10 Things to Know WhenSelecting an OPM1) Does the OPM Have Experience Where It Matters?As a merchant youre naturally going to want to workwith an OPM that has experience in your niche. Youmay or may not find that - but the experience youreally want to look for is experience in key functions ofan OPM - which includes affiliate recruitment, affiliateactivation and affiliate program optimization. Look forcase studies and client testimonials that demonstrateexpertise in these areas.2) Does the OPM Have a Sterling Reputation?Affiliate marketing is all about relationships - so, itskey that the OPM that manages your affiliate programhas a strong reputation in the affiliate marketingcommunity. Ask for references and check them. Dontjust ask for a client reference. You also need to knowhow affiliates feel about the OPM - so ask to contact afew affiliates to get their input as well.3) Does the OPM Set Clear Expectationsand Outline the Plan to Meet Them?Dont trust any OPM that makes big promises becauseas is so often the case, if it sounds too good to be true,it probably is. The truth is that affiliate marketing takestime, and any experienced OPM should be able tochart clear expectations for attainable, sustainablegrowth (along with a plan for how theyll make ithappen). (888) 854-7770 Continued on next page >>>
4) How Will The OPM Ensure the Affiliate ProgramAttains and Retains Quality Affiliates?Will the OPM youre evaluating manually approve all ofthe affiliates that will be recruited for your program?Thats preferred to ensure quality. Allowing affiliates toautomatically be approved into a program means sitesthat wont perform (or that violate your terms andconditions such as gambling or pornographic sites)might be allowed to join your program.5) Is the OPM Covering All of the Bases WhenIt Comes to Affiliate Recruitment?Recruitment is one of the most important tasks theOPM will perform for your program so, you need tomake sure they are doing it correctly. Will this OPMleave no stone unturned in the search for strongaffiliate partners, or will they simply recruit within theaffiliate network(s) where the program resides? Willthe OPM reach out to a variety of affiliate types (deals,loyalty, couponers, paid search affiliates, etc.?).6) Is the OPM Capable of Managing YourAffiliate Program on Multiple Networks?There are several big affiliate networks and manymore niche networks. Any one of them (or acombination) might work best for your affiliateprogram. You need an OPM that is capable ofmanaging your program on multiple networks. Look atthe OPMs client list. Is it focused on one or twonetworks or does it manage programs on a wide rangeof networks? An OPM that "always works" with onenetwork probably isnt the right choice for you. (888) 854-7770 Continued on next page >>>
7) What Procedures Does the OPMHave In Place to Protect Your Brand?You need to be sure the OPM you select will enforceany policies you put in place. This include yourtrademark bidding policies and any terms andconditions. Ask how the OPM monitors a clientsaffiliate program for trademark bid policy violationsand make sure you feel comfortable with the answer.8) Is the OPM an Active Participantin Industry Discussions and Events?Youll want to make sure the OPM you select is tunedin to the ever-changing affiliate marketing industry.Check to make sure the OPM attends industry tradeshows such as Affiliate Summit, ad:tech, CJU, GoogleAffiliate Network Summit, LinkShare Symposium,ShareASale Think Tank, etc. Also check to see if theOPM is active in affiliate forums such as ABestWeb.9) Communication is Key:Are You Speaking the Same Language?As youre talking to OPM companies to evaluate theirskills and services, pay attention to communication. Isit clear? Do your questions get answered? Do yourcalls/e-mails get returned promptly? Moreimportantly, are the people involved listening to yourneeds and presenting solutions to fit that need? Youneed an OPM that can become a virtual arm of yourbusiness - and listening is a critical skill.10) During Your Evaluation Process, Keep AskingYourself: Are These People Adding Value? (888) 854-7770The best OPMs employ seasoned affiliate marketerswho become an essential part of your team. They helpto devise and implement the strategies and tactics thatdrive success for your affiliate program. They hear yourchallenges and present solutions. Look at clienttestimonials and ask to interview a current client ortwo. Ask about this when you call.
About Schaaf-PartnerCentricSchaaf-PartnerCentric is one of the oldest and largestoutsourced affiliate program management agencies.Our expertise is in launching new affiliate programs ormanaging existing affiliate programs on one or moreaffiliate networks. We’ve got the most experiencedteam of affiliate program managers in the industry –and we pride ourselves on becoming an integral part ofour clients’ teams, driving the strategies and tacticsthat create success for the affiliate channel.Contact us today to learn how Schaaf-PartnerCentriccan help you and your business:Brook SchaafCEO, Schaaf-PartnerCentric(888) 854-7770Follow Us to Learn More about our Servicesand the Affiliate Programs We Manage:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schaafpcTwitter: https://twitter.com/schaafpcLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/1017783Visit us online at www.schaafpc.com to see our full listof affiliate program management clients and to meetour team of affiliate program managers and marketingspecialists.