June 18, 2024

How and Why To Start Your Affiliate Program Before Q4

Affiliate marketing is a powerful strategy for businesses looking to increase their reach and revenue without significant upfront costs. By leveraging affiliates who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission, you can tap into new audiences and drive sales. Each year, Q4 (October, November, December) brings in the holiday season which is the most lucrative period for most businesses. If you’ve been thinking about adopting affiliate marketing to your brand’s strategy, here’s why launching your program before Q4 is key:

Increased Consumer Spending

Due to holidays in Q4 like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, consumers are in a buying mindset. Retail sales peak, and an affiliate program can help you capitalize on this increased consumer spending.

Early Affiliate Engagement

Starting your program early allows you to recruit and train affiliates before the busy season. Affiliates will have ample time to familiarize themselves with your products and create effective promotional strategies, leading to better performance during Q4.

Competitive Advantage

Many businesses ramp up their marketing efforts in Q4. By starting your affiliate program early, you gain a competitive edge by establishing relationships with affiliates and securing their commitment before your competitors do.

Optimized Campaigns

Launching before Q4 gives you time to test and optimize your affiliate marketing campaigns. You can identify what works, fix any issues, and ensure everything runs smoothly when the shopping season kicks in.

How to start an affiliate marketing program

Step 1: Define Your Goals and Objectives

Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s crucial to establish clear standards for your affiliate program. Some important questions to consider are your affiliate program goals, who is the target market, and how to measure success. 

Step 2: Research and Choose an Affiliate Platform

Choosing the right platform is essential for managing your affiliate program effectively. There are several options available, each with its own set of features, pricing, and ease of use. Popular platforms include ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Advertising, and Awin. Consider your budget, the scale of your program, and the features you need when selecting a platform.

Step 3: Set Up Your Affiliate Program

Once you’ve chosen a platform, follow these steps to set up your program:

Create an Attractive Commission Structure
  • Flat-rate Commission: A fixed amount for every sale.
  • Percentage-based Commission: A percentage of the sale amount.
  • Tiered Commission: Increasing commission rates based on performance thresholds.
Define Affiliate Terms and Conditions
  • Payout schedules (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.)
  • Minimum payout thresholds
  • Cookie duration (how long a referral is credited to the affiliate)
  • Acceptable promotional methods (e.g., PPC, email marketing, etc.)
Develop Marketing Materials
  • Banners and Ads: High-quality visuals for affiliates to use.
  • Product Links: Easy-to-use links for tracking referrals.
  • Email Templates: Pre-written emails to help affiliates promote your products.

Step 4: Recruit Affiliates

Building a strong network of affiliates is crucial for the success of your program. Attract quality affiliates by leveraging your existing network, joining affiliate networks, or utilizing social media and digital marketing.

Step 5: Train and Support Your Affiliates

Providing affiliates with the right tools and support is key to their success. Ensure you offer comprehensive training and provide ongoing support.

Step 6: Track Performance and Optimize

Monitoring the performance of your affiliate program helps you understand what’s working and where improvements are needed. This can be using analytics tools and gathering feedback.


Starting an affiliate marketing program requires careful planning, the right tools, and ongoing effort. By following these steps and launching your program before Q4, you can build a successful program that drives sales, increases brand awareness, and maximizes profitability during the busiest shopping season of the year. Remember, the key to success is continuous optimization and providing value to your affiliates, ensuring mutual growth and profitability.

Work With Advertise Purple

With over a decade of experience, Advertise Purple has generated $4.6B in affiliate revenue for more than 5,000 brands across 23 verticals, establishing its spot as a leader in partnership marketing management. Combining extensive experience with exclusive proprietary affiliate partnership technology Purply™, Advertise Purple delivers award-winning affiliate program management for Enterprise, SMB, and international e-commerce brands aiming to drive performance-based online customer acquisition. Contact us to learn more.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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