#BestOf2013 – How to Plan Now for a Successful 2014

Kris Ritchie

By Kris Ritchie

Kris Ritchie is an affiliate program manager at Schaaf-PartnerCentric, the affiliate program management agency that won the 2013 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Best OPM/Agency of the Year. Schaaf-PartnerCentric manages more than 50 affiliate programs including several on the ShareASale network such as InTheSwim, DudaMobile, Joss & Main, Easy Canvas Prints, Jewelry.com, Cherishables and HotTubWorks. For more information, visit schaafpc.com.


I know what you are thinking as you’re eyeballs deep in Holiday preparation: “Am I going to survive the end of 2013 to even make it to the New Year?”

Of course you are! Yes, the new year is just around the corner but there is still plenty you can do between now and then. Having a plan will help you start the year off on the right foot.

The key to preparing for the new year is to schedule, schedule, schedule!

Sure, you’ll probably make changes later to the plans you commit to a calendar now, but if you start now at least you have a plan to help you stay organized.

“Am I going to survive the end of 2013 to even make it to the New Year?”

Here are some tips to add to your calendar:

Create a Communication Roadmap

Think about what you want to say to your affiliates and when you want to say it. Are there tips that will help them prepare for specific times of the year? When does your product have high seasonality? What are the best performing items? You can also set up monthly calls with your top performers to make sure your partnerships are always fully optimized.

Initiate Fresh Recruitment Ideas

Are there publisher categories that have low representation or are missing completely that can also generate revenue? If so, identify these categories and plot a recruitment effort for them on your 2014 roadmap. Within your category, are you working with the biggest affiliates? For example, if you are a fashion merchant, are you working with the top fashion publishers? Create a list of publishers and slot them in for targeted recruitment during the year. What type of initiatives are going to be important for the company in the coming year? Plot recruitment against mobile, international and other types of publishers.

Are there publisher categories that have low representation or are missing completely that can also generate revenue?

Brainstorm Optimization Strategies

Request rate cards to start researching prime placements now that you can lock in for 2014. Review your productive publishers to determine if there has been any major revenue fall off year over year for any publishers. Review your program and determine if you need to diversify the types of publishers or decrease overall risk based on publishers who are driving sales. Read industry blogs and websites to get ideas for your program.

Review your Affiliate Tools

Perform a creative audit to determine if the best-selling items on the site are represented in your ads.  You should also review your datafeed and make sure it is properly integrated with the industry aggregators. This is also a great time to perform an audit of the program’s tools to see if you should submit any tech projects for the year. For example, is the datafeed integrated properly with the industry coupon aggregators? Does your network have any tools that you should be using? Are your text links and banners updated?

Perform a creative audit to determine if the best-selling items on the site are represented in your ads.

Plan a Comprehensive Competitive Review

As you do so, ask yourself: How does your site compare in the loyalty landscape? How are your commissions compared to your competitors? What types of products and landing pages are your competitors promoting? How do your offers compare to the competitors? Grab a snapshot of your competitors holiday deals this year so that you can have them for reference next year.  

Generate Ideas Outside of the Affiliate Space

Sometimes it’s good to seek inspiration outside of your comfort zone. Are there promotions that are successful in other marketing channels that have not been tried in the affiliate program? Has the customer experience been tested recently? Are there changes that can improve conversion rate and average order size?

Seek inspiration outside of your comfort zone


Your success in the new year will be greatly helped by the amount of thought and planning you put into 2014 now. We hope that these tips will have you well on your way to a prosperous new year.

Kris Ritchie

By Kris Ritchie

Kris Ritchie is an affiliate program manager at Schaaf-PartnerCentric, the affiliate program management agency that won the 2013 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Best OPM/Agency of the Year. Schaaf-PartnerCentric manages more than 50 affiliate programs including several on the ShareASale network such as InTheSwim, DudaMobile, Joss & Main, Easy Canvas Prints, Jewelry.com, Cherishables and HotTubWorks. For more information, visit schaafpc.com.


Comments

  1. says

    Hi, I know your a busy gal, but I like your articles. Can you give me some advice on my site or how I can use my background in graphic design to my best advantage in affiliate marketing. Thanks,
    Bill G

    • says

      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for your comment! Your background in graphic design can enable you to create a website that is user and seo friendly. The key is being able to provide content on your site that people will visit over and over again. As you curate your audience, recommend products and services through affiliate marketing that are a fit for your audience and theme of your site. The toughest part is being able to keep the content fresh and growing your visitors.

      Hope that helps!

  2. says

    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for your comment! Your background in graphic design can enable you to create a website that is user and seo friendly. The key is being able to provide content on your site that people will visit over and over again. As you curate your audience, recommend products and services through affiliate marketing that are a fit for your audience and theme of your site. The toughest part is being able to keep the content fresh and growing your visitors.

    Hope that helps!

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