Mastering Affiliate Management: A Guide to Success in 2023

Steering your way through affiliate management can be a key part of your marketing program.

By improving your skills and knowledge in this field, you can build a strong affiliate marketing program. This will consist of committed affiliates who promote your business enthusiastically and honestly.

In this guide, we’ll outline the important steps you need to take to be successful in affiliate management.

Our goal is to provide enough detail while keeping things straightforward, helping you succeed in the ever-changing world of affiliate management in 2023.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following:

  • What affiliate management is and involves.
  • Picking the right affiliate management platform.
  • Recruiting and onboarding new affiliates.
  • Provide support, resources, and creatives to affiliate partners.
  • Monitoring affiliate performance and the affiliate program performance.

To kick us off, let’s start by understanding what affiliate management is.

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What is affiliate management, and what does it involve?

Before we can talk about affiliate management, we need to first understand what affiliate marketing is.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of referral marketing where a company partners with individuals or other businesses to promote their products or services.

This is done in exchange for a commission for each sale or lead generated. The individuals or businesses that the company partners with are known as affiliates or affiliate partners. 

affiliate management

What is affiliate management?

Affiliate management, therefore, refers to overseeing and organizing an affiliate marketing program.

It involves managing the recruitment of new affiliates, monitoring their performance, and processing their payments once a sale or conversion is made. Affiliate managers must do all of the above, selecting the right affiliate management solution and developing promotional marketing campaigns. 

SliceWP preview payout with affiliate payments details.

Up to 80% of brands have an affiliate program as part of their digital marketing efforts today.

This marketing strategy is widely adopted since it provides businesses a cost-effective way to improve their sales and grow. Effective affiliate management aims to build relationships with your affiliates and have a loyal affiliate network that positively promotes your business. This will ensure that your business and affiliates mutually benefit from your partnership. 

affiliate reports

A critical part of mastering affiliate management is understanding your roles as an affiliate manager. So let’s look closer at an affiliate manager’s daily tasks.

Daily tasks for affiliate managers

As an affiliate manager, here’s what you’ll usually be required to do on a daily/weekly basis:

  • Communicating with affiliates You’ll communicate with affiliates to inform them of new products, promotions, or any other updates regarding the affiliate program. This is the key to building strong relationships with your affiliates. 
  • Recruiting new affiliates You’ll be responsible for identifying new potential affiliates and recruiting them to join the program. You’ll also likely be reaching out to them with an invitation to join the program. 
  • Onboarding new affiliates After affiliates have completed registration, you’ll take them through an onboarding process to help them promote your business effectively. 
  • Monitoring and optimizing affiliate program performance This includes tracking affiliates’ performance against their own goals and the program’s goals. 
  • Providing support, resources, and making creatives By responding to their queries and providing them with resources such as banners, text links, etc. You might also want to encourage them by offering incentives to your best affiliates.
  • Processing payments Once a sale or conversion is made via an affiliate’s link, you’ll process their payments and ensure they are rewarded on time. 
  • Developing promotional marketing campaigns – You’ll also be required to develop new marketing material, especially when you want to alert your target market on new product launches, sales promotions, or service expansions. 
  • Coming up with a marketing strategy You’ll also have to decide on your marketing strategy. For instance, using social media channels, content marketing, etc. 

This is just a brief overview of the tasks you will have to perform as an affiliate manager. There’s still a lot more you’ll need to do to ensure the success of your affiliate program.

The next section will go through some of these tasks in detail. With suggestions for improvement and strategies you can implement.

The 5 Essential Steps for Affiliate Management

The following sections will walk you through the most important aspects of affiliate management. Starting with picking the right affiliate marketing program

Step 1: Picking the right affiliate marketing program: Introducing SliceWP

The first and most important aspect of affiliate management is picking the right affiliate marketing tool. This is easier said than done since there are numerous technologies to choose from.

SliceWP onboarding

It is important to pick the right one because it will dictate how you set up and manage your affiliate program. Ideally, you should pick one that has these features:

  • Custom registration So that you can brand and customize the recruitment of your affiliates. 
  • An affiliate portal To streamline affiliate campaigns and provide your affiliates with what they need to optimize engagements.
  • Automated payouts You’ll need a solution that automates payments and enables you to avoid frustrating your affiliates with delayed payments. 
affiliate dashboard

If you’re looking for a solution that offers all of the above and more, then SliceWP is the answer. 

SliceWP: The best affiliate management software

SliceWP is an affiliate management plugin that allows you to set up and manage an affiliate program on your WordPress website.

With this affiliate management tool, you can host your affiliate program, choose your terms and conditions, set your commissions, and completely control your program on your own WordPress website. 

edit and manage affiliate

In addition, it fully integrates with WordPress ecommerce plugins (like WooCommerce), allowing you to set all this up without writing any code. 

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SliceWP has all you would expect from affiliate tracking software (like Kartra or Tapfiliate) and more. It comes with all of the features mentioned above, together with:

Coupon tracking

Instead of using affiliate links, SliceWP lets you use coupon codes to track an affiliate’s referrals. Once the coupon code linked to an affiliate is used at checkout, the affiliate will get the commission.

affiliate management coupon

This makes it easy for you to track an affiliate’s sales and reward them accordingly accurately. 

A dedicated affiliate area

SliceWP provides your affiliates with a dedicated portal to log into and monitor how their marketing efforts are playing out. This portal is useful for distributing the materials which affiliates need to operate.

You can also enable social sharing on your affiliate’s account pages and make it easy for them to share your products on their social media accounts.  

affiliate dashboard commissions

Real-time performance reports

With real-time reporting, SliceWP lets you understand how your affiliates and the program perform. This data includes referred visits, commissions, revenue, and so on.

Real-time statistics will help you identify issues as soon as they appear and respond promptly. 

affiliate performance report

Customizable commission rates

This plugin gives you a lot of flexibility in setting your commission structures. You can set fixed rates, percentage-based rates, or rates per affiliate.

This way, you can reward affiliates based on metrics apart from performance alone, such as higher agency rates. 

One-click Paypal payouts

You can conveniently pay your affiliates by connecting your PayPal business account. With SliceWP, you’ll be able to save time paying all your affiliates, as it allows you to do so in a single click. 

paypal payouts

No extra fees on commissions

You’ll only have to cover affiliate commissions and no extra fees. SliceWP will be installed on your WordPress website so that you will own all the data, and no intermediaries will claim your profits. 

What sets SliceWP apart from other affiliate management software is that it allows you to have unlimited affiliates. This will allow you to partner with as many affiliates as you want and manage them easily from your WordPress website.

Now we’ve picked our affiliate marketing program of choice. Let’s move on to step 2 – recruiting new affiliates.

Step 2: Recruiting and onboarding new affiliates

Recruiting and onboarding affiliates are essential in growing your affiliate program. It typically involves identifying potential affiliates, reaching out to them, and convincing them to join the program.

You can identify and recruit new potential affiliates by advertising your affiliate program via:

  • Social media platforms – This is a great avenue, as over 67% of affiliate marketers use it to connect with customers. 
  • Industry events (virtual or physical).
  • Affiliate directories or platforms and more.   

Once you’ve recruited the affiliates, the onboarding process begins, where you provide new affiliates with the necessary resources to promote your business effectively.

But before you get to that, you have to register them first. 

How to set up affiliate registration and dashboard with SliceWP

SliceWP lets you allow affiliate registration and set up your affiliate’s dashboard in just a few clicks.

By default, SliceWP has affiliate registration enabled by default. So all we need to do is create our affiliate registration page.

To do this, take the following steps: 

  1. While still on your WordPress dashboard, go to Pages > Add New. Name your page, for instance, ‘Affiliate Registration.’ 
  2. Paste the following shortcode in the content area:  [slicewp_affiliate_registration] 
  3. Click Publish when you’re done. 
  4. Repeat this for the affiliate account page but using the following shortcode: [slicewp_affiliate_account]
affiliate registration page

After creating these pages, you’ll need to connect them to SliceWP so they work correctly.

Take the following steps to connect your pages to SliceWP:

  1. Go to SliceWP > Settings and scroll to Page Settings
  2. Click on the dropdown next to each page and select the correct pages. 
  3. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom when you’re done. 
affiliate registration page settings

Now your affiliates will be able to register and access their dashboards. Here, they’ll be able to generate their affiliate links and monitor their progress.

affiliate registration form

Step 3: Provide support, resources, and creatives to affiliate partners

To help your affiliates promote your business effectively, you should provide them with support, resources, and creatives.

This includes banners, text links, email templates, landing pages, and other marketing materials. By providing these resources, you can ensure that your affiliates have the necessary tools to drive traffic and sales to your website. This also helps them to improve their marketing strategies.

affiliate management creatives

Apart from helping your affiliate partners to perform better, these resources also ensure that your branding and messaging are consistent across your marketing channels. This helps to build a strong and recognizable brand image in the minds of your customers. 

How to provide creatives to affiliates with SliceWP

You can use SliceWP to provide creatives to your affiliate partners on their affiliate accounts.

These creatives can include different types of resources, such as:

  • Branding elements – for example, logos, fonts, banners, etc. 
  • Post suggestions on social media.
  • Step-by-step instructions for written marketing.
  • Suggested messaging.

You can also provide creatives specific to different types of affiliates like bloggers, influencers, email marketing specialists, and others. 

add new creative slicewp

To add creatives to SliceWP, simply go to SliceWP > Creatives and click the Add New Creatives button. This will take you to the new creatives page, where you can add text, images, and the landing page URL.

Step 4: Monitoring affiliate performance and the affiliate program performance

Once your affiliate program is up and running, you’ll need to monitor it to ensure it is maximizing its effectiveness. This entails tracking how affiliates and the program perform according to your goals.

Monitoring your affiliates’ performance can help you identify your top performers and adjust your commissions to compensate them appropriately. 

affiliate leaderboard

It also helps identify the affiliates not meeting the required performance standard. You can provide additional support for these affiliates to help them improve their performance.

Studies show that over 95% of new affiliate marketers fail, and one of the main reasons causing this is a lack of support from affiliate managers. 

So, if you can identify struggling affiliate partners early, you can provide them with the support they need to promote your products successfully.

Monitoring your program and affiliates is a continuous process. Real-time reports can enable you to do this daily. 

Monitor affiliate and program performance with SliceWP’s real-time reports 

SliceWP makes it easy to understand how your program is performing via real-time reports. You can track affiliate commissions, conversions, visits, and so on.

This data will be available to you up to the minute, and this immediate information will help you to make instant decisions on your affiliates and affiliate program as needed. 

affiliate reporting

To access these reports, go to SliceWP > Reports on your WordPress dashboard. In this section, you’ll be able to track commissions, visits, affiliates, and payments.

Step 5: Developing promotional marketing campaigns

To keep your affiliate program active and attract more purchases, you’ll need to develop promotional marketing campaigns for your affiliates. This may include product launches, special offers, seasonal promotions, limited-time incentives, etc. 

You can collaborate with your in-house marketing team to generate new marketing material, such as new creatives that your affiliate partners will use to promote your business. Once this material is ready, you can share it with your affiliates through their accounts. 

The goal here is to stay afloat with trends or respond to your customers’ changing preferences. This ensures that your affiliates are working with fresh marketing material. 

affiliate coupon code

You can also use coupons with discounts in your promotional marketing campaigns. Coupons will help to incentivize customers to buy your products during the promotional period. In addition, it will help you track your campaign’s effectiveness. 

Implementing promotional marketing campaigns with SliceWP 

After developing marketing campaigns with your marketing team, you can share new marketing material with your affiliate partners. SliceWP allows you to do this via the creatives section. 

You can add short and long pieces of text, images, etc., containing banners, blog images, suggested social media posts, and so on. Your affiliates can access this new marketing material from their accounts to promote your products. 

You can use affiliate coupons to help your affiliates have an easier time promoting your products during a marketing campaign. These are like regular coupons but tied to a specific affiliate.

affiliate coupon at the checkout

To use affiliate coupons, you’ll need to purchase SliceWP Pro or Pro Plus first to activate the Affiliate Coupons add-on.

Then follow these steps: 

  1. On your WordPress dashboard, go to SliceWP > Add-ons and activate the Affiliate Coupons add-on. 
  2. Next, create a new coupon code in your ecommerce plugin.
  3. In the add new/edit coupon options, look for the Affiliate Name field.
  4. Select the affiliate that you wish to be tied to this coupon.
  5. Lastly, create/update the coupon.
affiliate coupon code

To finish up, you’ll need to save this code, negotiate the terms with your affiliate, and then send them the coupon code. 

Get to grips with affiliate management today

Affiliate management is important to ensure the success of your affiliate program. Through effective affiliate program management, your affiliate partners can drive more traffic to your site and improve your sales. 

Affiliate management has never been easier, thanks to SliceWP and WordPress. With this plugin, you can run an affiliate program for your WordPress-powered business. This way, you can manage both your business and your affiliate program from the same dashboard of your WordPress site.

So if you’re considering implementing an affiliate program on your WordPress website, look no further than SliceWP and get better results with minimum effort.

Get started with SliceWP

Start your affiliate program today and take your business to new heights.

Get SliceWP