Four Affiliate Strategies for Q4

Black Friday 2021 not only saw the largest surge in consumer spending in 20 years (according to Insider Intelligence) it also proved that shoppers are increasingly turning to affiliate partners both to discover products, and to find the best deals. 

Since most consumers are now well-versed in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping experience, the best way to attract customers to your store is to meet them at their level. Consider price comparison, exclusives, and gift recommendations to complement how, where and what your customers will be buying. Setting up your affiliate program and key affiliate relationships early will therefore be crucial to any brand’s 2022 Q4 sales strategies. 

What Grow can bring to your marketing this Black Friday 

Affiliate marketing is adaptable, dynamic, and cost-effective during peak-sales periods in a way that other traditional marketing channels can’t be.  

For smaller brands, affiliate marketing can be particularly powerful, especially when traffic is likely to be high and where there is an intensified focus on product comparison and discovery. Using multiple channels to amplify your sales campaign can reap enormous rewards. 

Strategy 1: Gain Exposure, Enter the Competition

Affiliate networks can provide fast-tracked onboarding with partners including Cashback sites, Voucher and Reward sites, who can in turn position your store amidst new arenas in which ready-to-buy audiences go to browse and compare.  

This year consumers are more likely to make decisions based on price, rather than on brand loyalty. By displaying your business profile and your brand’s USPs and best offers alongside those of your competitors, your store will be able position itself as an interesting alternative to the monotonous bigger brands consumers are increasingly fatigued by.  

Often, by late summer, these partners will already be collecting bookings for additional exposure opportunities, such as boosted banner placements on their site or in newsletters, shoulder to shoulder with brand leaders – so the sooner you can get your rewards promotions prepared, the better! 

Aim to stand out by leveraging your ability to deliver outstanding customer service and promote your brands values (high quality, hand-made, sustainable, personalized – or anything that might add some sparkle for potential buyers on the hunt for Christmas gifts). 

Strategy 2: Versatile Voucher Management  

With a customer base which is likely to be more tentative about splashing out, using vouchers and deals is a clever means of shoring up loyalty and proving the trustworthiness of your brand. Where margins are slim, be smart about how you set up your discounts so that they make sense for your business’s goals. Options include: 

  • Blanket Discounts: Discounts which apply sitewide to all products can streamline the buyer journey since the saving is applied equally and can be applied to the displayed price. You can also use these per category or product line. 
  • Legacy discount: Increased discounts on older or less-popular products will stand out to users looking for the best prices, rather than overall savings, and can be a good means freeing space for new stock.
  • Flagship discount: Discounts on flagship, bestselling products appeal to consumer trust, whilst allowing you to focus on predictable supply and demand. They can also be excellent means of promoting your brand itself with a ‘flagship’ item. 
  • Personalization and Reward Vouchers: Offer ‘When you buy’ vouchers for related and complementary products, or offer new buyers incentives to treat themselves whilst they shop by providing freebies or priority access to upcoming sales, such as Christmas or Winter sales. 
  • Consider Validity dates: Extend your promotions for a few extra days to maximize your sales through to Cyber Weekend and Cyber Monday, to accommodate latecomers. 
  • Partner Exclusives:  Provide exclusive codes or deals for your key voucher affiliates or to Closed User Groups and work with them to emphasize the exclusivity of the offer by negotiating for more exposure.

Strategy 3:  Tinker, tailor : sold-out / in supply 

Affiliate Marketing gives you a fantastic degree of control. For example, the simple gesture of raising your commission for the holiday spell can immediately impact and modulate the activities of your data-driven partners, like PPC, Display and CSS. This allows you to monitor and adjust their activities to meet your store’s stock levels and order processing abilities. 

Using dynamic product feeds which update daily also means that you can be sure that your affiliates are promoting in sync with your store’s data, such as stock availability, price and product details. This is especially important given how Google Shopping and Price Comparison sites are likely to be bigger than ever this year as consumers spend time conducting product research well in advance.  

Strategy 4: Collect, analyse, refine, repeat 

Using your affiliate program’s reporting tools to consolidate your sales data and understand your performance both in depth and at-a-glance will enable you to gain insight into which ads, vouchers, and affiliate partners perform well across the season. Comparing month-on-month performance reports, or tailor your reporting to specific partners or commission segments to see live analysis of what works and what doesn’t. 

Black Friday is a period that highlights possible consumer trends for the year to come. Be ready to use the knowledge you gain from this period to set your upcoming strategies for the future. 

You can also mobilise the data collected from Black Friday by looking for partners who can utilize itFor example, Retargeting and Remarketing partners and Third-Party Technology affiliates can use their tools to gather data about the most receptive consumer profiles for your brand. This can be helpful for finding out which audiences have the highest growth potential, so getting these partners started early is paramount. 

Ellen Kemp
Grow Client Support Executive - UK and US Markets

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