Prepare for Q1 Seasonality Success by Focusing on Top Verticals

2022 is less than 9 weeks away – is your affiliate marketing strategy prepared for the New Year? With the holiday season quickly approaching, consumers’ buying habits will soon shift as they switch focus to New Year’s resolutions. It’s time to start preparing for Q1 seasonality in top verticals, as 56% of people who make resolutions say they spend money in order to maintain or achieve their resolutions. While some believe Q4 is the prime time for marketers to experience high seasonality, many brands across a variety of verticals experience dramatic spikes in consumer engagement and conversions at the start of and throughout Q1. 

Top-Performing Verticals in Q1

Consumers look at the New Year as a new beginning – a time to focus on their personal well-being, take control of their finances, pick up a new hobby, or all of the above. Let’s hone in on the top verticals that can expect to see success at the start of 2022. 

Health and Fitness

Let the New Year’s resolutions begin. Over 55% of people report making resolutions about their health or fitness. Many consumers will soon be surfing the mobile web and app stores in search of the best fitness apps and wellness supplements to crush their 2022 health goals. 

According to a survey released by Planet Fitness, 91% of Americans with a 2021 New Year’s resolution made at least one resolution related to fitness. Given the shift in workout routines since the start of Covid-19, consumers are expected to continue their search for the best at-home fitness services. Marketers such as obé Fitness have the opportunity to capture the attention of consumers who are looking for both live and on-demand content that they can utilize from the comfort of their homes. 

In an effort to increase app installs, marketers should take advantage of the performance marketing model. For example, a popular fitness app was looking to drive free trials with Perform[cb]. The team decided to run Cost-Per-Action (CPA) and Cost-Per-Install (CPI) campaigns simultaneously. By adding a CPI campaign to run alongside the CPA campaign, Perform[cb] increased the number of free trials by 19%, while also achieving over 2,000 free trials of the app within the first 45 days of the campaign.

Meal Delivery

Q1 is a period in which many consumers look to pick back up on healthy habits that were surrendered amidst the holiday season’s indulgences. Meal delivery and meal kit services will be another popular purchase as consumers return to their busy lifestyles and battle not having enough time to cook. In 2022, the meal kit delivery service market is expected to reach $13.1 billion, almost a $3 billion increase from 2020. 

In order to reach customers looking for a manageable way to eat healthy, marketers must begin securing paid media placements now. Just as Black Friday and Cyber Monday media placements fill up quickly, the same is true for New Year promotions. To ensure ad spend is being invested efficiently, marketers must reserve the best placements now rather than waiting until the last minute. 

In preparation for high Q1 seasonality, a healthy meal planning subscription brand was looking to drive order volume while maintaining a reasonable customer acquisition cost (CAC) with Perform[cb] Agency. By performing a program-wide audit, working closely with deal sites, and optimizing dormant publishers, Perform[cb] Agency was able to drive a 221% increase in volume month-over-month from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. 

Finance

What better time to get a grip on your finances than the start of a new year? According to a survey conducted by Business Wire, 67% of consumers plan on focusing on their finances more in 2022 than in previous years. Q1 brings high seasonality to the financial vertical, including crypto, credit builder, investing, and banking apps, as consumers look to develop a plan of action to build their wealth. A study found that people who make financial resolutions, such as spending less, saving toward a specific goal, or investing, actually tend to spend more overall on those resolutions; historically, 51% of consumers spend over $500, and 27% spend between $1,000 and $3,000 on average. 

A leading micro-investing app was looking to drive new customer registrations and increase the number of funded accounts driven year-over-year in Q1 with Perform[cb] Agency. After allocating more ad spend to CPA partners, in addition to investing early in paid media placements, this investing app saw a 96% increase in funded accounts and an increase of 2,300 account registrations in just one month. 

Wellness and Supplements

It’s important to put mental health at the forefront, especially after a hectic holiday season. At the start of Q1, many consumers are looking to either kickstart, get back into, or enhance their personal wellness. Popular wellness apps, such as Fabulous, tend to see an uptick in traffic and conversions as consumers prioritize healthy habits and a well-rounded routine. Top wellness apps were expected to see more than 1 billion worldwide installs through 2021, with that trend expected to continue in 2022. 

In addition to wellness apps, consumers looking to get a handle on their health and body image often look to try new supplements in the new year. A recent consumer survey found that 77% of Americans have reported that they consume dietary supplements. People are looking for relief in the new year, and in some cases, that comes in the form of melatonin to sleep or CBD for pain and anxiety. As consumers search for the best New Year’s deals and promotions, supplement and vitamin retailers such as Beam, Green Roads, and Vitauthority can expect a boost in traffic. To take advantage of this seasonal spike, supplement marketers running on a performance model should recruit and test with affiliate partners and publishers well in advance of Q1 seasonality to have promotional assets set to go. For example, lower-funnel coupon and loyalty publishers with multi-device capabilities can help marketers reach consumers by driving traffic to time-sensitive offers using push notifications. 

Education

No, it’s not back-to-school season, but go-getters in the new year may opt for an ambitious resolution, such as learning a new language, mastering a new skill, or starting a new job. Over the past year, the e-learning vertical has seen a 59% increase in affiliate revenue growth. Consumers who make resolutions to develop a skill or talent will be looking for services and promotions to get them done. Popular brands such as Babbel and Skillshare have a greater opportunity to capitalize on consumers who want a clear-cut way to achieve their goals in the next year. By proactively testing paid media placements ahead of Q1, marketers can ensure partners’ engagement levels are up to par, with plenty of time to tweak and optimize their campaigns for maximum ROI.

Start 2022 with Success

As marketers in verticals with Q1 seasonality prepare for the new year, a full-funnel affiliate strategy can be the key to driving guaranteed traffic and conversions. By securing paid media placements and promotions in top-performing verticals ahead of time, both affiliates and marketers can ensure a successful start to the new year. If you’re ready to start 2022 off on the right foot, contact our team of customer acquisition experts today to get started planning your Q1 strategy.