Affiliate Marketing

Rakuten Advertising rolls out new affiliate marketing program

Social media platforms have also taken note of the power of affiliate marketing and bulked up their offerings to attract creators. Amazon has long had its associates program, and apps such as LikeToKnowIt run on influencer affiliate links. Pinterest lets creators tag brand products in their posts, and Instagram recently started testing affiliate shops for creators. Instagram is also testing a new inbox feature that prioritizes messages about possible sponsored content deals.

But Rakuten’s Accelerate isn’t the first “pay for performance model.” In 2020, Publicis launched The Pact Power by Epsilon, which was aimed at small-to-medium sized digital marketers as a “pay for performance” model, with a money-back guarantee if certain targets weren’t met. “But Epsilon’s and Rakuten’s are the only two I’m aware of that put the publisher costs or cost of media at risk,” said Jay Pattisall, principal analyst at Forrester who covers marketing partnerships and agencies.

Accelerate will also use Rakuten’s new dynamic commissioning rules, which help align advertisers and publishers on goals. The rules, introduced in 2019, allow publishers’ effectiveness to be tracked on 42 different variables, including last-click, margins, and commission rates. 

“This allows us to better attribute the publisher’s role in the user journey,” said Anthony Capano, managing director for North America at Rakuten Advertising. “Even if you’re a publisher who isn’t optimized for last-click, you can still be part of the network.”

Rakuten has a network of 150,000 publishers globally. 

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