Here at Panda, we’ve noticed that there’s a gap in the information available online about IB/Affiliate marketing. A lot of the stuff you’ll find online focuses on how affiliate or introducer broker relationships work in the online FX/CFD space. So, there’s a great deal of wordcount dedicated to explaining how referral links work, for example, or detailed breakdowns of different remuneration models.
That’s all well and good, it’s important to understand the difference between CPA (cost per acquisition) and CPL (cost per lead), or between revenue sharing and hybrid models. However, you won’t find much discussion about the actual backbone of these arrangements; how the software you choose to manage IB/affiliate relationships can determine whether it becomes a lucrative and dependable revenue stream, or whether it ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.
IB/Affiliate Software is Different to Other Brokerage Systems
Our content on this blog is usually geared towards brokerages, however, this is an instance where what we’re saying is just as important to affiliate marketers and introducer brokers as it is to the brokerages themselves.
Why? Because unlike most other brokerage software, IB/affiliate software is essentially B2B. And what is the single most important thing when two businesses choose to collaborate? Trust. This is often what’s missed out in the discussion of IB/affiliate marketing. In order for both parties to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship you need trust, and this can only be achieved if there is transparency. This is key.
So, what you’re essentially doing when you implement an IB/affiliate management suite into your business as a broker, is demonstrating to your prospective partners that you have thought ahead and provided them with every tool they need to do their job, as well as an ability to know at a moment’s notice how they are currently performing.
Similarly, when you as an IB/affiliate marketer decide to offer your services to a broker and use whatever platform they’re offering, right off the bat you’re consenting to have as much control over the relationship and transparency as is built into that IB/affiliate management platform. That should be food for thought.
When it Goes Wrong
It inevitably goes wrong when there aren’t systems in place to ensure fairness. If as an IB/affiliate you don’t have access to any kind of reporting software, allowing you to track your conversions, then how do you know that what you’re paid at the end of the month is an accurate reward for the amount of clients you’ve helped to bring in?
You might think this applies only to the marketers, but no, it’s just as important for the brokers. If you as a broker are willing to play fast and loose with these important business relationships, then you’re prioritising short term gain over long term growth. Your IB/affiliate management software is an advertisement for your business in the same way that your trading platform and client area are. It’s there to invite the most capable introducer brokers and affiliates to help your business to grow.
What to Look Out For
Obviously we have something to sell here, so it goes without saying that Panda provides all that’s to follow, but whether you choose Panda as your technology provider or not, take it from us, these are the features you need to think seriously about introducing into your IB/affiliate management.
Another thing to consider here is how customisable your technology solution is. At Panda, we pride ourselves on offering both off-the-shelf solutions and custom developments. Furthermore, even our off-the-shelf products are customisable if need be. This is paramount when working with a technology provider if you don’t want to be stuck with one-off solutions that can’t be changed to meet your growing needs as a business.
For IB/Affiliate Managers
For IB/Affiliate managers, who have to keep an eye on the bottom line at all times, accurate, to-the-minute information is paramount. This involves real time tracking of each new sign-up and first time deposit, the conversion funnel that brought them in, as well as budget and payment management.
Our experience in upgrading these systems for a host of online brokers suggests that most of the IB/affiliate management software out there does not include in-built tracking of finances. Usually budgeting and conversions are managed separately and then consolidated manually, which introduces friction into the process, slows things down, and makes them less transparent.
Our customers don’t suffer with the same inefficiencies because Panda’s flagship CRM includes a fully integrated IB/affiliate module that allows managers to see real time IB and affiliate metrics on a dashboard that brings together all the key data points. These can be broken down on a per deal, per FTD, per active affiliates, or a per conversion basis. Furthermore, the module comes with complete report creation capabilities for reporting to upper management or for communication with partners.
It does what a complete IB/affiliate management platform should do, and that is empower your staff to track conversions, recruit new partners, manage budgeting, and be able to demonstrate performance to upper management.
On the other side of the fence, affiliates value transparency over almost all else. A good affiliate management platform should therefore allow the process to be as visible and trackable to affiliates, IBs and other partners as it should be for the affiliate manager.
Our module offers all of the above, but it also offers a host of other value added features that improve the experience for your affiliate and IB partners. These include being able to offer different deal structures to different partners, adjusting commission rates, revenue sharing schemes, and hybrid models on the fly. In fact, Panda’s IB/affiliate management module probably offers the most flexibility of any other rival system in the space.
New partners are as easy to add into the system as are new traders. Partner details are entered via the CRM, a deal structure is selected from an extensive list, as well as specifying the markets the partner specialises in. After being entered into the system all the powerful tracking, reporting and communication features of Panda CRM become available for anyone managing the relationship with the new partner.
Want to Know More?
We truly believe that we’ve taken affiliate management to the next level in recent years and invite you to get in touch with our success management team in order to take a tour of what our system offers. You won’t be disappointed.
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