For the average American, December means vacation, time with the family, and shopping.
While some disagree that escaping work to have more time with their in-laws is a good thing, all Americans can agree on one thing:
No matter what your plans are for the holidays, you’re going to do more shopping in a span of less than a week than you do all year long.
Christmas isn’t just for kids when you’re a smart affiliate capitalizing on the e-commerce bonanza. Indeed, what people often miss in affiliate marketing, is that the very bottom line is e-commerce has a huge payday potential (not just on Black Friday).
If this is you’re first time being an affiliate during the holiday season, the earning potential is huge no matter what vertical you’re in – apparently sex toys are “big” in e-commerce (Laurent says).
Whether you’re invested in promoting offers like “toys”, gifts, clothing, books, beauty & cosmetics, sweepstakes, shopping- like our friends at Tonic say:
“Take advantage of holiday shopping and this increase in traffic!”
While the Christmas season is a gold mine for running profitable campaigns, the best time to rake in the most cash is during Black Friday (November 25th).
Just how big is it? In 2015 during Black Friday alone, consumers spent over $2.9 billion online.
But getting a piece of that pie takes some work, you have to play it smart with these three steps:
- Plan (No, today isn’t too late)
Many marketers aren’t pro-active and wait until traffic and keywords are expensive only to find out they can’t make as much as they wanted to.
To get your share of the $4 billion dollars there are 4 steps to prepare for a successful Black Friday campaign:
1. Find out who your audience is and their Black Friday needs
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you could tell a customer what they need this holiday season. The truth is, the customer decide what’s in demand and how they’ll spend their money.
You have to do some research to see what’s going to be a “hot” offer in your vertical this holiday season and build a sample audience you want to target.
To understand what your audience is searching for using the following tools are extremely effective to get to know what people are shopping for:
- Facebook Insights and Google Analytics Demographics- These tools let you customize demographics to give you an idea of what offer you’ll want to promote.
- BuzzSumo- If you want to see what products people are reading and sharing about, BuzzSumo is a great and easy to use tool.
Remember, always build a few sample audiences. Limiting yourself to one demographic only closes off other potential earning opportunities when the big day comes.
2. Buy traffic and keywords early
In 2011, Nearly 85% of retailers sent an email to their customers about Black Friday deals.
You’re not alone in making the most out of Black Friday, so you have to get as much as high quality traffic as you can to be competitive.
If you decide you want to buy lots of traffic the day before Black Friday, it’s a sure thing that you’ll be spending a lot more money than a few weeks before. Buying it in advanced opens your options to get the right traffic for your target audience.
There’s a few benefits to buying traffic with anticipation:
- You can buy more traffic at a cheaper price.
- You can run test campaigns in advanced to optimize them for Black Friday.
- You’re more likely to find traffic to buy that’s relevant to your audience.
Just like buying traffic, a rise in the price of keywords is a sure thing- so it’s best to buy them beforehand.
Using the Google keyword planner and seeing what were the most common keywords in the previous year can give you an idea what keywords are best.
3. Run test campaigns, analyze, optimize
After building a few sample audiences and buying keywords and traffic, it’s time to put your research to the test.
When you’re running test campaigns, check analytics to see what is producing the highest conversion rate.
By being able to see what is successful and what isn’t, you’re able to make deductions on what works.
To fully optimize your test campaigns, using everything the tracking platform has to offer is the one of the huge keys to success. Using these tools will let you redirect visitors to the most relevant page at the right time:
- Campaign Rules: Having 8 targeting options like Geo, day-parting, and device lets you reach your target audience and filtering out irrelevant visitors.
- Landing Page Rotation– The ability to rotate multiple landing pages with rules gives you the ability to redirect visitors to the most relevant content based on their preferences.
- Fallbacking– Being able to redirect your visitors to a similar offer than the original one keeps “marginal” losses at bay. Every click counts and lost traffic means wasted opportunities.
4. Run Optimized Campaign and Scale up
The final step of running your optimized campaign on Black Friday is the fun part since all the hard research and testing will be behind you.
Seeing those conversions come in on analytics is great especially after planning weeks ahead, but going the extra mile raise your profit is even better.
That means scaling up on campaigns that are doing successful while stopping the ones that aren’t.
Doubling down on your campaigns will give you the roi that you worked so hard to plan for.
The Morning After: Re-Targeting
Even after Black Friday people will be returning, exchanging, or buying more which means it’s not time to celebrate yet.
Running campaigns and tracking is a long term battle and even though your initial campaign might be finished, it doesn’t mean that your potential customers won’t convert on your offers.
Re-targeting visitors with high intent on display ads, social media, and e-mail campaigns gives them another chance to convert on the offer.