Advertiser’s Playbook: How to Activate Key Affiliate Partners

Advertiser’s Playbook: How to Activate Key Affiliate Partners

As an advertiser launching an affiliate program, it’s crucial to understand the various publisher models that can drive results. Aligning with the right affiliate partners for your niche and business goals can significantly impact program performance. Here’s an overview of key publisher types to consider:

Cashback Sites

Cashback affiliates like Rakuten and TopCashback drive sales by providing a percentage of the transaction amount back to their members. This incentives users to shop through their portal. 

Tips for working with Cashback sites

  • Offer high commissions, often 10-20%, to motivate publishers to promote your brand
  • Provide exclusive cashback rates or bonus cashback percentage offers
  • Run seasonal promotions with increased cashback around major holidays/events

Coupon/Deals Publishers

Sites like CouponCabin and DealCatcher thrive on offering promo codes and deals to users. Providing exclusive discount codes tailored for these affiliates can help them convert readers.

Tips for working with Discount sites:

  • Supply exclusive promo codes and sales info not available to general public
  • Provide a variety of coupon types – % discounts, $ off, free gifts, free shipping, etc.
  • Offer time-limited codes around launches, holidays, events to create urgency
  • Give pre-notification of upcoming sales/deals for publishers to tease and promote

Loyalty Sites

Loyalty affiliates like Swagbucks and MyPoints allow users to earn points, rewards, or cashback for online activities. Partnerships allow brands to be included in their loyalty incentivized experiences. 

Tips for working with Loyalty sites:

  • Offer high conversion rates for loyalty points or cashback earnings per action
  • Provide exclusive boosted earning rates for your brand or products
  • Participate in seasonal bonus point campaigns around major holidays
  • Supply creative assets and text links to integrate seamlessly into their platforms

Content Publishers

Niche blogs, reviews sites, and informational publishers focus on high-quality, in-depth content to engage readers. Securing natural editorial coverage and recommendations aligns with their business model. 

Tips for working with Content publishers:

  • Pitch relevant article ideas related to their niche and your products
  • Provide review units, free trials, or subscriber gifts in exchange for coverage
  • Be responsive to product questions and information requests from writers
  • Share data or case studies that writers can incorporate into contextual articles

Employee Benefits Platforms

Employee perks partners like Corporate Perks and Collinson group enroll companies to provide special offers to their employees. This gives access to a valuable target audience. 

Tips for working with Employee benefits platforms:

  • Offer exclusive discounts or perks just for enrolled employees
  • Participate in co-branded email campaigns that promote the program to new employees
  • Provide creatives optimized for driving employee enrollment and engagement
  • Give higher commissions for valuable actions like account sign-ups or high-value sales

Comparison Engines

Affiliates like TheWireCutter and ConsumerReports offer in-depth product comparisons and recommendations. Driving informed editorial reviews can capture new audience segments. 

Tips for working with Comparison Engines:

  • Send free products to their testing labs and engineering teams for in-depth reviews
  • Provide detailed product information sheets, specs, and assets for analysis
  • Highlight differentiating features that set your products apart from competitors
  • Offer insights into your roadmap and innovations for upcoming coverage


Leveraging influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other social platforms expands reach to engaged follower bases. Negotiating sponsored placements, giveaways, and other promotions taps their marketing power.

Tips for working with influencers:

  • Provide unique discount codes or special offers that influencers can share with their audience. Giving them something exclusive or of high value to promote incentivizes them.
  • Be selective in who you partner with. Look for influencers who are a natural fit for your brand and have an engaged audience in your target demographic. Quality over quantity.
  • Make assets like custom banners, description copy, and lifestyle imagery available to them. Make it easy for influencers to integrate your brand.

Display/Retarteting publishers

Publishers may drive traffic via paid search, social ads, native ads, and more. While not their sole activity, paid campaigns complement other efforts. 

Tips for working with Display/Retarteting publishers:

  • Provide creatives, text ads, product feeds, API access, and other assets to facilitate paid promotions
  • Share performance benchmarks and best practices to help optimize their campaigns
  • Offer high commission rates or bounties to incentivize hitting key targets
  • Provide reporting and insights to demonstrate the value of their channels


Larger affiliate platforms like Awin and Impact have vast publisher networks. Tapping into these extensive, pre-vetted affiliate bases is a turnkey way to scale program reach. 

Tips for working with Sub-Networks:

  • Negotiate higher commission rates to incentivize publishers to pick your program over others
  • Participate in their internal promotions, contests, and marketing efforts as a “preferred partner”
  • Supply creative assets, product catalogs, promo codes, text links, etc. to seamlessly integrate
  • Proactively pitch your program to new publishers through their account managers and tools

It’s important to cultivate a diverse group of affiliate partners to activate different audiences across the purchase funnel. Offering incentives tailored to each publisher type is key to maximizing results. The right mix of affiliates can take your program to the next level.

Looking for expert advice to boost your success?

Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with us today!

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