Archive for September, 2009

An Elaborate Execution Is A Huge Success

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Events

BanquetingHouseEETablesLast week saw merchants, affiliates, agencies and other industry representatives come together for our gala dinner, An Elaborate Execution. Held at Banqueting House, the meal was a regal affair, with all of our guests dressed in their finery, dining below the delights of the breathtaking Ruben’s ceiling. Entertainment came in the form of musicians, a magician and a jester, but by far the most popular pastime was the vodka luge; no wonder there were so many heavy heads on Friday morning at AWin HQ!

We have been delighted by the feedback from our guests on e-mail, Twitter and the a4u; there is no doubt that this years event was thoroughly enjoyed by all. There are a handful of AWin staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to execute this elaborate plan: Hayley, Mat, Steve and Lisa, the event would not have happened without you. On behalf of everyone -  Thank you!

For those of you that were there, I am sure you will have noticed the photographers that were on hand to capture the evening in pictures…watch this space as we hope to have all the official photos on Flickr later this evening.

Thank you again to everyone that attended and helped to make the evening such a huge success.

Samantha Leigh
Head of Communications

Scottish Power Looks to the Long Tail

Written by Kevin Edwards on . Posted in Network News

One of the perennial challenges any good merchant has is ongoing engagement with their affiliates.

And one of the reasons this is so difficult is there are so many affiliates each with their own preferred way of being contacted. Some like email but many have developed blindness to the never ending stream of special offers, codes and sale promotions from hundreds  of merchants.

The ongoing growth of social networking has opened up new opportunities for merchants, Twitter being the most obvious and recent phenomenon.

With these thoughts in mind Scottish Power has created their own quirky affiliate portal aimed at specifically engaging with good content affiliates.

The site contains a blog, latest promotional information, details of affiliate incentives and contact details for the team at Awin and Scottish Power. An ongoing competition features league tables of affiliates who record sales with prizes on offer for great content sites.

Martin Ogg, Ecommerce Sales and Marketing Manager at Scottish Power said the main motivation for creating the site was a desire to grow their affiliate base beyond tried and tested cashback sites:

“Working within the Energy sector, true content has faced some unique challenges in terms of contributing meaningful sales volume. We took note of the feedback we had received in order to both work closer with true content affiliates and to share best practice.

“More so, however, Scottish Power saw this as a real opportunity to provide a forum for transparent communication. The site’s blog is one aspect I am particularly keen to see working”.

Given how affiliates often decry the lack of involvement merchants have with their programmes we think The Scottish Power initiative is a significant attempt to engage with their affiliates. Sign up to the programme today and take a look for yourself.

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Topman Design at London Fashion Week

Written by Dean on . Posted in Events

Yesterday I attended the MAN show at London Fashion Week, where designers Katie Eary, J W Anderson, Christopher Shannon and Topman Design showcased their S/S 10 collections.

Topman Design put on an amazing performance, proving they can hold their own when it comes to the catwalks.

Here’s a sample of the collection:

If you like what you see, you can watch the full video of the show by clicking here, and also shop the current Topman Design collection by clicking here.

I want to give a huge thanks to Barry, Lewis and the Topman team for inviting me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

All the best,

Dean

Will you Shine for Sky?

Written by Kevin Edwards on . Posted in Competitions

Having hopefully got those creative juices flowing with our talk of the cracking Christmas incentive launched by Red Letter Days we thought it was only fair to highlight for you another fantastic opportunity from our friends at Sky.

To give you a little background we’re entering positive times for the Sky affiliate programme. Helen Southgate (who may be familiar to you as the former head of affiliates at dgm) recently joined Sky and is tasked with looking into all aspects of their affiliate campaign.

Helen’s appointment is undoutedly good news for the programme and we’re looking forward to working closely with her and her team on the programme over the coming months.

On that note something that Helen recently flagged to us at Awin Towers stood out as a terrific incentive for affiliates; something that could really make a difference to any affiliate and is not necessarily predicated on being the biggest affiliate on the block.

Known as The Shine Awards, Sky has been running this incentive for a little while but it’s not really garnered much publicity to date.

Here Helen explains a little about Shine:

“The Shine Awards have been set up to acknowledge the good work that our stakeholders deliver both within Sky and external to Sky and there is a standalone category open to affiliates.

“Affiliates are nominated monthly based on various measurements such as sales increases, conversion rates, new idea generation, innovation, working relationships and contribution to Sky.

“Already we have three affiliates who have been nominated and the final affiliate will be chosen at the end of September so there is still time to make your mark and receive the nomination. The prize is well worth doubling efforts as the winner of the affiliate category will receive £10,000 in marketing spend that could be a massive boost for a start-up affiliate.

“All four affiliate nominations will be invited to attend the ceremony which is a held at the 5-star Celtic Manor Resort in Wales – home to the Ryder Cup in 2010.

“I realise that it has been a challenge on the Sky campaign for affiliates to date and this is why a team at Sky has been recruited in-house to develop this channel. I also think that these awards are a clear indicator of the importance of affiliates to Sky and I hope to develop this further over the coming months and years.”

With that in mind if you’d like to have a crack at the prize you can contact the teams at both Sky (Helen.Southgate@bskyb.com) and Affiliate Window (sky@affiliatewindow.com).

Killer Incentives & Red Letter Days

Written by Kevin Edwards on . Posted in Network News

One question you can guarantee you’ll be asked if you’re an account manager at an affiliate network or agency is ‘What makes for a good affiliate incentive?’

Overall we try and advise merchants to run promotions that are as inclusive as possible, not just rewarding the same top performers (in fact this can actually serve as a disincentive as most affiliates know they don’t stand a chance of winning anything).

Cracking promotions and incentives are now becoming a much more regular part of a well run affiliate campaign and as affiliate marketing grows in size so engaged merchants allocate more and more budget to running them.

And gift experience or gadget merchants seem to be particularly good at it in the run up to Christmas.

One of the first off the mark this year is Red Letter Days boasting the dynamic duo of Angela Greenwood and Joshna Patel to fight for every last affiliate sale. Here Angela explains a bit about the Red Letter Days 2009 Christmas promotion:

“Here at Red Letter Days we put a lot of thought into our incentives and this Christmas we wanted to offer a wide range of opportunities for all of our affiliates to secure a desirable prize.

Last Christmas we launched a very well received incentive scheme structure offering a variety of guaranteed prizes in return for affiliates hitting various sales tiers. Again this year we’ve made the entry level very achievable, with prizes starting at just £1,500 worth of sales over 3 months (1 October to 31 December) to ensure our smaller affiliates have a good chance of getting a reward. We’ve selected what we think is a very enticing range of options at each sales tier, including Bose sound systems, Gucci watches and Mulberry bags for the fashionistas!

This year we’ve also taken things a step further by adding in some major holiday prizes, including a 7-night trip to Bali for two and two runner-up prizes of the winner’s choice of city break for two (Venice, Cannes or Barcelona).

Again we’ve tried to ensure that any affiliate, big or small, has the chance to win one of these, so we’ve adopted what we believe is an innovative approach to determining the winners. For example, one of the runner-up prizes will go to the affiliate judged as having the best Red Letter Days landing page, which means any affiliate who puts in the effort and creativity has a good chance to be in the running for this.

We’ve also come up with a variety of ways for affiliates to earn extra entries into the draw to win the top Bali holiday prize – not just for making big sales – and we’ll be continually releasing new ways to earn entries from 19 October onwards. We particularly like the way that this approach rewards loyalty and interest in our communications, and gives affiliates of all sizes the opportunity to get a good amount of entries into the draw.

Finally, seeing as the rewards mentioned above will be distributed in January, we also wanted to make sure that our affiliates have the chance to receive a gift in time for Christmas! So we’ll be sending out gourmet Christmas hampers to all affiliates who’ve made more than £750 worth of sales by 30 November so that some goodies will land at their doorsteps during the festive season.”

So there you go Affiliate Window merchants, the gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down. And if you’re still not convinced Angela has these final words of wisdom:

“The feedback so far has been fantastic. We’d encourage all merchants to put the effort into coming up with a really cracking incentive scheme as the benefits to the programme are well worth it. Not only do we see a significant effect on the bottom line, but it’s also very valuable for building loyalty amongst existing affiliates and enticing new affiliates to come on board.”

If you’d like to find out more about the Red Letter Days programme click here

Affiliate Window and Quidco to Resume Partnership

Written by Kevin Edwards on . Posted in Network News

We’re delighted to announce that following recent discussions between Affiliate Window and Quidco both companies have mutually agreed to resume their working relationship.

We are now therefore able to offer you access to Quidco alongside your existing affiliates.

This is undoubtedly an extremely positive move for both parties and we’re keen to provide you with as much information as possible to maximise the sales you could achieve should you choose to resume or initiate working with Quidco.

Affiliate Window ceased working with Quidco in September 2008 but in light of some recent changes by both parties we now feel the time is right to work together again to do what we both do best – driving incremental sales for your business.

Quidco has supplied some marketing information available to merchants that includes details of their reach, sales and successes. If you’re an Affiliate Window merchant you should have received a link to this on Friday. We would encourage you to read this and either contact us at Affiliate Window, quidco@affiliatewindow.com, or Quidco, admin@quidco.com

If you’re a merchant with us it’s worth noting this does not impact any of your current relationships with other cashback sites. We would encourage you to recognise all the opportunities the range of different affiliates on your programme can offer your business.

We look forward to resuming our partnership with Quidco shortly. They have proactively worked to grow sales for a number of merchants over the past four years and we’re excited about working together with them to help you share in that success.

Next Steps for Affiliate Window Merchants

If Quidco (affiliate ID: 54760) has promoted you in the past they will still be an affiliate on your programme. If you’re happy to continue working with Quidco you just need to ensure that over the past year nothing has changed in your workings with cashback sites or the commission you pay.

Please note Quidco will not be reapplying for programmes they joined prior to July 2008. You can of course discuss them further with your Affiliate Window account contact or Quidco using the above email addresses.

If you’re a merchant who has launched with us in the last year and are not currently working with Quidco you may notice them applying for your programme over the next two weeks. We will ensure their application is fast-tracked.