How Redbubble is driving incremental sales across Europe via affiliate marketing
Founded in 2006, Redbubble is a global online marketplace (redbubble.com) powered by over 400,000 independent artists. Redbubble’s community of passionate creatives sell unique designs on over 60 high-quality, everyday products such as apparel, stationery, housewares, bags, wall art and more.
Through the Redbubble marketplace independent artists are able to profit from their creativity and reach a new universe of adoring fans. For customers, it’s the ultimate in self-expression. A simple but meaningful way to show the world who they are and what they care about.
Acceleration Partners and Redbubble’s partnership
Redbubble and Acceleration Partners (AP) have an established relationship, working together in the US market since 2016. Thanks to their already successful partnership, the team approached AP in 2017 to launch their UK programme, which went live in March of that year. Once a strong programme foundation was set, Redbubble then tasked the AP account team with sustainably accelerating their programme growth and developing their programme across Europe, launching in Germany, France and Spain in 2018.
Redbubble’s focus was on raising brand awareness and driving strong incremental sales growth, whilst realising an impressive return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).
The main challenges for Redbubble were increasing brand awareness and the profitability of their affiliate channel while expanding across Europe.
- A commonly faced challenge with any new affiliate programme is the over-reliance of one partner or partner group. For their UK programme, Redbubble wanted to diversity its affiliate mix, reducing the share of one affiliate type that was responsible for 80% of their total programme sales in 2017, whilst driving aggressive monthly sales growth.
- To hit their ROAS target, every partner in Redbubble’s affiliate programme needed to drive incremental value, so the AP team devised a strategy which focused on quality over quantity, optimising existing partnerships whilst carefully evaluating new opportunities.
- Redbubble had minimal brand awareness in the three new markets that they were wanting to expand into, so the team utilised seasonal campaigns to boost brand exposure and drive new customer sales, identifying market specific partners.
AP devised a strategy that would leverage the affiliate model to spread sales across a range of quality market-local partners to support the client goals of raising brand awareness and increasing channel profitability.
The AP team took learnings from Redbubble’s UK market launch to ensure the wider European market launch was efficient and hit aggressive sales goals. The strategy focused on the following three pillars: recruitment, activation and optimisation of affiliate partners.
To diversify the partnership mix within Redbubble’s UK programme and grow reach in the new European regions, AP actively sourced and recruited new affiliate types that would be a relevant fit across all four markets and align with Redbubble’s goals, including Price Comparison, Sub-Network and Voucher.
By establishing new strategic partnerships which aligned with brand goals, revenue contribution of different affiliate types significantly increased, while maintaining an incremental sales volume with existing partner types.
To re-engage dormant partners on the programme, the AP team conducted an activation campaign. Affiliate partners who had been in-active for six months or more were removed from the programme. From the activation campaign results the AP team had the opportunity to cross-recruit for the German, French and Spanish markets, and targeted communication based on engagement status. This resulted in 150 click-active and 72 new sale-active affiliates.
In collaboration with Redbubble, the AP team used a tailored approach to focus affiliates on specific product categories, during seasonal campaigns with the goal of amplifying brand reach and awareness. The AP team also continually evaluated campaign performance to ensure investments were being made with the right affiliate partners at the right time.
Since launching their affiliate programme across Europe, the AP team has helped Redbubble grow revenue, exceed sales targets and drive significant growth in each of the emerging markets, exceeding the programmes ROAS target.
- In the UK Market, AP achieved a 300% YoY sales growth for Redbubble, as well as improving revenue contribution of different affiliate types, including sub-network, voucher and loyalty.
- In the German market, due to engagement with a variety of partner types, revenue increased by 835% in H2 2018 and exceeded the annual revenue target by 21%.
- In France and Spain, an additional £152k of revenue was driven and the annual revenue target was exceeded by 337%.
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