When I’m deep in writing mode, researching an industry-rich topic, I often turn to Erica. To be completely honest, I can sometimes (read: often) bombard her with questions on the industry, affiliates, the various verticals; you name it, and I’ve asked it.
Erica is a never-ending source of information. She has her finger on the pulse of the industry and a connection to the affiliates she works with. She is passionate and has a genuine interest to see her partners succeed, which radiates over to the affiliate management team that she leads now at Income Access.
It’s what I suspect are just some of the qualities that make her such an amazing affiliate manager, and what, in part, has distinguished her in a competitive industry for Best Affiliate Manager at the iGB Awards.
As Erica finishes up her last week at work before she begins a new journey as a first-time mom, I sat down with her to talk about her nomination at the iGB Awards, the challenges she faced this year and the affiliate industry.Janice Scrim: Erica, tell us a little about your recent promotion to Affiliate Management Team Leader, and what your role now entails?Erica Anderson: Being part of a cohesive team is such an important part of why we have been so successful at Income Access, and being involved as a Team Leader has really been a fantastic experience for me over the past 8 months. Officially, my role is about providing leadership to my team members and helping them to successfully build the affiliate programmes that they work with. Mostly though, it’s about getting to hang out with some really fun people on a daily basis! Our team really does work as a unit and we know that if there is any help, advice, or guidance needed that someone with the right experience is always there.JS: You’ve had experience over this past year with a number of new affiliate programmes and brands—tell us about this.EA: As increasing number of operators are opening up in the iGaming marketplace, it can feel a bit crowded at times and be a struggle to establish new brands and new affiliate programmes within the industry. Affiliates are wary of working with new brands and programmes, especially if they haven’t had past experience with the performance of the brand to look back on. Often affiliates are asking for upfront fees to cover their costs. The standard affiliate commission model is being challenged, and as an affiliate manager, it can be tricky trying to balance the needs of your client and also the needs of the affiliate. Success with newer programmes comes down to building trust with affiliates and showing results. When you can establish a two-way relationship between the affiliate and the operator, you can successfully build a programme for the long term.JS: Last year, you were shortlisted for Best Bingo Affiliate Manager and this year you are nominated for Best Affiliate Manager at the iGB Affiliate Awards. How do feel about these achievements?EA: It is always nice to be recognized for your efforts and the job that you do :) That’s the thing about working in this industry; if you work hard (and smart) then you will be rewarded. I never take for granted the relationships that I have built with affiliates and other affiliate managers in the industry, both on a professional and a personal level. Honestly though, I wouldn’t be recognised for these achievements if I didn’t work with such a fantastic team. Having the Income Access brand behind me has allowed me to work with great people and build solid contacts within the industry.JS: What for you makes for a successful affiliate in such a competitive industry? Affiliate manager?EA: Successful affiliates are the ones that build solid Erica-Anderson-Affiliate-Manager-iGB-Awardsrelationships with multiple types of contacts within the industry, think about their long-term plans and goals and anticipate changes in the market. They are inventive and creative, and open to trying new avenues to bring in traffic and successfully build up their business. Affiliates who think up new models and adapt to the market are the ones that seem to be the most profitable and remain in the industry for the long term.
Successful affiliate managers are not all that different from successful affiliates; their focus is on building sustainable relationships and they are always working towards the balance between the best interest of the operator and the affiliate. Affiliate managers who are flexible and open to different opportunities will always be the most successful in this competitive industry, because at the end of the day they are the people that affiliates want to work with. Affiliates want to be heard and considered, and affiliate managers who do this will benefit greatly.JS: On a personal level, you are expecting your first baby—congratulations! :) Are there any transferable traits that you’ve learned as an affiliate manager that you plan on using as a first-time mom?EA: Prioritizing! As an affiliate manager, you are juggling so many different activities at once – including regular communication with affiliates, building new relationships and contacts, keeping up with the industry and planning ahead for your programmes. The only way to make everything work is to prioritize on a daily basis.
I don’t think that it will be all that different as a first-time mom. I know that I’ll have to regularly prioritize (Baby fed? Check! Diaper changed? Check!). Also, taking the time to really enjoy the little things about the job. As an affiliate manager, you get so caught up in your daily tasks that you can forget to enjoy the little moments. I know that my time with the baby will just fly by (doesn’t everyone always say that kids grow up so fast?!) and I’m definitely looking forward to making sure to take advantage of all of those moments!
If you’ve worked with Erica, and you’d like to vote for her for Best Affiliate Manager at the iGB Affiliate Awards, click here now.