It's frustrating as hell. You've emailed at least a couple of times trying to pry an answer out of your affiliate manager, only to be met with total radio silence. You're not really sure how to proceed, and in the meantime you've been racking up mad clicks and conversions for their merchant. You're starting to feel like just another cog in the wheel, and it's a pretty shitty way to feel.
You know you've got the right email address, because the newsletters are coming through with it attached. But every time you try to holler, they either insist on a phone call and won't email you back the answers or you completely get shut out. Note to affiliate managers: Please don't insist on phone calls. Many bloggers work from home, as do many of you, and that means we're juggling a ton. Phone calls aren't easy, and some of us have really bad anxiety about talking on the phone. Plus, it's easier for us to have a written account of discussions than try to remember what it is we talked about. Emails take less time than phone calls and they don't tangle us up in knots.
So how do you get this elusive affiliate manager's attention?
- Try emailing again, but be direct and succinct. Don't add fluff, just state what it is you need and sign off with a solid "I look forward to hearing from you soon." Have the subject line read something along the lines of "Custom Creative for Bourbon & Sparkle" or "Reporting Issue for Bourbon & Sparkle" (but, you know, with your own issue) and be sure to include your PID/CID/whateverID in the email so they can easily look you up in the network.
- Email another person in their company. Yeah, it's technically going over their head, and sure they have many an affiliate to manage, but if they can't be fucked to respond, then you can't be fucked to not go over their head. There are one or two larger agencies I work with that have essentially required me to use this tactic before -- and lo and behold, the lack of response may have been because my original contact no longer works for the company and they didn't update affiliates on the change or the AM responded damn quickly upon learning I reached out to someone else (embarrassment can be a good motivator). Getting put on notice can change things damn fast.
- Use social media. Many agencies and OPMs have Facebook groups or pages. Don't be afraid to say "I've emailed a couple of times to no avail, so here's my question" or something. Similarly, you can DM the company on Twitter and say something along the lines of "I've been trying to reach out to your affiliate manager, but I haven't gotten a response. Can you help?" Again, put 'em on blast if they can't do their job.
- Try reaching out to a contact at the network to see if they can help. ShareASale tends to be pretty good about this, but results will vary by network.
- If all else fails, quit the program and join a competitor. When the original program reaches out to try to recruit you again (it'll happen), tell them why you left. Affiliate marketing is all about relationships, and when those relationships start feeling one-sided, do you and move on. There's no need to beg from someone who can't manage to manage their shit.