For sports fans, this is one of the most exciting times of the year as the NCAA begins the annual men’s college basketball tournament. It’s also one of the best times to show creativity in marketing your Merchant Program to Affiliates. Whether you are a fanatic or know nothing about basketball, Affiliate Marketers can learn a thing or two about strategy from the game. Who knows! Carrying over some of these “plays” might help you score big with your affiliate partners.
Keeping with the basketball theme, we created a three week plan for your Affiliate Program!
Week 1: Play a Zone
The NCAA tournament kicks off this year on Thursday, March 16. Yes, there are play-in games earlier that week, but this is the official start of the “Round of 64”. Make this the most important day of your marketing activities for the next three weeks.
“Playing a zone” is a term used in basketball where a team spreads out and covers select areas across the floor, as opposed to each player covering one other player (one-on-one).
Think about this during your first week and spread out your program to focus on specific areas that will help it succeed. Two “zones” that we think warrants your attention would be Program Boosts and Adding Creatives.
- Sign up for some Program Boosts to ramp up sales and gain new Affiliates
- Add new creatives that correlate with either tournament teams or lingo for an even stronger plan in this first week
For example, a Fashion Merchant might have a creative that says “Be the Cinderella of the Big Dance” with a product image. (Yes, this is basketball lingo!) A creative like this would resonate to both fashionistas and sports fans! Start the first week with ‘zone coverage’ for all your Affiliates and you’ll find success moving into week 2.
Week 2: Hit a Buzzer-Beater with Bonuses, Coupons, and Deals
How many times has a team been down only to make a long shot as time runs out to send another team home? With so many games during the the tournament, there are a fair share of “buzzer-beaters” endings which are very exciting for all fans! (though, not fun for the losing team)
Use the ShareASale Bonus Campaign tool for your Affiliates this week. Set new bonusing and make them worthwhile. This way, Affiliates will be motivated to promote your brand and products to their clients. Don’t forget to add new coupons and deals to our database for further enticement of your “buzzer-beater discounts!”
Most teams will call time-out and diagram a play for a last second shot. You should do the same thing by taking a break and crafting some winning Merchant Newsletters. Use these at the start of the week to inform your Affiliates about all the upcoming bonuses, coupons, and deals you will run for next 7 days, or even provide examples of how they can take full advantage of them.
Week 3: One Shining Moment
You will hopefully be entering your final week on a hot streak of new Affiliate partners and sales as a result of your “plays” in the first 2 weeks. Don’t rest just yet, there is still a few days to go.
Look over your Affiliates statistics in the Affiliate Timespan Report and find who has performed the best overall in the last two weeks. This is now the right time to contact those Affiliates and ask if there is anything you can offer to help continue their success. Don’t be afraid to reward those top earners.
While this may have been a three-week experiment, you may find that these Affiliates continue to find success with your program and become loyal partners who will sing the praises of your brand. If you found that this strategy was a success, then do it all over again! It doesn’t have to just happen once a year!
Go cut down those nets in celebration of 3 weeks well spent building your program into a winning team!
Now, enjoy the cheesiest championship song ever made.