Mid-Year Optimization Evaluation in 3 Simple Steps

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Yesterday I had the great pleasure of introducing the Advertise Purple blog to our newest Content Manager, HaleyMikel P. She got everyone acquainted with her writing style via her AdPurp profile yesterday and today she’s back with more. HaleyMikel, take it away. 

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2021 has been full of changes and adaptations to a new social climate. Restaurants have built new outdoor patios for Covid-restriction-friendly dining, Ubers are more difficult to get, and online sales have skyrocketed. 

With so many changes in play to consider, it’s important that we stay on track. We’re halfway through the year, so this seems like a perfect time to take a step back and do an overall evaluation of our affiliate marketing systems. 

A mid-year check-in, if you will. 

So, how do we go about this? Where to begin? What steps are important to include? Let’s break it down. As I mentioned, there are multiple steps that are important in this process and they all hold significance.

Regularly touching base with your brand will help ensure that your affiliate program is always properly optimized. But right now—six months into the year—are there any changes in the social or economic climate we should be aware of to include in our evaluations? 

To help with this answer, I sat down with one of Advertise Purple’s Lead Campaign Strategists, Natasha B: “Right now companies are preparing for Q4 and brands will experience a small dip in sales. To rebound that, something we can do is look in the system and reevaluate affiliate links, coupons, and refresh promotions so affiliates have fresh materials to keep pulling from and driving.” 

Now that we’ve considered the time-sensitive components at play, what else can we be looking at regularly to stay fully optimized? 

1. Motivation

We’re all familiar with the concept of motivation and the feeling of joy at the achievement of a goal—especially because the process was worth the outcome. Well, affiliate partners and targeted customers are no different.

This is multi-pronged, so let’s take it one step at a time, shall we?

Let’s start with affiliates. Now, affiliates are clearly an imperative part of this marketing system, so let’s keep them happy! Affiliate and advertiser success go hand-in-hand, so advance gains across the board by taking a careful look at how your partnership is benefiting the affiliate. Can you offer more to push their drive?

“There’s always going to be a reason why a program is up or down. It’s always going to fluctuate, but at least on the affiliate side, we can do our best to make sure we’re recruiting and constantly posting opportunities,” Natasha adds.

There are a few ways we can look at going about this. Time-specific commission bumps, product samples, unexpected sales bonuses, and most importantly, an overall fair and beneficial commission structure. 

You may now be thinking, ‘How do I attract more customers to the buying stage of their shopping process with my product?’ and it’s more simple than you might have presumed. We are all customers ourselves, so let’s reflect on some personal buying experiences and what fueled us through those.  

2. Optimization

Now that your affiliates and customers are optimally motivated to buy and are on your landing page. What do they see? Are there distracting visuals and page clutter? Are there social links and reviews for credibility? 

You have approximately eight seconds to make a lasting impression when your customer first comes to your landing page. To maximize those seconds, a potential customer should be greeted with a page that clearly displays your brand or product and makes the buying process straightforward and easy. 

A landing page has one specific goal: To convert a sale. This should be clear through the organization of the page. In addition to concise, straightforward verbiage and descriptive, simple imagery, don’t overlook the impact of white space. White space surrounding a call-to-action button gives your customer an unobstructed understanding of the page’s goal. Helping your call-to-action button stand out will directly increase conversions. 

You’re not done optimizing your landing page just yet! 

With all of the aspects of day-to-day life constantly competing for your consumers’ attention, there’s no time for technical hang-ups. Save time by investing time and make sure your page has optimal loading times. If the loading time is longer than three seconds, around 40% of potential buyers will exit the page. 

Hand-in-hand with this concept is the optimization of handheld devices. 60% of consumers make purchases solely from a mobile device. You don’t go anywhere without your cell phone and neither do your buyers, don’t let over half of your consumer base fall through the cracks! 88% of consumers admit to having abandoned their cart, so what’s clear is that the online buying process is delicate and can be easily disrupted. Don’t give your customer a reason to leave your page. Keep it clean, clear, and concise. 

3. Studying your metrics 

As they say, all information is good information, and what better way to see how your brand is resonating with your customers than to study the KPI’s you’ve set up to track results? KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators, give quantifiable measures and track performance. It’s important to evaluate these metrics to ensure you’re partnering with the most effective affiliates for your brand and resonating with your customer base. Average Order Value, Conversion Rates, and Year-over-Year changes are just some of the metrics you should be looking at to gain insight and determine the overall health of your strategy.

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We’ve gone over some useful tips and tricks that can be easily implemented to evaluate and increase the overall effectiveness of your strategy.

Sometimes the most simple things can be the most impactful. Knowledge is power and taking the time to check in with your processes and understand where your brand is at gives you the opportunity to make any alterations to your strategy for increased success. However, just as you wouldn’t expect a seasonal push-up to keep your body in tip-top shape, milestone check-ins are important, but not enough. Make it a priority to regularly and consistently evaluate your affiliate marketing strategy and the changing factors around it to keep your strategy healthy and thriving.

Well, there you have it. We should be fully equipped with the optimization skills we need to win the battle against a mid-year slump and revamp affiliate marketing strategies! 

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