Acceleration Partners helped client (Client X) establish a second affiliate program focused on the “sell” side of their business; attract better affiliates to their existing affiliate program focused on the “buy” side of their business; and drive a lead conversion rate of 49%.
New Needs, Old Challenges
When Client X was introduced to Acceleration Partners, their affiliate program was on autopilot, with no dedicated resource to oversee its success. They didn’t have the internal bandwidth or internal expertise to manage their program in-house and many of their existing affiliates were taking advantage of their trademark terms and engaging in some fraudulent behavior.
Their affiliate program was also focused on the “buy” side of their business where consumers can purchase gently used, but still high-quality, products. The “sell” side of their business, where Client X allows consumers to sell their used products to them, was not set up to track through their affiliate program.
After performing a free, comprehensive evaluation of their program, Acceleration Partners was able to provide Client X with a clearer picture of the weak areas of their affiliate program as well as the significant opportunities for growth.
In this process, Client X determined that they needed to:
- Diversify the types of affiliates they work with and focus on building relationships with content affiliates.
- Crack down on trademark bidding and other fraudulent activities in their program.
- Add the “sell” side of their business to their affiliate program, thus having it run two separate stores (a buy side and a sell side).
- Change the affiliate network they were on to one that better aligned with their goals of running two stores within their program and building relationships with content affiliates.
- Work with an agency that had the ability to manage a dual-store program, monitor and prevent fraud and recruit, activate and optimize content affiliates.
A first step that the AP team took was set up a platform to effectively communicate to Client X’s top affiliates that the program would be closing on the existing affiliate network and would be opening up on a new network.
They also combed through every affiliate in Client X’s program and hand-selected the ones they felt added the most value. These affiliate were sent an invitation to re-join Client X’s program on the new affiliate network. In addition, the team red-marked those affiliates who were either in Nexus states or who were clearly engaging in fraudulent behavior to ensure they were not sent an invite to re-join the program.
They also worked with Client X’s team to set realistic lead generation and recruitment goals for the first few months of their new “sell” store roll-out.
“Since they were launching a new sell store in their affiliate program, data wasn’t available for us to compare to, so we worked with their internal team and came up with a goal of having their new sell store affiliate program drive 100 leads between September and December 2016,” said Renee Christensen, Associate Account Director of Affiliate Marketing at Acceleration Partners. “We defined these leads as consumers who submitted a request to sell their products to Client X.”
The client was very clear that they wanted to bring in more content affiliates into their program to help drive brand awareness and leads to both their new “sell” store and their existing “buy” store. To help them achieve this, the AP team focused their recruitment efforts on quality content affiliates who had a good track record. They also wove in a few additional well-respected coupon and loyalty affiliates.
As the sell-focused affiliate program was new and unfamiliar to most affiliates, the AP team created a series of outreach campaigns via automated newsletters and emails that outlined and explained Client X’s offerings through their “sell” store.
“There are multiple steps to this side of the client’s business, so we wanted to ensure that affiliates understood what those steps were so that they could effectively communicate them to their audiences,” said Christensen.
Within a few months of managing Client X’s affiliate program, the AP team was able to demonstrate substantial results, including:
- Establishing a profitable “sell” store in the client’s program.
- Surpassing the goal of driving 100 leads the client’s new “sell” store by 173%. By year’s end, the AP team had driven 273 leads. Of those 273 leads, 49% sold their products to Client X through their “sell” store.
- Making up lost revenue due to poor quality affiliates being removed from the client’s program by recruiting better, brand-aligned affiliates in only a few short months. Within 3 months, new affiliate revenue represented 13% of total program revenue.
- Increasing incremental revenue from content affiliates. When Client X was on their previous affiliate network, 10% of total revenue was driven by content affiliates. On their new affiliate network, it’s averaging 20%.
- Strengthening Client X’s competitive advantage. Today, Client X is the only business of its kind that has incorporated both its “buy” store and “sell” store into its affiliate program.
“From working with other companies with a similar buy/sell model and successfully managing their program, we were confident that we could add value to our client. However, their outcomes have far surpassed our expectations,” said Christensen. “That’s a testament to Client X’s business model and the quality of their program as well as to the expertise and creativity of our team. We’re all very optimistic that the year ahead will bring even more growth and impressive performance to their program.”
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