Of the 9 Billion pound per year affiliate marketing industry in the UK:
- 31% comes from cashback sites
- 17% comes from coupon sites
- 17% comes from loyalty /reward sites
The difference come from:
- Price comparison
- Paid search
- Other (such as email marketing)
So how do we remove the reliance on incentive sites?
Here are a few tips to help:
- Focus on quality vs quantity buyers. Consider the lifetime value of buyers that come in through different affiliate channels and focus your time and resources on the ones that are the highest value.
- Attribution tracking will help you understand where the value is, however based on several UK studies, cashback sites DO in fact bring in high value buyers that are authentic incremental value leads. The "skimming" that existed amounts cash-back and loyalty sites was much lower than expected when attribution assessments were completed.
- Changing the focus from the type of affiliate to the type of buyer will help to determine how to best utilize affiliate groups to reach different buyers during their buying cycle.
- Have an existing process for your segmented affiliate groups to offer tools and resources that will make them more successful. Management can't be a one fit wonder for everyone, so customizing based on specific affiliate needs will bring more success to different groups outside of strictly incentive site successes.
- Consistently provide quality content and invest in quality resources, tools and creatives to affiliate types you want to see the most growth in. You have to be proactive about it and put the effort in.
- Be approachable so affiliates can easily communicate how they can help you, the advertiser, more, leveraging their skill sets and assets. Sometimes your own approachability and availability is the only roadblock keeping you from increased sales.
- Try to understand your affiliates data and work closely with them to be transparent and understand KPIs and metrics. Be open to being transparent with your data before an affiliate will be open to sharing theirs. Work closely together to build trust and synergy which will lead to making better decisions as partners.
- Offer exclusive codes and incentives on other types of sites other than incentive sites, such as on blog posts or within affiliate email lists.
- Look at the DNA of your business and understand how different affiliate groups help your overall brand presence, exposure and consumer engagements.
- Be sure to dedicate enough resources to your affiliate team to build relationships, negotiate placements, create tools and monitor opportunities. If you do not have the resources in house, consider outsourcing an extension to your team, such as the-la-cart or full service affiliate management support services offered by Outsourced Program Management companies.