Call your affiliates
I have been to three Affiliate Summits now, and have loved them. For the people I've met, the things I've learned, and mostly, the expansion that has happened for me about what's possible.
One of the people I have met, at the previous two Affiliate Summits, and then at this affiliate summit, has talked with me about getting things going with his company, since I haven't promoted for/with them at all, and they have a huge array of software products to promote.
So I got home from the summit, signed up for this network's program, found a few products that I wanted to promote, one in particular, and found out that the product I really wanted to promote wasn't available for me to get a custom build on, custom coded with my affiliate link (for when the trial version of the software expires, and when the customer signs up for the expanded version).
No big deal, I thought, because I have the contact information for this person, and they will surely be able to help me out.
Two and 1/2 weeks later, and two phone calls and one email later, I still have yet to receive a response from this person.
Now it's undoubtedly true that this individual is busy, but my motivation to promote, and my excitement about promoting this particular product has, at best, waned.
I will probably end up calling someone else at this company and trying to get help from them, but most affiliates will not. Most people will simply give up, or choose to promote someone else's product with the traffic they are generating.
Another large company which I promoted heavily for back in 2002, and had built hundreds of static pages around their provided content, recently decided to change where and how they host images on their server.
The links that I have deliver about $10,000 worth of monthly volume to this particular merchant, but when they made this change (without sending me an email to let me know), it dropped the clickthrough rate (and correspondingly, my income) by 50%.
Having built these pages as static pages left me with a very time-consuming task, if I wanted to change their old links out for their new ones. Getting the issue solved (which actually only involved them uploading two images to a folder they had removed from their servers) required 4 phone calls, 8 email exchanges, and 1 screen capture video, (which I produced) to show them the issue (and the solution I thought was best).
Eventually, it got fixed without me spending all the time to modify the static pages, but it was a lot of unnecessary time spent in the process of trying to fix the issue.
Which brings me to the real topic -
Affiliate Managers, and networks, I know to many of you this will seem rather common sense, but it's frequently not what affiliates experience. If the shoe doesn't fit, then this doesn't apply to you. BUT...
Please get good about returning phone calls, and emails, in a quick manner.
Please get good at preventing, diagnosing, communicating, and helping resolve the issues we face as affiliates. Most successful affiliates are very aware of the way in which they spend their time on a daily basis, and if something with your company takes too much of their time to resolve, they're likely to look elsewhere.
Many of your affiliates are ready and willing to promote your products and services. If you will simply help (the 10% of them who will actually do something) when they need help, you will find that they are more than willing to promote more of what you are offering.