I am a huge Boston Redsox fan, so as you can image it was very frustrating watching their 2012 season literally fall apart in front of my eyes. "How could this be!?" many fans asked, as the Boston Redsox had the second highest payroll in MLB yet were also one of the most underperforming teams.
The truth is, the source of the Sox outcome was very simple: they lost their way and were focused only on signing high priced free agents. The result was they were forced late in the season to do one of the biggest trades in professional sports history to unleash all of their overpriced players and witness their very expensive season go to waste.
What does this have to do with affiliate marketing you ask? Well it actually has a lot to do with affiliate marketing. Just like the 2012 Boston Redsox, here at CJ we see far too many affiliate marketing advertisers focused only on one strategy, or think that offering higher publisher commissions is the answer to growing sales in their affiliate marketing channel.
As affiliate marketing has evolved over the years, it is very crucial that advertisers are focusing on key strategies to increase sales in their affiliate channels. Yet, advertisers still struggle at times with this and sometimes don't even know where to begin or what they should be focused on first to help them increase online sales and revenue.
During CJU, our annual affiliate marketing conference held every September in Santa Barbara, I had the honor in putting together a panel of seasoned CJ affiliate marketing experts who manage a wide spectrum of verticals from electronics and retail to travel and niche, all having great success within CJ. You can watch the entire session, "Today's Evolving Advertisers: Top 5 Ways to Grow Your Affiliate Marketing Program" below, but some of the affiliate marketing strategies we discussed during this panel included:
1. Core Fundamentals
How can advertisers launch and monitor affiliate marketing promotions and create a successful recruitment and optimization strategy? What are some of the best practices in managing media buys? Learn how flat-rate media buys, home page category placement and how looking at publisher value and conversion rate can optimize your program.
Identifying publishers that will help you accomplish your goals
Working with publishers that resonate with your consumers
Ensuring that advertisers are leveraging data feeds and if they are, that they are optimized
Leveraging publishers that you can incorporate their technology within your business
3. Getting to "Yes"
Too many times advertisers are not willing to do a small test with a group of strategic publishers. How do you go about doing that without compromising your goals?
Test with a small group of publishers
Willingness to work with new publishers
Give a little to get a little
How often should you be communicating with your publishers and what types of vehicles do you communicate in? Also, how often are newsletter being sent and how often are publisher applications reviewed and publisher inquires responded too?
Talking with publishers on an ongoing basis/following up quickly
Application review on a daily basis
What are the key analytic metrics that affiliate marketing advertisers are reviewing and how is that helping them make more sound business decisions?
Average order size (AOS), conversion rate and click through rate
Publishers driving traffic
Year-over-year and month-over-month performance
So, learn from the Redsox (and maybe a few things from our CJ panel of experts) and of course we hope to see you at CJU13!
CJ Affiliate's Pay Per Call tracking solutions help advertisers connect with prospective customers on the phone where more complex product or service options can be discussed. Publishers earn commissions by promoting products and services through a large variety of distribution channels via unique, trackable, toll-free numbers. With a focus on call quality, we increase call center sales and deliver expanded advertising reach through both online and offline media channels on a performance basis.