Advertiser Growth Checklist: Build, Optimise, & Maintain Your Program

21 Jan, 2021
Written by Kat Rymer

It’s hard to reach new heights if you don’t hold yourself accountable to an action plan. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you this time with our Advertiser Growth Checklist! This checklist will provide you with the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks for building, optimising, and maintaining a successful CJ advertiser program. 

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

The tasks in the checklist are separated into three important areas for program growth:

  • Build: Focus on new publisher relationships and increase the number of joined publishers.
  • Optimise: Motivate publishers to increase traffic, conversion rate, and sales/leads.
  • Maintain: Ongoing tasks that keep your program relevant and accurate.


  • Build: Review and approve publisher applications. Continuous recruitment is the key to affiliate program growth.
  • Maintain: Review sales from the previous day in Insights and Commission Detail reporting (Reports > Transactions). Note if there’s a spike or decline in any KPIs and investigate further. Did a particular publisher drive this? If so, reach out! Did an offer start or end? If there are no transactions, make sure there are no tracking issues.
  • Maintain: Check your account balance to ensure you’re in good standing. Most programs require a minimum account balance.


  • Optimise: Analyse publisher performance in Insights. Email publishers with high potential. Examples:
    • Publishers with high clicks and low sales/leads (low conversion rates).
    • Publishers with low clicks, but strong sales (high conversion rate) or high AOV.
    • CJ Performers (CJPs) and high network earning publishers (4 and 5 bars) with no or low clicks or sales/leads.
  • Optimise: Contact top performing and declining publishers. Schedule time to discuss what you can do to motivate them to increase their performance. Offer custom creative, an exclusive consumer offer, or increased commission rates in exchange for better placement of your brand and offers on their site or in emails.
  • Optimise: Compare your program's conversion rate and sales/leads to other marketing channels. Are you using the same offers, creative, messaging, and targeting the same audience? Leverage what you know is working in other marketing channels.
  • Optimise: Anticipate increased consumer interest for upcoming holidays or special events that are relevant to your business and promote to your publishers accordingly. Add new links for these promotions/holidays and communicate to your publishers via newsletters.


  • Optimise: Consider offering Performance Incentives to encourage top performers or motivate lower performing publishers to stretch themselves to hit goals and unlock higher payouts in exchange for increased sales/leads.
  • Optimise: Review results of Performance Incentives. Adjust thresholds based on performance. Contact each publisher whose commissions may be adjusted.
  • Optimise: Develop a monthly publisher newsletter. Share recent product releases, new offers, new creative, seasonal trends, top products, sales, and anything that will help publishers 'sell' your brand to their audience. Create a list of VIP publishers, gather their emails and send regular VIP messages.
  • Maintain: Review publisher sites to ensure they're reflecting your brand and using approved creative. Ensure they're promoting approved links hosted in the CJ account manager. Provide updated links and copy if needed.
  • Maintain: Audit transactions monthly (or as needed per your lifecycle) and process any corrections before transactions lock. Note: If your Program Terms include a Standard Lifecycle, transactions from the previous month lock on the 10th.
  • Maintain: Review any pending order inquiries and approve or decline. (Account > Order Inquiry Manager)


  • Build: Promote your program on your website via a dedicated affiliates page and utilise a branded sign up link. Update as necessary.
  • Optimise: Run an activation campaign with sale inactive publishers by offering short term incentives for reaching certain goals.
  • Optimise: Review publisher performance. Look for who is growing, remaining flat, and declining. Develop unique messages to engage with them to drive growth. Include top offers, links, products or performance incentives. Ask publishers what they need to promote you!
  • Optimise: Use the Placements Marketplace to find opportunities for enhanced placements with publishers for a flat fee or commission increase. This can be very effective for additional exposure during peak seasons.
  • Optimise: Review ROI for the prior quarter and adjust your program as needed. Invest more in publishers that drive customers with higher cart values, higher lifetime values, and that refer more new customers to your brand.
  • Maintain: Review and update your New Publisher Email with any new links or promotions, as well as top performing links and contact information.
  • Maintain: Ensure your advertiser profile, user information, communication preferences, and data transfer notifications are up to date.
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.


Insights provides actionable data on demand in an intuitive, streamlined and easy-to-use platform to help you identify where to take action for your program.

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