With Thanksgiving this week, Black Friday and Cyber Monday right after that and Christmas just over a month away, there are sales, deals and offers everywhere you look. And the affiliate world is no different. If you do it right, holiday promotions can make up 30-50% of your affiliate income for the entire year. Today I will share with you 10 tips for increasing your affiliate revenue through holiday promotions.
Everyone thinks of buying gifts and getting deals during the holidays, but have you thought about MAKING money during the holidays? Promoting affiliate offers during the holidays can result in substantial affiliate income with not much effort.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan (or proponent) of “get rich quick” schemes, but the fact of the matter is, as an affiliate you can piggyback on the excitement created by major retailers for deals during the holidays to generate affiliate income for yourself.
When we ran the Shutterfly affiliate program, 60% of our annual affiliate revenue came between Black Friday and December 18th.
People are looking for deals, and your audience is no different.
What I Mean By Holiday Sale
When I say “holiday sale” I am talking about a sale that is based around a holiday. The most common are around Thanksgiving (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) and Christmas, but it could be 4th of July, New Years, Memorial Day or any other holiday.
These sales also tend to be very compressed — anywhere from 4 to 48 hours long.
So here are 10 tips for making the most out of holiday affiliate promotions.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
I mention this throughout my course, No Product, No Problem , the key to any successful promotion is to have a plan. Not a perfect plan, just a plan.
What are going to mail about?
What days/times are you going to mail?
Will you do a blog post?
Will you record a podcast episode?
What graphics will you use?
Asking these questions BEFORE the promo and making a plan will have a dramatic impact on how well you do in holiday promotions.
FREE RESOURCE: Click Here to get our sample Promo Prep Plan.
2. Find a Variety of Offers
Let me give you an example. My audience is broken down into basically four different segments or groups.
- I really want to learn affiliate marketing and they are brand new
- I really want to focus on affiliate marketing and I’ve made a couple thousand dollars online
- I want to learn how to run an affiliate program
- I want to do affiliate marketing AND run an affiliate program
Those are the four segments or groups that make up my audience.
By promoting a variety of offers, you are able to promote offers that are targeted to each segment or group within your audience.
And because the sales are typically very short, it’s easier to promote different offers to different groups.
Look for products for different segments.
Look for products of different types.
Hit different price points. Promote offers for everything from $0.99 to $500.
Finding low priced offers that have longer (or lifetime) cookies is an especially good idea, because the entry offer is so low, and then if they purchase later, you get credit!
3. Get Clear On The Days and Times
During holiday sales a lot of times the start and end days and times will be very specific.
For example, when we worked with Shutterfly, we would have deals that were ONLY valid from 3pm to 8pm Pacific time.
Because of this, make sure that you know exactly when the start and end days and times are for the offers you are promoting.
It goes without saying, but you don’t want to email your list about a deal that ended an hour before they got the email.
It will frustrate your audience and cost you money.
4. Tease It In Advance
If I was going to have a Black Friday offer on my site later this week (and I am…) I would want to be telling you that it was coming up now.
HEADS UP: Be watching for our CRAZY Black Friday deal, starting 6am ET Friday, November 24th.
^^Just like I did there ^^
You won’t necessarily send a dedicated email about these offers, but mention it in a blog post (like I just did), mention it in a newsletter, post it on social, etc.
Start building a little buzz and excitement.
5. Ask For Holiday Themed Creatives
Ask for graphics and other creatives that are holiday themed.
Having graphics, for example during Christmas that have snowflakes or are red and green themed can move the needle, especially in sidebar ads and social media.
6. Ask For An Exclusive Code
One of the biggest things I see with new affiliates is they are afraid to ask for things like exclusive codes. Regardless of how small you are, if you ask for an exclusive code, you just might get it.
For me, as an affiliate manager, it’s actually just easier to give you an exclusive code, regardless of your audience size than it is to take the time to ask how big your audience is, what your social media reach is, etc.
Not all companies will give out exclusive codes, but since my website is mattmcwilliams.com, an exclusive code like “McWilliams” will convert better for me than “Save20wx10”.
So don’t be afraid to ask.
The people who get them are the people who ask for them.
7. Treat it Like A Big Launch
Go big. If you only have a 48-hour window that you plan on promoting, plan on sending 4 or 5 (or 6 or 7) emails in that time frame.
Focus on the deadline.
Guess when most of the sales are made in a 48-hour sale? The last 4 hours.
Guess when most of the sales are made in a 17 days sale? The last 4 hours.
RELATED POST: How To Close Sales On The Final Day Of A Launch
8. Focus On The Transformation, Then Scarcity
Leading up to the promo, focus on the value, the benefits, and the transformation. Everything leading up to the promotion should be about what the product will do for you, how it will change your life or your business.
Then, the moment the sale begins, focus on scarcity only.
When a sale only lasts 24-48 hours, you don’t have time to focus on transformation once the sale starts, it’s a total scarcity play.
When the sale begins, the time for benefits, value and transformation is passed.
9. Use Blog Posts, Social Media and Sidebar Ads
With regular promotions, blog posts, social media and sidebar ads just aren’t very effective.
But when you’re talking about holiday and flash sales, they are GREAT places to sell.
Email is still the absolute best way to sell, but blog posts, social media and sidebar ads are a close second.
If email is king (and it is), then these three are queen.
Post the offers you’re promoting on your blog, share them on social media, add sidebar ads to your site.
Especially when you’re promoting low-priced deals, there is no barrier to entry, so social media works very well.
10. Watch What Other People Are Doing
You’ve heard me quote Picasso many times when he says,
Watch what others in your industry and niche are doing.
Watch what and how they are promoting Black Friday deals.
Not so much so you can change what you’re doing this year (see #1 above about planning…), but if you will watch and take notes this year when the next holiday promo comes around you’ll have the playbook!
So now you have 10 tips for promoting holiday offers as an affiliate.
Now all you have to do is execute.
Go find one offer (or more) that you can promote during this holiday season and take action.
I think you’ll find, if done right, holiday offers will become some of your favorite affiliate promotions!
Have you promoted holiday offers? If so, how did it go? If not, what has held you back?