Optimizing with Publishers Based on Performance

Aug 18, 2021
Written by Katie Krafft

You’ve heard us talk a lot about the importance of optimizing with your publishers—and there are so many ways to go about it. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to tailor your optimization strategy based on publisher performance, from low performers to top performers.

Note: Some of the links in this article go to articles in the CJ Support Center. Log in to your CJ account to view them.


Low-Tier Performers – Low Clicks, Low Conversion

When publishers are driving both low clicks and low conversions, this could be a sign that they’re hosting outdated offers, links, and/or creative. Start by offering goal-based incentives, much like when you’re running an activation campaign, and sending updated creative and offers to see if that helps improve performance. Be aware that some publishers like content publishers or influencers may rely on a pay-to-play method to guarantee more extensive exposure.

While it could be that a particular publisher isn’t a great fit for your program, you should always make the effort to open up a conversation or help them improve before doing anything drastic. They could end up being a great partner for you with the right tools and communication!


Mid- to Low-Tier Performers – High Clicks, Low Conversion

When publishers are driving a high volume of clicks, but you're seeing low conversion rates, there could be an issue with inaccurate links, leading to a disappointing user experience. Their hosted offers may appear attractive to the shopper, but when they click through, the offer is expired, or the link refers them to an error page.

To increase conversion rates, communicate with the publishers in this segment and offer updated promotions and refreshed creative. You could also provide these publishers with exclusive or vanity codes to further incentivize shoppers to convert.


Mid-Tier Performers – Low Clicks, High Conversion

Seeing low clicks with a high conversion rate seems like a good problem to have—the publisher isn’t sending many clicks, but when they do, those shoppers are much more likely to make a purchase on your site. If the publisher is already driving significant conversions with not much traffic, brainstorm ways your brand can invest in additional exposure with these publishers to drive more clicks and maintain that high conversion rate.

Get creative! Offer exclusive codes, create unique campaigns using co-branded creative or landing pages, extend TM+ rights to search publishers, and invest in placement opportunities (check out our Placements Marketplace, a one-stop-shop where you can search for, book, pay, and report on placements).

Reach out to these publishers to discuss the best way to collaborate, whether it’s a website placement (get your brand on those homepages!), social media post (we’ve all been “influenced” before, right?), or email (get to that target demographic!).

Don’t have a large budget to spend on a placement? Don’t let that stop you—communicate with publishers about options. Payments can be anything from flat fees and commission increases, to free product, exclusive offers, or exclusive TM+ rights. After all, driving more traffic to your site is a win-win for both parties.


Top Performers – High Clicks, High Conversion

Finally, let’s talk about your top performers—publishers driving high clicks and high conversions. Communicate with your top publishers regularly to review performance and to get their ideas on how you can work more closely together.

You can also review what’s working well so you can apply that strategy to other publishers with similar promotional models who may not be performing as well, i.e. vanity codes, exclusive offers, or commission increases. Test new opportunities to diversify your program and increase conversions among more of your publishers.


Get to Optimizing!

These are just a few examples of scenarios that might be happening with publishers in these performance buckets. Be sure to check out our Optimization Webinar and Advertiser Growth Checklist for additional insights and optimization ideas!

Topics: Optimization
Placements Marketplace

The Placements Marketplace provides publishers a user-friendly tool to post and promote inventory, and advertisers can easily discover new placement opportunities, as well as review, purchase, and track results in a single spot.

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