In the time it takes to heat up leftovers in the microwave, you’ll have all the quick-tips, reports, and metrics needed to start outlining your Q4 planning.

4 Fast Steps to Building a Holiday/Q4 Strategy

  1. Look into Publisher Business Models: Start your holiday/Q4 strategy planning by looking at your publisher partnerships and their publishing models, and try to identify which ones have generated the most sales for you. If there’s a particular group of publishers or specific publishing model that was highly effective, get in touch with them now and start including them in your holiday/Q4 sales strategy.
  2. Anticipate Top Products: Figure out what your top products are, and then start building a plan to promote them. You’ll want to anticipate what might be newly popular this year, as well as evaluate what will carry over in popularity from years prior in order to succeed with this part of the planning. You can use the Product Success Report to help with that (detailed below).
  3. Build Affiliate Offers Now: Just as shoppers try to avoid waiting until the last minute for holiday shopping, so should you try to avoid waiting until the last minute to build affiliate offers. Start creating holiday/Q4 offers in the dashboard now so that publishers can start pulling them and planning publishing campaigns for the offers – it gives your publishers breathing room, and allows you to work with them more closely on a plan.
  4. Share Promotions and Creative Early: Begin pushing out your promotions and creative for publishers as early as you can. Publishers will be having a lot of offers coming in to push out, so the earlier you can get in touch with your publishers and work with them on your deals, the better.

Reports and Metrics for Holiday/Q4 Success in 2016

Sales and Activity Report: The first piece of evidence you should collect when trying to put together a plan for the holiday season is pulling a Sales and Activity Report. Your Sales and Activity Report will give you insights on publishers in your program, from impressions and clicks to the amount of sales they drove and the commissions they earned. This is not only a great way to identify who your top publishing partners are, but also identify what publishing models work best (so you can build new partnerships for Q4). You can also learn what link types publishers use that are most effective, the amount of products they sold, what products those were, and how many daily active users on their sites. Be sure to look at publishers and products during the Q4 timeframe last year to get a sense of who did well during the season.

Review Media Trackers and Placements: If you had any media or paid placement advertisements last Q4 season, start reviewing how those advertisements did. Look up which publishers had the most success with your paid placements, how you managed the placements (by paying flat fees, higher commissions, or a hybrid model), and which products or offers yielded the most interest from customers (discounts, free shipping, a special offer on a specific product, or something else).

Look at Key Performance Metrics: There are plenty of telling statistics and information that you can use to evaluate what was a success for you last year and what wasn’t. In order to get started, here are four key performance metrics you can use to measure your Q4 success from 2015:

  • Revenue
  • Orders
  • Average Order Size (AOV)
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) or Return on Investment (ROI)

Product Success Report: The Product Success Report provides feedback on performance on the product level, so you can evaluate what products are most desired from your catalogue and focus on promoting those out during the holiday season. You can also gain valuable insights such as products that were cancelled, how often they were cancelled, and the amount of commissions that a product generated for your publishers. This helps you determine an effective commission rate are for certain products to offer your publishers, as well as use them in product links or banners.