How to activate affiliates for Independence Day.
The most American of holidays is just around the corner. No, not Amazon Prime Day, though that’s also usually in July so we can understand the confusion. It’s the 4th of July break that’s full of overeating and often, overspending. Some reports put holiday spending during this time at around $7.1 billion, putting the 4th in the top ten biggest shopping holidays in the US calendar year. Coupled with that fake “holiday” created by Amazon Prime (another $4+ billion), there are a lot of wallets being opened.
So now is the time to get your affiliate marketing ducks in a row to help your online business make the most of this season. Here are some tips on what you should do to prepare your affiliate reps for a bountiful Independence Day.
Focus your attention on reps with a summer-y niche
Between your affiliate rep who blogs about ice climbing, and your rep who blogs about beachwear, you know who’s going to get more eyeballs during this time of year. Focus your attention on the reps who naturally lend themselves to 4th of July related topics to get the best bang for your buck.
If you don’t have enough of those summer-y reps, now is the time to reach out to them and establish a relationship so you can increase your exposure. It would first help to make a list of your products that relate directly to summer so you can narrow down your search. For example, if you sell eyewear, now would be a popular time to market sunglasses. Target Influencers and bloggers who create content around sunglasses and reach out to get an affiliate campaign going.
Popular products around 4th of July include:
outdoor sporting goods
furniture (indoor and outdoor)
cooking supplies (eg. BBQ sets)
tech (due to proximity to Amazon Prime Day)
back-to-school supplies (more on this later)
But what about all your reps that hate the sun? What if you sell parkas and have nothing to do with summer? Well, you just need to think in the direction of the one thing that is always attention-grabbing:
Run a summer sale
When in the shopping mood, people will be on the lookout for summer sales. Even if your online business has nothing much to do with the outdoors, fireworks, or patriotism; it’s still a great time to run a month-long sale on your most popular products.
This way, you can activate your reps that also don’t have a toe in summer-related topics. It will give them a reason to post about your products, and sales are just an overall great way to motivate your affiliate reps.
Make a list of the products you are planning to discount and give your reps a heads-up that they are set to go live near the 4th of July. If you haven’t been regularly sending an affiliate-only newsletter to announce this sort of promotion, now is a great time to start. It’s an effective way to spotlight what your reps need to know to maximize their commissions, as well as a way to share useful content and images.
Speaking of which…
Motivate to avoid your reps’ summer doldrums
Affiliate reps are people too. People who get busy socializing during the summer, especially when there are so many things to do and the weather turns perfect. It is common for affiliate marketing to slow down a bit during the summer months, but with the 4th of July sale coming up, it behooves you to motivate them to sell.
A big hurdle that merchants must always overcome, that gets exacerbated over the summer, is laziness when it comes to content. Creating new, interesting content takes effort and many affiliate reps might not have the gumption to pound out 1200 words on their blog or spend 10 hours on a well shot and edited video for their YouTube channel.
If you want to make the most of the 4th of July season for shopping, do the work for them. Create great content on your end including infographics, well shot social posts, and compelling blog posts that they can simply click “share” on their end. Not only does it lower the bar for them to get going, but it’s great for your site’s SEO as well. And with Google’s recent announcement that they will be limiting how often the same site appears on the search results page, it’s more important than ever for your content to live on other domains.
Another tactic to motivate your reps is to run a June-July affiliate competition with a bonus for the reps that convert the best (or sell the most). You can even combine this friendly contest with a bump in commissions over the months as well (say from 15% to 20%) to provide extra incentive to sell as much as they can. Keep a semi-public leader board of the top affiliates visible online and see how they compete with each other to make the most sales for the season.
Create landing pages for 4th of July and Prime Day
Another way to make it easy for your affiliate reps to market your 4th of July deals is to consolidate your products onto an Independence Day branded landing page. You may think this is a no-brainer, but keep in mind that landing pages for affiliate marketing should be tailored to the traffic that your reps are bringing in.
If you’re expecting one of your Influencer relationships to bear fruit during this season, what sort of traffic is it and what should your landing page look like to best service these visitors? After all, you probably want a different landing page for 20-somethings coming from Instagram, than for 40-somethings coming from a blog post. The more tailored and varied your 4th of July landing pages are (not to mention your Amazon Prime Day landing pages), the more success both you and your affiliates will have with conversions.
Tease your back-to-school sale, up next
If your shoppers aren’t already buying back-to-school supplies and gear, they soon will be. Now is a great time to tease your back-to-school products and services that will be (or already are) on sale. A couple of very simple ways to do this:
One is at checkout. Once they have successfully made their purchase, you can leverage your Thank You Page to show your upcoming back-to-school merchandise. It’s a great reminder as they exit that your online store has what they are looking for when it’s time. Additionally, you can give them a coupon code for a % off their back-to-school shopping. Now they have a great incentive to come back.
Another way is earlier in the funnel with your affiliate’s content. It’s not too early to start planting this seed of “back-to-school deals,” and your affiliates can end their 4th of July content with just a quick line such as “and don’t forget, back-to-school deals are just around the corner. If you want an early sneak peek, here’s a link to a great backpack for your student.”
Your affiliates can tack this on to the end of blog posts, in their Instagram captions, in the YouTube descriptions, etc. To be clear, the content itself is about 4th of July, but this is an additional tease to grab the attention of early shoppers, as well as to stick in the minds of other shoppers for later.
These are just some of the ways you can activate your affiliates to make your 4th of July a big win in your ledger. The earlier you start to prepare, the bigger your sales will be. Happy early 4th!