Heads up. If you’re reading this article and thinking “it’s too early to prepare for the holidays”, let me issue you a warning. That’s the number one mistake marketers make. Holiday affiliate marketing promotions take a lot of planning. The best time to start planning is “yesterday”. It’s never too early to prepare for the holiday campaigns, so I urge you to explore this article and get started on this today.
And there’s a good reason you want to prioritize your work on the holidays. According to some research, retailers say that 30% of their annual revenue comes from the holiday promotions. It logically follows then that the number should be about the same for affiliate marketers as well. And my personal opinion is that this number would be even higher if people knew how to do it properly.
Put in other words, the holidays are the most profitable time to be an affiliate email marketer. And that’s even if you’re not that good at holiday marketing. But I urge you to become good at it, because I want to see you become as profitable as you can.
To help you achieve this, I went ahead and prepared this guide where I show you how to make 2020 your best holiday season yet.
Make a plan, have a strategy
Here’s the deal, and this goes for anyone during the holiday season, not just affiliate marketers. If you want to make the best of the holiday season, you have to plan, plan, plan. You have to decide your exact strategies, what you are going to focus on, and what you’re going to pitch.
You want to take the time to research which products you can promote during which holidays to which lists, and use which promotional methods. And further yet, you want to do this early. How early?
Well, if it “feels early”, it’s not early enough. That’s how important it is to start making your holiday strategies in time.
This also includes getting your deliverability skills in order and doing your list-hygiene prep as well. But more on that in the holiday-deliverability guide over here.
Consider all of the holidays, not just the big ones
Everyone focuses on the big holidays such as the first one (Black Friday), and the last one (New Years Eve), but there’s quite a few more holidays you can use to create a great campaign off of. Take a look at this list, and see if you can’t use some of these in one of your niches.
|Black Friday : November 26
Small Business Saturday : November 27
Cyber Monday : November 29
Free Shipping Day: December 14
Hanukkah: Nov 28 – Dec 6
Christmas Day: December 25
Boxing Day: December 26
New Years Eve: December 31
The one thing all the best affiliate marketers have in common is that they’re really good at segmenting their list.
It is true you can still make decent profit even if you treat your entire list as “one big list of people to pitch stuff to”. This is due to the fact that email marketing has the highest ROI out of any channel out there. So even if you’re not doing it as well as you should, and some of your copywriting skills or offers are decent, you can still make nice profit.
But why settle for just “ok profit”? Why not go ahead and get the kinds of profits that the big-time affiliate marketers get? While there are several things you can do to get there, in my estimate the one thing I see under-utilized (or not done enough) is segmentation.
I think the reason for this might be that most articles on personalization and segmentation are not written for affiliate marketers. They’re usually directed to people selling their own service and products, so affiliate marketers somehow skip this part.
But get this, segmentation and personalization is just as important for affiliate marketers, and dare I say even more important. And here’s the next kicker. This is doubly so during the holiday season.
The fact is that people get bombarded with holiday offers in the inbox, and they’re quick to delete anything that doesn’t “speak to them”. And the best way to “speak” to your subscribers is to make sure to do proper segmentation ahead of time, and then write the copy and even choose different offers based on the specific segment.
By the way, if you have not done so yet, be sure to check out our popular article on “7 Email Segmentation Hacks to Boost ROI”.
Get clear on the running times
It’s ok to go ahead, do some strategizing and planning well ahead of time. Refer back to point 1 above. And one of the things you want to really plan ahead is exactly how long which of the offers run for, when you send them, and if you use time-limits, what you set the time-limits to.
Now, I’m talking here from both a marketing and deliverability perspective. There are tremendously important reasons in both cases why you want to get very specific about when you promote which offers.
And if you have to study the calendar, find out which days lead up to what holidays, and what day of the week each of them are – it’s well worth doing. And then plan your sending time for each of the emails in the campaign. Whether that involves the first email, the follow-up email, or the last “grab it before it’s gone” push before the promotion ends.
Utilize Affiliate Bonus Packages
Affiliate bonus packages are very powerful and work tremendously well. And this is especially the case when they are a “special” thing done for a special occasion. Whether that’s the launch of a very exciting new disruptive product, or as is the case here “a very special holiday occasion”.
The really beautiful part about utilizing affiliate bonus packages during the holiday season is that you can put an extra spin on them. Aside from rewarding them from buying the product from your link, you can also put a “festive” spirit on the whole deal.
You can frame your bonus package as you being “generous” and wanting to “give back this holiday season”.
Create some gift guides
Even though the “gift guide as special email promotion” was first pioneered by owners of e-commerce stores, there’s no rule that says an affiliate can’t send gift guides.
In fact, it makes even more sense for an affiliate marketer if you understand how to do affiliate marketing properly. A successful affiliate marketer will usually frame themselves as a helpful mentor that helps the reader make the best decisions and know what to purchase.
A “holiday gift guide” might or might not make sense for the kinds of products that you promote. In most cases however, most affiliate marketers can utilize the power of sending a “holiday gift guide” chock full of affiliate links.
Alternatively, consider giving reviews a chance
For those types of niches and products where a “gift guide” doesn’t fit “as well”, you definitely want to give reviews a chance. The beauty of reviews is that there’s always a good reason to tie them to anything you like.
And when it comes to the holiday season, they can be tied to so many different aspects of the holiday experience, and they can even be tied into gift guides (if you’re using them).
Let’s say that you are in the fitness niche. You might have a list reviewing “The best deals on fitness programs this Black Friday”.
Or perhaps you’re in the B2B world and you help companies improve their marketing. You can go ahead and see which marketing tools are having deals for an upcoming holiday, and release YouTube reviews on each of them, running up to the holiday, using email broadcasts to get the most out of it all.
Get your messaging right
Now this is something you should be focusing on at all times anyway as an affiliate marketer. You want to have a very clear intent about what it is that you want the customer to take away from the messages you send them about the product you are promoting.
And the easiest way to do this is simply think of the “WIFM” rule. That stands for “What’s in it for me”, and honestly, it’s the only thing the customer cares about. In fact all effective marketing is based around understanding this concept and aligning all messaging to hit that point.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, you will typically engage in campaigns where you hit the subscriber with multiple emails about a given promotion. And while there’s more that goes into it – honestly it’s primarily about communicating “what’s in it for them” if they get this product.
When it comes to the holidays, the exact order of messages that you send and when you reveal which benefits “and reasons” to purchase the product becomes even more important. So it is crucial to go ahead and make a clear goal about the timing and nature of each message – as it related to the promotion, and the overall context of the holiday that it is related to.
Make deliverability a priority
Here’s a funny thing I have to admit to you about this article. We also released an article titled “How to improve holiday email deliverability”, and it wasn’t easy to make these two be completely separate articles.
In fact, if we put everything you need to know about “affiliate marketing” during the holiday into this article, it would have to include all the information in our article on holiday deliverability as well.
What I’m trying to say is that getting your deliverability in order is a must during the holidays. And in fact, you want to go through that article as well, and try to implement each of those steps as well. That is if you want your emails to actually land in people’s inboxes.
The fact is – it doesn’t matter how well you do all the other aspects of being an affiliate marketer, if people don’t even get your emails, what’s the point? You’re literally leavings tons of money on the table anytime you ignore email deliverability.
That might just be the fact why Emercury is so popular with huge affiliate marketers. We get successful affiliate marketers with millions of subscribers moving to our platform regularly. And that’s mainly for one reason. We’re obsessed with deliverability, and experienced affiliate marketers know that this is your biggest profit multiplier when it comes to affiliate marketing profits.
Choose an ESP that loves affiliate marketing and affiliate marketers
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Affiliate marketers are one of the main reasons that Emercury is a successful business. This includes all of the big-time affiliate marketers who move their huge and already-profitable lists to our platform.
Now, that isn’t to say that we don’t work hard to attract every type of email marketer to the platform. In fact, our platform is equally as useful to all email marketers. However, there are good reasons why affiliate marketers are the core of our top clients. In a word: we actually care about affiliate marketers and respect affiliate marketing. And in the world of email providers that’s quite the unique trait.
In fact, we go out of our way to help you make more money from your list. When you join Emercury you don’t just get access to an email sending platform. You get access to a team of experts who understand affiliate marketing and the unique deliverability challenges associated with it.
Oh, and did I mention we’re currently offering a super-generous forever-free account that includes almost all the features we have. Including stuff that’s usually only reserved for enterprise plans? Consider grabbing a username before we pull this “too good to be true” (because it is) crazy offer.
But if you’re a serious affiliate marketer, what you really need to do is experience our team. The best way to do this is to go ahead and book a free demo. This way you can experience what Emercury (and the Emercury team) can do for you and your affiliate business.