Common Affiliate Types & Optimization Tactics

It is not enough for an affiliate program to add a wide variety of affiliate types into their program.  To be successful, it is necessary to understand how to engage and optimize each type. Below is a general review of the various types of affiliates and how to successfully work with each. This article will review:


COUPON AFFILIATES

Coupon sites increase consumer confidence in purchase price. They capitalize on search results when a customer is looking for a coupon. You do not need to have discounts and coupon codes to work with these sites, but it can be more effective.

Coupon Optimization Tactics: 

  • Ensure that a merchant store page is created (this is generally done at the beginning of partnership.)
  • Ensure that your store page is continually updated and showcases accurate promotions. Note: some coupon sites partner with third-party aggregators to help automatically update promotions from the AvantLink interface. Ensure that these partners are in your program. The most utilized is For Me to Coupon (FMTC - affiliate ID: 105061).    
  • Conduct an audit of your store page when new promotions are live to ensure it has been updated on site. 
  • Inquire about any opportunities to increase exposure among their audience. For example, features in newsletters, homepage placements, category placements, etc.
  • Ensure that your company name  and top products appear when using their site’s search function.  
  • Provide a list of keywords/products for the coupon site to tag to your brand.  This will help your brand appear when a customer uses their search bar to generally search for a product. 

 

DEAL AFFILIATES

Deal sites focus on “Best of Web” pricing and product based deals.  They generally promote a specific product deal vs. an overarching sale or coupon code. Deal sites have loyal users who check these deal sites regularly or set alerts for product deals. Some deal partners allow their users to post deals to their sites.

Deal Optimization Tactics: 

  • Ensure that deal partners know when you have a promotion going on.  
  • Call out any specific brands/products going on sale that are popular on site 
  • Book placements with deal sites when you have a sale going on to help get deals on homepage or featured pages for more coverage. 
  • If a deal makes it organically to deal site page, consider placements to help support and boost the coverage. 

 

LOYALTY AFFILIATES

Loyalty affiliates, also known as “cash-back” or “reward” sites, offer money/points back to their customers for shopping through their site. They do this by sharing their commission earned on purchases with the customer. These sites are great for programs who don’t have discounts on their products, but still want to tap into the more price conscious customer and offer incentive.

Loyalty Optimization Tactics:

  • Ensure that a store page is created on the Loyalty site (this is generally done at the beginning of partnership.)
  • Ensure that your store page is continually updated and showcases accurate promotions. Note: some loyalty sites partner with third-party aggregators to help automatically update promotions from the AvantLink interface. Ensure that these partners are in your program. The most utilized is For Me to Coupon (FMTC - affiliate ID: 105061).  
  • Inquire about any opportunities to increase exposure among their audience. For example, features in newsletters, homepage placements, category placements, etc.
  • Ensure that your company name  and top products appear when using their site’s search function.  
  • Review the cashback rates of your competitors on site and adjust your rate accordingly to stay competitive (this can be particularly effective during holiday seasons).

 

CONTENT AFFILIATES 

You often hear that Content is King in the affiliate channel. Content sites can come in many different shapes and sizes from in-depth review sites, to lifestyle blogs, to traditional media publications.  It is good to remember that relationships with content partners take time to build and require more proactive communication from merchants to make sure these partners have enough time/details to prepare content to support a sale, product launch, or brand initiative.  

Content Optimization Tactics:

  • Every content site is unique so reach out directly and explore specific opportunities to build this relationship. Some questions you might ask: 
    • How does their content creation operate? Do they have more than one editor? How do they decide what to write about? What content categories drive the most conversions/traffic? 
    • What is their audience demographic?
    • Do they have a strong social media base?
    • Do they send out newsletters? How many subscribers?
    • Do they review products and would they be willing to write about their experience with your brand or brand’s products? 
    • Do they have sponsored content opportunities available?
    • Do they have a media kit or outline of costs for increased exposure opportunities?
    • Do they have a content calendar so that you can understand the type of products/experiences they are planning to write about?
    • What commission rate needs to be met to increase linking to your brand over a competitor’s? 
    • Do they adhere to Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding the use of affiliate relationships? 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA PARTNERS 

Social mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are quickly becoming strong affiliate partners on their own without the association of a blog or content site.

Social Media Optimization Tactics:

  • Some questions you might ask a prospective social media affiliate:
    • Do they review products and would they be willing to post about their experience with your brand? 
    • Do they have a media kit or outline of costs for increased exposure opportunities?
    • Do they have a content calendar so that you can understand the type of products/experiences they are planning to write about?
    • Do they adhere to Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding the use of affiliate relationships? 

 

SUB-AFFILIATE NETWORKS

Sub-affiliate networks are technology sites at their core. They have their own “network” of affiliates that work within them so they can access merchants across various networks. Their technology makes the link creation seamless across networks, so affiliates are willing to give up some of their commission earned to work with these sites. 

Sub-Affiliate optimization tactics

  • Reach out to the sub-affiliate and request a report outlining which sites are sending traffic and generating sales.
  • If you only want to work with one type of affiliate partner, communicate that with Sub-Affiliate Network and set-up restrictions. 
  • Inquire about any opportunities to increase exposure among strong partners performing for your program.

 

TECHNOLOGY-BASED PARTNERS

This is a niche category of affiliates who focus on conversion optimization for your site. They can create digital campaigns for your company to address specific pain-points in your customer’s journey - from on-site conversion, to email capture, to cart-abandonment and cross-device tracking. Every affiliate is unique. Inquire directly to discuss how they can help your affiliate program. 

 

SEARCH PARTNERS 

Search partners will help you with your pay-per-click bidding on keywords and/or brand name. SEM works in tandem with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help people find your website. These two strategies result in paid traffic and organic traffic, respectively. Again, every search partner is unique. Inquire directly to discuss how they can help your affiliate program. 

 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 

If you have any additional questions about the affiliate listed or the tactics discussed, please email am@avantlink.com.

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