Black Friday and Cyber Monday are an affiliate marketer’s wet dream, but are you ready?
As I write this Black Friday is only 2 days away, and many pre Black Friday deals are already underway.
If you live outside of the US and have no clue what these massive days are all about, don’t worry they have nothing to do with hackers taking over the interwebz (please tell me I’m not the only one with that assumption when first hearing the terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” :P).
Simply put, these two days are the most lucrative days of the year for you as an affiliate (or product creator for that matter) because retailers offer their biggest discounts of the year. People are ready and willing to spend spend spend.
And it’s not just Black Friday and Cyber Monday that dramatically spike online sales – people also spend a lot more money than usual on the days in-between and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (all the way through till Christmas).
In 2014 I generated over 1.6 million dollars in sales for Amazon as an affiliate, which resulted in almost 70K USD commissions in my pocket for the year (not my only source of income for the record).
My point? Almost 25K of that 70K was made during November and December. That’s a whopping 35%.
More importantly, over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Saturday and Sunday in-between, I earned almost 3K USD in commissions.
In no way am I saying these numbers are impressive (there are some marketers sitting on their gold-plated heated toilet seat from their mountaintop mansion laughing at these insignificant stats) – my point is that it’s well worth focusing your affiliate efforts during this time of year.
Here are some quick and easy tips and tricks on how you can quickly and easily increase your affiliate sales during the madness.
1. Pay Close Attention to Companies You Promote
First things first – if the affiliate products you promote have an email list, chances are they’re going to let you know via email about their plan of attack and specific upcoming deals. If you’re not on their email list – now’s the time as they may only reveal details to their subscribers. I’d also search the past few weeks for emails you may have missed.
All merchants will have their own strategy come the big days – for example some may have completely different deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and then other companies might just have a huge sale on their entire product line for the whole holiday period.
Some companies will also have coupon codes that you can provide your readers to get the discounts.
If you are going to be promoting a large online retailer such as Amazon (welcome to the club), then make sure to head on over to their site now and suss out what’s going down (Amazon already have pre-Black Friday deals).
Try to find out when and where their best deals will be, how often they’ll be updating deals (I know Amazon will update every few hours), and if they already have early-bird deals (Amazon does).
2. Create a Hand-Picked “Best Deals” Page
One of the simplest and quickest ways to increase your affiliate marketing commissions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to create a post on your site listing the best, hand-picked deals within your particular niche.
This shouldn’t be hard to do if you know your niche well and can spot the best genuine bargains on products that you know your audience actually want.
If I were you I’d create this deals page as soon as possible (and list early deals if there are any in your niche), and then update the page every day, or just on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Make sure to promote the page everywhere that you can such as emailing your subscribers, sharing it on social media, making it prominent on your homepage, etc.
You could even create a site-wide pop-up on your site to ensure your readers don’t miss it, or even promote the page with Facebook ads if you’re confident you’ll make a return on investment (for example if you sell high-ticket items with the possibility of earning nice-sized commissions).
3. Prepare Your Readers in Advance
Don’t wait for Black Friday to roll around before creating your deals page or contacting your readers via email/social media. Whilst the best deals will typically be saved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers often have early bird deals (I know Amazon definitely does) so start scouring your niche for deals and setting up deal pages now.
Also, by getting in touch with your list early you can fill them in on what’s to come over the next week or so that you have more chance they’ll buy through you.
You also have more chance of reaching them now when their inbox is less noisy, as when Black Friday weekend comes around competition across all communication channels (email, social media, search) will heat right up and your emails/social posts may be lost in the noise.
4. Update and Promote Your Money Pages
Now is the time to update and/or promote the pages on your site that tend to make you the most money (usually your product reviews, “best of” product roundups, or your “best resources” page if you have one).
Make sure that all your product recommendations are current and your affiliate links are working. I’d personally check that all your affiliate links site-wide are working and up to date.
5. Opt-in Deals
Instead of creating a public post of deals as I mentioned above, you could do something similar but require readers to opt-in to an email list to receive them (and direct them to your “private” deals page on your site, or within a downloadable document).
This way you’re growing your subscriber base as well, although keep in mind there’s a chance you may not be able to reach as many people with your deals this way. Your call.
If you do this you can add a site-wide pop-up to sign people up, or you could create a landing page and drive traffic there via Facebook Ads.
It goes without saying that you should make it as enticing as possible for people to subscribe for your deals.
You should use compelling copy such as “Save up to X amount on the best [insert your niche here] products with our exclusive guide to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals” etc.
6. Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
If you still have a site that is NOT mobile-responsive – meaning that your site is not formatted properly for mobile devices – then now is the time to get onto it ASAP.
Over the holiday season many people will use mobiles to buy, and you don’t want someone who’s ready to buy to come and visit your site only to leave because it’s a nuisance to use on their mobile.
Or even worse, losing out on search engine traffic during the most important time of year because Google and co decided not to even rank your non-mobile-friendly site (mobile-friendliness is a proven ranking factor).
7. Hustle NOW
If you’re an affiliate marketer of any sort, this is the time of year to put in the work and maximize your earnings.
Use the tips in this post, create new product reviews, be more active on social, email your list more frequently (within reason – don’t overdo your affiliate marketing efforts), spend money on ads where you can, make sure everything is working nicely, focus on maximizing conversions…you get the picture.
Sure, if you don’t really do much to maximize the upcoming holiday season you may still earn more naturally, but you’re likely to be leaving a solid chunk of money on the table if you’re not proactive about it.
Hopefully these tips can really help you to spike your affiliate earnings over the coming weeks, and especially on the beasts that are Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and whether you have any other handy tricks and tips.
Now get to work : )