Reinvigorating an Existing Affiliate Program

Schaaf-PartnerCentric was hired to manage an existing affiliate program for a fashion e-tailer in 2010.

The goals set forth when we began our work were clear. First, the merchant was concerned about the effect trademark bidders were having on the program and the business at large. Second, the affiliate program had been down-trending for months so, the obvious goal was to reverse the trend as effectively as possible.

Third, the merchant was eager to take its place as a partner to the top VIP/Rising Star sites.

Schaaf-PartnerCentric took action quickly to address all three of the challenges that were outlined when we were hired.

To address the trademark bidding concerns, our team of affiliate managers and operations team, comprised of marketing analysts and compliance specialists, began a review of all trademark bidders. A reversal was effected, and today, trademark bidding isn’t a challenge or conflict within the brand’s affiliate channel.

The other priorities (down-trending sales and partnering with VIP sites) were connected in that the solution we applied to one would also work to address the other. Our team focused on identifying, reaching and recruiting as many top 25 affiliates as possible. To do so, our tactics included offering commission increases, running contests and launching what proved to be highly effective paid placements.

The result of our efforts are strong: A thriving affiliate program that continues to achieve growth. We had a very strong Q4 2011 made possible through advance planning. All Q4 placements were completed by mid-September.

Nothing was left to chance. we created a calendar for affiliates with key trending dates and sent out promotions at least one month in advance to ensure we had time to engage top publishers on the brand’s great offers.

For November and December, the affiliate program saw year over year growth each week that fluctuated between 42% and 65% with the best week coming in this new year. In one week in February, the program saw 109% growth year over year.