Affiliate Marketing New Year’s Resolutions

As we approach the end of another year, it’s time to look back and make some resolutions based on the lessons learned. In affiliate marketing, making and sticking with these resolutions can determine your success or failure in the New Year. So what are the most important factors to be on the lookout for in 2011?

Resolution #1: Email marketers must maneuver around deliverability obstacles by ensuring fresh creatives, data hygiene and other best practices.

While still being the main contender for quality affiliate distribution, email marketing will continue to be challenged as Facebook’s new email platform gains volume and credibility, coupled with Gmail’s ever-growing popularity. Speculation surrounds how the other companies will respond – will Yahoo! take the same approach as Gmail and implement a priority inbox? What of AOL and Hotmail? Rest assured, there will be interesting times ahead.

Resolution #2: Smarter affiliates should target the Boomer audience to uncover a lucrative source of revenue.

Boomers represent a sizeable segment of the online population that remains largely untapped, and this generation will play an integral role in affiliate marketing in 2011. New categories appealing to this audience, such as Healthcare and Medicare, will start to see traction and more advertiser concentration.

Resolution #3: Watch for more networks to join the CPC-CPA band wagon.

Affiliate marketers welcomed this hybrid model from a few key networks in 2010 and found themselves rewarded with the ability to make quick, informed decisions about running additional offers within their ad network’s same category or verticals. These same networks are inclined to adopt a heavier focus on regulation and as such provide affiliates with the peace of mind that their campaign satisfies current compliance guidelines.

This in turn will lead to a natural reduction in the number of networks affiliates choose to work with. As more and more advertisers’ media plans take advantage of multiple options, this model is particularly relevant now.

Resolution #4: Mind your P’s and C’s as privacy and compliance issues impose themselves further in the marketplace.

Increased vigilance from the FTC and other governing bodies places an even greater emphasis on the policies and regulations surrounding privacy issues and online marketing.  The performance marketing industry will become more proactive and vocal about its commitment to consumer and Internet privacy, and will impact all players in the mix.

Those networks that partner with affiliates in compliant ways will benefit from new opportunities that arise as advertisers’ pool their ad spend to such firms who demonstrate best practices for their respective partners.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year!

Author: Greg Bayer, General Manager, Adknowledge Affiliate Division

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