The 'Aha!' Moment in Affiliate Marketing
Right click and choose ‘save as’ or ‘save link as’ to download the audio file: Making Program Management Rewarding and FUN
Amy Reichert has had several lifetimes – she’s been a licensed private investigator (still has her my license in California), became a licensed pastor, and did social media marketing. One day, her CEO said, “Hey Amy, you’d be a great affiliate manager.” Welcome to her world. She’s now lead affiliate manager for MyGreenFills.com, an online laundry soap company that has revolutionized how people do laundry by providing people with refillable, non-toxic products delivered to their doorstep.
This is an edited version of the audio interview linked above.
Dee Braun: OK, being an affiliate JV manager for years and years myself, you have to take opportunities to make this job fun and rewarding. How do you do that?
Amy: So honestly, I was like, “What now? I don’t even know what an affiliate manager is.” I was learning all these acronyms and not crows and parameters and postbacks. I went out, and I bought a bunch of books, and basically, that did not give me any kind of feel for this business. I felt really awkward, just even emailing people. I feel like I’m very outgoing, and I felt like all of my emails to people were just kinda canned. Like they didn’t really know the real mean. And so, although mygreenfills, our business has doubled in the past year. We’ve doubled the size of our membership really when I sure it in this position, I was the very first affiliate manager. We were still kind of in startup mode. And I was like, “I got to figure this out. I have to be face to face with people that what’s gonna make my job fun. That’s what’s gonna make it rewarding.” Oh, I mean, life’s not terrible. I work remotely in San Diego, so life does not suck, right? I don’t get to go to a watercooler and chat it up about what happened on The Bachelor last night.
Dee: Which is a huge deal because we are so isolated by virtue of how we work. How do we stay out of our shell but still do our jobs?
Amy: For me, the “Aha!” moment was, “OK, this is a startup, and they don’t even have the budget to send me to conferences. And so I’m going to put my money where my mouth is, and I’m going to send myself to a conference.” I was basically betting on my own success because, at the end of the day, I think most affiliates, they have a base salary and a commission. And so, you know what, I am going to put my money where my mouth is. I’m going to ROI this by putting my own money. I’m going to invest in my own future and my own sanity because I need to be around people. And I made sure that I got out to Amber Spears’ events with the tour here.
I’m going to Las Vegas for Ryan [Alarid’s], affiliate manager happy hour; I went last year. That made a big difference having meaningful connections because now, when I’m emailing people, it’s not a canned response. It’s kinda like, “Hey Dee, how are the dogs doing? You know, how’s your son Christian doing? And Oh, you know, I also have a son named Christian.” It changes the whole landscape of what your day-to-day job looks like. When those people that you’re emailing are real flesh and blood people that you’ve met them in person. Traffic and Conversions was another big one. I’m here in San Diego. Traffic and Conversions, it’s right here in San Diego. Year one, I actually paid to go to the conference and sit in on all the workshops and went to a few parties … and made the most meaningful connections.
Dee: OK, I’m a new affiliate manager, and I’ve never worked remotely before. What are my survival skills? What would you tell you the first day you started? Here’s what is the most important for longevity and healthy mind, emotion, all of it …
Amy: To be honest with you, I think I’m still a work in progress. I’m like, “Oh man, I need to like maybe take a lunch break,” I don’t take a lunch break. I just, I power through the entire day, and I don’t take a break. I would say that it’s pretty easy to like get up out of your chair and walk around, you know, whatever that means for you. Doing a couple of squats or jumping jacks or push-ups. I feel like I need to do some push-ups right now. You know what I’m saying? I’m a hypocrite. I’m giving advice, and I’m not following it, but maybe this is really important as a reminder.
Dee: How do you keep from getting in a rut? How do you keep from getting bored silly or so stressed out that you’re just like, “Screw this, I’m going to go work at McDonald’s.”
Amy: Working for a startup there’s really never a dull day. Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve actually worn a couple of different hats, and I feel like that satisfies the urge to really maybe do something different. I feel like there’s always been a challenge. For example, last year, we weren’t doing recips. It was just, “Amy, go get traffic,” right? OK, fine. Well, beginning of the year, our CEO said, “Hey, you know what? Let’s start doing recips.” And I literally felt like before, I had had one arm tied behind my back. And with the ability to actually send people traffic from our list, felt like, well now I can do business with both hands.
It’s really a love language for affiliate managers. It’s like, “Oh yeah, we’re going to give you an offer, and we know it’s going to do really well, but hey, by the way, what do you need? How can I serve you? How can I support you? How can I promote for you?” That’s been transformational. So that’s been really cool. What that has meant on the day-to-day, not be in a rut kind of thing is I’ve actually been in that process doing the copy and learning active campaign in getting those promotions out. Our in-house copywriter has got tons of other stuff to do. Our creative director has tons of other stuff to do, Our CMO. So being able to take that on, actually gives me a little bit of a challenge too. I feel like, well, I’m a half-ass copywriter, you know, when I started off, now I feel like I’m a quarter-ass one. So, it’s that sense of accomplishment.