Creating an Effective Affiliate Forecast By Jonathan Goodwin

by Colleen on November 14, 2013

The significance to creating an affiliate forecast is simple. It sets the expectations and goals for you and your team to achieve for the program. I also view this as an opportunity to demonstrate your value and credibility that you can be trusted to hit / surpass revenue goals. ff24_cover-sm

These revenue goals are the foundation to success, which will drive your actionable plan with you and your team to reach these milestones.

One of the key points to creating an effective forecast and actionable growth plan is providing that added sense of value that can be very integral to your relationship with your client. Each client that relies on a forecast plan for growth heavily leans on your ability to manage and convey metrics to hit or surpass revenue goals.

Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in creating an effective forecast can really go a long way with client retention, having a trusting relationship with your contact, and establishing your credibility in the affiliate space.

The most important thing you can do as an affiliate marketing manager, during your early engagement with your client, is to ask, “What are your revenue goals for the program?” Your client will provide you a dollar amount for the year, and then you and your contact will be able to dive deep in the affiliate forecasted plan.

You should also seek additional marketing materials (promotional cadence calendar), data via their backend system (Omniture, Core-Metrics, etc), and information regarding promotions, which will allow you to effectively forecast and manage your affiliate budget.

During this discussion, both parties will be able to pinpoint and reveal why and how the dollar amount can be achieved through the affiliate space. Below are a few questions you can start off with. This should definitely create a good discussion with you and your contact.


• What contributing factors are included with this goal?
• What is your effective ERS (effective revenue shared) for the program?
• Do you have peaks and valleys during the year?
• Do you have historical data? Last 3-5 years?
• Can we have access to your backend analytics?
• Do you anticipate any major changes year-over-year in promotional cadence calendar?
• What’s the percent lift you anticipate over LY?
• Are there any white periods throughout the year where you do not have any promotions planned?

Now that you have your questions answered, this should provide insights into your planning process. You should be able to anticipate peaks and valleys, plan on specific times of the year, and look at historical data and depict the percentage of decrease or increase each year, which will illustrate what you anticipate the upcoming year, will be for the affiliate program.

Establishing an affiliate forecasted goal is the blueprint for success. This can provide you and your team solid actionable items to help achieve or surpass your goals. Securing paid placements, exclusive coupons, or just relying on your promotional calendar will provide you that roadmap to success to effectively manage the affiliate program.

Jonathan Goodwin is a Senior Affiliate Manager at JEBCommerce (Rakuten Agency of year 2012).

This article appeared in issue 24 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in October 2013. Read issue 24 of FeedFront Magazine.

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