Scaling Success: Holiday & Peak Planning Strategies for Affiliate Marketers

This week on the Affiliate Marketing Podcast, Lee-Ann is joined by Melissa Feemster, co-founder of Team Bespoke for a conversation about planning for holiday and peak periods in affiliate marketing.

Talking points include: 

  • The importance of planning and anticipating consumer behavior
  • Strategies for leveraging different marketing channels 
  • Diversifying marketing channels and being prepared to pivot based on competition

Melissa also shares insights on managing coupons and loyalty partners, as well as the future of retail performance marketing, including the role of AI and personalisation.

Listen in here for all the insights….

Peak periods

Lee-Ann asks Melissa to explain what the big periods are going to be that brands need to be aware of. 

Melissa explains, “So, holiday, especially in the United States, traditionally always started with Black Friday and then moved through the Christmas holiday. But now it’s become longer. We really look at the holiday shopping season starting in October. Amazon Prime has moved their Prime Day into October in some years. That’s really kicked off a lot of holiday shopping.

Singles Day has been very big in the United States, then of course, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and then moving into the key holiday shopping days throughout December. So that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about peak. The five days of Black Friday through Cyber Monday to potentially even Giving Tuesday, Thanksgiving, depending on how you look at it, tend to be the days when many clients make most of their money for the entire year.”

Get proactive

Lee-Ann says, “Let’s try in the rest of this podcast to help people get their plans in place so that when October hits, they’re ready to rumble and all of their partners are ready to rumble with them. Let’s start off with thinking about key economic factors because obviously it’s a peak period. We need to be getting in front of consumers in advance to leverage the offers and the sales that are going to be coming. You obviously need to be thinking about your sales processes.

“But what do we need to consider on the economic scale? Because year-on-year changes when you’re planning for peak, depending on whether we’re in a recessionary year or not. Talk to us about things that we need to be aware of for this year at the moment.”

Melissa replies, “The consumer is still really seeking value right now. So that value can come in the form of a coupon, it can come in the form of loyalty points. They can come in a lot of ways right from the product value itself. 

“The election is happening in the United States in November. And so those things definitely tend to change how the consumer feels. When consumers feel uncertain, they don’t buy. So us as folks who are wanting consumers to buy as much as possible are hoping for as much security for the consumer as we can make. Just anticipating those times when they might not be as ready to buy and being ready to give them what they need in the times when they’re going to feel potentially more secure is important.”

Get the timing right

Lee-Ann asks, “Are there things that we should be planning for like three months before we get to the October-November time and what are some of the best ways to do that?”

Absolutely there are!” Melissa advises, “Start planning for getting into gift guides in August or September. I know that seems super early, but each of the content sites, the media houses start writing those gift guides in August and September. So making sure that you have presence within those is really important. They’re going to start to come out with those in October, which is a great time for people to really go through consideration and learning about the brand. Then the actual purchases will come through, of course, in the actual holiday peak time. So that’s one thing to think about.

“The next thing is to know that Meta is going to get very expensive around that election and beforehand. So October and end of September are going to get super expensive for any retailer who tends to spend quite a bit on any of the Facebook properties. So know that you might not be able to afford it. You’re going to have to think about how to shift your budget differently.”


Listen to find out more about:

  • Preparing for Economic Factors
  • Managing Coupons and Loyalty Partners
  • Nailing It During the Peak Period
  • Avoiding Common Mistakes


Key segments of this podcast and where you can tune in to go direct: 

[04:32] Understanding Holiday and Peak Periods

[16:15] Contingency at the Ready!

[31:05] The Future of Retail Performance Marketing


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