By now, you have hopefully added all the publishers you want for this year’s Holiday season marketing plan. If not, jump on it because code freezes are undoubtedly about to happen. Additionally, you should have your Q4 planned out by October. But with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, especially during an election year, this can feel a little daunting.

So, to try to alleviate some of the stress around holiday planning, we’re sharing 4 ways your affiliate program can win going into the holiday and through 2021. Let’s dive in.

Plan Big, Start Early

Try to increase placement budget awareness all the way through October to maximize revenue in November and December. Based on last years’ industry performance, we saw an additional 122% spent in the industry after Cyber Week—don’t lose out on dollars because you didn’t plan for another push post-Cyber weekend.

And note, there will be shipping delays. I repeat, there will be shipping delays. Don’t let this sideline you. Build your program off the uncertainty by offering free shipping, making the dates clear for shipping deadlines and highlighting curbside pickup (especially for the last-minute shoppers).

Put the Customer First

The customer journey to conversion can be made easier with extra linking and content opportunities that highlight gift guides or trending products for customers to choose from. Additionally, gift guides will help you get picked up on blogs and content sites. Win-win!

Following Holiday last year, we saw that 39% of orders came through on mobile devices and only expect that to increase due to social restrictions. So, ensure your content is optimized correctly.

Understand the Consumer Sentiment

Budgets are going to be tighter this year, so have an offer and cashback increase on Prime Day (October 13th and 14th), a cashback increase for your top 5 loyalty sites during key shopping days (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) and offer free shipping on Green Monday (12/14/2020).

An easy way to entice customers who may head online instead of in store due to COVID-19 is to message shipping options you have like curbside pickup, contactless delivery, and holiday themes and decorations that invite people into the season and onto your website.

Don’t Forget about Content Sites

Utilizing content sites rather than just offering coupons resonates more with shoppers and we often find more success through those partnerships. To maximize your revenue through Q4, make sure to not only purchase gift guide inclusions on at least 1-3 content sites, but run exclusives with your top 5 publishers and budget for homepage and newsletter placements.

Additionally, partnering with influencers is a great way to appeal to shoppers who prefer to go off reviews and recommendations. Execute gifting campaigns with influencers that last through the season as we saw in 2019. Insider insight – the highest conversion rates occurred on weekends in December, so plan accordingly.

“Businesses should seize the opportunity to work with a more diverse array of partner types. Content partners and influencers provide tremendous value to consumers, and though they are sometimes not the last click before purchase, they are an integral part of introducing, educating and persuading consumers along their buyer journey. For as long as they add incremental value to the buyer journey—merchants should also reward them for the added value they bring,” – Jaime Singson, Senior Director of Product and Content Marketing at Impact, the global leader in partnership automation.

We don’t have to remind you of the heaviness and uncertainty that has been 2020. But hopefully we can take some of the guess work out of your marketing program and set you up for a successful 2021.

If you want to drive increased revenue and expand your affiliate program, we’re here to help. Simply drop us a line and we can create a strategy customized to your brand.