However, for most campaigns to be a success, it is essential that advertisers learn in-depth exactly how affiliate marketing works, thus avoiding the most common mistakes that advertisers quite often make.
As affiliate marketing experts with more than 10 years of experience in the sector, we are going to share with you the most frequent mistakes made by advertisers, so that hopefully you do not repeat them, thus achieving maximum performance from your affiliate campaigns.
One of the main reasons why sales are often lost, and why your campaign fails to reach its optimum level, is down to the lack of strategic annual planning.
We constantly see how advertisers launch random promotions, without any prior planning. BIG MISTAKE! Before even launching a program in the networks, you should prepare a calendar for each of your markets, with all the dates of interest for your company and for your potential clients such as: Christmas holidays or Easter, start of summer vacations, relevant national holidays, the well-known Black Friday, Mother’s/Father’s day etc.
The purpose of this calendar is that you can be ready in advance for these dates by preparing specific material that will be of interest to your potential customers, thus attracting them to your website, which in turn, will generate sales. At Affilired, this task is the job of your Account Manager who will recommend the relevant dates and will ask you to send the material needed for the campaign, ideally at least one month in advance, which allows them to distribute the material among the affiliates in time.
An important part of the strategy is to be forward-looking. Remember, just as the saying goes, it is the early bird that catches the fattest worm.
The brands that dominate the market are those that have an ongoing maintenance strategy throughout the year.
It is imperative that the creatives that accompany your campaigns are constantly brought up to date by offering fresh original banners, which are in accordance with the campaigns that have been previously established in your strategic annual planning. So, there is no mismatch between your creatives and your campaigns.
While it is true that over time your affiliate program will eventually start to work by itself, this doesn’t mean you should stop trying to improve it.
Submerge yourself in the world of performance marketing tools, there is a huge range available, use them with your program/s along with other actions that can also prove very useful such as programmatic advertising, SEM to CPA campaigns by affiliates, onsite engagement tools etc.
Follow the advice of your Account Manager and give your campaign some vroom!!
The relationship with your publishers is vital to achieving maximum exposure of your brand and for your offers on their web pages. You should regard the publisher as an ambassador for your brand, pamper them, be fair in the deals you make with them and with the commissions as well. The basis of successful affiliate marketing is the collaboration between all parties.
For instance, you can encourage your top publishers by offering them a special commission to increase per sales volume, free accommodation in exchange for a specific revenue on specific dates or simply offer them exclusive codes to position your company above your competition.
There is a belief that affiliate marketing makes sales soar, and so it does, but not overnight, like most things in life success takes time.
You should keep in mind that when a campaign is activated in the different networks, the time required to achieve a high volume of conversions depends on external factors. If you observe your campaigns closely in certain networks, you should ask yourself questions such as «Is my brand well known in that market?» «Are my offers or is the commission attractive enough for the user? Or, how can I get the affiliate to give my promotion some extra special attention?»
Whatever the case may be, let yourself be advised by your Account Manager and keep in mind that even taking into account all of the above points, a program normally takes a few months to stabilize and begin to be profitable. Patience is the key.
Once the program starts working as it should, ideally you should keep it active, the longer the better, because it will be from that point that your revenue should begin to grow.
But that does not mean that you should start measuring results from month to month because seasonality must be taken into account, performance varies greatly depending on dates. The correct thing is to compare at the end of the year the volume of sales achieved with respect to the previous year, it is here you can see the real progression and you can measure the ROI of your campaign/s.
They are the ones that promote your program among their thousands of users. Your conversion rate depends on them and therefore the success of your campaign.
At Affilired, we hand pick our publishers meticulously checking their credentials and ensuring they always exceed the minimum requirements demanded of them.
Although there are many types of publishers, given the specific type of campaigns that we manage here at Affilired (we specialize in the tourism industry) we usually interact with the following types:
These are publishers that create specialist, valuable and quality content frequently, intending to offer information and advice on specific products or services to their users. They generate great confidence among their readers thanks to the number of years they have been offering their own streams of verified and unique content, which gives them the ability to influence the user with their final decision to purchase.
These publishers are a variant of the Content Affiliates. They do very complete reviews on products or services, evaluating the positive and negative points. Moreover, the pages published by these affiliates tend to position very positively in search engines’ results.
These sites offer coupons for an online discount across a large number of brands typically classified by categories, thus allowing the user to easily find the discount they are looking for. For example, they can easily search for coupons for holidays or for flights.
As their name suggests, these are web sites where the user receives money back when making a purchase via an affiliate link. The refund is a reward for the user in return for buying certain products or services. It works like a portfolio in which the user accumulates money (cash) that can be used to purchase other goods or services. The percentage of cash to be returned varies depending on the advertiser. They are normally membership-only sites.
Cashbacks sites can be highly desirable tools to use in your business because your brand is not devalued by widely available offers and they also satisfy the discerning customers by offering a type of «hidden» discount.
PPC publishers are those that carry out SEM campaigns using their own invested capital, following a previously established policy, that is to say, bidding on the keywords, which have been designated as relevant to their brand and target market, usually a combination of search engines and countries which are suited to the brand.
As we discussed in our previous Affiliate networks post if as an advertiser, your main objective is to increase sales or direct bookings on your website by promoting a product or service, then, Affiliate marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy.
You probably already know how Affiliate marketing works, but if not, take a look at this simple info- graph which shows how it works in a short and simple way.
But the one thing that we have failed to explain in depth up until now, is the role of the marketing agency plays throughout the whole process. While some advertisers venture into the world of affiliate marketing by managing everything in-house and working directly with networks, others entrust the management of this operation to agencies specializing in affiliate marketing. The dilemma is: do you choose to go it alone and do it in-house, or do you hand it all over to a specialist agency? Before making a final decision, it is worthwhile considering several key points.
At first glance, it can appear to be more profitable to incorporate affiliate managers who assume in-house management, but we need to ask, can they do the same work as a whole team dedicated to that same task?
At the beginning, Affiliate marketing requires a heavy investment in time, since launching a new program is not easy and requires prior experience in order to be able to complete the entire process successfully.
Whereas, when you work with an agency, you have at your disposal a group of experts that will invest all their time and energy into your campaigns. Thanks to their experience, they are able to manage and constantly monitor your campaigns, making sure that the best tactics are applied, and any possible problems are solved in the fastest and most effective way. In addition, they have a wealth of valuable data that is very useful when it comes to optimizing your campaigns.
With some affiliate networks, the payment of fees for the launch of a program or monthly fees is normal. There are even some networks that require a minimum monthly return to continue working with them. Then there are agencies that have preferential agreements with the networks and that take charge of such payments, as is the case with Affilired.
With regards to the invoices, bear in mind that if you manage the campaigns with each of the networks yourself, the payment of the invoices can be an arduous task for the accounts department. You will have to pay the invoices of the hundreds of affiliates that can potentially generate sales one by one which can be very time-consuming. In the case of Affilired, we offer an «all-in-one» solution, where the data from your campaigns is unified into a single panel and from which you will receive a unified invoice.
The recruitment, validation and management of publishers is perhaps the lesser known but equally important task. Before launching your program, you must ensure your chosen publishers are able to relate to your target audience, are aware of its existence and then you must convince them to promote your programs. And, it gets worse, it doesn’t stop there! You have to provide the publishers with a constant and consistent feed of promotional material so that they continue the momentum and keep your campaign alive. Plus, you will need to maintain a relationship with each of the publishers, especially those of higher value to you. As part of this process, you will need to continually validate the quality of their work and of course, constantly foster their loyalty. And don’t forget! This process must be repeated with each of your chosen networks.
Whereas, agencies have an affiliation team that is exclusively dedicated to this very process and, in the case of Affilired, after years of experience in the sector, we have already established very close relationships with some of the most important publishers on the international scene which makes working with them so much easier.
Agencies usually develop their own technology capable of managing and controlling all active campaigns. In Affilired, for example, we have a platform where you can see the evolution of all your active campaigns in different networks and on which you can validate or, if required, even cancel sales.
As an advertiser you would be working directly with the networks entering each of their platforms on which your programs are active, to control and validate the various sales, this translates into a significant increase in the time spent managing multiple platforms.
At Affilired we use a CPA model or cost per acquisition, that is, you pay once you have achieved a previously established goal. With Affilired, this could be a sale or reservation of your product or service.
The advantage of this model is that your campaigns are constantly active, enhancing your brand image and attracting qualified traffic while you pay nothing, the initial investment is made by us, and, as we have said, you only pay a percentage once you have obtained a sale. This way, your ROI is always assured.
All agencies are usually very active at the industry events; this is where they learn the latest trends in technology and tools to apply to your campaigns. It is a relatively small and tightly knit sector in which everyone knows everyone else (publishers, suppliers, networks, agencies), where knowledge and advances are shared and reported back to clients. The sector not easy to navigate if you are on your own and doing everything in-house; an agency can open doors where a lone advertiser cannot.
You will find Affilired present at all the most important fairs that are held worldwide throughout the year. This way we can tell you all the latest news; making sure you never miss out on what the latest trends nor what the latest campaign tools are.
A family run chain that, for more than 40 years, has been offering excellent service to its customers. Their values, consistency and high quality to price ratio have helped to consolidate their standing in the hotel industry as a brand you can trust.
Hipotels offers different types of hotels: all inclusive, for families and only adults, they also provide business and luxury services such as wellness & spa, golf…
So, whatever your type of user is, you can be sure that Hipotels has something for them.
Thanks to the knowledge and experience that Affilired has in the user’s online behaviour, they are able to offer a great variety of tools to improve conversions in our direct channel. For this reason, we trust them to manage our affiliation campaigns within the markets we are active.
Moisés Barbero E-commerce.
There are thousands of excellent hotel chains and other travel online companies out there, and it is possible some are unknown to you. But that doesn’t mean that these programs aren’t interesting for you. As we work very closely with the advertisers, working hand in hand with the e-commerce to offer you the best promotions, deals, voucher codes… (depending on the client). We thought that it might be a good idea to introduce you to some of the best programs we manage on a monthly basis «POM», pointing out the essential data to help you decide whether or not to add them to your promotion.
So, this month’s program is: Xcaret Hotel!
Hotel Xcaret Mexico resort is a new concept of All-Fun Inclusive at Riviera Maya, which includes unlimited access to their Parks: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco and Xenses, as well as deluxe tours to Xenotes and Xichen.
Awarded for its eco-integrated design inspired by Mexican traditions and hospitality. This brand focuses on high-level customer services, offering their guests nature and adventure experiences, a mystical sanctuary, beauty and relaxation treatments.
Since they began their program in January 2018, their sales have been notably increasing.
2,014€ Average Basket.
Very attractive set of banners.
A highly collaborative Merchant.
Highly Attractive services and location for your users.
Your users will book an All-Inclusive resort, shuttle to the airport, full access to Experience Xcaret’s nature parks and exclusive online offers.
Affilired has the best implementation technology, management and performance marketing professionals with an easy implementation.
It has helped us to achieve our sales goals by sending qualified traffic.
Michel Cervantes. B2B E-Business.
If you would like more information about this program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Regal is a well-known Asian hospitality brand and an award-winning company. What’s more, they are also an international recognized hotel group known for their sustainability programs. Currently you can let your users choose among 8 different high quality properties based in Hong Kong.
Take a look at their key selling points, and start promoting now!
What´s in it for you?
Just starting of a single program on each territory of an affiliate network is pretty expensive as a first step, without even accounting the expenditures and maintenance involving all technical costs such as implementing and monitoring the tracking code. A good alternative is to hire the services of a agency specializing in this field, which will benefit both economically and also will save time in the team management.
The Performance Marketing Agency acts as an intermediary between the advertiser and the publishers (affiliates) or the affiliate networks. The agency is responsible of the designing and the implementation of the strategy in the affiliate networks, managing creatives, product feeds or even managing special advertising activities with publishers as well as being involved in certain technical requirements such as the verification of the tracking code or taking care of fraud control among many other tasks. Conditions of each agency may vary from the payment model to the services included or monthly fees, so it is important to take your time and carefully make a selection of the agency you will trust your campaigns to.
Given the big differences between the agencies offering their services lets take as an example of Case Study the company AffiliRed, a clear example of agency offering comprehensive services under a risk-free business model, this is, Cost Per Action (read CPA previous posts). So, AffiliRed is a agency specialising in the Travel sector, and is responsible for the global management of the programs, from setting up the programme in multiple networks to bearing the costs of these launchings in the networks, recruiting affiliates, verifying sales, etc and the advertiser will only have to pay for the results obtained for all this agency work.
This comprehensive programme management includes the creation of the program (time consuming) and all the promotional tools needed to launch the program, multiple network launching, according to the targeted market of each advertiser, technical support (tracking code testing, brand protection, fraud control), representation of the advertiser in key marketing events and summits and personalized account management which includes regular reporting of performance, unified billing, or a sales alert system.
Thanks to AffiliReds’ business model the advertiser can completely delegate the management of their campaigns to the agency and forget about monthly payments or any administrative costs resulting from the launchings. This is the reason why AffiliRed, which was established in 2009, has grown exponentially over the years and currently manages over 150 programmes for worldwide leading companies from the tourism sector. The company even has a delegation in India, specializing in the Asian Pacific market and created to be able to provide with the best support to its clients at all levels.
Would you like to get more? Here you have 5 reasons why you should choose this program:
Get the most from our Plaza Lounge Affiliate program!