Christmas Affiliates
#Affiliate Marketing #Commerce #Digital Marketing

Why Your Affiliates Strategy Matters this Christmas

With only six weeks until Christmas, it's safe to assume that most brands have a good idea of what they want to achieve this crucial trading period. To help brands with this last stretch, I've answered a few key questions that the majority of clients tend to ask around this time. 

Q1: Why is it important to start planning early?

To ensure that Christmas campaigns are effective and that there is enough time to build the most robust strategy possible. During planning, you should: 

  • Review past performance, including last year's offers, messaging and the tenancy strategy (on-site placements, features in newsletters as well as social media posts)
  • Identify which affiliates and placements performed well
  • Approach key partners in advance and negotiate placement. Keep in mind that it’s a two-way discussion
  • Have a flexible plan and share messaging and assets in advance
  • Plan and test - key to having the right strategy before Christmas

Q2: How will 2018 be different to last year in terms of Affiliates trends?

We’re expecting similar trends YoY and will be capitalising on learnings from last year to improve performance. Here's what you'll see:

  • Similar to last year, Black Friday will be one of the busiest shopping days for 2018
  • Most brands will offer deals outside of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend
  • The rise of influencers will have a larger impact on the affiliate space than previous years.

Q3: This is the first Christmas since GDPR legislation took effect. Will this change how Christmas campaigns are run and if so, how do you see campaigns being different?  

For Affiliates, GDPR seems to have had a minimal impact on sales volumes. This means that the industry is now focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to audiences. Other things we've noticed: 

  • No ground-breaking impact on performance and higher quality of the audience vs quantity in the audience.
  • The biggest risk: Apple changing to intelligence tracking prevention. By updating its ITP in the IOS12, it may impact how we track sales as they are limiting cookies and third-party cookies. This could impact the performance.

Q4: Why is it important for brands to still reach customers after Christmas Day and into the NY? 

Customers are for life, not just for Christmas. Lifetime value of customers is becoming an increasingly important metric. Brands should: 

  • Develop a strategy after the promotional period. During post-campaign analysis, even if it was monitored during the campaign, be sure to ask: what are the learnings?
  • Get insights so you can prepare for next year. Identify publishers that performed well during the promotional period to understand how to work closer with them for the rest of the year


Christmas should be seen as a platform to develop your offering for next year, building on previous learnings to capitalise on this strong trading period. This will give you more insights regarding your publisher potential and performance in order to carry this through to 2019. Christmas is both the culmination of all the history in managing the account, and the platform to launch in to the next year of sales.

For more expert insight, check out this podcast episode with Head of Affiliates, Matt Higgins.