Top tips to prepare for Cyber Weekend


 

Cyber Weekend is now fast approaching, and for most e-commerce retailers, it is the biggest peak of the year. With increased demand and competition within the affiliate space during this key seasonal period, effective preparation is crucial for a stress-free and successful Cyber Weekend. Follow these 7 tips to ensure your Cyber Weekend campaign is a success.

1: Plan ahead of time

This year, Cyber Weekend begins on Friday 23rd of November and runs until Monday 26th of November. As it is one of the busiest retail periods of the year, we recommend starting to plan your affiliate activity at least 2 months in advance.  Planning ahead will ensure you are able to book the best exposures as well as reducing risk of missing profitable opportunities. Cyber Weekend activity can be scheduled as part of your overall Q4 strategy, allowing you to secure better packages with partners as well as ensuring everything is planned in advance.

2: Provide a strong offer

An attractive offer is the foundation for a successful Cyber Weekend. Not only will affiliates be more compelled to promote your brand, but a strong offer also has more chance of standing out amongst the competition, especially if your offering is similar to other advertisers. If you are unable to provide a strong offer, we do not recommend spending any tenancy budget for placements, even if you gain high visibility within the affiliate space, it is unlikely to convert well. Instead, that budget would be better spent towards offering a voucher. If that is not an option, you can still book placements with commission increases to ensure you have some presence during Cyber Weekend.  To make your proposition even more appealing, accompany your offer with free delivery and preferably without a minimum spend, as most advertisers usually do this.

You can include both site-wide and product-specific discounts. To identify your Cyber Weekend offers, speak to your affiliate agency, consultancy or network to gain insights on what other advertisers within your vertical are running.  It’s also important to analyse data from previous Cyber Weekend campaigns to understand what has and hasn’t worked for your brand.

Finally, instead of promoting only site-wide offers, consider offering affiliate-channel exclusive offers or even affiliate-exclusive offers with top partners. This will allow affiliates to provide an added-value to your audience compared to your website’s promotion. Indeed, leveraging only a site-wide offer may lead to disappointment for consumers and to lower conversions, especially if the offer is not attractive enough.

3: Creative planning and deliverables

Preparation is key. Be sure to share your promotional messaging and creative assets with affiliates in advance of Cyber Weekend. This ensures affiliates have plenty of time to plan and avoids any last minute panics. Make sure that creatives are available on your affiliate platform in a variety of sizes and that bespoke banners are provided to affiliates for specific placements when needed. You can also utilise an NDA to share your offers with confidentiality when required. In terms of the copy, be creative and analyse previous campaigns to identify the type of messaging that works the best.

When it comes to creatives, focus on the key products and categories that you want affiliates to leverage.  This includes best-selling and seasonal products, but also products that convert the best within the affiliate channel.  Before pushing specific products, make sure you have enough stock in order to respond to the increased demand during Cyber Weekend!

4: Securing placements

As part of your Cyber Weekend planning, booking placements with affiliates should be a top priority, this can be done prior to or after you have decided which offers you are promoting, but in any case, look to start planning this 1 and a half to 2 months in advance of the campaign. You can identify these affiliates by looking at past performance from existing affiliates as well as looking for new affiliates who perform well for other advertisers in your sector (your agency, consultancy or affiliate network can advise on this). We recommend keeping a tracker of your affiliate communications. Reach out to them as early as possible, as it will allow you to secure the best spots for the campaigns as well as giving more time to discuss and negotiate exposure, especially if you book your Cyber Weekend visibility as part as your overall Q4 campaigns.

As you may know already, Cyber Weekend is a retail-focused event that is mainly relevant for tangible goods such as clothing, electronics or beauty. If you are a retailer offering tangible goods, it would definitely be worth investing a higher budget for your campaign to accompany a strong offer. Due to increased demand, exposure during this period is likely to be more expensive. However, if you are an e-commerce brand such as travel, services or telecoms, not offering tangible goods, we recommend booking placements mainly based on commission increases and to keep your budget to the minimum unless you have seen strong performance during Cyber Weekend in the past. Regardless of their vertical, any consumer-focused brand should have a presence during Cyber Weekend to ensure they don’t miss out on sales during this seasonal peak.

Try to book a variety of exposure including homepage listings, newsletter inclusions, offer alerts, and increased category ranks. You can check exposures from last year to identify what works the best for your brand but also ask your agency, consultancy or network to provide recommendations of the best performing placements for your selected partners. For cashback and loyalty partners, you can run a competitive analysis to check your cashback against competitors and adjust commission rates as necessary to ensure that you remain competitive. Keep track of all your placements and conduct an exposure audit once they go live to allow you to rectify any unforeseen issues in a timely manner.

 

Final Tips

5: Conduct technical checks: Ahead of Cyber Weekend, perform technical checks to ensure both your site and affiliate tracking is working correctly. You need to check all network tracking pixels to verify that traffic and sales are tracking correctly. During the campaign, you can also check tracking and monitor performance on a daily basis so you are able to identify any potential issues or fraudulent activity as quickly as possible. Any brand running activity during Cyber Weekend should also complete server and infrastructure checks on their website, mobiles sites and apps to prevent their website or app going down during Cyber Weekend.

6: Don’t forget mobile: To guarantee the success of your campaign, make sure you have a strong mobile site and/or app that makes it easy for consumers to purchase. You can also look at partnering with mobile affiliates that can increase traffic to the channel.

7: Start promoting ahead of Cyber Weekend: It is becoming more and more common for consumers to start sourcing the best deals prior to Cyber Monday and more and more retailers are pushing their offers out a few weeks prior to Cyber Weekend. To increase visibility, we recommend running a pre-Cyber Weekend campaign, promoting deals at least 2 weeks in advance.

If you have more top tips that you would like to share, please add it to the comment section below.

Good luck with your Cyber Weekend planning.

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