Removing the reliance on incentive sites

A recent online performance marketing study reported that 65% of industry spend is focussed on incentive sites. While cashback, voucher code and loyalty affiliates are undeniably an important part of any programme, are merchants too reliant on these affiliate types?

A recent online performance marketing study reported that 65% of industry spend is focussed on incentive sites. While cashback, voucher code and loyalty affiliates are undeniably an important part of any programme, are merchants too reliant on these affiliate types?

This year’s Performance Marketing Insights expo held an interesting discussion around this topic with a panel of affiliate managers. Our thoughts and findings are summarised below...

A big concern among affiliate managers was fear of the unknown. Many noted that they cannot justify working with new or smaller affiliates on their programme, as untested opportunities lack guaranteed volume and results. They instead, seek comfort with tried and tested opportunities with incentive sites that they know will reach targets.

Others argued that lack of time and resources restricted them in terms of what affiliates they worked with as working with a new affiliate requires a great investment of time from an affiliate manager. The easier route is to focus on top performing affiliates to further increase the sales they drive, rather than spending time focussed on new or underperforming partners.

Our verdict

Having a stable programme, with a wide range of affiliate types driving sales, is really worth the investment and all affiliate managers should strive to reach a balanced affiliate mix. Our recommended affiliate mix for any programme would be:

  • 30% cashback and loyalty
  • 30% voucher code
  • 40% combination of retargeting, email and content