Top Tips for Successful Publisher Management

Welcome to the new hints and tips series on our blog, aimed specifically at advertisers who sit within the client service team at affilinet. Each month we will be providing you with top tips and practical examples. Each article will give objectives, tips on strategic insight including technology and innovation, publisher strategy, publisher remunerations and tips on measurement and purpose.

This first article will provide top tips for successful publisher management; from understanding the factors that influence a high performing campaign to how offers and content can be tailored to each affiliate.

1. Understanding Affiliates


Affiliate models and campaigns will work differently, depending on the brand and market; therefore you need to assess which affiliates (cashback sites, voucher sites, content sites, email partners, price comparison sites…) work best with your market. For example, in travel voucher sites could be typically used to drive sales volume whereas a destination specific content site is more likely to be used to drive brand awareness and interest. It is important to establish how the different publisher groups fit with your business objectives and then work with them accordingly.


It is important to remember that you should adapt your campaigns and messaging not only to the consumers you’d like to target but also to the affiliates’ core users and their position in the customers’ journey. For example those users who visit voucher sites are more likely to be price driven compared to those visiting a content site or blog, who are usually looking for inspiration and ideas, at the start of the purchase journey.

2. Understand where the potential lies

It is important to understand that in order to maximise consumer reach you must look at where the potential lies, this not only involves understanding the different affiliate models but also using data insight to gain a greater understanding of the potential reach points along a customers’ journey.

Using tools in your advertiser dashboard you will be able to gain a greater insight into areas you can optimise customer reach and conversion potential:

Statistics by Day

Here you will be able to look at your program’s overall performance broken down day by day. The different KPIs with which you’ll be able to measure your program’s performance include: the number of impressions (or views), clicks, sales and leads, the conversion rate, the revenue and the publisher commission. Using this data insight you will be able to gather all sorts of useful hints such as how your program performs on specific days or periods of time. You can also download this data in an Excel or csv file format from your dashboard (remember to fetch your downloaded file in Account > Download centre).

You can also compare current statistics to past performance, to identify trends and patterns across different affiliates. For example looking at travel clients data insight shows that January is the most popular month for consumers to book a holiday. Useful metrics include: comparing performance year on year, comparing current performance with the previous quarter and seasonality.

Statistics by Publisher

This tab gives useful information on how each publisher performs. The different KPIs with which you’ll be able to measure your publishers’ performance include: number of impressions (or views), clicks, sales and leads; the conversion rate, the revenue and the publisher commission. This is particularly useful when trying to establish how to optimise certain publishers’ performance. For example if a publisher has a high conversion rate but poor traffic volume you might want to look into negotiating a greater exposure with this publisher. Whereas if a publisher had high traffic volume but a lower conversion rate you might want to give the publisher ideas and materials (e.g promotions, offers) which would help trigger traffic volume on that page.

3. Testing different campaigns

If you are new to the affiliate industry, testing is one way to be sure of which campaigns work best for your brand and site. Some customers may respond well to a newsletter or content article, whilst others will be searching for the best offer or deal and therefore a promotion on a cashback or voucher site would create opportunities for greater consumer reach. It is about working out who you want to reach and how to target these consumers most effectively.

By testing different strategies (adapting commission levels, running specific promotions) with a variety of affiliates you will see which actions are the most successful for each publisher’s audience. You can then implement this insight to increase you consumer reach and likelihood of conversion. Particularly with CPA and CPL based programs where publisher remuneration is based on performance the risks are limited; this means that you are able to test different actions with minimal loss.

Following these tips on publisher management will allow for greater insight into your consumer base. This will allow you to target these consumers effectively through affiliates in order to meet overall business objectives. Look out for our article next month providing top tips on program set up, for advertisers who are new onto our network.

Sophie Parry-Billings

Sophie joined affilinet as a Marketing Executive in September 2013, after an internship in PR. She is responsible for pro the implementation of the UK marketing strategy and raising brand awareness through events, PR and online activity.

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