The biggest event in the retail calendar is right around the corner. On Black Friday 2018, online spending in the UK reached a staggering £1.49 billion (IMRG), and with spending for this year expected to be just as strong, almost every retailer on the net will be competing for a slice of that revenue — many of them through affiliate links.
So, what can you do to give your affiliate deals a boost before Friday 29th? While most performance marketers will have been working on their Black Friday strategies for months, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to capitalise on the event. Here, I’ll share some tips and tricks that you can use to maximise conversions on Black Friday and beyond.
Offering a great deal is key
There’s a huge amount of competition to secure a good spot on key affiliate sites in the months leading up to Black Friday. If you’ve missed the boat this year, then you could still try to beat out the competition by offering a last-minute deal. Customers are increasingly savvy when it comes to identifying the best deals, so if you offer a very competitive cost per acquisition (CPA), you might be able to compete with more prominent placements. Even the most prominent placements on big cashback sites aren’t necessarily going to convert unless they offer a good value, so you could just undercut the competition by offering a killer deal.
Remember, in addition to a great deal, there are lots of other aspects which can influence conversions, like viral trends, the news, or the weather. One advantage of sorting your deals last minute is that you can tailor your campaign around these key variables, so be sure to take all of this into account when designing your offers.
Drive excitement with exclusive previews and access
There may less than a couple of weeks to go, but it’s not too late to drum up some excitement for your deals among your customer base. You can build hype by offering an exclusive preview of your Black Friday offers for your loyal customers using a sign-up form, or by offering exclusive access to customers on mailing lists. Once you’ve decided what incentives you’re going to offer, create some marketing emails and landing pages and start shouting about them!
Depending on the specifics of your business, you might have goals other than just driving sales, like increasing customer footfall in your bricks-and-mortar shops. If this is the case, try to offer your affiliate a related incentive, like a voucher for a free gift in-store.
Shift stagnant stock and increase profit margins
Black Friday offers retailers a fantastic opportunity to shift stagnant stock by promoting a deal on products that will soon be discontinued or out of date. This means you won’t need to offer low margin products on valuable brand-new stock, which will help to maximise your profit margins and ensure that your affiliate offerings are netting you a profit. Of course, you don’t want to pick products that are so out-of-date that they’re unlikely to sell — customers are getting wise to these tactics — but I’d definitely prioritise older stock that you want to clear quickly, especially if you can offer an appealing deal.
Whatever you do, remember to only ever promote offers on stock you have plenty of in your inventory. Even of your goal is to shift as much old stock as possible, you don’t want to run out halfway through a campaign that is driving lots of sales.
Diversify your campaign with more than one type of affiliate
The customer journey is likely to involve lots of different channels, so don’t rely on one affiliate type. Your top revenue-driver is likely to change over time, so don’t be afraid to reach out to low-funnel affiliates and ask for exposure. For example, if you previously gifted a blogger a product for review, and the product is now part of the Black Friday offer, reach out the influencer and offer a code or ask them to update the blog post mentioning the item will be in the sale.
Black Friday may be approaching fast, but there are still steps you can take to boost your affiliate marketing campaign in the run-up to the big event. With a little luck, the strategies I’ve shared here will help you to boost conversions and increase profits on the 29th November this year.
By Virginia Rizzi
Performance Marketing Manager