Is Your Brand Ready For Q4? Some Marketing Tips to Help You Prepare

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Boo! We have suggestions for you! Now that we’ve made it to October, Halloween is on the horizon and Q4 is officially here! While you may be in the process of finalizing your promotional calendar, it’s never too late to make additional changes to ensure success. With this being the busiest time of year for many of our brands, as well as unprecedented circumstances given the pandemic, we are back with even more tips to make sure you get the most out of the holiday season.

Clean up those creatives

Clean up your creative text links and banners in the network and remove anything outdated.  Summer has come and gone, Labor Day has passed, so be sure to archive any irrelevant messaging.  You want your current and upcoming offers to be highly visible and easily accessible to your affiliates. Also, don’t forget about your product feed! Double check that it’s up to date and free of any errors. 

Furthermore, consider pushing additional non-promotional messaging in the network. For example, highlight free shipping thresholds, fulfilment date cutoffs, gift guide messaging, or gift card availability just to name a few. This will give your partners something to promote even when you aren’t necessarily promoting discounts.

Communicate with Newsletters

While one-to-one communication with top and under performers is essential, easily communicate with all of your publishers by sending newsletters in the network.  This is a great way to let them know well in advance of the promotions you have planned, as well as let them know that you are open to hearing optimization opportunities. This is an easy way to connect with publishers in the network that you may have overlooked.

Maximize Your Partners’ Potential

To get optimal results, your optimization strategy cannot be one size fits all.  Different categories of affiliates require different incentives in order to maximize their potential. Consider offering higher commissions on key shopping dates to loyalty partners, who can then offer increased cashback to their consumers to assist with conversions. Create vanity codes or test offering ™+ bidding rights for shopping affiliates, who will often provide additional exposures in exchange. Help your content creators by sharing your own gift guides or product bundles that they can easily share on their own platforms. While many publishers require flat fees for placements around this time, consider sponsoring a giveaway to circumvent that.

Take control of your budget

Aside from allocating a budget for flat fee spends, review your program’s commission terms to see where you can save or re-allocate funds. Set back any outstanding increases from previous optimizations to your base commission rate before your holiday promotional calendar launches. Consider implementing a tiered commission structure to offer shopping sites less commission, or lower commissions for returning customers vs new customers to reduce your overall commission spend.

Create a flexible back up plan

Due to the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, shopping holidays are predicted to be a bit diluted over the traditional major shopping holidays. To address this, prepare backup messaging should certain peak days not meet your goals. For instance, create backup copy for the days after Cyber Monday so that you can easily add links or send newsletters in case you need to extend the holiday momentum. Also, participate in some of the smaller, lesser known shopping holidays, such as Free Shipping Day (12/14) Single’s Day (11/11), or Double’s Day (12/12) to increase exposure as well as reaching new, niche audiences. If you offer international shipping, tap into international holidays as well to even further expand your reach!

October is the perfect month to get these initiatives into place so you can run on auto pilot in November and December. 2020 has been a year full of surprises but with the right preparation, we can end it on a high note! 

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