It’s the holiday season and that means 30-50% of your sales will come in just a few weeks. Today, I’m beginning an eight-part series on how to optimize your affiliate marketing and your affiliate programs for the holidays.
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Holiday Affiliate Guide Pt. 1: There’s More than Just Black Friday & Christmas
Hey, welcome back. It is the most wonderful time of the year, although it’s a little bit early, I don’t know about you. I’m not personally listening to Christmas music yet above and beyond while I’m listening to the Christmas music that Andy Williams, it’s the holiday season playing at the beginning of this episode.
But other than that, I’m not quite in Christmas music mode yet. That’ll be a few more weeks. I think post-Thanksgiving is kind of when I get into that, when I start rocking the I’ve got some good Christmas playlist, he used to have a bunch of good ones on Pandora, then switched to Spotify. Now I got to recreate it this year.
So I got a lot of work to do very important work to recreate those Christmas playlists. And I know I’ve asked, I mean, I had the Pandora one since 2007 and then got rid of Pandora. And now it’s like, oh no, I mean, I had some good songs on there. So, but it’s an opportunity to start fresh in 2021.
It’s a new holiday season excited about that. So I am starting an eight-part holiday series, the holiday affiliate guide, and this is part one there’s more than just black, Friday, and Christmas. And this is eight parts in honor of a well in honor of my Jewish friends, For the last three years, I’ve done a 12 part series for the 12 days of Christmas.
This year, I’ve got eight new strategies, new tips, and a ton more for promoting affiliate offers and also for running your affiliate program this holiday season. So how’s this going to work? Well, it’s going to be four weeks long. I’m going to do two episodes a week. So we’re going to bump things up a little bit, an extra episode every week Tuesday, we’re going to cover things from the affiliate marketing side. So promoting holiday offers what you should do as an affiliate. And then Friday, we’re going to talk about running affiliate programs. What does this mean for affiliate programs like running an affiliate program? I’ve got some cool stuff, stuff I’ve never done before that I’m going to do in this series. And also a bunch of tips and strategies I’ve never shared before.
Some totally new topics that even in the, even in those 36 parts, because I did the 12 episodes of Christmas series, I did that for three years. So even amongst the 36 episodes, these are things I’ve never shared before. Now. The thing is like each Tuesday episode, it’s about affiliate marketing. Like this one, I’m going to have an affiliate focus piece, but there’s a lesson in there for affiliate managers and affiliate program owners as well, just because it’s for affiliates, don’t skip it for one. You need to learn what your affiliates need to learn.
Secondly, there’s probably a side lesson in there that as I think through this one, for example, I know I’m going to end up delving into our diving into that arena as well in the Friday episodes. Oh, I don’t have an affiliate program. You should still listen because there’s some stuff. One you’re going to have an affiliate program soon. I mean, you can’t listen to my podcast for more than 20 episodes and not start an affiliate program. I hope I’ve convinced you of that.
But secondly, there are some things you’re going to learn that will apply to your affiliate marketing as well. So today’s part one there’s more than just Black Friday and Christmas. So if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking that it is way too early to start preparing for the holidays, as I said, I am not ready for Christmas music yet. We do not put up the tree yet.
We have not that that comes usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, but if you’re thinking it’s too early to prepare for the holidays in terms of your marketing, let me just warn you about something that is the number one mistake that marketers make holiday affiliate promotions take a lot of planning, whether you’re doing it as an affiliate or you’re running an affiliate program, they take a lot of planning. Now the best time to start planning is yesterday. It’s actually like a week ago. All right, it’s never too early to start preparing for your holiday campaigns, but the second-best time is right now. The second best time is right now. And there’s a good reason why I mentioned this at the top of the show, why you want to prioritize your work on the holidays.
According to research, retailers say that more than 30% of their annual revenue comes from the holiday promotions one month, basically what amounts to Black Friday through the last shipping day before Christmas. So roughly one month, 30 days, ish sometimes only like 27 days. And yet one-third of their revenue can come in that period.
One 12th of the days, one-third of the revenue, that’s a 400% inflation of, or what they should be doing. Realistically only about 12.5% should be coming during that period. And they’re getting 30 to 35%. So the numbers going to be about the same for affiliate marketing as well. My personal opinion is this number would be even higher if people actually knew how to do it properly.
In other words, the holidays are the most profitable time to be an affiliate marketer, right? Like that’s true if you’re good at it, but it’s also a treatment. If you’re not good at holiday marketing, so let’s get good at it. All right, let’s get good at, I w I want you, I want to see you become as profitable as you can be.
So we’re going to talk about how to make this your best holiday season yet. Here’s the thing. This goes for anyone during the holiday season, all right, this goes for not just this, isn’t just affiliate marketers. This is everyone. If you want to make the best of the holiday season, you need to have a plan.
You need to plan plan, plan. You need to decide your exact strategy. What you’re going to focus on, what you’re going to promote. You want to take the time to research what you might want to be promoting. If you’re going to be putting it together, we’ll talk about this like holiday gift guides, what promotional methods you’re going to use? when do you need to start, right? Do you want to do this early? Like I said, how early, how early do you need to be doing this? Let me put it this way. If it feels early, it’s not early enough. You gotta start doing this early.
So you got to get your email list ready? Now’s a great time. Here we are about a month, not even a month when this releases less than a month out, go ahead and scrub your email list so that your deliverability rates over the next two rates will go up if you have a list, I’m just making up a number here, round number. You’ve got a list of 10,000 people, but 2000 of those people, haven’t opened an email in six months. Let’s get them off your list right now. So that over the next two weeks, your deliverability rates will be higher when you need it most. So today’s tip is this though. And this is, this is important. You need to consider all of the holidays, not just the big ones. Everyone focuses on the big holidays.
You got the first one, Black Friday, you got the last one, new year’s day, basically, right? Those are the big ones. Like there’s kind of a few more holidays in between. They’re important dates, right? I mean, think about this. You got, so this year looking at 2021, if you’re listening to this a year from now, you’ll have to adjust these dates, but you got November 26th is black. Friday, November 27th is a small business. Saturday. That’s a thing. Now you can take advantage of that. Both ways as an affiliate program and as an affiliate marketer, you got cyber Monday on November 29th, Hanukkah, November 28 through December 6 is I think that’s like about as early as it can be.
It’s pretty early this year. I always like every time I always looked upon a couple of weeks before Christmas, or maybe it would run like right after I think, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it dip into November personally. I’m sure it has. I just haven’t paid attention. You get free shipping day on December 24th.
That’s a big thing. If you’ve got physical products, you’ve got your last day to guarantee shipping before Christmas. Now, this is going to vary based on the merchant and the location and things like that. Somewhere between December 18th and 22nd could be longer. This year. I’ve heard because of supply chain issues and things like that, all those nightmares situations, but it’s probably in that range.
It was probably not December 12th. And it’s definitely not December 24th. You can guarantee it the day before unless you’re doing Amazon the same day. You need to know that. So if you’ve got five merchants that you promote, you need to know what is the last day to guarantee shipping before Christmas. Obviously, you have Christmas day December 25th, but boxing day is a thing over in the UK. I think it might be a thing in Canada too. I’m not sure. I should probably look that up. You got new year’s Eve, the end of the year, you’ve got new year’s day, the start of a new year, the new year’s resolution. Like that’s a lot of ETPs. Those are Excuses To Promote,
We’re always looking for these excuses to promote what are the reasons we can promote? Well, if somebody has a free shipping day deal, that’s an excuse to promote. If the last day to guarantee shipping of the product is December 20 or 19th or December 20th, that’s an important date to promote because there’s scarcity. There’s scarcity at 9:00 PM on cyber Monday,
November 29th, there’s scarcity, there are only six hours left to take advantage of this deal. I say six hours because it was 9:00 PM Eastern. It probably ends at midnight Pacific. So it’s six hours, but maybe an into midnight Eastern. You need to know that that’s a lot of sales. It’s a lot of deals, a lot of cool ways to integrate holidays in your marketing.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s all about the deals. It’s all about price. That’s fine. If you want to compete with that, I’m not discouraging you, right. Just know that it’s a madhouse. Everyone is promoting. It’s hard to stand out. And we’re going to talk about how to stand out in your holiday affiliate promotions in a few episodes that may or may not be one of the upcoming episodes. But we think about that Black Friday, Cyber Monday like everyone’s promoting, what about Hanukkah? There’s a lot less competition. Well is a Hanukkah competition, and it doesn’t have to be a Jewish audience. You could just use that as an excuse and ETP excuse to promote its eight days.
So you could do different promotions each day. You could do different deals, different themes. You get creative. Could you do a bundle on one day?. This applies again, if you’re running, affiliate offers, you’re promoting things as an affiliate or an affiliate program. If you’ve got an affiliate program, what could you do over Hanukkah?
What could you do to make each of those eight days different? If you’re an affiliate, what could you do to find different products that have different deals? Could you create your own eight-day thing where the merchant doesn’t really, they have different offers going on, but you just pick one to promote each of those eight days. And maybe you offer a bonus on that day and that’s what makes it enticing.
Maybe they have a deal just going back up to the calendar here real quick. Hanukkah’s November 28 through December six. So it seems like that’s nine days long. And I do the math thereof the check, my dates on that. I see you know what? Let’s just Google that right now. Hanukkah 20, 21.
Maybe I got my dates wrong. Oh, that’s Sunday. I see. Okay. Because it begins the evening. I did not know this I’m learning begins the evening of November 28th ends the evening of December 6th. So it’s not from sunup to sundown. I got it. So I learned something cool. That’s really cool. So it is eight days. It’s 8, 24 hour periods, basically. So could you do a deal that may be starts on the evening of the 28th or just run all day on the 28th? We probably want to have eight deals. So you probably do start it on the evening of the 28th or maybe you started on the 29th, you know, so maybe you have a merchant. Who’s got a specific promotion that runs that day on the 29th.
It’s also cyber Monday. So there’s a deal. You run a cyber Monday deal basically, but it’s the first day of Hanukkah, cyber Tuesdays, kind of a thing. People are doing stuff. So maybe you find another deal. Those deals are only good for that day on Wednesday. You find more of an evergreen item, but you have a bonus that’s only available on that day.
Maybe you have a merchant that has a deal on Thursday and Friday, and it ends on Friday. So what you do is Friday, you run that deal because it ends that day. Thursday, you offer a product in a bonus. So we’ve gone, deal, deal that one-day deals to one-day deals to one-day bonuses and then a two-day deal.
But you’re only promoting one day of it. So now we’ve done five days, right? Then maybe they have, maybe they have a Saturday, Sunday deal, a different merchant has a Saturday Sunday deal. So you promote the Saturday deal. You promote a Saturday thing, but with a bonus. And then Sunday you promote just the one day of the second day as the one day.
If that makes sense. I think I made sense there. And then the following Monday, they have some sort of, maybe have a merchant who has a one-day deal something like that. So you find reasons to make one-day promotions for eight days. It doesn’t have to be that you rely on an individual merchant to have eight days of a promotion.
So look for those creative ways, different themes, different deals. As I said, a different promo just gets creative, free shipping, and free shipping day. You want to focus on free shipping offers and it becomes really easy. You could promote two things, five things, 10 things. You could promote 10 different things. If they’re all free shipping offers and you could say,
Hey, here’s the 10 things that I’ve found that are best for my audience. And you saw a lot of stuff the last day to guarantee shipping before Christmas. Like the key is to actually take advantage of that. And the cool thing is it might be over the course of four days and you have different merchants. So one of them on the 18th, one of them on the 19th, one on the 20th, 21st, 20 seconds, there are five different promotions. Now, if you’re running an affiliate program, you need to communicate these dates. What offers are you going to give to your affiliates? What are the important dates for your affiliate program? What is your Black Friday promotion? What is your cyber Monday promotion? Isn’t one, is it two days? Sometimes Black Friday deals run through the weekend.
Sometimes they run Friday only Friday, Saturday. Sometimes they do a different weekend deal. What are you doing? Then you need to communicate more, more, more, more communication, run some promotions that are just Black Friday and Cyber Monday and those things, right? So as someone running an affiliate program,
put some variety in there, make sure you communicate the crap out of that to your affiliates. And then back to being an affiliate, you need to focus on the products that are mostly seasonal, but regular evergreen products work too. What are the products that really pick up this time of year?. In my niche of entrepreneurs,
it’s things like goal setting and self-improvement offers, right? Cause it’s into the year, we’re reflective, we’re looking at a new year, but also business items. I know for instance, when we hit like December, I’m looking at things that normally I might not buy until next March. What are some big things that I might not buy until next March?
I’m gonna just go ahead and buy them now because it’s going to save me on taxes rather than wait all the way till March to go buy $5,000 worth of equipment. I’ll just buy it now because I’m looking at meeting with our CPA and he’s like, yeah, you’re going to have a $3,800 tax bill.
I’m like, well, there’s no point in that one. Let’s just go buy the new Mac. Let’s buy the new Mac and buy the new camera. Where does that put us, Brent, that’s our accountant’s name? Well, now you only owe 200 bucks. Cool. Let’s go buy something else. That’s the thing we do that right?
What are the things that are like the pickup this time of year? I used to work for a company. I mentioned this before, where we sold guitar training, guitar training really picked up, over 50% of our sales came from right before Thanksgiving through the first two weeks of January. And it kind of rode these waves.
We had a real big rush in, in late November for Christmas. Then we kind of had like about a week and a half kind of, not really low. It was still higher than average, but it went down, and then the last few days, right before like December 22nd or so picked up again, those last-minute Christmas gifts, and then it died off.
And then right at the very end of the year through the first 10, 12 days of January, boom skyrocketing, because of new year’s resolutions, I’m finally going to learn to play the guitar for this year. Think about how has the status of the pandemic going to affect things. I mean, that could all change between the time I’m recording this and the time it comes out, which is only a couple of weeks, but my guess is people are going to be more together and they’re missing those physical gifts that last year, they weren’t able to give you maybe last year they did a lot of e-gift cards last year. They did things like iTunes gift cards and things like that. I don’t know, we had a pretty regular Christmas here, but maybe you didn’t. So we’re getting together and it’s like, well, last year we did all virtual gifts.
We just ordered everything on Amazon this year, we’re going to do more physical products that we can actually put in a box and wrap it and give it to the person and watch them open it. Travel’s going to be opening up. So that affects things like I don’t have the answer for every niche, but just keep this in mind. How is the pandemic affecting things? And then lastly don’t forget about January. Don’t forget about January to new year’s resolution items, goals, and weight loss. Go ahead and start planning those too.
Like I talked about with the guitar niche, we knew the first, as I said, those last two days of December, depending upon how the calendar fell, whether they weekdays or weekends in the first couple of weeks of January, we’re going to be huge. We had to really lay into that. So start thinking about those things to plan those.
If you’re running an affiliate program, the same thing you need to be planning. Those don’t think because it’s November that you can start thinking about January. No, you got to start thinking about it and planning and let your affiliates know now because if you don’t if you wait until right after Christmas to tell them about the new year stuff, you’ve already missed the boat, you’ve already missed the boat. Now, the thing is, I want you to experiment with new niches, think outside the box with your marketing, right? There’s just so much competition in the holiday affiliate marketing space.
You have to stand out. All right, we’re going to talk about how to stand out and an upcoming episode, both as an affiliate and for an affiliate program. So just start thinking about now, what are you going to do to set yourself apart? This is the thing. When you start planning early and you look at those dates and you look at, okay, what is it beyond Black Friday and all those things. It allows you to start experimenting with some unique outside-the-box strategies.
We’re going to talk about those. I think two episodes from now next episode is going to be about how to stand out as a with your affiliate program. And then the next episode will be how to stand out as an affiliate. But the important thing in all of this is to communicate early and often to your audience about what’s coming up and what to expect.
Just as I said, affiliate programs need to do that with you. If you’re an affiliate, you need to communicate early and often about what’s coming up and what to expect in terms of deals, especially with those crowded Black Friday, Cyber Monday, last shipping day deals. As we said before, if you’re running an affiliate program, like let them know ahead of time, if there will be free shipping flash sales or any other promotions during the holiday seasons, your busy affiliates might not see an email announcing a sale until the next day, two days later. And so we need to send those out well in advance, give them time to prepare. It’s just what’s the right thing to do.
It’s the right thing to do. It’s a professional courtesy is what I would say. This is especially important when you’re leading up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday like I said, Back Friday ceremony. There’s so big. So noisy that if you’re not communicating with your affiliates in advance, they’re going to miss out. They’re going to miss out.
So remember there is more than just Black Friday and just cyber Monday, black, Friday, and Christmas. Like there are so many other opportunities to promote if you plan if you think ahead if you strategize and if you use that calendar for those different things that we talked about today if you want more holiday affiliate tips, I want you to do three things.
Number one, make sure you subscribe. So you don’t miss a single episode. Like we have seven more of these they’re even better than this one. I can tell you that much. So do it now. Just go click subscribe. So you don’t miss a single episode in the series. Number two, check out the past edition of the ultimate guide to holiday affiliate promotions.
I’ve got tons of episodes and live lessons and other content on there going to put a link in the show notes. So just make sure you go check that out. The ultimate guide to holiday affiliate promotions, thirdly, learn how to warm up your audience right now for upcoming holiday filial promos. If you get my warmup guide, Mattmcwilliams dot com forward slash warm list, it’ll show you how to warm up your audience right now. So we’ll put that in the show notes as well. Mattmcwilliams dot com forward slash warm list. And then come back for the next episode. I touched on it earlier, how your affiliate program can stand out this holiday season and make sure you subscribe. So you don’t miss that episode or any of these episodes.
I’ll see them. Part two. Thank you so much for listening today. Remember to check out all of our deep dives into affiliate marketing at theaffiliateguy.TV. And if you have a question, ask at asktheaffiliateguy.com who knows maybe you even be featured on an upcoming episode. And lastly, if you haven’t yet make sure to leave a rating and review wherever you’re listening to this episode. See you soon.