Answers to What is an OPM
Here are the answers from our form that asked What is an OPM:
In the affiliate sense, an OPM is an outsourced program manager or management company. However this term could also be used to refer to any outsourced program management, even outside of affiliate marketing, if it’s specific to the internet. For example, as an OPM, we also program manage marketplace programs, social media programs, and so on.
However, an OPM in the affiliate marketing industry generally brings an extremely high level of knowledge and experience to the table, as well as already existing relationships with affiliates in the industry. They are professional, personable and look out for your best interest. They are also generally better value than hiring an in house affiliate manager because you can remove the cost of overhead and training as well as shorten the program “growth” time since most people in the industry know them already.
If you can find a good OPM who gives you the dedicated support you need, the combination of their industry experience and know how along with a strong knowledge in other internet marketing practices, can significantly increase your program activity, productivity, profitability and program goal completions.
An OPM is a firm that can take on part or all of the affiliate marketing responsibilities for an online firm and then professionally manage those services on behalf of their client. For merchants new to affiliate marketing their role is to help educate the merchant on ethical marketing standards. At the same time an OPM provides quality support to affiliated to enable them to generate business from the clients they are managing, and again help educate and support people who are new to affiliate marketing.
Their role is to ensure everyone involved makes revenue without taking advantage of one another.
An OPM is part business team, part support team and part educator.
From Evan Weber:
An agency that manages affiliate programs on behalf of companies or “Advertisers” on the major affiliate networks like CJ.com, Linkshare.com, Shareasale.com, and Google Network. An OPM should provide the following services:
- Daily account management – new publisher screening and approvals
- Publisher recruiting – leveraging the networks and their own publisher base
- Publisher Follow-up emails – following up with all new publishers personally
- Strategizing with clients about promotions and monthly management
- Suggesting to client ways of growing the program and make it more productive
- Working with clients to improve their website’s conversion rates so affiliate traffic converts better
- Providing 24/7 publisher support by phone, chat and email
Thats some of it! Hope this helps!
From Billy Kay:
Probably not the textbook answer you wanted, but an OPM is an expert as a merchant AND an expert as an affiliate… and has the tuff job of telling the actual merchant and actual affiliate what they each have to do (as in bend, change, adapt) so that they each compliment each other and make money together.
This entails telling a merchant how to make their website “affiliate friendly”. If it’s an arrogant merchant who thinks they have the world’s best website and affiliates should be lining up to promote them, the OPM has their work cut out for themselves.
If it’s a noob merchant, the OPM takes on the role of “teacher”, another time-consuming proposition.
Same applies to an arrogant or clueless affiliate.
And that’s just “in general”.
All the links, creatives, banner sizes, datafeeds – all the nuts and bolts – need to be gone over with the OPM
When any kind of problem arises, such as a sale that didn’t track, the go-to person is the OPM… which means they also have to be a diplomat.
Since affs and merchants need to be introduced to each other, they also have to be experts in Networking and Social Media.
Of all the parts involved in affiliate marketing, they have the hardest. The most time consuming. The most diverse knowledge requirements.
Only a fool would become an… ooops, ran out of ink
From Milan Jara:
OPM short for Outsourced Program Manager. Someone that is hired by the merchant to manage an affiliate program.
Outsourced Program Manager:
An intermediary between the affiliate, merchant and network.
I have often felt that they fall into two categories. Proactive and reactive.
Proactive OPM’s are worth more that the weight of gold. Are a guiding light and can/will help you follow the correct path – often able to offer an insight into what converts, what does not and further will be working with you to promote the next promotion/season/deal.
Reactive! Come out of the cracks when a sale or two have been made. Normally a system email, saying how wonderful you are and if they can help in any way don’t hesitate to ask!
An OPM who reaches out to affiliates will win my vote every time.
Based on my personal experience only!
I have heard this term a lot lately and I believe it is a person who operates an affiliate program. A higher up then the affiliate manager. I think.
From Liz Gazer:
Hi guys! Saw your thread on “What is an OPM” and had to share a conversation relating to this topic, I had with someone (an affiliate!) just today. He asked me what area of affiliate marketing I am involved in and of course I told him I am involved in a few areas but primarily an OPM. His response was “Other People’s Money?” I had to chuckle as I responded, “Well, yes, in a sense, I do play with Other People’s Money for a living, but no, I meant, I’m an “Outsourced Program Manager.. you know… a consultant.”
Here’s another submission, directly from my website where I cover this very question.
“What exactly is an Outsourced Program Manager (or OPM)?”
Full Outsourced Affiliate Program Management is a marketing channel management role performed by a specialized affiliate industry expert (OPM) who works outside your organization, for your business success.
An outsourced program manager typically works remotely (also known as telecommuting), to launch and/or manage and groom your affiliate team to action – while you reap the rewards of better brand recognition within key online markets, a higher volume of targeted traffic, and ultimately, a boost to online orders and increased revenue.
More from Billy Kay
Wow… there’s still more!
If you log in to any Network, like Shareasale, and click on a merchant like Viator (which is managed by an OPM)…
everything you see…
The terms of service
The welcome page
The text links
The choice of categories that the links are under
the commission rate, cookie durations
any special affiliate promotions
if the merchant is available on popshops or goldencan
any newsletters you receive
any special needs (like custom banners or links)
everything you see…
was either made by the OPM, or the result of the OPM’s input
Hec! That sounds like a full time job – and most OPMs have SEVERAL merchants!
(One wonders how Vinny has time to go bird watching!!)