November 12th 2020
5 Ways Beauty Brands Use Affiliate Marketing to Attract New Customers
Beauty brands who sell directly to consumers (DTC) launch affiliate marketing programmes for a variety of reasons; predominant ones being that, for those companies with strong brand awareness, an affiliate marketing programme helps them remain competitive and attract new customers.

We've outlined five ways leading beauty brands leverage affiliate marketing all while maintaining a high return on ad spend (ROAS) and low Cost Per Action (CPA).


Table of Contents

  1. Cost-Effectively Drive Brand Awareness
  2. New Customer Acquisition
  3. Strategic Trademark Bidding (TM+)
  4. Exclusive Codes
  5. Test Nontraditional Affiliate Partnerships


  1. Cost-Effectively Drive Brand Awareness

    Many brands think affiliate marketing is only used for driving bottom-of-funnel conversions such as sales. Although the affiliate model does very well at driving substantial incremental revenue for brands, it is also highly effective for generating top-of-funnel conversions, such as capturing a customer during their consideration period as they evaluate a handful of brands or products that are similar to yours.

    One of Acceleration Partners' beauty brand clients wanted to shift strategic focus to influencers and brand ambassadors to help elevate their brand.  The brand developed a unique promotional code that was exclusive to these influencers, tracking their performance through unique tracking links. The campaign was a huge success, generating on average 25-30% of the brand's total revenue through performance-based influencer and ambassador partnerships.


  1. New Customer Acquisition

    Many DTC beauty brands have found significant value from partnering with product comparison and review sites through their affiliate programme. Prior to making an online purchase, many consumers–especially those looking for skincare and beauty products—tend to do a lot of research on specific products across a number of brands. Partnering with product comparison and review site partners can help beauty brands gain the attention of customers looking for their products.

    Another strategy successful DTC beauty brands employ is to provide their affiliate partners with a product catalogue. This allows for deep linking directly to product pages on their website. It can also open up new partnership opportunities as there are a number of affiliate partners who only work with brands that have product catalog.


  1. Strategic Trademark Bidding (TM+)

    When done right, trademark bidding campaigns can help DTC beauty brands play defense against competitors and even resellers who are also selling their products. Beauty brands with the most successful affiliate marketing partnerships work with their affiliate programme management team to identify trusted partners and work with them to develop a trademark bidding strategy to complement the brand's internal efforts.

    TM+ campaigns can be an effective strategy for skincare and beauty brands to capture customers who would normally shop through a reseller.  Strategic TM+ campaigns also gives beauty brands some leverage in getting affiliate partners to remove outdated codes and inaccurate promotions.


  1. Exclusive Codes

    Many luxury skincare and beauty brands worry that offering discounts and voucher codes on their line of products may have a negative impact on the perception of their brand. A viable solution many beauty brands leverage is to provide their affiliate partners with exclusive codes, specifically ones that target – and can only be redeemed by—new customers.

    Not only can this strategic approach help prevent various affiliates from posting all types of discounts and promotions of a brands' products on their site, but having an exclusive code to use in their marketing efforts is also likely to motivate these affiliate partners to clean up their sites and only promote live, high-value offers.


  1. Test Nontraditional Affiliate Partnerships

    Nontraditional affiliate partnerships are those that typically fall outside of the content, voucher, deal and loyalty partnerships. Today, there are a multitude of affiliate types that brands in every industry vertical strategically partner with through their affiliate programme.Two examples are UpSellit and RevLifter.  These types of partners can not only help DTC beauty brands with decreasing cart abandonment rates but they may also have technological capabilities that offer complementary products to the ones a customer is already placing in their shopping cart.

    Testing partnerships with these types of "nontraditional" affiliate partners can help increase average cart size and average order value. Perhaps one of the greatest value adds is that it introduces and encourages the consumer to try new products and build a greater sense of loyalty for your brand.


A sophisticated affiliate programme that is structured with the right partners and prioritises protecting the brand's voice can help beauty and skincare companies efficiently and cost-effectively increase revenue through the acquisition of new customers—customers who might have otherwise chosen a competitor brand or shopped through a larger reseller.

Questions? Reach out to our team!


Natasha Scholnick is a Programme Strategist at Acceleration Partners 

Author: Natasha Scholnick