Four Simple Steps to Maximize Affiliate Holiday Promotions

Holidays = shopping, lots of it! Brick-and-mortar retailers know it well, and with the continuous rise of online holiday sales, digital retailers are benefiting more than ever.

“Deloitte forecasts an 8.5 to 9 percent increase in non-store sales in the online and mail order channels during the 2015 holiday season.” — Deloitte

With some of the biggest holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you are going to maximize your holiday promotions.

We suggest utilizing the tremendous power of your affiliates. Your affiliates can serve as a huge additional source of holiday revenue.

So what’s the best way to help your affiliate business thrive during the holiday frenzy? We talked to cleverbridge Marketing Services Manager Jessie Adamczyk to get some advice. Adamczyk oversees a successful global affiliate platform, working with thousands of affiliates. She gave us four simple steps to maximize affiliate holiday promotions.

1. Think Further Ahead

“Don’t email your affiliates five days before you want to run a promotion,” says Adamczyk. “If you want your campaign to be successful, you need to prepare in advance.”

It sounds so easy, but everyone knows how busy things can get. It is essential to be organized and equipped. Have your annual promotional calendar planned out so you can contact affiliates at least one month before. Better yet, send affiliates your annual calendar along with individual reminders as each holiday approaches.

2. Keep a Global Perspective

When you sell digital products you have a huge advantage. You can sell anywhere in the world, especially if you’ve got a great ecommerce partner. It’s easy to do some research on the major shopping holidays in other regions. Use that information to plan some unique holiday campaigns that will appeal to your international customers.

“From the Day of the Dead to Boxing Day, you should pay attention to opportunities outside your time zone.” Adamczyk says. “For example, Christmas Advent is huge in Europe. You can plan a different promotion each day leading up to Christmas. Back-to-school time is also a peak time for software sales in many regions.”

3. Get Creative With Your Calendar

Start planning your annual calendar now. Include all of the obvious holidays from all of the areas you serve. But don’t overlook more obscure special days that you can use to your marketing advantage. “I’ve seen great success when clients target random holidays, the ones that aren’t so obvious,” Adamczyk says. “Mother’s Day, Independence Day, even St. Patrick’s Day can be real money makers when you take advantage of your affiliate network.”

4. Know How to Communicate With Your Affiliates

“Treat your affiliates like partners, not an afterthought,” Adamczyk says. “Take some time to get to know your affiliates, and have a plan to communicate with them appropriately.”

Affiliates routinely receive more than 200 emails per day. Adamczyk suggests creating an email newsletter to communicate general news with all affiliates, and then follow up with a personal email or phone call to your individual affiliates directly.

“Start by focusing your efforts on high-volume affiliates,” Adamczyk says. “The time you take to cultivate relationships with affiliates is never wasted.”

Make it as easy as possible for affiliates to promote your products. Provide them with marketing materials that they can use if they want to. But also be open to their ideas for success. Every affiliate works differently. Some like coupon codes, others prefer graphics and banners. “The more flexible you are, the better your results will be.”


Take advantage of your affiliate network to really cash in on holiday promotions. If you follow the common sense steps above, you’ll have a full calendar of lucrative holiday opportunities.

Learn more about holiday ecommerce (and more) by downloading our six guides on ecommerce essentials.