How to Execute a Successful Q4 Strategy

Oct 10, 2018
Written by Ashley Gwiazdzinski

You’ve determined your Q4 strategy through promotional planning, historical analysis, and account review by reading our article, How to Plan a Successful Q4 Strategy.

The content of this article has been refreshed for 2019.

Now you need to develop the strategy for the execution of these plans.  It’s important to organize, communicate, and promote your offers to your Publishers to make sure your brand receives coverage during this highly competitive time of year

Start Early

Publishers are more likely to promote Advertisers they’ve already seen success with, so encourage your Publishers to start promoting you ahead of the Q4 push.  In order to encourage them to promote your brand sooner, offer them incentives that entice them to promote you ASAP. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Offer a bonus for earning a certain amount of revenue or if they earn X amount of revenue one month, offer them a higher commission the following month. Learn more about setting up Performance Incentive and Bonus Campaigns here.
  • Work with your creative team to create banners to promote Q4 offers and create text links to support any offer. Popular creative sizes include: 120x60, 120x90, 120x600, 160x600, 125x125, 120x240, 300x250 and mobile sizes (120x20, 168x28, 200x200, 216x36, 250x250, 300x50, 320x50).
  • Consider offering a “Deal of the Day” to get affiliates to feature your site frequently, and up traffic and conversions to your site.
  • Offer top Publishers your most popular product in exchange for a review on their site. If you’re able to, provide them with a small exclusive offer on that product, such as 15% off or free shipping.
  • If a key competitor has raised their commission rate, lengthened their cookie, or updated search policies, evaluate if there’s room to update your offering to be more competitive

Get Organized

Q4 is a busy time for people in and out of the office, so the more things that are organized in advance, the smoother the season will go. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Create a calendar of when and what your offers will be throughout Q4. Share as much as you can with your Publishers so they can plan and schedule your offers in their content.
  • Use this calendar to help you determine when placements should be scheduled. To remain top of mind, develop a strategic plan with Publishers to secure premium exposure for your most popular offers and brand coverage when competitors are pushing their offers.
  • Schedule links in advance so there’s no risk of an offer not receiving exposure because it was pushed during time off or a holiday. Learn more about how to schedule links here.

Communicate Effectively

Communication is key for getting your offers in front of your Publishers, so start early and often. Share Q4 promotions and information as soon as it’s set.  Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Evaluate placement opportunities within the Placements tab by navigating to Placements > Opportunities and searching for the placements that meet your needs.
  • Send weekly newsletters with top offers, products, banners, and content.
  • Send individual communication to top Publishers about offers and requesting placement opportunities for a flat rate, commission increase, or a hybrid.

Reviewing a Sale or Holiday Performance Using Insights

With so many high volume shopping days in such a short time frame, it's important to stay on top of performance as you go along and use data to inform any last minute tweaks needed to make your strategy more effective. In addition, reviewing results immediately after the holidays are over can only make you more prepared for the new year and following Q4. Review a sale or holiday period by selecting the full date range and comparison period within the Insights dashboard.

Some questions to ask while reviewing to take a deeper dive may include things like: 

  • Which day of the period was the highest performer?
  • Which Publishers were the top performers? 
  • Did any of the top performing Publishers feature scheduled placements to promote this sale? 
  • What types of offers or campaigns can I run with these Publishers in the future, exclusive or otherwise, to replicate this level of performance?
  • Which Publishers did not perform as hoped or expected? Did they promote the links featuring the promotional copy? Were there other reasons or other variables impacting their performance?
  • Which Publishers saw an increase in AOV? As a result of their performance during this sale, is there an opportunity to provide them with an offer targeting an increase in AOV in the future?  
  • Were there certain Publishers who showed YOY growth during Q4? See how you can further grow with these Publishers through exclusive codes or placement.

Developing a strategic Q4 in advance will allow you to identify additional opportunities you may not have been able to take advantage of previously. Here’s to a successful holiday season!

Topics: CJ 101, Holiday,
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