What does Christmas mean for Affiliate Marketers?

By Kim Ross
What does Christmas mean for Affiliate Marketers?


Last Christmas online sales grew a whopping 15.5% over the previous year. Compare that with a 3.6% increase for retail sales over the same period and it is undeniable that the online marketplace is red hot for Christmas. So just how much of this pie do affiliate marketer’s get a share of?

Well, the short answer is – it depends. It depends on many things, but specifically – how much effort you put into marketing to the Christmas demand, and the products you’re currently promoting...

Christmas for Affiliate Marketers of Digital Products

In Mark Ling’s experience, he has found that sales for products under $50 often increase. However for many digital products with a higher price point, sales are often lower than usual over the Christmas period.

Don’t interpret this as ‘bad news’ though. Affiliate marketers are not dependent on a revenue surge at Christmas time - there are many seasonal trends that provide opportunities for digital products to thrive. For example, many niches may only need to wait one more week after Christmas for the enthusiasm of New Year’s resolutions to result in an increase in sales (hello, weight loss product affiliates!).

What’s more, merchants of digital products will often do a Christmas promotion that can give buyers that extra incentive needed to purchase - making your job easier. A good example of this is SaleHoo.com, who are offering their 2011 webinar training series for free to buyers who purchase membership in December.

Christmas for Affiliate Marketers of gifts and physical products

Affiliate Marketers of gifts and physical products, as you might expect, reap the benefits of the Christmas season the most:

  • Now is probably the best time of year to be an affiliate of Amazon.com – just one lead could result in multiple sales if they buy more items than you bargained for!
  • Mark Ling’s Jamorama.com site usually doubles their sales every December, as their guitar lessons are a digital product that is popular as a gift.

So how gift-worthy are the products you promote? Some niches will always be no-go areas for Christmas gifts, but you’ll be surprised at how many aren’t when you put your mind to it.

Take some of the AffiloJetpack niches for example: the dog training, golf, green energy and learn to sing niches all hold potential to convert sales as Christmas gifts – if you market the products that way of course. If you haven’t already, get started on this now!

How else can you make the most of Christmas?

Set up a mini site! It doesn’t take a SEO expert to recognise that there is a ton more traffic coming through on all Christmas-related search terms at this time of year. You may simply use Google Adsense on your site, but there are also plenty of Christmas products to promote - a quick search in Clickbank’s marketplace for ‘Christmas’ affiliate programs returned 341 results. What’s more, Christmas is a niche familiar to most of us - so it shouldn’t be too difficult getting content for your site.

I would love to hear how Christmas affects your affiliate marketing business and what strategies (if any) you use for this time of year, please share with us below.

Happy holiday season!


Evelyn 13 years ago
So far, not soo good. Even though I have a gift site, and put out 200 Classified ads on popular products, I haven't seen much action. It's hard to SEO a site for one holiday - or a particular item, I've got to do more thinking on how to get more traffic this time of year. . . I put too much faith in classifide ads, I think.
James Pruitt 13 years ago
last Christmas, I saw a huge drop in affilate sales, but at the time I was mainly promoting higher end products, which may be why.

actually, I have already got my christmas promos set up and running. I am thinking about Valentines (being big in the relationships niche)
Joan Stalker 13 years ago
Sales for my collectible gifts site, http://www.buy-collectibles-store.com, are already up 129% from last year and my busiest month has only just begun. I credit my success to having an authority site with approximately 200 pages and over 4,000 products which are constantly updated from Commission Junction's datafeeds. I also make a consistent effort to add fresh content and employ good on- and off-page SEO strategies. Most importantly, I have developed an excellent rapport over time with my customers who in turn send plenty of referrals my way..
Underground Elephant 13 years ago
What has your experience been promoting offline redeemable offers such as gift cards or groupon?

I was looking over the Groupon affiliate program and it seemed promising for specific offers.
Zee Guo 13 years ago
I can imagine sales for several niches dropping a bit....
Such as...weight loss. Probably the last thing you'll think of during Christmas time..
Weight loss programs are not good gifts.

Although I can see it kicking off for new years!! New Year resolutions should be a good angle of attack.
megachile 13 years ago
Setting up some sites around seasonal trends is definitely something that I plan on doing in the future.