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How many publishers is ideal?

Affiliate managers may often find themselves trying to determine the best number of publishers to have in a program, when in reality, no such number truly exists. Affiliate is not a simple game of cat and mouse, where advertisers seek to add new publishers to their program purely for the goal of increasing their number of joined publishers. Recruitment, at its core, relies on diversity of publishers and strategy.

Consider an affiliate program with 100 publishers, of which 10 are revenue and click active. Now, consider another program with 20 revenue active publishers, of which the same 10 are also revenue and click active. Clearly, having more publishers in the program adds no quantifiable value to the channel. Likewise, a program with 5 publishers, all of which driving revenue, leaves the channel open to greater risk due to a consolidated program. Should a single affiliate change their terms, or the advertiser’s strategy shift, a serious threat to performance emerges.

The right number of affiliates is the number that exists within a diverse strategy of cross-promotional affiliates driving revenue and traffic. Too often, for example, advertisers become overly reliant on content and miss opportunities to drive up AOV through coupon. On the other hand, advertisers may sacrifice ROAS and diminish brand image by becoming too overly reliant on coupons and discounts.

Advertisers should leverage tools such as Discover to seek out new affiliate partnerships; capitalize on partnerships, reward the true influencer of the sale, and incentivize your affiliates through dynamic commissioning and Pepperjam’s suite of attribution technology.