies in the Parasiteware section of or by joining

Hiring an experienced Marketer in house who knows about adware and actual Marketing will really make the difference in your program and your bottom line and I encourage you to find the right person who will not only protect you, but work with and for you, your brand and your bottom line, not allow toolbars and adware to poach your sales and only benefit their bonuses.

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8 thoughts on “Common mistakes with hiring an in house Affiliate Manager”

  1. I hope anyone reading this post reads my comment here. Merchant Affiliate Mangement is NOT an entry-level position. If you want results and to be protected from theft you MUST have someone who is really experienced and ALREADY knows what they are doing.

    It has taken me ten years working full time online (and I already had 6 years part time experience before that) to learn what I know about Internet Marketing and especially PPC.

    When I started researching affiliate program management I quickly realized that I did not have the skills to keep on top of the ever-growing methods of parasites or to figure out what all the toolbars and redirects are doing. Without knowing that you can not protect your merchant accounts.

    If you truly want to be successful you must specialize in what you learn and collaborate with others who specialize in other needed skills. When I specialized in ppc I proved to Search Engine Management companies many times that being a talented SEO does NOT make you an excellent Pay Per Click manager.

    It takes years to develop skills and experience and then much time to stay on top of how quickly everything is changing. Businesses that want to maximize success must have a TEAM of specialists. I recommend Adam as the Affiliate Management expert on that team.

    1. Ding Ding Ding….GrowMap wins the prize! This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes. It is important to not only be thorough when hiring, but also ask for real life examples. Saying well I don’t have access to your Affiliate list or I don’t know is not an excuse!

      I actually had a company in California thank me for this post and I wrote them a job description and a series of interview questions. They have told me it has helped them figure out what to look for and how to weed out the candidates so there are some people reading this one lol.

      They run an awesome program on Share a Sale. If they come back and tell me it is ok to link to it I will gladly do it. Or I may secretly link to it in another post! =0).

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  6. Hi, I’m planning to hire an affiliate manager in a few months and have been looking for info about the best way to handle it. Thank you for this article! I’ve never had an affiliate program before but it recently was brought to my attention that it’s going to be critical to my business to have one and why. Is it possible to hire you to write a job description and interview questions for us?

    1. Hi Isis,

      That is great news. I’d be more than happy to do that for you. I’m going to send you an email to the address you left here.

      Happy you enjoyed the article!


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