How do affiliate publishers choose campaigns?

How do affiliate publishers choose campaigns?

You´ll certainly agree with me when I say that the whole Dognet affiliate network stand on publishers. We would not be where we are without high-quality publishers. It is them who work with your campaigns on a day-to-day basis and therefore their opinion is of paramount importance. If you want to know what affects the publishers and what they´re interested in the most whilst choosing and promoting a campaign, read on.

At the end of 2020, we had prepared and sent out a survey to each of the Dognet publishers.  We have collected nearly 200 replies from publishers of various types and sizes and then evaluated them, of which we now bring you this report.

The purpose of the survey was to ascertain as credible as possible as to what campaign parameters impact a publisher´s decision to deploy and promote a campaign. We can thus provide you with a clear picture of what is necessary to deliver to the publishers within an affiliate campaign and what elements you should take extra care of.

The questionnaire has also suggested, of course, many facts relating to either the network´s technical operation or other matters we as the network can influence and we´ll be implementing many of the publishers´ proposals in the coming months.

 

If you don´t happen to read on, at least take a look at the most important points which have been emerged from the survey and which you, as our advertiser, can influence.

  1. Be particularly careful about a high-quality XML feed. A clear and well-arranged structure, useful descriptions and all possible parameters of a product are important. For discounted prices, it is important to indicate the original price as well.
  2. Do not try to save on a commission at any cost and set it up fairly. If there is a high-quality publisher in a campaign who brings you plenty of conversions, you can support it with a bonus or an individually increased commission.
  3. Provide for the campaign a high-quality description of an e-shop, portfolio of products, and their properties.   
  4. Make sure to add also a list of TOP products and TOP categories. If your best-selling product range changes seasonally, it´s ideal to send an updated list on a regular basis.
  5. Many, in particular minor, publishers will also appreciate extracts from PR articles and, in particular for specific products, also description of the target group. 
  6. Do not change all too often and the campaign conditions, inform us forthwith in contingent problems resulting in tracking failure, and approve conversions regularly and in due time. The stability of a campaign is of high importance for partners.

If you want to know how we have arrived at these recommendations and other interesting facts, read on. 🙂

 

Composition of survey respondents

Content publishers hold the biggest share in Dognet, which can also be clearly seen in the composition of publishers in the survey. 3% of the respondents were coupon websites and cashbacks accounted for 3% as well. The smallest group comprised partners engaged in social networks and PPC.

 

Graph of representation of the respective types of publishers in the survey

 

Graph of publishers´ representation in the survey by their size

 

We have also divided the publishers by size into those who make via Dognet units of conversions, tens of conversions, hundreds and thousands of conversions per month. For the needs of this survey, we´ll further make a distinction between small-sized ones – those who make units to tens of conversions per month – and large-sized ones – those who make hundreds to thousands of conversions per month.  

 

The amount of commission and a well-known brand make are decisive. What are other significant parameters for the publishers?

In the next question, the publishers were given a choice of 7 parameters which they were to assess on a 1 to 6 scale where:  

  • 1 – unimportant
  • 2 – little important
  • 3 – rather important
  • 4 – important
  • 5 – highly important
  • 6 – extremely important

 

Parameters Small-sized
Commission amount Important (4.38 points)
Brand awareness Important (4.35 points)
Cookie lifetime Important (4.18 points)
XML feed quality and availability Rather important (3.36 points)
Heureka ranking Rather important (3.14 points)
Whether campaign is deployed by competitors Little important (2.49 points)
Availability of coupons Little important (2.45 points)

 

 

Parameters Large-sized
Brand awareness Highly important (4.88 points)
Commission amount Highly important (4.68 points)
Cookie lifetime Important (3.76 points)
XML feed quality and availability Important (3.61 points)
Heureka ranking Rather important (2.9 points)
Availability of coupons Rather important (2.58 points)
Whether campaign is deployed by competitors Little important (2,18)

 

 

This question has clearly suggested that the brand awareness and the commission amount are the first parameters the partners look at whilst choosing a campaign, regardless of their size. This is nothing new. A well-known brand guarantees a stable and powerful e-shop which is likely to convert well.

Branding is a long-distance run. While publishers prefer well-known e-shops, however that you´re not a No. 1 in the segment, still it does not mean that they will not use you. But the truth is that verified and well-known e-shops deploy more willingly, we therefore do not recommend a campaign using a start-up e-shop.  

Do not try to save on publishers at any cost and set a commission fairly. Clearly, a commission on tires can never be as high as that, for one, on a nutritional supplement, however publishers largely have a clear idea of the amounts of commissions in the respective segments. Thus always set a commission fairly and if you have room for that, do not fear to support those publishers who bring the most conversions through an extra bonus or an individually increased commission. They will appreciate this and be engaged all the more so in your campaign.

Other important parameters are the cookie lifetime and, of course, the XML feed quality and availability. For many publishers the XML feed is the alpha and omega of a campaign. Be particularly careful about it.

Publishers made mention of the importance of a high-quality and well-formed XML feed throughout the survey. A clear and well-arranged structure, useful descriptions and all possible parameters of a product are important. For discounted prices, it is important to indicate the original price as well. If you think that yours is not ideal, write to us.

 

The most publishers want high-quality descriptions of an e-shop, portfolio and properties of products

In the next question the partners were given an opportunity to tick off other parameters and parts of a campaign they regard as important ones. How did it turn out? In the table, you can see the percentage of those publishers who view a given parameter as important.

Parameters Small-sized
Descriptions, portfolio and properties of products 60%
TOP product recommendations 51%
TOP category recommendations 43%
Target group description 30,5%
Seasonal and action banners 26,5%
Excerpts from PR articles 25,5%
Permit of direct PPC campaigns 16,5%
E-mailing permit 12,5%
E-mail template 6%
Google CSS permit 2,5%

 

 

Parameters Large-sized
TOP product recommendations 45%
Descriptions, portfolio and properties of products 44,5%
TOP category recommendations 36%
Google CSS permit 22,5%
Target group description 16%
Permit of direct PPC campaigns 9%
Seasonal and action banners 8%
Excerpts from PR articles 7,5%
E-mailing permit 7,5%
E-mail permit 0%

 

 

It has turned out really important for publishers how a campaign is presented to them. Hence, make sure that a description of an e-shop, a portfolio and properties of products are sufficient and high-quality.  Many publishers will also appreciate within the campaign description a description of the target group who shop with you and in particular minor publishers will also appreciate PR materials.

Also part of the campaign description by publishers should be a list of best-selling TOP products and TOP categories. If in particular top products of yours change seasonally, it´s good to keep such lists always updated. It suffices for you to send them to us and we´ll take care of it.

Large-sized publishers will also appreciate a permit for Google CSS. If you´re interested in this option, let us know.

In particular minor ones will, in turn, appreciate high-quality seasonal or action banners. Open-ended questions have suggested that publishers also want seasonal and action banners, in particular those sized 300×300 and 720×90. It´s good if you can supply banners including and excluding CTA buttons.

 

Other motivation is high-quality feeds and in particular advertisers´ interest in co-operation

We also gave the publishers room to deliver their views in an open-ended question. We were most interested in what motivated them to deploy campaigns more and faster. Some answers were frequently repeated and substantially borne out what we found out in the previous closed questions.  

 

Hence, what did the publishers address most frequently? 

  • High-quality XML feed – that the XML feed is important for publishers was already suggested by the previous questions. Many publishers make use of the space for a longer answer in order to underline the importance of a high-quality and well-formed XML feed. A clear and well-arranged structure, useful descriptions and all possible parameters of a product are important. For discounted prices, it is important to indicate the original price as well.
  • Products for reviews and publishers´ contests – if you can provide your products for testing and reviews or contest which publishers make on their projects for their visitors, let us know.
  • Offer of coupons for affiliate publishers – if permitted by your internal policy and you still have room for it within the margin, then consider the provision of an ideally long-term coupon for affiliate publishers only. We have the best experience with up-sell coupons when we provide a certain amount discount in shopping over a value above that of your average basket value. Initially, provide such coupon for a shorter period and, if it proves well, put it at your partners´ disposal on a long-term basis. They will manage this way to raise your average value of shopping.
  • Advertiser´s interest – publishers will appreciate your interest. If you see that a publisher brings you more than the others or you extremely like its project, you can support it individually, ideally through a higher commission, but this is not the only option. It suffices to get in touch with us and we´ll always think up something together.
  • Stability – the word stability was also repeated many times in the answers. Thus, a long-term campaign that does not frequently alter its conditions, runs without outages, and approves pending conversions at regular times.

These are our recommendations towards you, our advertisers, that have emerged from our large-scale publisher survey. Hopefully, the results will be a useful guide for you on how to work with your campaign and how to support your partners in order for them to bring in a high-quality traffic and a lot of conversions.

It´s mostly enough if you respond on a regular basis to our e-mails and communicate with us. We do always care about the best setup of a campaign and it´s also in our interest for such campaign to function as good as possible.

We thank you that you´re here with us and if you want to supplement or modify whatsoever in your campaign based on our recommendations, contact us at hello@dognet.sk.

Júlia Bačíková
Júlia Bačíková

Júlia má v Dognete na starosti kľúčové spolupráce, vzťahy a projekty

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