How to Run a Successful Activation Campaign

Nov 2, 2021
Written by Kyna Toma

Activation campaigns are used to encourage newly joined publishers to begin brand promotions and breathe new life into seasoned or inactive partnerships. Activating more publishers in your program will also diversify affiliate performance and reduce your concentration risk.

To get right down to business, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to run a successful activation campaign.

Follow these six simple steps to build a custom activation campaign for your affiliate program:


1. Pick Your Partners

Select a set of publishers to target, such as inactive or even low/mid-tier publishers. Consider these groups: inactive CJ Performers, publishers generating clicks but no sales/leads, and new publishers.
PRO TIP: Group your targeted publishers to keep your campaign organized for messaging, reporting, and link creation purposes.


2. Determine Your Incentive

Reconnect with publishers to reiterate the offers already available in your program by highlighting current promotions, top products, and features like shopping feeds. Offering an activation incentive such as an increased commission rate, or a one-time flat fee bonus is a great attention-grabber and may make any activation efforts more worthwhile for publishers. Many also value exclusive codes to promote to their audience and followers. An alternative incentive to consider is a tiered goal in which publishers are bonused for set sales goals with bonuses increasing at increasing sales intervals during the course of the campaign.


3. Reach Out to Publishers

Create targeted communication, either 1 to 1 or to publisher groups to make your messaging feel more relevant and personal. Your communication should include the following:
  • A catchy subject line to increase your open rate
  • A brief overview of your brand and products with a link to your site
  • Campaign specifics such as timeframe, target activation goal, and the incentive for reaching the goal
  • Helpful information such as best converting text and banner links or a special offer to promote
  • An "opt-in" call to action to qualify for the activation incentive to help drive publisher participation

Use the Email Campaign builder in the CJ Account Manager to send your targeted email with enough lead time for publishers to opt-in, plan, and ask questions.


4. Half-Time Analysis

The typical activation campaign should last about a month from start to finish. About two weeks after launch, check in on performance to review the activity of your activation group. Reach out to each publisher to let them know how they’re pacing to their goal and include top-performing links or products to help with conversions. These insights can be the very thing your publishers need to help push them to the finish line.


5. Dig into the Data

After your activation campaign is complete, it’s important to take stock of the campaign’s outcome by asking yourself some key questions:
  • Did you achieve campaign goals?
  • How does the performance of campaign partners to the rest of your partners?
  • What trends did you notice around top-performing publishers?
  • What worked well? What didn’t?

Reviewing these questions can help you not only understand how effective your campaign was from a KPI standpoint, but also uncover the more subtle ways in which your campaign was successful.


6. Follow Up & Keep Going

Your campaign may have ended, but there’s still more to do! It’s important to continue promoting growth with newly activated publishers. For routine relationship maintenance, you can run reports to identify growing publishers in your activation group, start more campaigns, provide continued promotional messaging, and continue to offer commission increase opportunities in exchange for placements and higher performance. Ongoing communication between you and your publishers creates the building blocks for continued partnership and growth, which will, in turn, lead to increased performance throughout the year, not just during the activation period.

Go forth and activate! We hope you use this guide as a foundation to shape campaigns that spark thriving relationships.

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