The benefits of personalisation and audience targeting for affiliate publishers

Audience Engine has landed, giving you more opportunities to earn! An industry-first commissioning technology, we dive deep into the benefits Audience Engine offers for publishers. Find out why you can’t afford not to take advantage of this latest offering.

Gen Z female consumers purchasing from a laptop after experiencing affiliate personalisation and audience targeting.

Audience Engine is a publisher-first tool that allows you, our publisher partners, to continue personalising ad experiences and reach various consumer segments through their sites. Not only does Audience Engine makes personalisation and audience targeting simple, but it also recognises that select audience groups can be more valuable to certain brands at specific times and fairly compensates you for the role you play in helping brands reach those consumers.

At Rakuten Advertising, our brand partners are eager to get started. They see the value in their partners’ audiences, and they’re ready to start optimising them as much as possible. The best bit? Audience Engine is a privacy-conscious solution, but more on that later. For now, let’s look at why you should be leveraging Audience Engine.

Audience Engine provides a range of benefits to publishers.

Like we said earlier, Audience Engine is a publisher-first tool. Now, more than ever, reaching and targeting shoppers through trusted partners with the right message is vital. Your audiences are incredibly valuable, and brands are prepared and willing to pay to reach and engage with them accurately.

For publishers on our network, Audience Engine provides:

  • Additional monetisation opportunities: Different from other targeting solutions because it’s true affiliate, Audience Engine pays on conversions and allows you to use your unique sites and placements. You can sell particular audiences and placements at a higher rate and receive commissions for the sales you drive with high-intent shoppers.
  • Making personalisation easy: Historically, personalisation and audience targeting has been complex and manual. We’re allowing you to target audiences like you’ve always wanted to through the affiliate model. It’s not a significant lift in terms of a new network, tracking or integration.
  • Solving cookie depreciation: Using first-party consumer data to target shoppers without relying on affiliate cookies sounds like the dream, right? We leverage our server-side and first-party tracking for affiliate to enable you to run personalisation on-site without requiring Rakuten Advertising to pass data based on the cookies present.

Audience Engine supports a broad range of verticals and strategies.

Any publisher who has the ability to segment audiences and target them accordingly can use Audience Engine. Generally, loyalty, reward and cashback publisher are more familiar with the concept and are an easy fit. But they’re certainly not the only vertical that can take advantage of the new opportunities. If you run any placement whereby a specific group gets a particular message, you’re a candidate!

On the brand side, Audience Engine supports all verticals. We’re currently testing campaigns with a luxury department store working across multiple markets. We also have finance and travel vertical clients who find the enhanced targeting capabilities advantageous.

Getting started is simple.

We believe in the power of personalisation, and consumers are here for it. That’s why we’ve made the Audience Engine integration simple. To get started, you’ll need to set a new attribute at the time of click. Setting attributes is something you’re likely already doing, and if you use our U1 attribute, then enabling the U5 is no different. The tech implementation is fairly minimal.

Additionally, Audience Engine compliments the existing Rakuten Advertising tech stack. It flips the Dynamic Commissioning model on its head, allowing you to pass customer segment identifiers on-click, which we map to an advertiser’s commissioning rules when an order takes place. Audience Engine also fits perfectly into our reporting suite, with campaigns automatically shown. You’ll be able to see reports based on the rules agreed upon to see how the audience performed.

Rose Blackburn, Global VP of Partnerships at Dealmoon, summed up why audience engine is a must for publishers: “We were excited when Rakuten came to use with the Audience Engine opportunity. Dealmoon was already starting to tackle audience segmentation for more precise targeting, and the potential to track results via Audience Engine was the icing on the cake. By combining our technologies, advertisers now have a clear path to elevate their programs to new heights.”

Are you ready to tackle personalisation and start earning? Visit or contact your Rakuten account representative to get started.

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Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising leads the industry in delivering performance-driven ad solutions that help the world’s top brands connect with unique, highly engaged audiences – from first impression to final sale.