Better Program Strategies Through Affiliate Behavior – By Jonathan Goodwin

by Sara Szado on December 19, 2015


A diversified affiliate program is instrumental to the growth of the channel. Most programs tend to be dominated by a single segment of affiliates, and diversifying the program creates significant growth opportunities.

Each affiliate is different in their own right, so having the right strategy in place with each segment of affiliates is important. Loyalty, coupon, niche/content, and other publishers can contribute greatly to the affiliate channel.


Ebates, Upromise, FatWallet, Cartera Commerce, Mr. Rebates, Goodshop, and others can significantly impact an affiliate channel. They not only present the opportunity to drive substantial revenue but also can assist in increasing the average-order-value (AOV) in the cart.

“Loyalty partners offer significant growth impact through specific areas for merchants. For instance, we offer marketing efforts for targeting only “new” customers or we can provide feedback on potential offers or sales that resonate strongly with established users.” – April Spigarelli, Ebates

Since most of these affiliates offer rewards, points, or cashback, consumers pounce on opportunities to earn more rewards and add more items to their cart. A great tactic to employ with these publishers is to increase commission levels to offer higher incentives to the consumer.

When working with affiliates, ask them to pass 100% back to the consumer, for a short duration. This will create a sense of urgency and entice consumers to shop over competing brands.


Typically coupon publishers are the most popular affiliate segment and tend to get a bad rap. Many advertisers assume they generate sales without the coupon affiliates, which simply isn’t true.

“eCommerce businesses should look through their shoppers’ eyes and realize how much coupon sites help close sales. If you believe coupon sites are just swooping in last minute, ask yourself why conversions aren’t near 100%. The best recommendation is to optimize with coupon sites. I bet you’ll continue to see increases in conversion rates and higher sales figures.” – Kevin Sloan,

These publishers are proven to drive not only the most traffic but also create the best opportunity to capture new customers.

Working with coupon affiliates is a must if your program strategy is to increase new-to-file (NTF). Tactics that normally drive the most customers are: exclusive offers, vanity codes, and paid placements.

Niche / Content

Everybody wants more content publishers. These publishers have significant value in validating the brand’s products. In spite of their popularity with advertisers, these publishers are not typically heavy revenue drivers for the program.

What’s important is to have this affiliate segment complement the channel’s overall growth. These publishers need items to review on their site to highlight the benefits of the brand’s products to their specific demographic. Giveaways within this affiliate sector will also create beneficial brand exposure.

To achieve the best affiliate program strategy, program goals must align with the advertisers internal goals. Having the right blend of affiliates in the program with the right strategy will set you up for success in managing the channel.

Jonathan Goodwin is the Director of Accounts at JEBCommerce.

This article appeared in issue 32 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in October 2015.

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