A guide to the strategies for preparing your affiliate program for the year's key promotional dates.
As 2022 springs forth into Q2, businesses may well be looking ahead now for how to make the most of the year ahead, summer sales and the notorious Black Friday and Christmas sales periods of the not too distant future. In response, we’ve created a new calendar as a guide for seasonal promotions, and put together some tips on preparing your affiliate program.
Timing is everything : Identify which dates on the marketing calendar are the most significant for your sector and your existing customer base.
Each business is unique, so analysing when the highest potential for sales will be, and using it this to judge where to focus marketing efforts will allow you not only to capture interest ahead of promotion but also to plan customer retention strategies following them making for more sustainable growth across your marketing calendar.
Most traditional retailers such as fashion and gifting will be focused around Q4 as well as the summer sales periods, but many businesses will also have more niche promotions scattered across the calendar, such as the launch of specific product ranges.
It is also useful to consider the more regular spikes in sales activities, such as monthly pay day promotions.
More niche-interest businesses should also investigate smaller promotional opportunities such as those surrounding relevant ‘awareness’ days, topical or cultural events that will interest your core audiences.
Analysing when the highest potential for sales will be, and using it this to judge where to focus marketing efforts will allow you not only to capture interest ahead of promotionbut also to plan customer retention strategies following themmaking for more sustainable growth.
Investing in exposure
‘Tenancies’, ‘exposure’ or ‘placements’ are where publishers will offer brands the opportunity to invest in additional advertising via newsletters to their members, or featured ads on their site’s main landing pages. They often offer tenancies as packages around key marketing dates and holidays.
Some publishers will require you to invest in placements in order to be fast-tracked through their otherwise long waiting lists of brands due for onboarding. This means that for small brands, investing in tenancies at strategic points in the year, and well in advance, can mean you benefit from a new (and long-lasting) profile on their site in addition to the boosted brand awareness and seasonal promotion generated by the placement itself.
You can approach affiliates directly to enquire about these opportunities, or get in touch with your network’s support team to see what’s available in your market.
Refresh your Ad content
Uploading relevant seasonal ads and voucher offers in your Ads Manager not only add variety and seasonality to your existing advertising campaigns, but also means you can use content to capture the customer’s imagination. Seasonal banners and vouchers can also work like recommendations, for example, with gifts or complementary items, and can showcase seasonal product ranges. They therefore take advantage of the impulsivity of seasonal shopping, leading to more immediate conversions.
Boost your commission
Increasing your commission is the simplest means of incentivising affiliates – not only because they themselves will benefit from the increased share of sales revenue, but often because publishers such as those bidding for display or search placements will be able to use the commission to bid higher and maximise the potential success of their campaigns. Similarly, cashback publishers can provide higher – and therefore more attractive – discounts direct to consumers, since many will operate on the basis of passing the commission on directly to the consumer as cashback.
Diversify your publisher portfolio
A diverse affiliate portfolio is recommended at any time of year, but for peak sales periods, checking that you have a broad range of marketing touchpoints for your customers by diversifying the kinds of publishers you are working with and pairing or supplementing these with non-affiliate marketing efforts is also worth reflection.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Checking in with your top performing affiliates to see how they would recommend improving your campaign, and offering special deals such as exclusive vouchers are also key strategies worth considering and preparing in advance. The low-risk of affiliate marketing also means you can test out some of these recommended strategies prior to your targeted dates on the calendar to see how well they perform.
Grow clients can contact the Grow Support team for any further information and advice on preparing your affiliate marketing plan.