Seven Back-to-School Affiliate Marketing Strategies

When children, teens and university level students go back to school, parents, students, and teachers are often looking for the best deals and ideas for clothing and school essentials. We present tips from our experts to help you make your back-to-school promotions a success.

1. Review Your Previous Content

If this is not your first year with back-to-school marketing, then you will already have a backlog of previous back-to-school content you have published or shared with your audience. Take this opportunity to start reviewing your previous back-to-school content to see what has been most effective for you in years past, what has not worked, and what you can re-purpose.

Figuring out what has previously been effective in driving conversions and why can be a great way to jump start your content planning for this major shopping season. Evaluate all pieces carefully for content, format, length, and medium to understand what made your visitors respond positively.

2. Promote Offers Early

Back-to-school shopping starts early, which means you need to promote deals even earlier. The last thing you want to do is try and play catch up to other publishers who are already providing their audiences with affiliate offers on back to school essentials. Start pulling offers now and working with your advertisers to generate deals you can promote, and have your links, banners, and other promotional materials ready to go early. 

3. Deals Drive Conversions, So Highlight Value

The importance of finding deals for back-to-school shoppers is at the top of every shopper’s list. Consumers are always looking for a good bargain, so make sure you show them one in their back-to-school shopping by highlighting that in your published content. This can be anything from deep discounts, to additional cash back, to free shipping.

4. Keep All Shoppers in Mind

What does your typical back-to-school shopper look like? Are they parents of an elementary school student looking to get the essentials; a college or graduate student needing a mix of technology and traditional resources; or a teacher looking to get supplies for their students and classroom?

The reality is that there is no one typical back-to-school shopper because the back-to-school shopping season encompasses all these shoppers and many more. You can help all of them by keeping them in mind and highlighting deals that would bring them the most value. Provide guides for what different ages might need, highlight discounts that teachers might value, and do not be afraid to have a wide range of back-to-school shoppers.

5. Keep Mobile in Mind

Many mothers doing back to school shopping plan to use their mobile devices to some extent during their back-to-school shopping. Furthermore, the top product categories for mobile shoppers will be basic supplies, clothes, and footwear.

This information makes one thing very clear: mobile needs to be part of your publishing platform to some capacity. Make your content platform is accessible on a mobile device, and if you have an app be sure to highlight that for the mobile shopper.

6. Back to College Shoppers Are a Great Target Audience

Back to college shoppers are far different than their back-to-school counterparts. The need for basic supplies may remain similar, but back to college shoppers will also be looking for clothes they can wear in the dorm, at class, and out on the weekend, technology that will make their college experiences easier, as well as furniture/decor for dorms and apartments, among many other categories.

Additionally, this category encompasses a wide age range, from late teens and early 20s to middle-aged students who will be taking classes at night, on the weekends, or are returning to school full time. Since this audience is so wide be sure to highlight the value certain products and brands can bring different types of back to college shoppers.

7. Always Highlight Free Shipping and In-Store Pickup

Free shipping is absolutely critical to a consumer, so when your partnering advertiser offers free shipping be sure to always call it out. Provide the details of the free shipping such as price threshold, if it is a limited time offer, or if the customer will need a coupon code, so the customer can make their purchases with those details in mind. If the advertiser also offers in-store pickup then you should highlight that as well.


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