Is your affiliate marketing program ready for Q4? If you said “no” or “I don’t know” then I hate to tell you, but we’re already in Q4. Never to fear! The beginning of October is still a perfectly acceptable time to ramp up your Q4 plans and efforts…you just need to do that at hyper speed.
Between now and 2018, Forrester Research Inc. expects purchases made online to reach $414 billion, up from $294 billion, and that web will account for or influence 59% of U.S. retail purchases. The #1 thing that you can do to get ready NOW is to plan and purchase for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both of those days command premium price for placements so the sooner that you can secure the placements that you want, the better. Some publishers may even give discounts for booking early or provide discounted remnant placements if they haven’t sold out yet.
Since Cyber Week is the busiest shopping time of the year, you need to make sure that everything is in line. Start with this checklist:
- Have you thought about creating exclusive offers or vanity codes?
- Some top publishers will offer increased placement in exchange for an exclusive offer or vanity code during the holiday season
- Have you negotiated commission increases in exchange for placements?
- Do you have creative to support each offer that you’re planning to run?
- Banners and text links that support or call out hot products, best-selling products and % and $ off offers are very important to have! Make sure that you have all standard sizes available for your publishers.
- Have you forgotten about promoting via mobile?
- 68% of U.S. online adults are now using their phones to access the web inside stores
- Between 2014 and 2018, Forrester says, 75% of U.S. retail sales growth will come from offline sales, including those influenced by the web
- Have you (or can you) provide your top 10 publishers with a promotional calendar that details out the entire holiday season?
- This will ensure that your top revenue driving publishers can set up your promotions ahead of time to capitalize on the fast pace of the holiday season and that your offers don’t get left behind. Affiliates are working with hundreds, sometimes thousands of advertisers and you have to make sure that you’ve given them enough time to set up your offers for promotion on their site.
- Have you over communicated?
- You can never send out too many newsletters during this time. And plan ahead! If you have an offer that’s going to go live on a Friday, make sure that you send out an initial newsletter a week out and then a reminder communication a couple of days ahead of time. Make sure that you’re communicating directly with your top revenue driving publishers. Many newsletters get sent to a generic or admin email address and are destined to never be read by your direct contact.
Finally, have you made sure that you reviewed what worked and what didn’t from last year?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
Why repeat the mistakes of last year? Why not do again what worked last year? This will save you the time, money, and hassle of repeating the same mistakes and, instead, cutting right to the chase.