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Just FAQs Many questions from affiliates could have been answered by your FAQ document. But they weren't, because very few people actually bother to read them. Since some people do read them, you should have an exhaustive list of questions and answers that is easily accessed by your affiliates.
If you don't know what people are going to ask, try asking a select group of affiliates and co-workers to navigate through your program and ask them to each write down 2-3 questions. Answer these questions and you've got a FAQ. As your program grows, you will receive questions from your prospective affiliates - whenever you answer a new question, be sure that question and answer are added to FAQ.
You've still got that issue about nobody reading your FAQ, but there's an easy solution. E-mail your FAQ out to members of your affiliate program two to four times per year.
Educate to elevate Another measure you can take to reduce need for your affiliates to contact you is to provide them with educational resources, such as e-books and tutorials. If you share resources with your affiliates about dynamics of affiliate marketing, and other tangentially related topics, not only will you minimize contact from affiliates, but you will also be contributing to improvement of your affiliate sites.
One new resource, "Affiliate Marketing 101," by Wayne and Kim Porter, is designed for those new affiliates that need some hand holding and a basic education in affiliate marketing. Pass these free excerpts along to your affiliates, and it will enable you to focus more on your key relationships.
Another free e-book that affiliate managers can share with their affiliates is "Search Engine School." I created this resource for ClubMom affiliates after receiving repeated requests for information on driving traffic. This e-book consists of easy, step-by-step lessons to help your affiliates achieve better placement in search engines.
There's really no excuse for disregarding all but your super affiliates. Not only is it bad business to ignore critical mass of your program, but it's invariably easy to curry favor with Up-and-Comer and Onesie affiliates by answering their questions before they ask them. In order to properly manage your program and all of your affiliates, you've got to manage your time. And now you know how. As Francis Bacon once said, "knowledge itself is power."
Shawn Collins ClubMom Affiliate Manager email@example.com 646-435-6513