Resource Center

Working with Publishers Checklist

Much of your program’s success is centered around the relationships you have with the Ascend Publisher Network. As best practice, your program should be engaged with a variety of publisher types and checking any applications that are sent to you at least once per week if not every day. Your program should also be consistently reviewing publishers on the Ascend Network to invite as a partner. Occasionally, your program will need to dedicate additional efforts to ensure active, high quality publishers. If you find your program at a standstill with publisher relationship growth, follow this checklist, which provides a reference for your program to expand or reactivate publishers in your network:


  • Have you used the Discover tool to find publishers that are more closely? Discover's automated publisher recommendations use Advertiser profile information and preferences to suggest publishers that are the best match for the program. 
  • Are the publishers you are trying to work with in your product or service category? Review publishers’ information and always review the publisher’s website for current activity as well as checking to make sure the website is clean, active and works smoothly.
  • Conduct a Competitive Analysis. Review publishers’ sites to identify where your competitors are being promoted.
  1. Are your competitors being promoted on sites where you aren’t?
  2. Are your competitors taking part in publisher placement opportunities that you aren’t?
  • Invite a variety of publisher types. Publishers fall in one of six common types – Coupon, Loyalty, Niche/Content, Cart Abandonment, Sub-Affiliate Network, or Search. ***Note: Even if you don’t offer coupons, any offers that you have running can be used like a coupon (ex. Free shipping on purchase of $75 or more, 15% off product or category of products) 
    • Are your competitors being promoted on sites where you aren’t?
    • Are your competitors taking part in publisher placement opportunities that you aren’t?
  • Follow up directly with the publisher. Communication is key for building a successful publisher relationship. Once you send an invitation or accept an application, reach out directly to discuss what opportunities you have for them and also learn about potential placements publishers may have for you.


Hello ________,

I am following up regarding the pending invitation to join ______ affiliate program (PID XXXX) on Ascend.

Our program, ______,  is a growing retailer offering _________. We provide exciting, aesthetic forward merchandise that appeals to a broad range of customers, with a core emphasis on the lifestyle trends of younger couples in their late twenties and thirties.

Here are some stats:

Conversion rate of 3%

AOV of $120

Earn 5% commission on all referred sales!

I am very interested in working with you! I’d love to set up a call to discuss the partnership in detail. Please let me know what your availability looks like this week.



Hello _____,

Thanks for applying to become a part of the _____ program! We accepted your application and can’t wait to work with you! I would also love to hear about different opportunities to optimize with your site.

We are currently offering XX% commission for every sale driven and also have some great deals going on that your users are sure to love!

I’d also love to set up a call to discuss the partnership in greater detail. Please let me know your availability next week.



  • Maintain communication at least once a month. At a minimum, you should be reaching out to your publishers directly through the interface once a month via publisher mail or newsletters. Anytime you have upcoming or newly released products, new deals or offers, or making any updates you think your publishers would like to know about, you should reach out.
  • Segment your publishers into groups depending on publisher type, performance, etc. By grouping your publishers, you can send higher quality, relevant information to each segment of your program.
  • Review underperforming publisher relationships and send direct communication to encourage reactivation with dynamic commissioning terms. Dynamic commissioning allows a merchant to create custom commission rates for a wide array of parameters allowing merchants the ability to incentivize publishers for the actions they deem most valuable. You can offer additional terms on top of the base term rate or by offering a flat bonus. You can always request a product review or service review and provide an incentive for the review. 
  • Be sure to update your program creatives. Publishers review creatives and want to make sure what they are promoting are valid and active – especially if the creatives have an offer.