Brands that refuse to look beyond voucher codes and cashback sites when planning their affiliate programmes will fail to maximise their revenue from the channel. 

It is true that voucher codes and cashback have thrived during the financial turmoil in the UK over the last five years and generally are responsible for the bulk of affiliate revenue. However, they are not the only way to generate revenue through affiliates. Over the last few years we have seen a great number of new affiliates enter the industry that offer fantastic potential for brands. Some of these new kids on the block have introduced brand new, innovative ways to generate leads or sales, while others have simply repurposed existing technology and use it on a cost per acquisition (CPA) model rather than a CPC or CPM model.

One of the most popular new products on the market is basket abandonment technology, offered by companies like Ve interactive.  This is for those shoppers who for whatever reason have ended up not buying a basket full of stuff they thought they wanted.  If someone doesn’t end up buying the products they have in their basket, the system will send them an email about an hour after they leave the site (using the email address captured during sign up or registration) detailing all the items they had added in their basket. It will simply prompt them to come back and finish the purchase without having to add all the products to the basket again.

According to Ve Interactive the average checkout abandonment rate is 91% – even if this is a bit inflated there is still huge potential here. The benefits to brands of not having to put intensive resource in-house to develop, manage and optimise the technology themselves is obvious, but the fact that you can use this system on a CPA model makes it an extremely attractive proposition.

Alternatively there is now also overlay technology which is fully customisable and available from companies such as Yieldify. The premise of this technology is quite simple – when a visitor to your site moves their mouse towards the exit or new tab button and is about to leave they are served with an overlay on the site. The overlay can be tailored for each scenario based on where the visitor is trying to leave from i.e. the product page or the basket page etc. Serving a relevant message at this point will improve the chances of them staying on the site and converting. 

Again with technology like this being offered on a CPA model, it can have an instant impact on a campaign whilst still allowing brands to control every aspect of the technology and deciding on when and where the message is fired to the visitor.

But one of the biggest new developments has seen the affiliate industry offer display retargeting on a CPA model.  This is a great stepping stone for brands with smaller budgets or limited resources to manage more comprehensive display campaigns and the data analysis and creative that is needed. Companies such as Mythings can manage the whole process from building the creative to optimising the campaigns and reporting results.

There are many companies that run these services and what makes them even more appealing is that in most cases there are no contracts to sign. The technology combined with the flexibility of full customisation and no long term commitment makes these solutions a fantastic way to expand your affiliate programme beyond the more obvious vouchercodes and cashback options.