Global performance marketing network Affiliate Window has launched a new ‘assist’ commission model for publishers contributing higher up the purchase funnel.

A statement from the group claims the last-click CPA commission model has created a “thorny” issue for the industry and that a “one-size-fits-all” solution cannot appropriately reward content, blog and social publishers belonging to the affiliate longtail. 

While acknowledging the “dominant” position held by incentive publishers such as cashback, voucher and loyalty sites, Affiliate Window has been looking into data from ‘influencer’ publishers to avoid the possibility of “imbalance or disruption” brought on by focusing solely on paying sites that drive the last click. 

Publishers and advertisers now have access to ‘commission-per-assist’ – a model which also works as a top-up for rewarding early contributors within CPA-driven programmes.

Rewarding at all stages

The new commission model could play very much on the side of bloggers that give the information and insight consumers need to go ahead with a purchase. 

However, as a fair proportion of tech-savvy shoppers will head to a cashback or voucher site for their own money-back rewards, smaller publishers can find themselves contributing to something without seeing a pay-out. 

In its description of commission per assist, Affiliate Window claimed that advertisers would have the ability to identify the individual publishers that contributed to a sale.

Along with being able to cap payments for assists – rather than conversions – the new toolset includes options for rewarding publishers that contributed to a click chain and those that assisted via a channel other than the one used by the shopper to complete their transaction. 

Further to this, at the opposite end to a last click, the network has rolled out an option for rewarding on a first assist. 

The new additions are born out of recent tests from Affiliate Window which led to the introduction of an influence metric for its reporting tools. In April 2014, advertisers saw the appearance of a ‘Total Influence’ score next to each connected publisher – this based on the part they played in driving sales. 

The influencer metric is set to gain a new lease of life as the network rolls out a solid payment structure for helping brands reward publishers at every stage of the purchase journey.

First steps

Along with delving deep into longtail data, Affiliate Window has been trialling the assist model with some of its fashion clients. One campaign saw advertisers handing out £1 top-ups to publishers on the basis of “extra on-site coverage and promotion”.  

A statement from the group claimed that assist payments would represent “the first step” in its journey towards studying the actions and roles of contributing publishers. 

Kevin Edwards, global client strategy director at Affiliate Window, said: “Having analysed affiliate journeys over the past few years we know that certain publishers have greater influence earlier in the sales funnel and last-click CPA doesn’t allow us to recognise this.

“We also know there is a huge industry desire to engage with longtail bloggers and broader content sites and this enables us to reward their activity more appropriately.”