Top 5 things to do to your affiliate marketing now to maximise your Christmas performance

Bookmark and Share

Affiliate marketing can be very reactive. You can make a promotional decision today and it’s being spread through the web by your affiliates before the night is out. This can be great, but it can be hard work for both you and your affiliates. Planning ahead allows both you and your affiliates time to drive your sales as hard as possible. Making sure you have solid plans in place now for your peak trading will pay dividends and will build a strong platform for when you do have to make those reactive decisions.

Here are our top 5 things to do now to drive your affiliate sales this Autumn/Winter:

1. Analyse

When putting together your budget you always look at past performances to help plan forward. Planning your affiliate programme should be no different. Look at what promotions and incentives worked well for your affiliates last year. Pull together any feedback you had from them through the period. Look at which affiliates were the biggest sales drivers as well as those that didn’t perform as well as they should. Gathering all this information will help you make informed decisions when planning for the coming season.

2. Get in touch with your best affiliates

Amazingly, while putting together your affiliate plan it’s all too easy to forget the people who actually drive you sales. Affiliates are the people who will ultimately make this channel work for you (or not if you don’t get it right). Get in touch with your biggest affiliates and ask them what would make them push you more than your competition, what incentives/promotions do they want to see, what do their visitors want, what worked well for them last year. Getting as much information from your affiliates as possible now will ensure the most effective affiliate plan going forward.

3. Get in touch with your affiliate network

Your affiliate network should already have a promotional plan in place for their network. Find out what they are planning and when. Ask them what they think will work for you this season and what worked for similar affiliates last year. Get them to contact any affiliates they think should be able to drive you sales this Christmas but aren’t yet on your programme. The more affiliates you get on board now the better. Remember, you pay your network to help manage your account. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

4. Plan, plan, plan

Inevitably during Christmas trading, a lot of time is spent implementing decisions made in reaction to your sales, what’s going on in the marketplace, your profit margin, even the weather, so the more time you can spend now preparing everything that can be prepared, the easier life will be. Based on your analysis from last year and your conversations with your affiliates and your network, set up your affiliate promotional calendar and create all the necessary banners, communications, voucher codes that you can. The likelihood is you’ll want to make amends at some point during the season but making amends is much easier than starting from scratch.

5. Early Autumn Incentive

An important factor in strong affiliate sales is being at the forefront of affiliates’ minds, making sure they remember you when deciding what/who to focus on to help build their commissions. Putting together a strong incentive now to get yourself noticed is a great idea. It’s a relatively quiet time on the affiliate front in early Autumn so you’ll stand out from your competition. In addition, you should pick up some new affiliates ready for them to drive sales for you through peak trading, and, as affiliates include you in prominent places to get the most from this incentive, you’ll already be prominent as peak trading starts.

Don’t forget, affiliates like time to plan in advance what they’re promoting giving them time to get the most of each opportunity with the least effort. Give them visibility of your plans, listen to them and help them as much as you can and you’ll definitely see the benefit.