Gearing Up for Q4 — Advice and Insights from LinkConnector Affiliate Partners
Another Q4 is upon us, and as this crucial shopping season closes in, it’s not just merchants who are hard at work planning and preparing for the annual onslaught. While the digital landscape evolves, so do the strategies that affiliates employ to navigate the bustling and often choppy waters of the fourth quarter.
This year, affiliates face a unique set of challenges and opportunities, marked by ever-evolving consumer behaviors and a dynamic online marketplace. We’ve gathered insights from a diverse group of LinkConnector affiliate partners who have their fingers on the pulse of the current landscape.
Look Beyond Traditional
One of the important factors in developing a successful fourth-quarter game plan is recognizing the full scope of seasonal opportunities for your brand. While most retailers have their eyes fixed on the usual suspects (Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), it is becoming increasingly more important to think outside the box. For example, identify nontraditional events, and hashtag holidays that align with your brand, and leverage them to arm your affiliates with unique deals and promotions.
Jillian Posada, VP of Partnership Accounts at TopCashback.com, points out some great, often overlooked events to consider such as Amazon Prime’s Big Deal Days (October, Dates TBD), #SinglesDay (11/11); National Cash Back Day (11/2), Green Monday (12/11), and Boxing Day (12/26) to name just a few.
Meghan Knuth, Partnership Manager at CouponFollow, advises affiliate managers not to lose sight of opportunities surrounding shipping deadlines and last-minute gift ideas in the final few weeks leading up to Christmas. She adds that it is important for merchant partners to book early, book for the entire quarter, and provide promotion details at least 2 business days prior to scheduled placement.
That Q4 Trend… It’s So Hot Right Now
Another key to Q4 success is making sure you are staying on top of promotional trends and evolving customer behaviors. For instance:
Meghan Knuth expects to see an uptick in performance from Cyber Week all the way through December, and a continued return if in-store shopping. We may also see a bump in buy online, pick up in-store style promotions this holiday season.
Jillian Posada notes that BNPL (buy now, pay later) offers are everywhere, and with revenue in the booming travel and tourism market expected to reach over $850 billion in 2023 (Per Statista), you can expect this trend to be reflected in Q4 consumer shopping habits. Jillian adds that we are seeing more shipping offers without minimum spends, holiday deals launching earlier than ever, and deeper discounts, even at the sitewide level. Other trends to consider include personalization and targeting customers based on their loyalty/LV and shopping behaviors, live shopping events, and of course, influencer collaborations and unique partnerships.
Don’t Be “That” Affiliate Manager
Preparing for the Q4 sales season can come with its fair share of frustrations for affiliates, especially when merchants fail to set their affiliate partners up for success.
In some cases, according to Dan Harding, Commercial Director for tech affiliate Envolve, it can happen when merchants hold off on testing the affiliate’s newest technology. The merchant misses out on all the valuable user engagement that is captured, which could be used to better optimize the on-site journey in the following year.
Last-minute budget/booking requests drive coupon affiliates like CouponFollow nuts, and loyalty affiliates like TopCashBack.com would agree that waiting until the last minute to ask for media can defeat the purpose (it’s all sold out by then!).
Another frustration for David Paxton, Founder of DailyGolfSteals.com, is how products are often presented as ‘deals’ on websites, newsletters, etc., but in reality, they are manufactured pricing changes that don’t truly represent something unique or special. As someone who tracks pricing closely, David finds it is very common to see merchants increase the price one day and then decrease it the next or add a coupon that brings it in line. Having a channel to get visibility into the actual deals could go a long way to offering the best and most unique deal content to the affiliate’s audience.
Be This Affiliate Manager
So, we’ve covered some of the common frustrations, but what about solutions that merchants can offer to empower affiliates for Q4 success?
Dan Harding and Envolve are always looking to work with forward-thinking merchants who are striving to deliver the best online shopping experiences for users – and this isn’t limited to just Q4. While the initial setup for their Virtual Shopping Assistant can be ready in less than a week with minimal merchant involvement, input and feedback from the merchant can help to ensure that the technology will perform optimally from day one. It’s a win-win for both sides.
David Paxton adds that transparent communication and updates on the best deals that represent actual savings for the consumer are imperative. What is the doorbuster deal that can be used to drive traffic? Help your affiliate partners to identify and promote those to get folks in the proverbial door. Additionally, robust and regularly updated product catalogs go a long way for content affiliates like DailyGolfSteals.com, and understanding price changes and new products is key to researching and identifying deals. The more visibility your affiliates have earlier, the better the deal they can offer and back it up.
As you embark on your own Q4 journey, remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and each strategy will be unique to your objectives and needs. Whether you’re an experienced marketer refining your tactics or a newcomer eager to carve your path, we hope the insights you’ve gathered here from these seasoned affiliates will inspire your fourth-quarter performance marketing endeavors and set the stage for success.
LinkConnector Merchants: If you’re interested in fine-tuning or developing your Q4 strategy, we’re here to help! Learn more about the innovative affiliate contributors from this post below and contact a LinkConnector Merchant Services Representative at [email protected] to hear how these and other LinkConnector affiliate partners can help you boost your Q4 profits.
New to affiliate marketing? Contact us at [email protected] to learn how a LinkConnector partnership can benefit your brand.
About Our Contributors
If you’re not working with these partners, you should be! Our featured contributors boast a wealth of affiliate marketing experience and offer unique perspectives, strategies, and approaches to meaningful partnership success. We would love to connect you with these affiliates and tell you more about how each can benefit your brand. Contact a Merchant Relations Representative for more information.
Everyone loves to score a bargain, and we’re here to make sure you always get the best deal! CouponFollow does the hard work of hunting down, screening, and testing coupon codes to deliver the lowest prices at the stores you love, in seconds.
DailyGolfSteals is the leading golf-only daily deals website and newsletter. Every day DGS scours the web and partner with brands to bring golfers the best 5-10 golf deals and then share with our 33,000 person newsletter, our website, and on social media.
Envolve’s multi-award-winning Virtual Shopping Assistant answers user questions and surfaces product recommendations, generating insights – resulting in increased sales, and lowered customer service workload, all on a performance-only basis; easy to integrate through GTM/Shopify or direct to your site.
With over 20 million members worldwide, topcashback.com offers the highest cash-back rewards from nearly 10k brands (and growing)! Our 100% cash back model ensures that every dollar we earn gets passed back to our members. It’s free to partner with TopCashback and free to join and use our services. We are available on desktop, mobile app, and browser extension (Google Play and App Store) with sites operating in US/CA, UK, EU and APAC.