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Unwrapping The Most From Your Affiliate Marketing This Holiday Season

Seth Norris
Unwrapping The Most From Your Affiliate Marketing This Holiday Season

In today’s digital age, online sales are a massive and growing part of holiday spending. Over the last few years we have seen a major shift from user spending at brick and mortar stores to online sales.

The PwC Group estimates that in 2014, 43% of all holiday spending will happen online and reports that 41% of shoppers say they will increase how much they purchase online this season. That provides a large opportunity for your business to capture a share with the right marketing strategy.

Understanding how to best leverage your affiliate marketing platform can help you take advantage of the $100 billion that will be spent online throughout December.

Establish Your Affiliate Marketing Holiday Goals

With the busy holiday season upon us, its important to take a fresh look at your goals to ensure they are in line with your sales projections, industry trends and consumer needs. Two major tips:

  • Make sure your team is prepared to handle the increased demand from orders, service requests and support
  • Set measurable goals around sales, conversions and any other KPIs your company deems important in the customer acquisition process

By setting specific goals, you can quantify your success of distinct campaigns and analyze trends along the way to see which campaigns are most effective and why. Establishing these parameters and KPIs will provide a better understanding of user behavior and help avoid any issues you may encounter in the future.

Build Relationships With Publishers

The holiday season is for giving and receiving, and publishers like nothing better than receiving your best offers of the year. The better the offer, the better possibility of finding your company at the top of your publisher’s sites. Ways of going about this would include granting publisher-only coupon codes, increasing your more successful publisher commission percentage or giving them specific dollar amounts for each product sold during the holiday season.

Incentivizing your publishers will go a long way in building a strong relationship. Lastly, as soon you have developed your holiday creative, inform the publishers of this creative so they have ample time to place it on their publisher sites before the holiday season. Last-minute creative development might too late for some publishers.

Let Content Take The Reins

Quality and relevant content development is a major component for driving valuable traffic to your website this holiday season. Some suggestions:

  • Utilize Google Trends to see what your audience is interested in and shape your content accordingly
  • Using your best holiday offers, develop eye-catching content, and creating actionable banner and text links that will help increase brand engagement
  • Test multiple varieties of creative, copy and placement for ads to determine optimal arrangement and offer different variations to publishers
  • Keep ads relevant to your target customer to produce focused campaigns that offer the best ROI


To get the most out of your affiliate marketing programs, continuously analyze your goals and strategize with your affiliates. Strong communication internally with your team and partners, and externally with your customers, will provide new insights and opportunities to expand your reach. By investing the time to build quality relationships with your publishers and develop goals together, you can create mutually beneficial campaigns that are highly effective.

The backbone to your affiliate marketing program will be developing strong content that supports both your goals and the needs of your target audience. Continue to test and analyze your content variations to keep your content fresh and uncover trends that can boost ROI and drive sales. Together, these three elements can lead to stronger and more effective campaigns for the holiday season and beyond.

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Seth Norris oversees Paid Search, Affiliate Marketing and Product Feeds at ZOG Digital, incorporating the company’s mandate for results into each of the solutions. Seth has over a decade experience in paid advertising and is an expert in Google AdWords, Bing Ads, affiliate marketing and display. He was also one of the key founding members of the iCrossing search marketing team. Seth has worked with many brands including Nike, ESPN, ABC, Verifone, KitchenAid, Sprint, Dale Carnegie and General Motors. His last article for SEMrush was, “Unwrapping The Most From Your Affiliate Marketing This Holiday Season."
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