Before you close the books Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are a few more ways to maximize affiliate revenue through the rest of the year. Here are five ideas to keep your affiliates engaged through 2015, and to keep the momentum going through 2016.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday Bestsellers
Inform affiliates as to what products drove the most revenue over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Send an email newsletter to affiliates featuring these bestselling products, and don’t forget to include product images and pre-coded landing page URLs. This way, affiliates can continue to promote these bestsellers throughout the balance of the holiday season.
Also, educate your affiliates as to why these products were bestsellers — such as new technology, new features, or new prices. What is it that makes consumers want to get their hands on these products? By arming your affiliates with this knowledge, they become more active marketers, working on your behalf.
Additional December Holidays and Events
There are more holidays in December than just Christmas, Dec. 25. For example, Hanukkah begins almost immediately after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For 2015, it runs from December 6 to 14. Consider providing your affiliates with a selection of relevant items for Hanukkah shoppers. It is an eight-day holiday, so suggested items may have lower prices, but carts could still have a higher than average order value as shoppers could buy a gift for each day. The key to Hanukkah promotions is to be respectful and to have an informed strategy.
Another significant retail event worth considering is Boxing Day, the English and Canadian equivalent of Black Friday. It occurs on December 26 each year. It is deserving of promotions, especially for merchants with many Canadian shoppers.
Very few affiliates in the U.S. will likely work on December 26. However, you could provide them with the necessary collateral — deal details, creative banners, landing pages — in advance. Prepare your affiliates for Boxing Day in a similar manner as Black Friday. Give them what they need with as much notice as possible.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines
Make it a priority to inform your affiliates of holiday shipping deadlines. Affiliates refer their audiences to your website. If a holiday gift from someone they refer doesn’t arrive in time, the affiliate’s credibility is harmed, as is your relationship with the affiliate. By knowing holiday ship-by dates, affiliates can avoid promoting your products afterwards. They can also increase the promotion of your products as shipping deadlines approach.
Last Minute Ideas: E-gift Cards
There are always shoppers who procrastinate and scramble for a last-minute presents on Christmas Eve. Many affiliates will target these shoppers by conducting a final promotional push around e-gift cards on December 24.
There is a catch, however. To rally your affiliates around e-gift cards, ensure that you offer a commission on sales of gift cards. With gift cards, there is the chance of paying out commission twice on the same dollar spent.
For example, if you pay commission on the purchase of a gift card and, also, commission on a transaction where a gift card is used for full or partial payment, you are paying double commission. There should be a technological solution in place so that you are only paying commission on either the gift card sale or on the transaction where the gift card is used. My preference is to commission the gift card sale; pay a commission on the net transaction only after the gift card amount is deducted.
Finally, while December is a fast-paced finale to the year, remember that the new year follows. Pull numbers for an annual affiliate-marketing review, to compare revenue, traffic, and seasonal sales for 2015 versus 2014, as well as to your 2015 forecast. I typically present the following items for an annual review.
- Analysis of all premium placements — i.e., any placement that we paid above the default commission rate.
- Analysis of the top 10 affiliates, creatives, and promotions.
- Review of significant technical changes we made and the impact they had on performance.
- Overview of competitors.
- Forecast and strategy for next year.