Memories of Easter may include a copious amount of chocolate and very little else, but it is actually the longest bank holiday in the British calendar.
With changeable weather at this time of year and kids being off school, there is an abundance of families looking for fulfilment and online traffic longing for inspiration. It’s an ideal opportunity for publishers to build closer relationships with their advertisers and grow revenue from their audience.
Whenever there is a seasonal peak, the first thing any publisher should do is delve into past activity – look at what has worked and what has failed in the past. Look at who you have worked with, who has run initiatives and if you are not working with those advertisers anymore, who might you be able to on-board specifically for this season?
What is more, do not forget that Easter is changeable. Last year we celebrated at the end of the month, right on time for pay day. This year it is not the case. Purses might be a little tighter and you should be sympathetic to that. Do not pull your deals down straight away, make sure there is longevity to your partnerships. Work with merchants to ensure you are optimising any offers for the Easter and pay day weekends.
Also avoid the obvious pitfalls of not comparing like for like periods when analysing past performance, it would be an easy mistake to make.
A helping hand
There are an array of tools available, some more sophisticated than others. We have recently made significant upgrades to our publisher portal, which makes discovering relevant merchants much simpler for publishers.
Yet there are others which are grand in effect, but simple to construct and execute. For example; CJ offers a product widget so you can list multiple products in one widget – an Easter bundle could be an engaging seasonal concept to get your audience shopping. This is easy and quick to use so you could even change what you are promoting depending on the weather and it is not just products either - you could be promoting PictureBox for a movie marathon if it is a wet weekend or perhaps encouraging people to enjoy the sunshine at Chessington World of Adventures?
Make sure you take advantage of the tools available, but also check any promotions you have on your site are relevant to consumer interest – in our rather murky April that is probably going to be weather dependent.
It is not just about the more tangible elements of what makes you a good publisher, there is an equally important softer side that is built around relationships. There is a multitude of advertisers with great offers.
Why not try to engage with them by securing their products as a selection of prizes on your site? It is ideal for their brand exposure, it will drive more interest in your site and generate more traffic to your advertiser’s site as well.
A treasure hunt is a timely and fun activity for users and will keep people on your site for longer, in our experience taking that extra step has been well worth the effort!
Traffic on your merchant’s pages might be looking to purchase on a corporate basis. It is a great time for gifting, so targeting a B2B audience is definitely worth remembering. It might even be a time for you to schmooze some of your key contacts with some surprise Easter hampers and chocolate gifts and make sure you’re front of mind when they dish out their best offers.
On the subject of exclusives, there are so many to go round. If you have missed out, don’t despair. The likelihood is that generic codes or promotions are going to include words or phrases related to the theme. If someone is to see ‘Easter10’ for 10% off there is a strong likelihood that while it may not necessarily be the strongest offer available, the consumer is not going to look any further given that it is a timely and relevant promotion.
You can also support yourselves by having relevant opportunities on site, a specific themed newsletter, or seasonal opportunities, where you traffic can gravitate towards to give merchants a reason to work more closely with you. Whether that’s on a product level, a promotion specific to one line of products or just generically for the merchant.
Keep it simple and think of your audience and the journey they may make around the site. If you’ve got a specific Easter deals section make sure it can be navigated to from the homepage and lists everything clearly.
The main thing to remember is it’s probably a time to enhance what you’re doing and make it relevant to the season, you don’t want to overhaul everything as your traffic is likely to be up – to use an old cliché, if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it.
Just build on your own knowledge, ensure you’re engaging with your audience and serving them with opportunities that resonate with their needs. It’s this that’s going to drive conversions and earn you more commission.