We are excited to publish the latest US market growth recommendations shared by Chloe Hanisko, Senior Account Manager at Webgains. Chloe manages a portfolio of our US clients at Webgains, including Lovehoney, FC-Moto, and Liverpool Football Club. Chloe has worked in the affiliate industry for seven years, both in the US and the UK and assists Webgains clients who are looking to open US affiliate programs.
So, you want to bring your brand to the United States? The US consumer market is one of the largest in the world and can be a great place to acquire new customers and sales. As Senior Account Manager of the US Network, I get a lot of questions about the best approach to take when tackling the US. Below are my top tips to help drive your brand expansion forward.
Strategy – The US has 330 million people, and with a population size like that comes a great opportunity for your brand. Such a large consumer base also has a lot of companies vying for the same consumers. In order to help run a successful affiliate campaign in the US, it is important to distinguish yourself from the crowd and build strong relationships with top US publishers. Offer higher commission rates, set up calls or webinars with the top affiliates to pitch your brand to them, and test exposure, offers and commission rates across top affiliates to find out what resonates best with your consumer base. Most importantly, though, work with all your digital teams to have a cohesive message across all your channels. The Affiliate channel works best when running alongside a strong PPC, display, social, and even TV and radio campaigns. Working together allows for strong growth in brand recognition that will help drive new customers to your site. And most importantly, have all the top affiliates clamouring to work with you!
Cost – As with any new market, there will be costs associated with it. The US is approximately 5 times the size of the UK, and you can expect the costs to be about 5 times more than here in the UK! But with those costs come great benefits. The top voucher sites receive millions of views a day and works both as branding as well as affiliate exposure. There may be a slow burn as the consumer becomes familiarized with your brand, but you will soon reap the rewards. According to eMarketer, US affiliate spend will reach $7 billion in 2020, so know you are not alone in these costs! We would recommend setting aside $5-10K a month for exposure to adequately launch and maintain your affiliate program.
Shopping Trends – When planning out your US calendar, understanding the top shopping days is key to running successful campaigns. Familiarize yourself with the top US holidays, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Did you know that Cyber Monday is the top shopping day in the US? Compared to the UK, which is Black Friday. Knowing this will allow you to better plan your promotional calendars, and book exposure around this. Critical dates for exposure can be costly, and very loud with brands competing for consumers dollars. Running your deals for extended time frames and booking exposure just outside of key dates can help to manage your budget while also aligning with key holidays.
Consumer Habits – Affiliate marketing was launched in the US in 1989, and US consumers have become increasingly savvy while shopping online. 93.6% of respondents to a US eMarketer survey stated that discount/coupons are at least somewhat important to their purchasing choices, while 44.9% of those said they are essential. But people aren’t just looking for the best deals; they are also looking for brands that align with their core values. Ensure you stay up to date on major events that may require a company response. Finding a way to connect with your consumers on a deeper level, outside of traditional products and deals messaging will help strengthen brand loyalty, which will benefit both you and your consumer for years to come.
Having a strategy to expand into the US can be daunting. If you are interested in learning more about how Webgains can assist with this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information