Are you ready to make this holiday season the BEST ever for your affiliate program? Then you’re in the right place because this episode will show you exactly what you need to do over the next six weeks to make that happen!
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How to Make This Your Best Holiday Season Ever with Your Affiliate Program
Are you ready to make this holiday season the best ever for your affiliate program? Well, then you’re in the right place because this episode will show you exactly what you need to do over the next six weeks to make that happen. Hey, so welcome back. Here we are.
We’re gearing up for the holiday season with your affiliate program. We’re kind of in that time of year, like the time of year where I question is it appropriate to listen to Christmas music? Is it know it’s one thing if stores want to play it right.
They’re getting you in the mood, as they should because they know that you’ll spend more money. But is it appropriate for one to listen to holiday music in their car? Is it appropriate to be playing the Bing Crosby and the Andy Williams and Mariah Carey?
Of course, right now, like, when this episode is releasing in early November, is that appropriate? I don’t know. That’s the big question right now.
The other big question, of course, is who’s going to be the breakout holiday hit of this year? Like, who’s going to be the All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey Who’s going to come up with something original this year that’s going to be the breakout holiday hit? I don’t know.
I’m kind of curious who that’s going to be we’re listening to 20 years from now? Because I talked about in the last episode, like, Christmas music. It’s mostly just like, new renditions of old songs and it’s kind of boring in my opinion.
Agree to disagree if you’re a huge Christmas music fan. I like Christmas music, too. I just happen to like it starting about December 15.
I like it when I’m decorating and then when I’m wrapping. That’s when I like Christmas music. All right.
So that said, we’re talking about how to make this the best holiday season ever for your affiliate program. What are the levers you can pull as an affiliate manager to make that happen? Well, first of all, go listen to the last episode.
If you haven’t yet, click, pause. Go listen to the last episode. We talked about how to get your affiliate program ready for the holidays.
Much of what’s going to make this your best holiday season ever is the pre work. So what happens in October and early November? What happens right now?
So go back and listen to that. It is foundational to what we’re talking about today. Again, that’s the pre work.
It’s kind of like you can’t talk about the exercises you need to do, the weights you need to lift without talking about the stretching. That last episode is the stretching. It’s the getting ready for the holidays.
It’s getting you ready as an affiliate manager for the holidays, as a business owner, whatever your role is in the company, it’s getting you ready. And we talked a lot about rest and getting your energy up. And we even talked about diet in the last episode because it’s so important when you enter a phase, whether you’re getting ready for the holidays or a big product launch, whatever it may be, to manage your energy levels.
And so that’s what we talked about in the last episode. This episode is great. We’re going to focus more on what to do during the holidays today, and really kind of what to do starting now and like the last six weeks of the holiday sprint.
But last week was all about what to do before to get ready. So you got to go listen to that. So I’m encouraging you to press pause.
I’ll be here. This episode will be here. It’s not going anywhere.
Just press pause and go listen to that last episode. Okay? Today, like I said, we’re focused on more what to do during the holidays.
One quick reminder before we jump in. If you haven’t yet, go check out our ultimate guide to holiday affiliate promotions. I’ll put a link there at the very top of the Show Notes, and that link there, the Ultimate Guide to Holiday Affiliate Promotions, has got everything you could ever want, including it’ll have this episode, it’ll have past episodes.
It’s got episodes about from an affiliate perspective, from an affiliate management perspective, everything you could ever want on that Ultimate Guide to Holiday. It really is what it says. The Ultimate Guide to Holiday affiliate promotion.
So go check it out. The links in the show notes. We’ll have links to everything.
All the links I talk about in the episode today will be in the Show notes as well. I know we’ll talk about affiliate promo plan template, which we’ll have talk about warming up your audience before promo. We’ve got that.
It’s so much more will all be in the Show Notes there. So how do we make this our best holiday season ever for our affiliate program? Well, we’re going to start number one by focusing on existing affiliates.
It can be very tempting, and we’ll talk about this in the last episode. In the series. It’s the last episode on purpose because I don’t want you to get kind of focused on that.
It can be tempting to try to round up a lot of new affiliates in the lead up to the holidays. It can be tempting to say, you know, this is a great time to grow my affiliate program by adding new affiliates. And that’s true.
You can do that. But here’s the thing. The visibility is so crucial.
We talked about this in the last episode. Visibility is so crucial this time of year. And in theory, an increased number of affiliates could equal more sales.
But like I said, the holidays are so busy, visibility is the hardest thing. It’s such a busy time, and everybody’s inboxes are full, and we’re getting communicated in 600 different directions. And some people are a member of 100 plus affiliate programs, and they’re all emailing all the time, and it’s so busy.
And so communicating with brand new affiliates in a way that actually gets them to take action can be very difficult this time of year. So, yes, I want you to identify some great new affiliates. I will talk about that like two or three episodes from now, but I don’t want you to spend too much time and energy trying to improve reach to new affiliates, all right?
The holidays are already busy enough without spending precious time on identifying potential new affiliates. So this allows you to really focus on standing out from the clutter and capturing the attention of your current affiliates. So, like I said, in a couple of episodes, I’m going to share how to use the holidays to recruit affiliates.
It’s doable, it’s doable. You can do it. But I don’t recommend putting too much focus there.
And so throughout the year, in an average week with an established program, I spend 75% of my time serving our current affiliates. That’s my breakdown, building those relationships. So in a 40 hours week, it’s about 30 ten.
That’s a pretty average breakdown. Now, as a program, when I’m starting off a program, maybe it’s a smaller program, you only have 80 affiliates. It’s flipped.
It’ll be 25, 75 and a program, that where we got it more established, like Adidas Shutterfly, bigger programs with thousands or even over 50,000 affiliates. Like I said, it was 75, 25 in launches, big launches, big promos. We had busy times of the year with shutterfly.
For example, Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Valentine’s Day.
Those are big. Obviously, when we get to this time of year with the holidays, those are big. That shifted to 90 ten or 95 five.
I might only spend an hour, 2. 5% of my week recruiting new affiliates.
When I got to the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the last shipping day for Christmas, it was literally 1000. I spent no time recruiting, none whatsoever, because I was spending 75 hours a week working just with the current affiliates. So focus on your existing affiliates.
Really seek to optimize them this holiday season. Number two, you need to segment your affiliates now. This is something that is important to do throughout the year.
It is even more important to do this time of year. Like I said, what we’re talking about, a lot of what we’re talking about today is just standing out in the clutter because they are getting communicated to from 100 different angles. They are members of a lot of different affiliate programs.
They’re getting more emails from email lists that they’re on all these things. We’re just talking about their inbox their inbox has twice as many, three times as many emails. They’re getting twice as many three times as many texts.
And so we have to stand out. And so segmenting allows us to segment them, to categorize them, to divide them, however you want to say it, into different groups based on what type of affiliate they are, what type of strategies are they using, what type of marketing are they doing, what is their performance. And so we get to tailor the communication, and this is what’s going to ultimately maximize the performance of every individual affiliate.
Now, in theory, we would individually segment them, and we’ve talked about that before, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that. We kind of do on a certain level, maybe our top 50 to 75 affiliates. We will individually communicate with them with specific goals where we want to say, like, hey, if they’re down this year, we want to get them to hit their numbers that they hit last year and incentivize them to do that.
So we reach out to them. Let’s say they did 100,000 in sales last year, and this year we’re projecting, based on their first 910 months of the year, they did 100,000 last year in Q four. And we’re projecting they’re going to do 60 this year.
We’ll reach out to them and say, hey, if you hit 100,000, if you just match or beat last year’s number by even one dollars, we’ll give you a $10,000 bonus, or whatever, something along those lines. And I’ve shared about that in past episodes. I’m not going to dive into that, the whole reason behind that and the psychology of that and the numbers and how they work out.
But that’s a form of segmenting. We’re literally segmenting into one group of affiliates that were down that did $100,000 exactly last year, and they’re down 40% this year, and blah, blah, blah, blah. Right?
But on a macro level, segmenting into certain number, it could be as few as two, could be as high as 20. First of all, you get to customize the communication. Let’s just look at size. An affiliate doing $500 a month on average, and maybe they’re going to do $1,000 in November and December each, versus an affiliate doing $200,000 a month.
Those are different forms of communication. Now, if you’ve got a 25% off this product in May promo when even your big affiliate is probably going to do $2,000 on that product, the communication between them and your smaller affiliates isn’t that dramatically different. But this time of year it is dramatically different.
You need to segment like your newer affiliates. You might want to dumb things down for some of your newer affiliates, your smaller affiliates this time of year, so that you don’t have to support them as much because again, your time is limited. I mentioned I was working 60 to 75 hours a week during November and December when I was working with Shutterfly because it was such a busy season and so much road on it.
And supporting this is the time of year when supporting a smaller affiliate moves the needle 1%. And I have limited time and I’m running on fumes by late November already, and I just don’t need to be supporting them as much. So I make things really easy for them and I say, here’s what to promote.
With the bigger affiliates, there might be some more nuance, and I’m willing to get on a half hour strategy call because in a $75 million program, a bigger affiliate might move the needle $100 to $200,000. I don’t know what the math is on that, but it’s over 1%. We could move our annual sales number.
No, it’s not over 1%, but still it’s over like 0. 1%. And sometimes we’re that close to hitting our goals.
Five or ten phone calls could mean a million dollars. That is a big move compared to that same level of support for a smaller affiliate. So, as I’ve said many times, I’m all about supporting the smaller affiliates.
And I want to do that ten months out of the year, but I have to set things up and be careful about the way I communicate with smaller affiliates so that I don’t generate a bunch of replies, a bunch of emails, so I communicate with them differently, tailoring the promotions. This is something where, again, you’ve got different types of affiliates. You’ve got coupon affiliates, you’ve got content affiliates, you’ve got gosh, the list goes on.
You’ve got certain niches where you got affiliates that are more targeted towards men and more targeted toward women, more targeted toward older people or younger people. So you can have different types of promotions and you segment them based on that information and you’re only going to communicate to them the relevant things. So to my coupon affiliates, I am not going to really focus on this product and this new thing and how awesome it is if there’s not a deal associated with it.
I’m not going to talk to them about trends and things like that. Like, I am the content affiliates, and on the content affiliate side, I’m going to segment there. And like I said, if I’ve got a particular affiliate that their site is all about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, maybe that’s what it is.
Like 100% of their sales come in the back to school period or the graduation card period or whatever. I just take them out of the holiday communication. There’s no reason for me to communicate with them at all because literally, if you look at their history for the last three years, 0% of their sales came in Q four.
So why would I communicate with them at all? Why would I clutter their mailbox or their inbox and cause that kind of problem? So there’s all types of reasons to segment, of course.
Again, types of segments you can do again, performance, historical data. They’re big and small. Big, medium and small.
Big affiliates are different than small affiliates, like I said, their niche or their industry. Think about like with Adidas, we had our running shoes and we had basketball shoes and we had soccer boots, and we had all the different things. Those were all completely different markets.
And so with the golf affiliates, we just focused on golf. With the running affiliates, we focused on running and so on and so forth. We had others that were more universal, so they got a little bit more content.
We communicate based on content type. Like I said, bloggers are different from YouTubers or different from social media influencers. And so with the social media, we know that all their marketing is on social media.
We don’t give them email swipe. We don’t give them sample blog posts. We give them quick to the point social media posts, which that’s one of the things, you know, just I know AI is so hot right now.
Of course, one of the things I love about AI is the ability to create hundreds of social media posts in a matter of seconds. It takes a minute to write a social media post. And typically we’ll write two or three of them.
And we’ve trained AI, in our case, Chat GPT, we’ve trained it to write it in a voice and avoid certain words and don’t use this word, don’t do this formatting, boom, boom, boom. We’ve trained it. And then we’ll write two or three and say, give us another 50 examples.
And then we’ll pick 30 or 40 from those. And by giving affiliates, especially at this time of year, we give them 30 or 40. They can load those 30 or 40 into their system, or they can use AI that they’ve trained to write it in their voice and say, write me 30 social media posts.
Write me 30 Tweets. Write me 30 whatever. Here are 30 examples.
Now rewrite those in my voice so they’re not exactly the same as everybody else’s. So we create these segments for each content type. And if they’re social media influencers and that’s their 99% of their sales come from social media, we’re going to focus on that.
If they’re big emailers, then we’re going to focus on that. If they’re big bloggers and YouTubers, et cetera, et cetera. Coupon affiliates, like I said, are different from content affiliates and content affiliates are different from loyalty sites and all those things.
So we’re going to communicate to them differently. We’re going to communicate to them differently based on their experience level. Like I said, those newer affiliates, they need more guidance, they need more training.
So we’re going to include as much as we can links that answer their question. We’re going to answer their questions preemptively, I guess is the word I’m looking for in the email. So they’re not hitting reply and causing us to have to reply to them.
Like I said, promotional strategy. If they’re doing paid advertising, we’re going to focus on that. So again, we’re going to communicate to each segment differently.
The high performers, we’re going to communicate more data and beginners, we’re going to communicate more teaching. Their incentives are going to be different. The training that we give them is going to be different.
Another thing that I’ll do with the beginners is I will invite them to a training about now toward the beginning of the holiday season and I can answer 75% of the questions I’m going to get over the course of the next seven weeks in an hour, hour and a half of just doing a webinar. And that actually frees me up considerably. Like 90 minutes, I knock out what could potentially be 30 hours of answering questions.
And then I’ll have for the bigger affiliates, we’ll do more like a mastermind type. We’ll have like 50 to 100 of them on and they can ask questions and support each other. And it’s not really a training so much as like a mastermind.
So those are the types of ways that segmenting is important. Again, strengths, strategies, performance, all of these things. These allow you to personalize communication, have specific promos, better support, all of those things.
All right, the number three thing you need to focus on to make this your best holiday season ever with your affiliate program is personalized communication. You just spent like 10 minutes talking about that. Now, this is what we just talked about, but on a whole new level, this is that one on one individual communication that I sort of touched on a little bit, right?
This is not easy. I realize this. That’s why you’re not going to do it with more than the high end 100 affiliates.
This is how we cut through the clutter, right? Like I talked about in the last episode, doing a physical mailing, doing that physical mailing to a certain number of affiliates really goes a long way in building those strong relationships. And it really cuts through the clutter.
I mean, how many affiliate programs are you in that are doing a physical mailing? Even just a postcard with like important dates on it or QR code or something like that? So, like I said, it just depends on the size of your program.
It really does. It might be as small as ten, could be as small as five. They’re really going to move the needle where you go, okay, if I spend a half hour to an hour on a video call or a phone call with this affiliate, that it’s going to move the needle a 10th of a percent or more.
That’s kind of my limit. Again, on smaller affiliates or smaller programs, half hour to an hour can move the needle three, four, 5%, if you don’t have a ton of affiliates. But I’m speaking of some bigger programs and this personal touch, it has a long term benefit as well.
And so anything you can do to stand out is a good thing this time of year. So as much as you can do some personal communication. Number four.
I sort of touched on this one a little bit earlier, but educating your affiliates, for some of your affiliates, this might be their very first holiday season as an affiliate. For others, it’s their 2nd, 3rd, 4th. They still need guidance.
So teach them what’s working. Teach them. Go to that ultimate guide.
Do holiday affiliate promotions. Start pulling things from there. And teach them, feel free to repeat what I say.
Feel free to share episodes with them or articles with them. Teach them what’s working. What are the hot products in your company?
They need to know these things. Some of what’s on there on the holiday affiliate Promo Guide. The Ultimate Guide.
There got podcasts about the secret sauce to successful holiday affiliate promos. There’s a simple strategy that you can use as an affiliate to double your sales. The one thing that you could do to ruin your holiday affiliate promo.
How to create buzz. How to grow your email list during an affiliate promo. How to get your messaging right.
So much more on there. And so share that with them. Study it yourself, and then just regurgitate what you learn. Maybe there are things that I share in there that you can combine with your own knowledge and put it in your own words, right? Study your past affiliate campaigns, what’s worked for other affiliates, what’s worked for them. Like, you look at somebody, you go, hey, remember when you did this two years ago?
You did this two years ago. You did $85,000 in November and December. Last year, you only did 42.
That’s half. Well, what’d you do in 2021 that you didn’t do in 2022? We did this, this, and this.
Maybe you should do that again. Another thing you can do is teach them this is just an example here. Teach them how to put together a holiday gift guide for their audience and kind of collaborate with them on their content.
If you teach them how to put together a holiday gift guide, you are not going to tell them that they should put together a holiday gift guide and have 50 recommendations and all 50 are things that are your products. No, but because you’re the one that taught them, maybe normally it would only be three things from you, but it’ll be seven things from you instead, right? Teach them how to do a holiday gift guide.
Teach them how to do a product review. We talked about that in the last episode, right? I’ll put a link in the show notes.
There’s a free download you can get about how to do a product review. So there’s a free download about how to do a product review. Share that with your affiliates.
So sharing how to’s and educating your affiliates is super important. I mentioned the holiday gift guide. Teach them I’ll give you kind of an outline here.
Teach them how to put together a holiday gift guide. So step one, you want to get the products, right? So obviously you want them to include yours, but show them how to find other products if you have a premium priced product.
So let’s just say I’m making this up on the fly go fitness equipment. So I’m looking at our elliptical machine right now, and our elliptical machine is not like the $100 kind that will fall apart in six months. And it’s not like the I don’t know how much those things are, but probably $5,000 that you see in the gym.
It’s a personal elliptical machine only in a given week. It’s going to be used eight times. Probably I’ll use it two or three.
My wife will use it two or three. One of our kids will use it for a little bit, so it’s not overly used. Like, gym ones are used more in a half a day than ours is used in an entire week.
And so ours is like the $800 to $1,000 kind. It’s not super fancy, but it’s pretty good. So this is a mid price product, but if somebody wants that premium one, what you do is you tell them to put together a gift guide that has the three different kinds.
Put the 100. I don’t know if there’s $100 elliptical, but you get the idea. $200.
Maybe there’s a $200 elliptical. There’s the kind that we have that’s like 1000. And then there’s the $5,000 kind.
And here’s the thing, somebody who wants that $5,000 kind, I don’t even know what that thing does, other than just probably last longer. Ours has the basic stuff, and it changes the resistance, and you can set it up and do different extra workouts and stuff, but some of them, they’ll make it like you’re running through the Himalayas or something, and it’ll have, like, images and trees. I don’t even know all the things it’ll have.
If that’s what you want, then that’s what you’re going to buy. So having them put together a gift guide that includes your stuff, but you also show them how to find other products that’s educating them, and they will love you for that. And then obviously, they need to categorize it.
So the gift guide needs to be categorized, make it segmented, essentially, so they can immediately go down and be like, okay, in the gym when it’s like, ellipticals is its own thing or cardio is its own thing. Free weights, weight machines. Different by body part, I don’t know.
You could do by age. You can categorize them. And then you teach them how to write the actual product listings.
When you’re doing a gift guide, you want to write it very descriptive. You want to highlight the key features and the benefits and the selling points, and teach them how to include high quality images and the pricing details, and then create pretty links and things like that. How to actually write those product listings to make them engaging.
How to organize those products. Like I said, do you want to organize them by price? Or in the case of fitness, it might be by experience level.
If you’re a beginner weightlifter, you don’t need the 800 pound thing with the squat shoulder thing. I don’t even know what that thing’s called. You don’t need all the stuff, right?
When I first started out, my weight set was like, $100 again. That’s where we started, right? And then eventually I’m like, well, my son can lift this now, and he’s eight, so maybe we should upgrade.
And so however you want to organize it, teach them how to organize it and write those product listings. And then how to get personal about it. Like, if you’ve got personal experience, you need to make sure to include that.
How to design it. Gift guides, like design, presentation, super important, needs to be easy to navigate. It needs to be eye catching.
It needs to be appealing. It’s not as important with some stuff, but with gift guides, can keep them on there for a lot longer, which is ultimately what they’re looking for. Teach them how to optimize for SEO.
Teach them how to actually rank. This is where the Review post guide comes in. It’s not just for review posts, but really all SEO.
So, again, I’ll link to that in the show notes. You can download that. And as I say in the guide, share it with your affiliates.
I am giving you permission in that guide to copy and paste it and share it with your affiliates. If you want to give credit to me, feel free. If you don’t, whatever, that’s your prerogative.
So, again, you got to optimize for SEO. So that’s just an example of something like, you can take what I just said there about a gift guide and share that information with your affiliates. And the cool thing about gift guides, holiday gift guides in particular, is they can become evergreen.
If you teach your affiliates to update them, they can become virtually evergreen, because not in every industry. Tech it’s not going to be evergreen. Tech is going to change 50% in the next year.
You’re not going to recommend the iPhone 13 in 2025. That would be weird. Actually, maybe you could, because you’re recommending it to somebody who’s really budget conscious, because you might be able to buy an iPhone 15 for like, $100 in 2025.
And that’s your budget friendly section, right? But for the most part, something like tech is going to be pretty outdated. Fitness, most of the stuff is still going to be relevant in a year or two, but you’re going to want to make updates, products that go, they’re not made anymore.
You want to eliminate those. You want to add new products, things like that. But it can be a Father’s Day gift guide.
A Mother’s Day gift guide? A back to school gift guide. It could be kicking off the Summer Fitness Gift Guide, a Spring Get into Shape, a New Year’s Resolution Gift Guide.
Right? All these things. So teach them how to do that as well.
All right, that’s just one example. I could go on and on about review posts and resources pages and content and coupons and all the things that you need to teach them. The point is, teach them, educate your affiliates.
That’s number four. Number five thing you need to do to make this your best holiday season ever is you’ve got to set a moratorium on tech updates. I cannot remember if I mentioned this before, so I want to make sure to talk about it here.
You’ve got to set a moratorium on tech updates. What I mean by that is, usually things start to go up the week of Thanksgiving. That means the week before the next couple of weeks.
If you’re listening to this, when it’s released the next couple of weeks, there should be a flurry of tech updates. There should be a lot of updates, whatever site updates you want to make, because you do not want to be making them right now. For instance, if my site went down for 12 hours, it would cost us roughly $2,000.
Not a big deal. If our site went down for 12 hours, half a day finger upon what half of the day it is, I guess middle of the day peak time, it might cost us a little bit over two grand. Not a huge deal.
If my site goes down when we’re in the middle of a product launch, it could cost us $20,000. So for shutterfly right now, if the site goes down, or let’s just say in the middle of October the site goes down, I’d have to think about it. But it could cost the affiliate program, let’s just say 30 grand, that’s a big deal if it goes down for 12 hours.
If it goes down for 1 hour, 1 hour in early December, it could cost more than that. It’s a huge deal. It’s no time for some coding to cause downtime.
I’ve seen this happen so many times. So I recommend setting a cut off date of the Thursday before Thanksgiving. So a week before Thanksgiving.
The reason for that is then if anything is discovered on that Friday before Thanksgiving, people can finish, do whatever they need to that Friday. If they need to, they work the weekend. If something screws up, if something must be changed, make sure you test it like crazy.
Meaning test things that should not be affected but might be. I forget that there’s a term for that in tech world. When you make an update and it affects something that you would think it wouldn’t affect.
We know that updating the price will affect the checkout page, but maybe it affects something else. And so we want to test all of those things. And so you need to set that moratorium so you don’t end up in a situation.
Like I said, I’ve seen it happen so, so many times where somebody makes an update on December 3 and it causes issues. The other thing I would say is if there are any updates that have to be made, literally things like price updates, because you have to make those because you’re changing the price or adding a coupon, all those things, any of those changes that must be, make them on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The reality is, yes, we should.
All hands on deck. I’ll talk about that in a second. But we do kind of work less on weekends.
Even this time of year. We take the weekends and don’t work as much, and you’re more likely to not notice issues. Affiliates are working less on weekends.
They are more likely to not notice any issues. So make those updates on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, if you have to. All right.
Speaking of working more, number six way to make this your best holiday season ever is you got to offer all out support. I mentioned this before, but I’m making sure I’m clear. Speed is of the essence in the middle of June. Again, using Shutterfly or Adidas as an example, when the holidays are so huge, but June’s kind of like a whatever.
If I take a day to respond, it’s not that big of a deal. I take a half day. It’s definitely not a big deal.
If you send me an email first thing in the morning and I don’t respond till end of day. It’s not really that big of a deal this time of year when the difference between respond at 04:00 p. m.
And 09:00 A. m could mean that that promo doesn’t go out today and you, as an affiliate, decide.
We’re not even going to promote. This could be 1020 30 $50,000. So be available.
Respond quickly. Holidays aren’t a huge deal for us anymore. For our company, they’re not a dramatic increase in sales.
New year’s is. And so we do work a little bit more then. But when we’re in a big launch, which is what a holiday season is like, it’s just like an extended product launch.
I check email every hour or two. Most days, I might not even check it. I check email four times a week, literally four times a week, at most 47 weeks out of the year.
But when I’m running a big launch, or again, when I was the affiliate program with Shutterfly or Legacy Learning Systems or other companies where Q Four was a big deal, I was checking it every hour or two. So be available. I shared in the last episode how to balance this busy season with actually having a life.
So as I said earlier, if you haven’t pressed pause and gone and listened to it, go listen to it now. But be prepared to support your affiliates at least 14 hours a day. Consider getting an assistant or someone to help support more.
Like I said, I think I mentioned this in the last episode. I’ve got an assistant who’s overseas, and I’ve got an operations manager who is in the Pacific time zone. So I’m literally covered 24 hours a day.
You can get a response from me, even though it might not be me. Basically, I think about 21 22 hours a day. And then there’s a little bit of a break between about 04:00 A.
m. And 06:00 A. m.
Eastern Time, where nobody’s going to respond to you, all right, we can live with that. And so I mentioned the last episode in the busy season when I worked with Sutter Flying Adidas. I’d work off and on from about 730 to 10:00 p.
m. , so I had breaks throughout the day.
I wasn’t really working 14 15 hours a day, seven days a week, but I was available. Basically during that stretch, you would never go more than two and a half hours without getting a response from me for about 14 hours a day for me personally. And then in the evenings or the late night and the early mornings.
Usually it was somebody else that was responding, and if they didn’t know how to answer it, what, they would respond back and they would say something like, hey, this is Kevin on Matt’s team, and I just want to let you know we got your email. Not sure how to respond, so I put it for him and I sent him a note to respond first thing in the morning. People thought I never slept.
It was kind of we’re like, Are you doing this? You respond all hours of the day. Like, were you emailing me all hours of the day?
How did you know that I respond all hours of the day. Number seven, you got to make sure your site can handle the load. If this is your first holiday season with affiliates or just first holiday season period, make sure your site can handle the load.
Like, we’re going to have increased shopping, increased promotions. Make sure your site is ready, all right? Load times are critical.
Uptime is critical. There’s a few reasons. Number one, slow loading mean, how long do you wait for a page to load, even on your phone, when you’re in west in the mounds of West Virginia, if it takes more than 15 seconds to load, I’m like, I give up, I’m out.
What was I doing? There have been times this is the entrepreneurial add, right? Like a website, slow to load.
I forgot why I went to the website. I forgot. So again, we can’t have downtime.
The other thing about downtime is, obviously it hurts our search rankings long term. It hurts our affiliates ability to promote. So the little things you can do, I mean, these are just the basics, right?
Making sure you check with your hosting company. If you’re not with a good hosting company, get with a good hosting company. I highly recommend Agathon.
This is not a yes, it is. It’s an advertisement for agathon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Slash Agathon.
AG. A-T-H-O See, I’d use that voice. Anyway.
It is Madames. com Agat.
H-O-N. That’s who we use for our hosting. And I love them.
They are not cheap. They are actually on the high end, but we have literally 100% uptime. I mean, over the past two to three years, I think we have been down for less than five minutes.
And we can handle the load. It’s always fast, but make sure you check with your host. Do you have room?
Like, can you handle this? If you’re on a smaller server, but you’re expecting a five x increase in traffic, can it handle that? It might not.
So you need to upgrade, make sure images are compressed. I mean, I mentioned this before in one of the episodes, but a 2% reduction in quality of an image is unnoticeable even on a retina screen, and yet it cuts the size of the file by 95%. I mean, that’s worth it.
That’s a good trade off, using a CDN, a content delivery network to make sure that you’ve got stuff’s on the cloud, right, all those things. So just make sure you can handle that surge because otherwise it could be a big deal. So again, first, talk with your host.
They’ll give you some advice. If they don’t, they’re not a good host. Switch to Agathon because they’re awesome.
All right, the number eight thing that you need to do, this is our last one, is Cultivate Community. Here’s the thing, this is a busy season for them, too. This is a busy season for your affiliates.
And affiliate marketing can sometimes feel very, very isolating. It can feel lonely. Now, for some people, that’s a good thing, but for others, they actually are more extroverted.
I’ve mentioned before, like, I’m an introvert that shocks people when they get to know me because I seem like an extrovert. But I’m the type where I’m an introvert who thrives around people for a very limited time, one to 3 hours, and then I need time by myself. I’m good, I’m jovial, I’m nice, I love to be around people, and then I’m done.
I hit my limit, I got to go be alone, I got to recharge my batteries, blah, blah, blah, right? So a lot of people are like that in affiliate marketing. Like, we’re introverts, but we still want some community.
And this community benefits you as an affiliate program because when you create a community where affiliates can connect, they can share ideas, they can share strategies, they get to tap into each other’s expertise, they get to learn new things, right? They can find solutions to maybe problems that they’re having. And it creates this there’s a book I read years ago, I can’t remember the name, but they called it A Collective Learning Experience.
I wish I can remember the name of the book. I would give them credit, but I’m drawing a blank. A collective learning experience.
So I mentioned earlier, doing trainings or masterminds office hours, just a simple group, a Facebook group, where they can share ideas, they can discuss things, they can brainstorm. And when you foster this kind of environment, it not only helps you in the short term with the holiday season, but it creates that community. It creates a more mission driven affiliate program where it’s not just about the money.
The money is great. Please don’t misunderstand me. The money that your affiliates will make is great.
The sales they will make for you is great. But it creates more of a mission driven program where it’s more than just the money. And that’s going to last longer.
That’s how you keep affiliates for 510, 15 years. And I have seen that happen where they just are driven by the mission of your company. So there you have it.
You have eight ways to make this the best holiday season ever for your affiliate program. Number one, focus on those existing affiliates. Number two, when you do, segment them into different groups so you can communicate with them on a more individual level.
And speaking of that, number three, personalize that communication. True individual communication. Number four, educate your affiliates.
Actually, teach them. And I shared the example of the holiday gift guide, so go back and listen to that if you missed it. Number five, set a moratorium on tech updates so you’re not updating stuff when you shouldn’t be.
Number six, you got to go all out with your support. Number seven, you got to make sure your site can handle the increased load. And number eight, cultivate that affiliate community where they can share ideas and what’s working and what’s not.
So if you want more holiday affiliate tips, I want you to do three things. Number one, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode. We’ve got two great episodes, more episodes on this holiday series coming up.
Number one, how to create high converting affiliate graphics for the holidays. That’s the next one. And how to use the holidays to recruit more affiliates, as I talked about before.
So do it now. Make sure you hit subscribe. Number two. Check out the past editions of the Ultimate Guide to Holiday Affiliate promos. Like I said, the link is in the show notes there. And number three, download that review post guide that I mentioned.
Use that guide to kind of guide how you educate your affiliates. Again, we’ll link to that in the show notes, and you can use that to teach your affiliates how to write review posts and how to do SEO, which is relevant to those gift guides as well. And number four, text me anytime.
Your biggest takeaway from this episode or any questions you have. Text me at 260-217-4619. I mentioned that next episode, how to create high converting affiliate graphics for the holidays.
I’ll see you then.
Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.
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