5 Steps to a Healthy Affiliate Programme

April 4, 2016

Earlier this year, Forrester Research released ‘The State of Retailing Online 2015: Key Metrics, Initiatives and Mobile Benchmarks’. According to this report, affiliate marketing is one of the top customer acquisition channels, with 38% of the 224 survey participants agreeing that it was the most effective customer acquisition method.

How can we maximise the profitability of our affiliate programmes and increase our reach and acquire new customers?

Here at Navigate, we recommend approaching an affiliate programme like you would a balanced diet. You need to make sure you eat your 5-A-Day to utilise all nutrients to get the most out of your diet. We recommend the 5-A-Month approach, working with each of the below 5 partners individually every month.

Below are the top 5 publisher groups we think every programme should work with to achieve a balanced, healthy and mature affiliate programme:

1. Bloggers / Content sites
Even though the majority of these partners do not generate a lot of revenue, they are extremely good for brand awareness given that some have a daily readership in the hundreds. The most effective ways to optimise with bloggers and content sites is to have them review products, invite them to events and send them exclusive content to blog about. Some bloggers also require tenancy (paid placement opportunities).

2. Employee malls
These publishers are closed consumer or employee groups. They tend to require tenancy for placements on site and inclusion in their newsletters and often require an ongoing offer for their consumers. These partners drive a good amount of new customers to site.

3. Cashback
Cashback publishers give 100% of the CPA to their users once the consumer generates the £5 cashback as an annual membership fee. Some cashback partners require tenancy for increased exposure on site and in their newsletters but if you are willing to increase the CPA to a market-leading, exclusive rate, some partners might waive the fee. Giving an exclusive offer alongside the CPA increase could also assist in getting more exposure. Cashback partners are high revenue driving publishers.

4. Voucher sites
Voucher partners tend to drive the most new customers and often have more followers than the big brands they work with. They are also high revenue driving publishers. The majority of voucher partners do not require tenancy but do require an exclusive market leading offer, exclusive voucher term PPC rights and a CPA increase for a newsletter inclusion, as well as increased on site exposure.

5. Charity partners
Charity sites work similarly to cashback publishers, but instead of the consumer earning the cashback as they shop, the charity partners contribute to good causes by giving the cashback to charities. You can optimise with these partners by giving them an increased CPA and an offer (which doesn’t have to be exclusive).

Actively working with the above mentioned publishers on an on-going basis would definitely assist in increasing your revenue and maturing your programme. Today, approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue comes from the affiliate channel according to BI Intelligence, with this figure forecasted to increase in 2016.

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