A successful affiliate manager is both outgoing and systematic. They have the ability to recruit and communicate with affiliate partners to optimize your program while also being able to manage all the day-to-day tasks of your affiliate program. I wouldn’t hesitate to say the best affiliate managers are likely ambiverts. They need to have the ability to reach out to new partners and negotiate optimization opportunities with existing partners. In order to know what those opportunities are they need to be able to analyze program and partner performance while understanding the technological capabilities of their partner’s digital assets.

When you take a closer look at the skills an affiliate manager needs to perform their job some of the characteristics of a successful affiliate manager soon become clearer; organized, communicative, perceptive, analytical, creative, technical, and driven. You may be wondering if these people even exist? There are many great affiliate managers out there who have a balance of the communication and technical traits that make a great affiliate manager.

Organized
An affiliate manager must be able to manage all aspects of your affiliate program and work with both your many affiliate partners and members of your teams. They are project managers, recruiters, analysts, designers, and marketers. To keep all these aspects of their job together they will need strong organizational skills and systems in place.

Communicative
A large part of an affiliate manager’s job is managing relationships, whether it’s helping a partner optimize their performance, negotiating placements, or working with your dev team to get things working properly. An affiliate manager needs to be able to communicate effectively and build strong relationships.

Perceptive
Advertisers rely on affiliate managers to be able to see the big picture. What are the upcoming trends or technological impacts that could affect the performance of their program? How are competitors changing and where are there unutilized opportunities? An affiliate manager needs to be able to predict and see these potential opportunities.

Analytical
Information, insights, and analytics play a huge part in understanding an affiliate program’s performance. An affiliate manager needs to be able to understand your program’s insights to audit and optimize performance. They will also need to be able to audit your competitor and industry insights to look for opportunities and create ongoing strategies for your program.

Creative
From creative assets to reaching potential customers, a creative affiliate manager will be able to actively seek out new ways to recruit potential affiliate partners and provide current partners with unique ideas, offers, and tools to generate sales. This goes beyond graphic software skills to update banners and assist with partner creative requests. An affiliate manager should be able to either create marketing campaigns from start to finish or have enough knowledge to work with your team to adapt their campaigns for affiliate use.

Technical
While your affiliate manager may not be coding your website or managing your database, they will need to have enough technical knowledge to understand your affiliate platform, website, digital assets (and how they work) to effectively work with your developers. An affiliate manager needs to be able to understand basic CSS and HTML enough to create your program newsletters and ads. They also need enough technical skills to be able to learn new software quickly and efficiently as needed.

Driven
A great affiliate manager is passionate, focused on learning, and competitive. They want to see their programs succeed and outperform your competitors. They won’t settle, they know there is always a possibility for improving and will keep brainstorming new strategies and growth opportunities.