Seven tips on running an international affiliate marketing programme

posted by James Maley - Head of Corporate Clients, NW17 Dec 2013

Cross border purchases currently make up 9% of retail sales in the European Union, and this figure is expected to exceed 20% by 2016. For retailers, there is a real opportunity to take their affiliate marketing campaigns international, to grow their market share in multiple countries. However, their success in different geographical locations will be dependent on the strength of their relationships with publishers. 

So, if you’re a retailer, here are some tips on how to build a successful international affiliate marketing programme through a network of international publishers:

  1. Make it easy for the publisher to get paid: Check what currency the publisher prefers to be paid in upfront. Remember, publishers don’t facilitate the payment of merchants’ goods, so they usually only have one bank account and operate in one currency.   Therefore, make sure they don’t incur any currency risks, or aren’t going to face a charge to get paid by you; otherwise the financial reward for them diminishes, making your proposition less appealing.  
  2. Deliver your campaign in the local language: To attract international publishers, you need to speak theirs and their audience’s language – literally. You must be able to understand the location of where the traffic has come from and facilitate the offer in the local language for the consumer to make the purchase.  If you can’t produce a whole website in the local language, develop your most popular pages / basket page in the local language.
  3. Offer your campaign in the local currency:  Consumers trust offers on products where they get to pay for their purchase in their local currency, or at the very least, in the accepted regional currency e.g. Euro in Europe, USD $ in Middle East.
  4. Make shipping costs transparent: Always make sure that all costs for the consumer are transparent, and are well understood by the publisher so they promote your offer correctly and clearly. A top tip - if you introduce a minimum spend then you can remove the service fee, which is a winner for everyone – you, the publisher and the consumer. 
  5. Stay knowledgeable and on top of market trends: knowing what works and doesn’t work for certain markets makes a big difference to the success of your campaign. For instance, do you know why certain purchase patterns have risen or why one brand is stronger than another? Build strong relationships with your publishers, and keep an open and on-going dialogue between you so you can knowledge share, and partner to drive the most traffic, and maximize revenue.
  6. Use marketing channels effectively: For example, know where purchases are made on a mobile or tablet, or where consumers prefer to use a PC. Also, be up to speed on which markets have fully embraced online payments, or where goods are paid for once they have arrived (like, in Russia for example).  
  7. Assign one trusted point of contact: Have a single ‘go to’ person who understands the publisher and affiliate marketing business; they can then act as a delegator, consolidator, or central planner. This is critical as not only will it help to foster the relationship and ensure success but it will create trust and reassurance that you have their interests at heart.

Do you want to learn more about how to successfully set up an international affiliate marketing programme? Then read: ‘How affiliates can expand into Europe

Tags: News (268), Research (32)

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