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Affiliate Marketing around the world Netherlands 4 12

[caption id="attachment_13169" align="aligncenter" width="768"]Affiliate Marketing in the Netherlands Affiliate Marketing in the Netherlands[/caption] After the a4u expo Europe 2013 – Europe´s largest Affiliate and Performance Marketing Conference – in Amsterdam, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to affiliate marketing in the Netherlands. Therefore we interviewed Dave Kallenbach of Daisycon who gave relevant insider tips about the Dutch market.

Demographics, internet usage and ad spends

16.7 million inhabitants currently live in the Netherlands. 94.9% of the overall population use the internet according to a research of Eurostat, which exceeds the European average of 63.2%. Dave states that “in contrast to 2011, the number of online purchases per user grew 8% in 2012, although the average order-value dropped 4%. Already 70% of the internet users have done at least one online purchase in the last 12 months. Hence, the growth potential of e-commerce in general is not so much in getting more people to buy online, rather increasing the frequency and order value.” The mentioned factors point out the very high internet affinity of the Dutch. This is also reflected in the advertising budget of the companies. In 2009 and 2010 more advertising budget was spent in print, however there has been a change in 2011. Nowadays, the majority of the budget spent (€ 1.257 millions) flows into online marketing. Affiliate marketing benefits from this development, as in 2011 € 127 million were invested in this channel, which increased last year by 3.3% up to € 131 million.

Affiliate Marketing Insights

According to the revenues, the combined networks Zanox/M4N, Daisycon and TradeTracker are the biggest networks in the Netherlands, which is also illustrated in the following graph : [caption id="attachment_13173" align="aligncenter" width="563"]Affiliate Blog - Top 10 Affiliate Netwerken NL Source: Screenshot of http://www.affiliateblog.nl/affiliatetop10-2012/[/caption] During the Affiliate Awards 2013, the merger of Zanox/M4N was nominated best affiliate network. The network Daisycon was voted most popular network by Dutch publishers for four consecutive years (2009 to 2012) based on functionality, personal contact, high service level and the special pay-out structure. The most important publisher models in the Dutch affiliate market are content affiliates with a share of 42%, followed by email publishers (13%), coupon publishers (11%), price comparison websites (11%), cashback sites (10%) and SEA affiliates (10%). The social media publisher play only a minor role with 2%. [caption id="attachment_13174" align="aligncenter" width="558"]Publisher Models Source: http://twinklemagazine.nl/nieuws/2013/05/nederlandse-affiliatemarkt-groeit-tot-131-miljoen-euro/PresentationAffiliateDag_26052013v2FL_studio_015.pdf[/caption] “Performance based has become the industry standard. Both, Cost per Sale and Cost per Lead, are common. These two have almost rendered CPM (Cost per Mile) obsolete. Hybrid models are also used, for instance: a combination of a low CPC and high CPS.” says Dave Kallenbach. The best performing sectors in the Dutch affiliate market include financial services, travel, as well as retail and fashion. This thesis is based on the numeration of all Zanox/M4N advertisers. Furthermore the current Online Ad Spend Report of Deloitte and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Netherlands confirm this assumption based on the revenue share of each industry in total affiliate sales 2012. [caption id="attachment_13175" align="aligncenter" width="609"]Industries by revenue share 2012 Netherlands Source: http://www.iab.nl/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/03/Online-Ad-Spend-2012_nieuw.pdf[/caption] As in Germany, logos in combination with text links are very common in the Netherlands. “Product feeds have become an important part of affiliate marketing in the Netherlands. Product feeds are used for comparison-websites, apps and larger publishers who use them for their content sites. A good product feed improves speed and quality on the publisher-side.” Another tip is the banner with the size 500 x 500 pixels which is often used by email publishers. However, the format is rather unusual in the German market but a Must Have in each Dutch banner collection. Large scale fraud is not common in the Netherlands, says Dave. The efforts of the Dutch Platform Affiliate Networks (PAN) have contributed to this. The members continually strive to improve /evolve the business. Click fraud has become rare. Nowadays this is easy to detect. “Brand bidding” and unwanted keyword marketing do happen in the Netherlands, though both the networks and advertisers have developed countermeasure tools.

Mobile Affiliate Marketing

Regarding the question, how important mobile affiliate marketing in the Netherlands is, Dave Kallenbach answers: “Independent research by Thuiswinkel.org (the Dutch e-commerce association) shows that by the end of 2012 there were 1.7 million mobile users that have bought online. A one-year growth of 73%! Mobile users already make up to 12% of the total number of online orders, which are about 6% of total online revenue.” The mobile market is growing strongly, a third of all affiliate programs have already optimized mobile shops and offer appropriate advertising. “A view of our (overall) traffic shows that 4% of the transactions are mobile and 6% are tablet traffic. The networks and publishers are continually working on improving their mobile services, tech-wise. Most of the networks are ready for mobile. On the advertiser’s side, a change in business-models and mindset is often needed to make higher returns and conversion possible.” For a few of the most important industries for Dutch affiliate marketing (travel, telecom and finance) mobile is mostly used by consumers for online orientation and research. The conversion rates are not that significant yet.

The Netherlands and the EU Cookie Policy

In 2009 the European Parliament decided to change the privacy policy in order to give users more transparency and security in relation to personal data on the World Wide Web. Directive 2009/136/EG, better known as the EU Cookie Policy, has been established to national law only by a few countries. The Netherlands took a leading role and integrated the directive in the Dutch Telecommunications Act on June 2012. By now internet users have to be informed explicitly and transparently of the individual cookies before visiting the website by an explicit permit. To obtain the permission of the user there are different options, such as the opt-in or the opt-out procedures. There has been initial confusion in the industry regarding the correct implementation of the law, and furthermore of how the law would affect performance marketing, if all tracking cookies were blocked by the user. A harsh interpretation of the law by the independent market regulator OPTA/ACM led to an unusable situation and massive consumer complaints based on content-walls and popups. On 20 May 2013, a draft bill of the minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp was published which alleviates the Dutch cookie law. It should no longer be necessary to inform customers about cookies that only supply insight into the quality and effectiveness of services which have no impact on the privacy of users. These include for example web analytics cookies, a/b testing cookies and affiliate cookies. The new draft bill should be passed in the Parliament this fall.


Even though the situation concerning the cookie policy is not completely clear yet, Deloitte expects a market growth of 5% to 15% in its upcoming report. The retail sector will benefit the most, however the telecommunications sector will decrease. Real Time Bidding (RTB) may decrease the market share of affiliate marketing. The publisher model with the largest growth will be Mobile (like the years before), but it will still be small in absolute size. Looking ahead optimizing the online shop for mobile devices pays. For this reason appropriate creatives should not be missing in the affiliate networks. “Autonomous online growth leads to increased competition for market share. The competition will be fought with service and technology developments. Both on the side of networks, advertisers and publishers. On technology development a lot of data driven improvements are expected in line with the development in the RTB environment.” concludes Dave. Are you interested in affiliate marketing in the Netherlands? Contact us or our Yamondo partner Traffic4u right now to get detailed information or a free analysis of the potential of your online shop. We especially would like to thank Dave Kallenbach from the affiliate network Daisycon for the kind support as an expert of the Dutch affiliate market. The German version of this article can be read here. Author: Wolfgang Polzer