pub season, prepare marketing strategies in the fall, fine new publishersFall has at long last arrived. Decor has swapped out in shops, pumpkin spice has taken over menus, and everyone is talking about football. What you might not know is that this is also “Pub Season,” the perfect time to “hunt” down new publishers to help grow your affiliate program and drive incremental dollars through the end of the year.

Much like you, many publishers will go into code freeze during the busy Q4 holiday season, so now is the time to get them added into your program. Plus, by adding new publishers to your affiliate program now, they’ll be up and running by the time peak shopping arrives. This, in turn, will help you reach new customers and bring in new sales to help you end the year strong.

To make the most of Pub Season, you should…

Analyze top partners

Who does well for you? Who should be doing better? By determining where you’re seeing the most success, you can seek out publishers with similar models. For example, if airline rewards publishers are crushing it in your affiliate program, you might look at adding in other publisher partners who also work with airlines to reward miles.

Shop around using the Placements Marketplace

Take advantage of Rakuten Marketing’s Placements Marketplace to discover new publishers and find ones that have inventory that fits within your budget. The Placements Marketplace leverages historical network performance to recommend new opportunities that best fit your brand. Pub season is the prime time to try this out so you can find new affiliates to add to your network ahead of the busiest time on the retail calendar. Rakuten Marketing’s publisher network can link you to publishers around the world and the Placements Marketplace can make it easier for you to identify and select the ones that are right for you.

Incentivize Publishers with Targeted Commissioning Strategies

publisher commissioning strategy, holiday marketing tipsThe fourth quarter brings with it specific business goals that are a priority for every brand. Whether it is to increase new customers or move specific product lines, creating commissioning rules will help to make publishers aware of the sales that you value most.  Most partners offer targeting opportunities, ranging from targeted solo emails and cashback to customized offers via Rakuten Marketing’s Affiliate Consumer Graph. Personalization helps retailers cut through the digital clutter in order to serve up the right message to the right consumer at the right time, so look for partners who can help you find achieve this.

Review benchmarking reports

This is a great opportunity to take a look at which publishers are doing well within your vertical and where there are gaps between their programs and yours. These benchmarking reports will also tell you whether or not you’re offering a competitive commission rate compared to the vertical, which could be driving publishers to work with other brands.

Connect in real life

Take advantage of in-person networking opportunities to help you meet new partners with the potential to drive new dollars for your program. Consider checking out one of our upcoming DealMaker events, especially if you haven’t one in the past. Nothing helps strengthen the bond with a partner like putting a face to the name.

Personalize outreach

grow your affiliate network, publisher network, holiday affiliate marketing tipsSend a note to each publisher you’re recruiting about why you want to work with them and what your brand has to offer – think increased commission rates, upcoming sales, etc. This takes time, but it helps you build stronger relationships with these partners, and you’ll be top of mind when they’re filling remnant inventory on site.

Taking these steps now will help you to broaden and strengthen your publisher network heading into the busiest time of year. This, in turn, will help you get in front of more potential customers when they are in a purchasing mood.

Katie England has been with Rakuten Marketing for over 4 years, and she is currently working as a Manager, Strategic Services. In this role, she consults with current and prospective clients on how to make the most of our product suite. She is based out of Tampa, FL, though likes to spend her free time traveling (or planning her next trip). When she’s at home, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two dogs.

Affiliate success comes down to partnerships, and Rakuten Marketing can help you build stronger partnerships through our top ranked affiliate network. Contact us today to get started.