Publisher Promotions and Incentives Guide

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Promotions and Incentives

Promotions and incentives are fundamental in optimising the growth of a Publisher program. An effective strategy adds value to the Publisher recruitment process, generates increased exposure to the market and establishes loyalty. Each of these allows the program to be more competitive and attractive within its sector.

There are two target audiences that incentives can be geared towards: the Affiliate or the Customer.

The following guide provides examples of popular promotions and incentives that will help you create your own bespoke offers.

It’s very important to create an element of fun in the promotions. The idea is to subconsciously turn a Publisher's routine task into work that is enjoyable. Keep in mind what your competitors are offering and make an effort to gain that competitive edge, but remember to be mindful of your budget when sourcing opportunities!

Competitive Research and Additional Reading

In an effort to understand the competition in the Publisher space, it’s recommended that you look at the following websites to get an idea of what promotions and incentives are being offered across a variety of sectors, as well as exploring Publisher blogs to see what some of the top Publishers in the industry look for in an incentive.

Link to the Awin Hub [1]

Links to the PerformanceIN forum Awin Promotions Sub Forum and the Advertiser Promotions & Incentives area

Blog written by John Lammerton Affiliate Incentives that don’t work (and some that do!)

Blog written by Kieron Donoghue Affiliate Incentives

These blogs discuss examples of effective and ineffective Publisher incentives that are often offered by Advertisers. The key points of the articles are to ensure that you understand ways to entice your Publishers to do more for your Advertiser program by offering creative and strategic incentives.

For additional research and understanding of key terms visit the Jargon Buster within the Awin Wiki.

Examples of Promotions and Incentives for Publishers

Increasing Default Commission

This can be an effective incentive to offer to all Publishers joined to the program and commission changes are easily implemented by simply making the commission increase within the Commission Manager tool.

Performance Based Commission Tiers

By setting sales targets for Publishers, it can influence them to reach these goals in order to benefit from a higher commission tier. This may push your top performing Publishers but may not necessarily engage your long-tail Publishers if the targets are deemed unachievable.

Tiers can be based on either the value of confirmed sales hitting a target amount or the number of confirmed sales hitting a target amount. When using this tier system transactions must be validated within 30 days.

Important: When tiers are introduced, the system will initially look back over a 30 day period and set Publisher commissions accordingly. For further clarification, click here

Private Commission

Privately awarding a selection of your top Publishers enables them to put more financial weight behind their campaigns. This may be in the form of homepage presence, a newsletter feature, or simply building a larger campaign. The larger Publisher partners may request private commissions in order to join your program and begin promoting you. Private commissions are set by entering the changes in the Membership Details tab of the individual Publisher’s account.

Advertiser Example:

Launch offer We’re unleashing our campaign with cash incentives of up to £1,500 (in addition to our industry topping standard 30% commission rate) for the revenue you generate - that’s a package not to be sniffed at!

From May 05 2009 for 4 months we’ll give you:

• £250 for £2500-£4999 total sales revenue generated (50 to 99 sales at our average basket rate)

• £600 for £5000-£9,999 total sales revenue generated (100-199 sales at our average basket rate)

• £1500 for £10,000+ total sales revenue generated (201+ sales at our average basket rate) _____________________________________________________________________________________

Product Commission Groups

This option allows you to utilise your budget in a clever way by awarding higher commission levels for different products where there is a greater margin. This option requires some technical integration to ensure that the Advertiser passes the correct basket information at checkout to allow the system to award the right commission amount.

Affiliate Prize Draws

A prize draw can both raise the profile of an Advertiser program and maintain Publisher interest. This is a great option if you have extra/clearance stock which you want to shift and can use for prizes.

Mechanics for Prize Draws:

• All Publishers promoting the Advertiser are entered

• Best new Publisher wins a prize

• Publishers to generate XXXX amount of sales in a set time frame are entered

• Most improved Publisher wins a prize

Advertiser Example:


Affiliate Competitions

The aim of running competitions with Publishers should be to help drive traffic to the Advertiser's site, promote sales and where possible capture customer data.

The competitions can range from top tier competitions that “money can’t buy” such as the example below from Buyagift, to 2nd tier competitions featuring tickets to the theatre, concerts and sporting events to 3rd tier competitions where the Publishers can win vouchers, games, cash, and other products or services.

Example of Top Tier Competition

Examples of 2nd Tier Competions


Example Data Capture

Customer Discount Codes

Uploading a variety of generic codes into your account and also offering a set of bespoke codes to specific Publishes is an excellent idea. For ideas of discount and voucher code offers that are well-received, visit or for ideas.

The most popular types of discount codes include:

1. Providing a percentage off the total basket value

2. Providing a percentage off a particular product or service

3. Offering free delivery

4. Stretch & Save Codes: eg.” Spend £50 and save £10.”


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