Global Affiliate Marketing: Approaching International, Regional & Local Strategy

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Affiliate marketing global expansion

We are into day two of the Performance Marketing Insights Conference in New York and I’m sitting in a session called Global Affiliate Marketing: Approaching International, Regional and Local Strategy, presented by Peter Figeuredo, James Maley and Jess Nathan.

Following are my notes and personal takeaways from this session:


  • US Market Overview: B2C ecom sales will grow 12% to $384.8 billion in 2013 (30% of worldwide ecom)
  • US remains the largest spending country online but China is closing fast.
  • Avg B2C ecommerce sales per user reach $2466 *Source: EMarketer
  • Advertisers with programs see 23% of their online sales coming from Affiliate.


  • 289MM people online
  • Average 30 hours a month online
  • $1738 average customers spend online in 2012
  • $111BB online retail spend in 2012
  • 12% annual growth forecast over the next 5 years
  • $5BB sales revenue driven within UK affiliate channel

His recommendation: service and focus on your local market before you move to others.

Top Affiliates in the US (Note: Shown in sales, not by my personal recommendation)

CashBack Affiliates

  • Fatwallet
  • ShopatHome
  • Ebates

Loyalty Affiliates

  • Upromise
  • MyPoints
  • iGive

Coupon And Deal Affiliates

  • CouponWinner

Comparison Shipping Affiliates

  • TheFind
  • Kaboodle

Top Affiliates in Europe

Cashback & Loyalty

  • Payback
  • BeRuby
  • Quidco
  • iGraal
  • TopCashback

Meta & Price Comparison

  • Dkyscanner
  • Kayak
  • PriceRunner

Voucher / Coupons

  • MyVoucherCodes

Closed Network

  • Mecenat
  • NextJump
  • Asperity

Supplementary Paid Search

  • Media Planet
  • UK Web Media
  • JVWeb

Vertical Affiliates US  – Higher Value, Higher AOV Affiliates (take longer to work with and recruit but add huge incremental value to an affiliate channel)

  • Skimlinks
  • Blogger
  • Invitation Crush
  • CampusBooks
  • AudioBookStore
  • HotelsCombined
  • HotelsEtc
  • PeerTrainer
  • Jetradar Flight Search
  • Audio Book Mart
  • TopTenReviews
  • BooksPrice
  • Site Builder Report
  • Body Editor
  • Small Businesses do it Better
  • Diamond Games

Vertical Affiliates: UK, France and Germany

  • Advanced multi-channel journeys
  • Vertical sites drive incremental traffic
  • Purchase on Cashback / Loyalty
  • More PPC Affiliates
  • Lack of quality content
  • Cashback sites starting to develop more
  • Combined cashback and content offerings
  • Eastern Europe is an emerging market

Recommendation: In EU shoppers are very social and mobile heavy, meaning you should have opportunities to engage with affiliates and allow them to earn through these channels to have a more successful affiliate program.

Side note: The Asian market is extremely email heavy and also are paid on a CPA model. Be sure you can pay in local currencies if wanted, but also in USD if preferred.

After you find your top affiliates, be sure to work with niche affiliates to grow revenue. Provide them with content. Hilton Hotels showed a case study on the power of working with content bloggers and niche affiliates, and how they can drive strong incremental sales.  According to this panel (and me) Content Affiliates drive the most value. The value of reviews is incredibly powerful.

Legal Considerations in the US

  • Tax Law – See CJ’s US Affiliate Tax Law map (color coded)
  • Trademark and trademark bidding allowances
  • Cookies – soon to follow EU law
  • US Law – anyone can sue for any reason

Legal Considerations in the EU

  • Tax Law – Each market has deductible taxes that are fixed and based on services you provide.
  • Trademark – Protecting your brand in the EU
  • Cookies – To protect users from cookies being downloaded on their device and have their behaviour tracked without consent
  • International Law – Supranational and local law, and the future… the right to be forgotten.

Mobile – the Big Picture

Over 50% of Americans have a mobile phone (comscore2012)

Half of US smartphone users use m-commerce apps (Nielson, June 2012)

Examples of mobile-optimized publishers:

  • RetailMeNot
  • CouponCabin
  • TapJoy
  • RedLaser

Some Stats:

  • 15% of conversions tracked by Impact Radius are mobile
  • 64% iOS and 35% are Android
  • Conversion rates on mobile is typically higher than traditional channels
  • AOV is typically higher than traditional channels
  • 6x growth in traffic across top mobile categories
  • Only 33% of CJ advertisers have a mobile enabled website

Top 5 Categories for Mobile:

  1. Department Stores
  2. Clothing, Apparel, Accessories
  3. Computer and Electronics
  4. Travel
  5. Sports and Fitness

How to make the most of mobile in Europe

  • Mobile sites – 57% of top 100 UK brands have a mobile site, up from 37% six months ago.
  • APPS – 88% of the top 100 global brands have an app in the App store
  • Integration – omni-channel – make sure it can be used across any platform and in person.

Recommendation: this differently then test test test.


90% of affiliate shoppers visit more than one site before making a purchase  * Forrester Research 2012

Attribution is NOT going away. Currently the tools to understand attribution data

What attribution model are you currently using?

  • First click
  • Last click (most common) – but going to change as attribution becomes more algorithmic over time and more tools come out (increase to come over the next three years).
  • Linear
  • Time Decay (least common)
  • Customized by Channel (
  • Unique methodology developed in house or by agency

What most companies have found who track attribution and multi-channel analytics, is that affiliates DO drive a huge positive impact on the buying cycle, including:

  • Faster Purchase
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Higher Average Order Values

In EU, Loyalty and Voucher dominate single and multi-channel purchase, with content and vertical sites the next biggest source of traffic.

Merchant Considerations before you move into any of these markets:

  • Where is the bill being paid from and where is the invoice registered?
  • Will you need to deal with withholding tax?
  • which entities are your contracts between?
  • Are you legally allowed to trade?
  • What are the trade retributions in the country?
  • Is there an affiliate base / network in the region?
  • Can you pay in foreign currency?
  • Etc.

All in all this group (and myself) believe there is incredible opportunity to expand into new global markets, but going back to the beginning, make sure you do it well locally and within your own market first. Then test, test and test carefully as you go.