Get Your Affiliate Marketing Program In Shape For Summer
It’s only natural to think of the end-of-year holidays as the biggest opportunities for your affiliate marketing efforts, but this doesn’t mean we should give short shrift to summer. Now it probably comes as no surprise that some of the biggest affiliate marketing opportunities for the summer can be found in travel- and airline-related sites. […]
Now it probably comes as no surprise that some of the biggest affiliate marketing opportunities for the summer can be found in travel- and airline-related sites. Yet there are many other industries that will see a rise in online sales over the next few months.
Online sale growth continues to outpace overall retail sales. In Q1, comScore reported online retail growing at 17% YOY or almost three times as much as overall retail’s sales growth of 6%.
Some are more obvious like computers and electronics for the back-to-school rush, while others are a bit more subtle yet highly lucrative, such as the luxury market. And let’s not forget about the traffic driven by graduation and Fourth-of-July promotions.
If you’re strategic and creative in your affiliate marketing efforts, you can make the most of the upcoming summer and lay the foundation for a fabulous autumn and holiday season.
To get you started, here are seven ways to amp up your affiliate marketing efforts this summer.
Think Locally And Globally
Develop campaigns to reach globetrotting travelers as well as the members of staycation nation. For example, luxury retailers can develop more targeted, short-term campaigns for their audience of world travelers. After all, the luxury market segment is poised for continued growth with Verdict Research claiming there will be a 65 percent increase in spending on luxury goods by 2015.
Meanwhile, those consumers that will be staying closer to home this summer are likely to be more responsive to hyper-local offers. This is a where mobile affiliate marketing can really shine and deliver those location-based promotions.
Consider Your Audience
Carefully assess your audience and expand your reach to include those who are buying gifts. For example, in preparation for Father’s Day, we’ll see wives, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers making online gift purchases.
This audience may be inspired to shop at different sites than they would normally shop for themselves, so creating a strategy to attract and welcome these shoppers might earn you some new repeat customers.
Apply this mindset to future seasonal shopping days. For example, consider whether your audience is buying back-to-school electronics and clothes for themselves or making these purchases as gifts.
This one may sound obvious but it’s worth repeating. It’s important to have a stable of fresh, timely copy that publishers can easily swap out to reflect the seasonal change.
Consider this from a publisher point of view. Publishers want their site to look newly updated so outdated copy or the wrong seasonal creative will turn publishers away. Those advertisers that consistently have new copy, new offers and good creative will endear themselves to publishers.
Boost Recruitment Of Niche Publishers
Work with your performance marketing network to develop incentives designed to attract more publishers with expertise in the product categories that will be front-and-center this summer.
You can entice them with special incentives such as sign-on bonuses and additional commissions for the items you know will be summer’s hot sellers
You can drive additional interest and increase sales by pairing related items. For example, if barbecue grills are one of your best selling items, think about upping the average order value by offering specials on related items such as barbecue tools or casual dinnerware.
If you’re considering this path, you may want to work with the account manager at your performance marketing network to get more creative in your offers and leverage your affiliate marketing channel to test new promotions.
Since summer is such a short season, you may want to think about creating special shipping offers such as guaranteed free delivery by the weekend.
Akin to this, you may want to also consider a post-back-to-school campaign that kicks off in mid-September for those last minute items that students don’t realize they need until the school year is underway.
Continually Assess Year-Over-Year Performance
Analyze trends and traffic from last June through September. Determine what worked and didn’t work and take a closer look at which publishers stood out from the crowd.
By carefully evaluating last year’s activities, you can develop even more targeted and lucrative campaigns this year. You may also want to present special incentives to last year’s strong summer performers to further motivate them this year.
Consider the shape-up for summer recommendations listed above as a reminder to always keep your affiliate marketing program up to date. Avoid going into auto-pilot mode and expand your reach while staying top-of-mind with your best publishers throughout the year.