How to Manage Your Affiliate Network

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate programs are a powerful tool to increase revenue and broaden brand reach. An affiliate network, or a group of affiliates committed to promoting your goods or services, is the foundation of this strategy and should be managed well.

With insights into creating, maintaining, and maximizing an affiliate network to attain exceptional growth, this article is a road map for anyone starting affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate network management goes beyond straightforward tracking and includes multi-touch attribution models and cross-channel analytics.

We will explore tactics and best practices to manage affiliate networks that will help your affiliate program succeed.

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8 Strategies to Manage Your Affiliate Network

The following strategies can help you to get ahead and manage your affiliates effectively.

Affiliate Recruitment

Recruiting affiliate partners is the cornerstone of a successful affiliate program. These partners’ marketing initiatives have the potential to increase your brand revenue significantly.

Identifying suitable affiliates requires using various techniques, such as using Google search to find possible partners, reaching out to influencers in your field, and using social media to reach your customer base to generate word-of-mouth advertising.

A diverse affiliate network that can connect with various audiences is crucial.

Google Searches and Social Media

Using search engines and social media platforms to identify affiliates might reveal individuals who already share your brand’s values and target demographic.

This strategy ensures synergy between your items and the affiliate’s target audience, increasing the authenticity and efficacy of their campaigns.

Image source: Google

Word of Mouth and Customer Referrals

Encouraging your brand’s current consumer base to join your affiliate program can be a highly successful strategy. These audiences already trust your products; their recommendations are credible and influential.

Screenshot of integrations for a referral program inviting customers to refer others.
Integrations for a referral program in Tapfiliate

Influencer Collaborations

Example of an influencer who is also an affiliate
Image source: Kay and Tayfan

Working with influencers who are relevant to your business and its audience can significantly increase your brand’s reach. These collaborations must be fostered through open communication and mutual advantages, assuring harmony with your marketing goals.

Due to their unique position in an affiliate network, influencers usually require specialized commission models that match their influence and reach.

For example, a brand may provide an influencer with a greater commission rate for sales generated by a product launch campaign in recognition of the extra effort and influence invested.


Creating enticing commission plans is necessary to inspire and keep affiliates. Setting an introductory commission rate is only the beginning.

Affiliate success can be improved by negotiating better placements with more significant commissions for a predetermined time or by providing larger commissions for high-value products.

Providing incentives can drive more active brand marketing. A few examples of this include temporary commission hikes for new affiliates or performance-based rates: 

Temporary Commission Increases

Offering attractive commission rates for a limited time may encourage affiliates to prioritize your products. This strategy is beneficial for activating new affiliates and re-engaging inactive ones.

Performance-Based Rates

Using tiered commission structures to compensate affiliates for meeting particular sales targets enables ongoing promotion and increases revenue possibilities.

For example, an affiliate may earn a 10% commission on sales up to $1,000 per month, but if they exceed $1,000, their commission rate could rise to 15% on any sales above that amount.

Setting compensation rates based on the number or dollar amount of sales an affiliate generates in a calendar month is a simple method to motivate affiliates to perform better.

Tapfiliate allows you to establish sales thresholds and commission rates. The program then automatically compares each affiliate’s sales performance to these benchmarks, adjusting their compensation rate accordingly. This automated procedure ensures accurate commission calculation.

Tapfiliate commission settings: Log in or Sign Up

Product-Specific Commissions

Higher commissions on high-value products can encourage affiliates to concentrate on your most profitable products, matching their objectives with your sales priorities.

For example, a high-value product with a higher profit margin may provide a 20% commission, whereas a low-margin item may only give a 5% commission.

Additionally, you must ensure the affiliate tracking software is coupled correctly with your eCommerce platform to track which products are sold through affiliate referrals.

This process can introduce a layer of complexity, mainly when dealing with commissions based on individual products. Each product may have a varied commission rate, needing a refined tracking system capable of handling these differences. 

Setting affiliate sales goals, on the other hand, is a simple process. Sales objectives often involve defining a target amount of sales or money for an affiliate to reach within a specified time frame. This approach allows for easier implementation and management.

Program Management and Policies

A strong affiliate connection depends on having clear program policies. It is essential to outline what affiliates can and cannot do.

Cover your Legal Bases

When your brand enters into an affiliate marketing agreement, it enters into a legal agreement. Protecting your brand legally is crucial if anything goes wrong with current or potential affiliate relationships. 

Forbidding affiliates from bidding on your brand name or product keywords can keep them from directly competing with your marketing efforts. Checking that your affiliates understand and respect that your products are copyrighted is important for promoting your brand. 

Ensuring that affiliates follow advertising guidelines, especially in places like the United States, is necessary to ensure legal compliance and brand integrity. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires ads, including affiliate postings, to be marked as such to consumers. 

This process implies that any content published by affiliates to promote products or services in exchange for money must be identified as advertising or sponsored content. 

Tools like BrandVerity can help monitor compliance with advertising guidelines and prevent affiliates from engaging in prohibited sponsored search operations. 

BrandVerity assists brands in guaranteeing that their affiliates do not violate paid search restrictions by bidding on branded terms or misrepresenting the relationship between the brand and the affiliate. 

Checking that affiliates declare their association with your business in their advertisements is ethical and frequently required by law. 

Coupon Codes and Discounts 

Your brand can decide whether or not you will accept coupon affiliates. The decision should be clearly stated in your affiliate contract agreement. 

Using coupons and discounts for your brand will largely depend on what your brand promotes and its audience. For example, beauty and clothing brands usually use coupon codes and discounts associated with their products as the nature of these industries is highly digitally competitive. 

Coupon tracking in Tapfiliate
Tapfiliate dashboard coupon allocation: Log in or Sign Up

Update Clauses

For your brand and affiliates’ organization purposes, including an update clause in your affiliate program policy will ensure transparency concerning annual or bi-annual renegotiation agreements and maintain mutual understanding between your brand and affiliates.

Tracking and Reporting

Trusted tracking and reporting systems are essential components of every profitable affiliate network. Tapfiliate stands out here since it offers real-time commission and sales tracking.

The most critical indicators to pay attention to depend on the objectives of your program, be they analyzing affiliate performance, marketing efficacy, or income tracking.

With Tapfiliate’s extensive dashboard, tracking many metrics—such as sales by country, date, active affiliates, and conversion rates—allows for well-informed decision-making and strategy optimization.

Tapfiliate reporting
Tapfiliate reporting: Log in or Sign Up

Tapfiliate offers a range of automated tracking and reporting features for your affiliate programs: 

Affiliate Sign-Ups

Automating the sign-up process for new affiliates in your program is easy with Tapfiliate, making management less hassle. Prospective affiliates can apply to join your program using a custom-branded sign-up page.

The platform can automatically approve these applications based on the criteria you specify, or you can manually review each application.

Tracks Conversions 

The automated capabilities of Tapfiliate revolve around its innovative conversion tracking system. This system automatically tracks the actions of visitors suggested by your affiliates, whether they purchase, sign up for a subscription, or meet any other conversion target you’ve specified.

Using a variety of tracking mechanisms, including cookies and API requests, Tapfiliate provides precise and dependable conversion tracking.

Calculating Commissions 

Once the conversion is tracked, Tapfiliate calculates the commission for the referring affiliate based on your brand’s promotion rules.

It then simplifies the payment process by integrating with payment providers to automate payouts to your affiliates.

Performance Reporting 

Explore Tapfiliate’s comprehensive reporting capabilities, which allow you and your affiliates to track real-time results.

These reports include information on clicks, conversions, commissions, and other metrics, allowing you to optimize your affiliate program based on actual performance data.

Integration Capabilities 

Tapfiliate’s API and plugins enable integration with various eCommerce platforms, payment processors, and other tools.

This integration option allows you to automate many affiliate tracking and management parts, minimizing your team’s manual workload.

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Affiliate Support and Communication

Maintaining contact and providing support to your affiliates is crucial. Frequent training sessions and resources enable affiliates to sell your brand’s products more successfully.

Training on best practices for marketing in conjunction with interactive communication channels like Skype, email, and phone conversations can significantly improve affiliate effectiveness.

Email newsletters are great for maintaining communication between your brand and affiliates. Regular emails can help you communicate with affiliates who may not use affiliate dashboards often. 

Newsletters offer an easy way to keep partners in the loop with updates on your brand and its products, especially since most email newsletters are template-based, meaning you can easily change or edit information. 

Image source: Printful (Reallygoodemails)

Optimization and Growth

Targeted campaign collaboration is made possible by identifying and developing high-performing affiliates; this may involve additional investment but yields significant rewards.

By negotiating favorable terms, including increased commissions during particular campaigns, these important partners are encouraged to increase sales. 

Affiliate relationships are important for your brand and your affiliate partners. Checking in and ensuring your brand promoters are happy is important for successful long-term affiliate partnerships. 

There are a handful of ways your brand can optimize and grow affiliate efforts: 

Seasonal Check-Ups 

Peak seasons like the holidays, Black Friday, and Cyber Week are smart times to optimize your affiliate marketing programs amongst your affiliates.

The earlier you can get in on the action, the better. The competition is fierce in the affiliate industry, and thousands of brands look for affiliates to promote their products during busy marketing seasons.

It’s not just peak seasons that your brand can optimize; during the quieter times of the year, you can secure off-peak rates and try and test upcoming opportunities for the next busy season. 

Maintaining a steady flow of growth and optimization keeps your brand relevant and consistent throughout the year. 

Be Transparent

Reach out to your brand affiliates and ask them if they are still satisfied with promoting your brand and whether or not they have new ideas or suggestions your brand can try to implement to better promotions overall.

Needless to say, this goes both ways. You need to set clear expectations for your affiliates and advise them to voice any concerns they may have.  Be honest about how your affiliate promotions are performing.

Sharing helpful analytics data with your affiliates can assist with measuring current and future conversion success rates. 

Budget for Paid Placements 

Your brand may have enough affiliate programs running with partners that have reached out to promote your products. But what about affiliates you would like to choose to promote your brand? This is where paid placements come in.

Setting aside a budget that your brand can use to pay for your product or service placement can help reach even larger audiences. Paid placements are usually how a brand can spread awareness in the early stages of affiliate marketing if they don’t yet have a list of affiliates. 

Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud is a significant risk for brands running affiliate marketing programs since it can waste marketing resources, distort performance statistics, and harm brand reputation.

Keep an eye out for affiliate fraud if you want to safeguard the integrity of your network. Continuous monitoring is necessary to address problems like unauthorized software, typosquatting, and ad hijacking.

Typo squatting, also known as URL hijacking or sting sites, is a form of cybersquatting in which individuals register domain names that are misspellings of well-known brand names or websites to redirect traffic from internet users who make typographical errors when typing a web address into their browsers.

Ad hijacking is the unauthorized use of a company’s advertising materials, trademarks, or branded keywords to divert traffic or sales that would otherwise go to the brand.

It can happen in different ways, but it usually involves affiliates or competitors using a company’s name or similar terms in search engine adverts to attract consumers looking for the brand online.

Tools such as Adpolice, TrafficGuard, and BrandVerity play a crucial role in identifying and stopping fraudulent activity.

It’s essential to closely monitor your affiliates and what they are doing.  Tools such as Adpolice, TrafficGuard, and BrandVerity play a crucial role in identifying and stopping fraudulent activity.

Technology and Integration

The technology you use will significantly impact how well your affiliate program performs. With connectors for automation tools, payment gateways, and e-commerce platforms, Tapfiliate is a platform that provides a smooth experience.

Tapfiliate’s adaptability to diverse business requirements is guaranteed by its REST API and Javascript integration, further enhancing its flexibility and making it a great addition to your affiliate program.

The platform integrates with various eCommerce platforms, making it easy for brands to set up and organize affiliate programs. Popular eCommerce systems such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and PrestaShop are supported.

Other integrations with popular payment processing platforms include PayPal, Stripe, and Mollie, enabling automated and scheduled payments to affiliates and minimizing administrative duties for brands while ensuring timely and correct commission payouts.

SaaS, workflow automation, and E-learning tool integrations like Recurly, Cratejoy, Zapier, Make, and Teachable are also supported. 

But we also have to consider AI’s role in technology. AI can offer many benefits in affiliate marketing processes. One is its automation capabilities and ability to track affiliate program performance. 

Many affiliate tracking and integration software nowadays are powered by AI systems to improve workflow and speed up tracking processes. 

Key Takeaways

To enhance the efficiency of affiliate networks, brands must take a strategic approach combining innovation with affiliate management fundamentals.

Using advanced affiliate management solutions is not only preferred but also necessary. Automating tracking, monitoring payments, and delivering real-time performance data lets businesses prioritize growth and affiliate engagement over administrative activities.

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Juxhina Malaj

Juxhina is an ambivert based in Lisbon. She has a MSc degree in Communication Science from the University of Vienna. When not engaged in research & content marketing, she likes to travel, read, and oil paint.

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