How do different affiliate practices perform amongst individual sectors within the UK market?

 

Each sector targets different types of customers for their day to day business, which has to be mirrored within the affiliate programme and practices taken. This article will discuss best practice based on brands in the Telecommunications, Travel and Retail sectors.

Telecommunications

Firstly, in Telecommunications (Telco), as users are committing to a service that will last at least 12 months, purchases are extremely considered and consumers are highly driven by discounts and offers.

Telco is a very competitive space, and advertisers are very aware of this. As a result, they try to stand out with their products’ features and by offering attractive prices and deals to the public. Since comparison sites are key to any Telco programme, clients in this space need to ensure they have very competitive price points, as this is the only factor that will dictate the brands position and allows advertisers to be above the fold on price comparison sites.

Having said that, in the case that your pricing is not particularly competitive within the market, there are many different routes that advertisers can take to gain further visibility on these types of sites. For example, advertisers can feature products above the comparison tables or run page takeovers, which will be paid for on a tenancy basis in addition to the CPL (cost per lead).

Another technique that Telco advertisers can take to make their products more attractive to their audience in the affiliate space is to partner up with publishers or technical companies who can provide voucher codes. As a higher volume of sales can be expected, publishers are sometimes happy to sacrifice some of their commission in return for the voucher code.

It is also key to have a few publishers committed to the campaign, so this can be used as an exclusive in rotation as well as to secure additional exposure onsite to maximise results. Due to the long-term investment that consumers will have with a Telco brand, cashback and incentive sites are also key. Advertisers can use this business model to generate extra sales by offering competitive rates that can complement the lack of offer or discounted price. By using some of these practices, advertisers will make their proposition much more attractive to users which will be led by the gift or discount over the pricing.

Finance and Utilities

Something to bear in mind in both the Telecommunications and Finance and Utilities sectors, is that it’s not just about finding new clients but also retaining them once their initial contract period has come to an end. Publishers can support brands facing this predicament by targeting and engaging with existing customers just before their agreement is about to finish, in order to encourage them to stay with the brand and avoid having to waste time searching through competitors.

 

Travel

In the travel sector, comparison sites, also known as aggregators, are a fundamental affiliate practice. Travellers always use such sites to look for the best deals on trips they are looking to take, and satisfactory results on performance will be achieved if the advertiser is listed on popular aggregator sites. In this instance, commercials will vary, and the set-up of the programme will normally rely on CPA (cost per action) either a % of the sale value or a fixed monetary compensation. However, depending on the product and the EPC (earnings per click) on the publisher site, aggregators might require advertisers to pay on CPC. This cost should be monitored and capped to ensure that spend is under control and in line with the budget and margin.

More often than not, content sites are also taking an important share in the travel sector. Going on holiday is a considered purchase and therefore a lot of research is involved before completing the purchase, which can be taken as an advantage by advertisers in the affiliate channel. Travel clients should have strong and relevant content available to publishers, so they have material to inspire customers and talk about on their blogs, targeting consumers across the purchasing funnel.

Retail

Content affiliates are also very relevant for retail advertisers. Bloggers, especially influencers, are becoming more and more important in the affiliate space. Advertisers want to have the biggest influencers on their side, to reach the largest audience possible.

It’s very important that advertisers have a clear strategy, good practices and the right commercials in place to get this publisher type engaged with their brand, as a lower conversion rate can cause bloggers or influencers to feel demotivated. Bloggers are typically happy to write posts at no cost if they can receive a product or service for free. In addition, advertisers should review their attribution model if working with bloggers, as retail shoppers are increasingly savvy in making sure that after completing their purchase they move to another site, where they can get a voucher code or cashback. It is recommended to be listed with all voucher and cashback sites as they have different databases and users will then be offered the best deal and stay loyal to brand.

Aligning practices and strategy around seasonality is also a key factor of any retail campaign, since above the line campaigns can be taken as an advantage to drive better results and be at the front of users’ mind in the key periods for the brand.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can optimise your affiliate programme, check our ultimate guide to affiliate marketing ebook.

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