January 26, 2016
January is a time for reflection: a new year, new ideas, and a new gym membership. As I don’t consider shopping for discounted cheap chocolates the day after Valentine’s Day a holiday, we can safely say that the holiday season is now behind us. And as always, there is much to learn other than to avoid the strange uncle every year on Thanksgiving.
In the midst of the holiday season, Schaaf-PartnerCentric had a merchant approach us for advice regarding the best way to capitalize on the affiliate feeding frenzy surrounding Black Friday and Christmas season. The way they saw it, there were 2 potential methods to increase revenue: doubling the commission payout to publishers promoting, or running a contest such as a $50 bonus paid to publishers making their first sales.
On the surface, the reasoning seems quite valid. It is the busiest time of the year, so publishers must be pushed to promote the brand. How can we influence affiliates to promote more than usual? Well, the age old idiom of offering the mule a carrot can encourage behavior with rewards.
Unfortunately in the barnyard of performance marketing, this logic does not always apply. In order to test this theory, we conducted an experiment with a large program during another large retail event: Back to School Events.
In previous years, we had given all publishers a significant commission increase over the holidays. After enough instances of pushing new program terms and insertion orders, the Account Manager began to wonder if this was actually effective. Eventually, the decision was made to divide publishers into 3 groups:
Group 1: Publishers were offered a new $7 off $70 coupon code.
Group 2: Publishers were offered a commission increase, however they had to manually accept the increase.
Group 3: Publishers received nothing.
After the Back to School event came and went, the results were in and quite definitive. Group 1 which had the new $7 off $70 coupon code saw the largest YOY increase in sales. Their sales were up much more than the program average – nearly 15% Year Over Year – which was a huge figure for a program that size. Their Conversion Rate and Average Order Size also increased due to the higher $70 threshold in the coupon. Publishers also created more blog posts, placements and newsletters since the coupon was a new, exciting offer.
Meanwhile, Group 2 saw only 20% of the publishers actually accept their commission increase. Of the publishers that accepted the increase, their sales growth was not significantly any better than Group 3, the publishers who received nothing. Across these other two groups the Year over Year growth was near 1%.
Publishers in Group 1 not only saw their sales increase dramatically, but also responded to the new coupon code with promotional content. Publishers generally want to provide the best products and offers to their readers, and the discount code was highly motivating to them while also appealing to customers.
Based on this study, the recommendation would be to provide the content, in this case a coupon code, that not only interests the customer but also solves a problem for the publisher. In a sort of win for John Maynard Keynes and demand side economics, providing a discount for customers spurred more spending by increasing their buying power with the lower prices.
So perhaps by using the carrot, you can indeed lead a mule to water. But if you want the mule to drink, you will need something to spur that thirst, and a discount on water just may be the solution.
January 21, 2016
We are excited to announce that Schaaf-PartnerCentric is now managing the Journelle Affiliate Program. Journelle is an emerging leader in the luxury lingerie business, bringing a fresh approach to the category through fashion-forward merchandise selection, sophisticated store design and exceptional customer care. The name, taken from the archaic French word “journellement,” meaning daily, is a nod to the belief that wearing lovely lingerie is a everyday luxury. Founded in 2007 by Claire Chambers, Journelle’s mission is to help women feel wonderful from the inside out….starting at the underpinnings.
Journelle currently operates a portfolio of retail stores and a rapidly growing online business dedicated to helping women love and wear beautiful lingerie everyday. In 2014 Journelle added its own collection of lingerie and sleepwear to its offering of established and emerging designer lingerie brands.
The Journelle affiliate program is run through Impact Radius, eBay Partner Network and AvantLink and offers an 8% payout on sales and a 3 day cookie. The program is being managed by Schaaf-PartnerCentric affiliate program manager Kris Ritchie.
January 20, 2016
With 2015 behind us, now is the time we look back and analyze what strategy and extra hustle turned a typically strong fourth quarter into a record breaker. One of the benefits of representing so many different verticals and brands is that the Schaaf-PartnerCentric team gets to experience and apply many different strategies. Below are a few samples of some key strategies that really made a difference for our partners during Q4:
- Activator – One strategy that worked out tremendously well was purchasing placements with non-productive partners. Sometimes in programs you’ll have publishers that for a myriad of reason may not be active coming into Q4. A great way to get on their radar is to utilize a strong offer with purchasing a placement. Even if the placement doesn’t come back ROI positive, (in this case it did) usually this puts you on the radar with that publisher and you are now much more entrenched on their site so you’ll see sales far beyond the fourth quarter. In the end, the overall revenue you get out of that simple placement purchase is so much more than looking at the short term run of that specific placement.
- Growth – Early adoption of expanding our client’s global reach really helped set the bar high for many clients in Q4. Focusing on not only the large sale dates in the US, but also around the world helped us grow sales with foreign deal sites and drop shippers. Opening discussion with these sites and activating them was only the beginning. Throughout the final quarter, we also communicated offers with them in such a way that made them feel as important as they were to us, resulting in many extra placements and impressions.
- Technology – Earlier in the year Google Mobilegeddon had already taken place, so our team and clients were already well aware that the mobile landscape was going to be very important to Q4 success. With mobile sales for online retailers increasing over 100% year over year and a third of consumers shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday through mobile devices this was a good bet to make. In order to utilize this channel as effectively as possible our clients created mobile specific offers and creative, picked up a lot more site to store utilization, and made sure their sites were mobile certified to increase the volume of mobile specific publishers we could partner up with.
The above strategies are just a drop in the bucket in terms of what our clients utilize during Q4. If you’re interested in trying new things – maybe you’ve never had an offer before and want to see how it performs – we’ve found that the fourth quarter is a great time to give it a go. If you need support along the way, it’s never too early to start planning! Shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com to see how we can work with you to help your affiliate program thrive in 2016.
January 14, 2016
Schaaf-PartnerCentric is pleased to announce that we are now managing the Pebble Pillows Affiliate Program. Pebble Pillows is a global online company that delivers creative pillows & stuffed toys directly to consumers around the world. Founded in 2010, Pebble Pillows has offered customers a convenient way to shop for a wide selection of lifestyle products.
Pebble Pillows follows the global fashion front and adds more attention to the human care, which can be easily noticed through its professional products of pebble pillows and stuffed toys.
The Pebble Pillows affiliate program will be run through Affiliate Window and managed by SchaafPartner-Centric Affiliate Manger, Daniel Bryant. The program will feature:
- 10% Commission on all products
- 45 Day Cookie
- Wide Variety of Creative
You can sign up for the Pebble Pillows affiliate program here.
January 04, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Schaaf-PartnerCentric is now managing the OfficeFurniture2go.com affiliate program. OfficeFurniture2go.com is your trusted source for office furniture with more than 25 years of experience. We have an extensive inventory of Office Desks, including best selling designs in the Office Source Office Furniture Collection and Bush Office Furniture Collection. Our quality products meet your business furnishing needs.
We also offer free lifetime warranties on all of our products, giving you the peace of mind that your order will be protected by our policy if repair or replacement is needed. You can also rest assured that we only work with vendors who meet our standards for quality delivery – ensuring that your order arrives on time and damage free.
- 8% Commission Payout
- 45 Day Cookie duration
- Data Feed Available
The OfficeFurniture2go.com affiliate program is being managed by Schaaf-PartnerCentric Affiliate Manager Megan Sabo, to sign up for the program go here.