The Holiday Guide to Boosting Your Affiliate Program Revenue
Christmas is almost upon us, and whether you have an affiliate program or not, this is a key part of your year for making sales and growing your revenue. But if you do have an affiliate program, this period can be an opportunity for you to have a bumper year. Learning how to take advantage of this period with your affiliates will help you to gain more traction during this busy season. Here are the best strategies to boost your revenue using affiliates.
The first step is to make sure that you are organized and ready for the season. It sounds obvious, but because it’s so busy this stage can be easy to skip over in favor of other things you think are more important. Affiliate managers will tell you it’s critical to get this right because you will struggle to get involved in different campaigns with affiliates if you are late to the party with your organizing.
Organizing tip: Make a list of everything you need ahead of time, and get working on it.
The tips below will give you a great idea of what you might need. Plus, also consider what your affiliates will need if you are running a dedicated campaign with them - coupon codes, imagery, freebies, access to software for product reviews, etc.
Create a shareable marketing planning calendar for the holidays
Having informed affiliates will go a long way towards creating a great relationship with them. One of the best ways you can do this is to create a marketing calendar you can share with your affiliates so they know what you are focusing on and when. That way, they can align their promotions to your calendar and everyone’s a winner - plus they will know about any holiday sales in advance so they can plan out their content too. This will put them in a better position to promote your products overall. For example, if they know your website focus will be on winter dresses, they can align their content to match that - maybe an article on their top 10 favorite winter dresses.
Image source: Asana
Ask for opportunities
The best and easiest way to maximize your profits is to ask your current affiliates what opportunities they have for extra promotion on their websites during the holiday season. This could be anything from being included in gift guides, putting your promotions in a prime position, to getting your brand’s products posted on Instagram.
The important thing to remember is to be as broad and open as possible when asking and sending an email to all of your current affiliate email lists, as there will always be opportunities you didn’t think of.
In addition to this, forging close relationships with your top earning affiliates can make a big difference in boosting your sales. Emailing them personally and one-to-one to discuss any opportunities they have will help with getting your brand in front of those.
Think about offering coupon codes, commission increases, or incentives
When asking for opportunities from affiliates, some of these will come at an extra cost - usually commission increases, so make sure you have a little wiggle room when you are choosing your initial commission rates so you’re not losing out on opportunities during the festive period. Affiliate incentives are not uncommon.
Another thing you should consider is offering exclusive coupon codes or promo codes to your top-performing affiliates, or a general coupon code for all of your affiliates. This can help convert customers, and it doesn’t have to be for a percentage off - you could do it for free shipping (if you don’t already offer that), or free express shipping. You can use coupon codes very strategically too - if you know your average order value is $50, you could try to increase the AOV so that it’s higher by offering 10% off a $75 spend, for example.
Another way to incentivize your affiliates is to offer a commission increase on all sales between certain dates. For example, you could say “We will give you 2% extra commission in the month of November for all sales,” to incentivize affiliates to promote you more to their audience. Or, you could do it differently and say - “if you make 100 sales this month, we’ll give you a commission bonus for the following month.”
Update your banners
Having up-to-date creatives is essential for the holiday season. Are you having a sale? Or a free shipping promo? Having banners to reflect your promotions will increase your sales because when someone clicks through on a banner they already know what to expect.
They are already interested as they clicked on a banner that said “Free shipping”, for example. General banners are great when there’s nothing happening on-site, but when banners are more specific, they convert more. This can help your affiliates promote your brand with minimum effort.
Make sure you are using an automated data feed
An automated data feed or product feed can help you to get more sales this holiday season. A data feed is a list of all of your products and it can show if something is in stock or not. Some affiliates use these for comparison sites or fashion websites. This can help those affiliates that use data feeds get their audience to convert, for example, an affiliate might use a data feed on a shopping comparison website. There’s nothing worse as a customer than clicking on something they assume will be in stock to find it’s completely out of stock.
Image source: Price Grabber
Broaden your horizons and work with different affiliate types
So many businesses rely on one or two affiliate types to generate revenue for their business. By diversifying your affiliate types, you are diversifying your revenue. If a few of your affiliate’s revenue is impacted, it doesn’t hurt your business as a whole. So many people focus on influencer affiliates, but there are so many options. There are several different types of affiliates, and there are so many different ways to work with them. Think about bloggers, comparison websites, cashback sites, paid search affiliates, coupon websites, remarketing affiliates, etc.
Communicate regularly with your affiliates throughout the holiday period
Communication is key when it comes to setting your affiliates up for success. During the festive period make sure that you send out an affiliate newsletter more regularly. Inform them of bestsellers and top converting landing pages. Make them aware of any promotions you have coming up, your marketing calendar, news about any upcoming incentives or commission bonuses, and any specific keywords they should target.
On top of that, be sure that you are communicating with the affiliates you are running special campaigns with regularly too - make sure they know you are available to answer any questions, provide them with anything they need, and keep communication lines open. If an affiliate has a great experience with you they will want to continue working with you in the future.
Boost your revenue this holiday season
Hopefully, this gave you some great ideas to help you have a bumper holiday season with your affiliate program. Remember the top priority is organization - you should have already started planning and organizing some campaigns.
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