Affiliate banners what works and what were the influencers that helped PaulsonManagementGroup.com gain a 400% affiliate banner impression increase in one month and a 600% increase in affiliate banner impressions for a client within 4 months?
There are many types of affiliate media, and no program should simply rely on affiliate banners to pull the weight of the affiliate sales but they are a very important factor concerning your affiliate media lineup. Affiliate banners first need to be attractive to your affiliate partners in order for your affiliates to decide if they are worthy of their website space, blogger space, or other advertising vehicle space. Your banners not only need to entice affiliates to carry them within their advertising, your affiliate banners must also call out to consumers and entice that click and conversion! So what works as far as affiliate banners in a well managed affiliate program and how can it impact your brand extension and affiliate sales?
Example Affiliate Banner PMG developed for Dyscern.com affiliate program in CJ.com
Tip: Affiliate banners should have a uniformed brand presence and or theme, seasonal media, or design elements should be tested to find what works for your product and vertical mix. You should be testing and improving your media metrics every quarter.
Affiliate Banners must convey an “Offer Statement” to the consumer
Affiliates are savvy online marketers and with the channel being more then 15 years old now (Read History of Affiliate Marketing by Shawn Collins) there are many affiliates who have advanced knowledge of what works as far as display advertising. Affiliate partners are attracted to banners with effective, substantial offer statements, a simple banner with your logo and a click here call to action will not suffice, affiliates are attracted to and will host media that displays some type of offer statement such as a discount or other consumer offer. Affiliates are attracted to banners and advertising that offers “their” traffic a special “deal” or offer that entices the consumer to click on the media so the affiliate’s cookie is dropped on click and the deal is so enticing that the consumer decides to make a purchase.
Examples of Affiliate Banner offer statements
1. Percentage off a purchase – 40% OFF
2. Shipping offer – Free Shipping
3. BOGO Offer – Buy One Get One Free!
4. TwoFER Offer – Get Two For the Price of One!
5. Limited time – $25.00 OFF Limited Time Only!
6. Incentive offer – Free Necklace with $100 Order or More
7. Coupon – Use Code HP23 for 25% OFF any order!
Tip: Affiliate banners should come in a variety of IMU’s (Internet Marketing Unit) sizes to appeal to a mass array of affiliate partners. PMG recomends having at least 25 media sizes in your affiliate program or more. See IMU standardised ad unit sizes.
Affiliate Banners must have a “Call to Action”
Affiliate banners that do well have a select call to action statement to the consumer, many banners have repetitive calls to actions and there are varying ones that work for different verticals depending on your offer. Retailers have an easier time then lead generation programs who often times have to impart a call to action with some type of giveaway or “freebie” to gain the consumers click. Testing your call to actions on your affiliate media is a great way to see what works and what does not. A call to action statement on your affiliate media can be either in the form of a button or underlined text, for statistics and testing data there are many sources you can refer to concerning what works such as MarketingExperiements.com and emarketer.com to name a few, for information on IMU sizes (international marketing units) see IAB.net (International Advertising Bureau)
Examples of Affiliate Banner “Call to Action”
1. Click here!
2. Buy Now
3. Order Here
4. Shop Now
5. Learn More
6. Sign Up
7. Get free info here
Advanced Affiliate Banner considerations adserving domains & adblockers
If you have an affiliate program hosted within an affiliate network, chances are your affiliates banners are hosted within the affiliate network on one of the affiliate networks ad serving domains. Many of the larger networks have many ad serving domains and you SHOULD have an affiliate management team that understands what an ad serving domain is and if that ad serving domain is BLOCKED per default by Norton or MacAffee ad blocking software (and others). You can research to find the list of adservers that are blocked per default and that should help you in choosing the right affiliate network (With adserving domains that are not blocked). If your affiliate management team has a great relationship with your affiliate network partner then they can request to be on one of the newer ad serving domains if they spot a problem with banner or advertising being blocked. There is an online source that used to post adblocking lists and we wish they would come back and post them again AdBlock.org! AdBlock.org also has an interesting adblocker detection script, we have not used it but if you would like to check it out it is here. If you need to hire an affiliate management team that understands adservers and media relationships simply contact PaulsonManagementGroup.com at 800-384-7760 .
Tip: Many adblockers also block via IMU sizes or the standardized pixel sixes of a banner, you can “shave” your banners to an irregular size to avoid adblockers. (Example 468×60 pixels “shave” to 467×59 pixels)
Affiliate Banners what should your goals be?
Sales are nice of course but sales in the affiliate channel take time and you have to get active affiliates, obtain impressions, and then clicks before you can obtain sales from your media so your KPI’s should start with the first goal set of getting affiliates to carry the media by building the right relationships with your affiliate partners and that does not happen overnight! Your first goal sets or KPI’s (Key performance indicators) for your affiliate banners would be how many affiliates actually picked up your banners, second would be your banner impression rates, third would be your CTR rate (Click through rate of the media), and fourth would be your conversion rate. Please consider that sales are fantastic but exposure and brand extension ALSO assists in building your companies long term sales goals. Affiliate impressions are a valuable asset if you look at the mass exposure you are getting without paying the CPM rate that other online advertisers do outside of the affiliate channel.
Affiliate Banners KPI’s ” Key Performance Indicators”
1. How many affiliates are actively displaying the media?
2. Impression rate of media
3. Click through rate of media
4. Conversion rate of media
Tip: BIG MISTAKE adding your domain URL or your phone number in an affiliate banner, affiliates depend on the consumer clicking on the media to set their cookie and they will not trust your program if you add your phone number or domain url on the media they are hosting..
Affiliate Banner what happens when it works?
What happens when the right affiliate banners are developed for an affiliate program? The following graph from one of our (PaulsonManagementGroup.com) affiliate clients affiliate programs will give you a pretty good indication.
When we first took over the management of the following clients affiliate program (Chart below) one of the first things we identified was the need for new media. We took over the program in August 2009 and developed new affiliate banners, text links, added an affiliate video, and recruited affiliates to the program as well as communicated to existing affiliates in such a mannor as to entice an increase in their activity. By Sept 2009 one month after PMG took over management of the program we had a 400% increase in affiliate banner impressions and within 4 months the increase was over 600% for affiliate banner impressions! Imagine what would happen for your affiliate sales if the following impression rates increased from 250,000 to over 1,750,000 within a couple of months… Fabulous!
Quantify your impression rates into the VALUE of your affiliate programs overall success, think about the brand message as well as the offer you are sending out to your affiliate partners through the affiliate channel via your affiliate banners. Consider the KPI’s as well as the affiliate relationship building aspects and you too could see tremendous gains in your overall affiliate media success. For more information about PaulsonManagementGroup.com or our affiliate management services please feel free to contact us here. We develop media that works for our affiliate partners and your brand!