How Affiliate Marketing Thrives Off Great Customer Service

Affiliate Marketing is A process that allows an individual or company to advertise a product of another person or company, and earn a commission.

 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Laura James, Publisher Development Manager at Commission Junction – CJ Media.  I wanted to speak to her, because coming from the online industry myself, i found many similarities between customer service for consumers and customer service for clients on the B2B side.   It’s very much similar but not always obvious.

I had a lot of questions but only time for a few, which got me some greater insight into the world that Laura lives in.  Commission Junction is one of the leading affiliate networks in the industry!

1. How does customer service play a role in affiliate marketing?

Customer Service plays a key role in affiliate marketing. Advertiser and Publishers have many options to choose from and the level of customer service is sometimes the determining factor if the client is going to work with CJ or some other platform. It great to say we are #1 but even better to say we are #1 in customer satisfaction and service.

2. How far do you go to make sure the affiliate (customer) is happy?

My professional background is in Sales and I was trained as a salesperson to go the extra mile to keep your clients happy, interested and your name and company top of mind. Become an invaluable resource in all things. I get to know my clients, where are they from, do they have children, interest and hobbies, likes and dislikes. Understand the best method of communicating. Most of my clients respond well to email, but I have a handful that do better with a call. I put a weekly reminder on my calendar to call the client as a follow-up to my email. Always leaving a voice message with phone number and best time to call me back. Is it part of your strategy for success? Yes, a happy affiliate manager is one with a portfolio of happy advertiser all reaching or exceeding their performance goals.

3. Does the ROI formula work for affiliate marketers too?

Yes, I incorporate an ROI formula into all my affiliate campaigns. It’s a definite performance measurement.

4. Do affiliates care about their customers (traffic and users) and offer support to them when things go wrong?

Depends on the affiliate and company. I manage over 100 affiliate accounts, more than 50% of them “care” or will take responsible for the bad or non-performing traffic. Many performance based companies follow a strict testing model and adhere to network performance best practices and guidelines. The other 50% that have adopted a churn and burn approach usually do not have a high retention rate and will never see any repeat business. Testing is key, there are plenty of offers to review in testing phase and find the network sweet spot. There is a best performing offer for each traffic source. i.e. when an offer they had doesn’t commit to what they had promised.

 

Well, it certainly was a pleasure to get to speak with Laura.  She brought knowledge, experience and relatable examples that can help businesses understand the value of customer service for their clients.

 

The CJ Way:

Affiliate marketing at its very core is about relationships, a relationship between three parties: Advertiser, Publisher and Consumer. We believe in creating equitable partnerships between advertisers and publishers and aligning incentives to achieve powerful results. With more than a decade of experience in affiliate marketing, we are experts at helping advertisers reach more potential customers, increase sales and drive meaningful results on pay for performance-based pricing models.

 

Bio:

Laura James is Publisher Development Manager for Media Services at Commission Junction. She recruits and on-boards publisher that normally would not work with Affiliate Platforms, securing ad inventory for Performance Based Programs.  A marketing professional who has worked on both the Publisher and Advertiser side of the house, she has been in the online marketing space for 10 years.

According to Ms. James, the secret to success is “to spending 80% of your time on proven revenue generating business models.  But, still devote 20% of your time developing new business models and opportunities.

 

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe