12 Key Affiliate Marketing Strategies For the Holiday Season

With consumers actively shopping for gifts and looking for deals, the holiday season offers affiliate marketers many opportunities to drive more traffic and generate more revenue.

With the rise in eCommerce sales year after year, with online sales reaching $108 billion in 2017 and predicted to be even higher in 2018 while total affiliate spend reached $5.3 billion in 2017, you’d certainly want a piece of the pie this year.



Here are 12 of our favorite strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing campaigns this holiday season:

1. Review Last Year’s Metrics

Analyze the results of last year’s marketing campaigns to see what worked well for your audience. Drill down into metrics such as paid placement, average order value, and returns for each specific promotion to identify the most profitable strategy.

2. Start Your Campaigns Early

Start your campaigns early (e.g., by dripping content) so you can cultivate trust and relationships with your audience before promoting the holiday offers. In addition, you can add incentives on non-peak days (e.g., before Black Friday and Cyber Monday) to build momentum.

3. Optimize Your Website For SEO

Get found by shoppers who are looking for the exact products or services you’re promoting by optimizing your website content for SEO. Research and optimize for specific keywords, create content that boosts engagement, drive traffic with social media and email marketing, and make sure your site is mobile-friendly.

4. Grow a High-Quality Email List

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to drive high-quality traffic, either to your website or affiliate links. Set up a lead capture mechanism on your website and entice visitors to sign up to your list by offering a “lead magnet” (e.g., a piece of high-value content.)

Don’t just collect email addresses though – you should build a list of engaged subscribers by sharing high-value and relatable content regularly to boost the “like, know, and trust” factor.

5. Leverage the Power of Personalized Marketing

To increase the effectiveness of your email marketing, you can segment your list based on criteria relevant to each offer so you can deliver the most impactful messaging to drive conversion. In addition, you can set up email workflows based on subscribers’ interactions with your content and use email remarketing to maximize engagement and CTR.

6. Focus on Popular Topics

There are particular topics that are “top of mind” for consumers during the holiday season. For example, many people think about their finances (e.g., loans and debts) at the end of the year. You can focus on offers that help your audience solve a timely challenge to generate more engagement and increase conversion.

7. Introduce Money-Saving Offers

Who doesn’t like to save some money on their holiday purchases? Partner with sites that feature special discounts from retailers and share these offers with your audience. Some of these sites include ibotta, ebates, Wikibuy, CoinOut, and Swagbucks. You can promote these offers by applying here.

8. Create a “Hot Gift” List

Posting about “hot gift” ideas can help you drive more traffic to your website, provide relevant content to your audience, and get more people to click through your affiliate links. Create a unique and highly curated experience for your audience by featuring items that are most relevant to your niche.

9. Feature Exclusive Coupon Codes from Advertisers

You can drive more traffic to your website and entice more shoppers to purchase through your affiliate links by promoting exclusive deals and discounts. Don’t forget to share these special offers with your email list and social media followers to drive as much traffic as possible.

10. Build Your Social Media Following

Having a sizable social media following will make you more attractive to advertisers (you may even be able to negotiate better commissions.) It takes time to build a social media presence and cultivate relationships with your fans so start as soon as you can.

Focus on attracting followers who are most likely to be interested in the topics you write about and the products you promote. Share your content in relevant groups and use the appropriate hashtags to increase your exposure.

11. Use Paid Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is still one of the most effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your website. Optimize your ads for long-tail keywords to attract visitors with high purchase intent. PPC ads can get costly so make sure you have a sound bidding strategy and track your results diligently to fine-tune your campaigns.

12. Drive Traffic with Great Content

While PPC ads can be very effective in driving traffic but they can also get quite costly.

On the other hand, achieving high organic ranking is still the most cost-effective and sustainable way to get found on searches and attract website visitors. To do so, you need a content marketing strategy and regularly publish engaging content on your website.



The holiday season offers great opportunities for affiliate marketers to drive traffic and increase revenue. Start your planning early, engage with your audience, and use a combination of the strategies above to drive high-quality traffic to your affiliate links.

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