Get ready merchant-folks because now is the time to show what you are made of! Yes, that is right, *show*. One of the most important things to make sure you prepare for during the craziness that is Q4, is making sure your Creative Inventory is set! This means preparing your Banners, Text Links, Newsletters & Coupon/Deals NOW, so you are set to launch them on time with no hassle.
First & Foremost, Initial Research
I’d take a look at your “Banner Performance Report”. Here you can view the best performing creative throughout the year (or any specific time period). Then I would ask:
*Are there any trends?
*What’s the best converting?
*Are there any spikes in sales with any of them?
I also might go as far as reaching out to my affiliates with a survey or request of feedback of any specific types or size of creative they may want to see from your program. If you have a large affiliate base, maybe reach out to a specific group or best performers.
Secondly, Variety is Important
Affiliates advertise in many different ways and it’s important to make sure you supply your affiliates with as many different types of creative options as you can. Whether they are through:
- Banner images
- Promotional (coupon/deals)
Variety is important! What may perform for one affiliate, may not for another. Supplying your affiliates with choices also gives them the opportunity to see what works on their site! For example, your internal marketing team may find a 300×250 banner to be the best performing creative while one of your blog affiliates may find an 88×31 logo or text creative may be more profitable. Giving your affiliates options can benefit the relationship between both of you to create the best user experience possible.
Thirdly, Size Matters
It’s very important to not only have a variety of creative options, but also multiple sizes of banners. A common inquiry is “What are the most popular sizes?” Although there are several options, here is a list of the most popular sizes we see Affiliates use:
And let’s not forget the most important…. 88×31!! Your Logo Size!!
Creating Holiday specific banners can definitely provide value for your affiliate program in Q4.
Fourthly, Get the Word Out!
Keeping in communication with your affiliates during this time is utterly important! Not only through specific inquiries, but sending out Newsletters, through our Newsletter Tool. Physically send your affiliates the creative you have uploaded, any specific coupons/deals/promotions (along with their dates – this is important!!) and then all they have to do is copy and paste on their site! I also recommend always including contact information in your newsletters in case the affiliates have any questions regarding the creative.
And do remember, Macros Macros Macros!
Fifthly, Utilize ShareASale’s API
Automating processes can be a huge time saver, especially during the chaos that is Q4. We have a tool (Log In >> Tools >> Merchant API) that helps Merchants automate the following processes:
- Uploading Banners
- Uploading Text Links
- Uploading Coupons/Deals
- Editing All of the Above
Under the 3rd Section of our Merchant API options, you will see “Program Maintenance Requests”. This is where your programmer will be able to prepare a script for you to automate the process of uploading and editing creative, without even having to log into your account!
For Example: I prepare a spreadsheet with banner, text link or coupon information on it. My programmer’s script they prepare processes the file and uses ShareASale’s API to update my creative automatically without ever logging in.
This way, you can upload or edit multiple creative at a time without having to go into your account and editing each one! Huge time saver!
Lastly, Do Not Forget the Important Dates!!
Q4 is filled with important promotional and Holiday Dates but two of the largest are:
- Black Friday – Friday November 29, 2013
- Cyber Monday – Monday December 2, 2013
This specific weekend is HUGE for online sales and make sure to give your affiliates any promotions or deals that you will be running that weekend by the first of November. Remember, they need time to upload onto their sites as well!