February 17, 2022

In House vs Agency: What’s the Best Way to Handle Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign?

By Alex Cramer

“I don’t need a professional. I can do this myself,” are famous last words both for homeowners who don’t want to call a contractor and companies that want to run affiliate marketing campaigns without an agency.

In both cases, you’re spurning the services of experienced and trained professionals for your own abilities, and just like that DIY dishwasher repair might blow up your entire plumbing system, not using the services of an agency could end up costing you more money than it saves.

We understand that running your own program can be appealing, especially if you have your own marketing department, but unless you already have access to the expertise, relationships and technology that are the foundation of any successful affiliate marketing campaign, you might want to consider working with the professionals.

Starting Up

Do you already have someone on your staff that’s an affiliate marketing ace? If not, you’re going to need to find one. That means hiring, training and paying new staff which requires a significant investment of both time and money. Additionally, you’ll need to buy the right digital marketing tools so that they can track, manage and optimize your program.

Launching a successful affiliate campaign from scratch means managing a lot of different moving parts all at once, and the longer it takes to get your program on its feet, the more sales you’re going to miss out on.

On the other hand, an agency is ready on day one to connect your product with the high-performing affiliates that know how to sell it. Our trained and experienced staff can leverage data, proprietary AI marketing technology and long-standing relationships to deliver the sales that are vital to your brand’s success.

So, if you’d like to skip the LinkedIn searches, interview roundtables and heartfelt cover letters and just get to the part where you make money, then an agency can deliver for you ASAP.

And you are…?

Your in-house manager has identified a handful of top-performing affiliates that you would love to represent your product. They have an eight-figure reach, high credibility in your field, a killer social media game and a proven ability to sell. Do you know who else wants to work with those affiliates? Literally every other brand in your category.

It’s not hard to identify the best affiliates in your vertical. Any decent piece of marketing technology can tell you that. The challenge is in getting them to pay attention to your product amongst the hundreds of similar offers they receive every month. Not to mention securing spots on high-performing content pieces such as holiday gift guides and “best of” lists.

An agency, however, is likely already managing dozens of other brands with that same affiliate that keeps kicking you to voicemail. That’s because they’ve established the trust, credibility and most importantly an ability to deliver sales that those affiliates are looking for.

An agency already knows who to call, what the affiliate’s expectations are for the brands they want to work with, and how to leverage existing relationships into getting real consideration for your product.

Like so many things in business, who you know is just as important as what you know, and a good agency should already have successful relationships with the top affiliates and networks you want to work with.

Power of Data

Data is the fuel that drives affiliate sales. No matter how superior your product is or how advanced your marketing strategy is, if you can’t back it all up with superior data and analytics you might as well not even be playing the game.

While you obviously have plenty of data on your own brand, how much do you know about your competitors?

At Advertise Purple we have sales data from over thirty-three million different transactions completed through thousands of different affiliates and dozens of verticals. And it’s not just a matter of how much data we’ve collected, but the years we’ve spent using proprietary AI technologies to index, analyze and optimize all of it.

When you’re looking at trends in a vertical, you’re only able to look through the window of your own brand. When we’re examining a vertical, we’re looking at it through the window of dozens of brands that we’ve done millions of dollars of business with over the course of years.

That means we’re able to negotiate the optimal commission structures and make adjustments based on hundreds of different factors from time-of-year to shifts in your competitor’s pricing strategy.

Ok, we obviously can’t pretend that we aren’t “parent cheering for their own kid in the Olympics” levels of biased on this question of agency vs in-house, but the facts still speak for themselves.

No one knows your product better than you, but no one understands affiliate marketing better than us. So at the end of the day, the question you have to answer is, do you want to guess that you have the best possible affiliate campaign or do you want to know that you do?

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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