Affiliate marketing as a stimulator for the corona-damaged economy

Affiliate marketing as a crisis-proof channel: Thanks to affiliate programs, some companies recorded up to 400 percent sales growth despite Corona.

In crises like the current one in the context of the corona pandemic, particularly prudent budget planning is required. This is where affiliate marketing comes in. In line with the word meaning of affiliate (for example: business partner), a particularly powerful partner appears on the marketing and communication plan. And it is also versatile. In addition, affiliate marketing often presents itself as a cost-conscious option.

Many strong brands and large players have therefore long relied on affiliate marketing as an established “crisis expert channel”. You know: banner advertising no longer has to be costly within its target group on large industry-specific platforms. Rather, advertising banners can shape their marketing match plan by only incurring costs if sales and thus real sales are actually achieved. We show best cases from companies that were able to generate considerable additional sales despite the corona crisis – above all thanks to affiliate marketing.

Revenue growth in Q1 2020: Various companies braved the crisis

In the following table we list the companies of current best cases. The sales growth metrics of some of our customers, which recorded considerable additional sales through affiliate marketing alone, are sometimes in the range of several hundred percent.

The growth percentages relate to the comparison of the three months from March to May 2020, which are extremely heavily burdened by Covid-19, in relation to the three-month period from March to May 2019.

Average additional sales rose from 15 to 200 percent

We maintain long-term customer relationships with the above companies from the various product worlds, characterized by annual sales increases via Affiliate Marketing (AFF) of an average of around 15 percent by 2019. Therefore, the current sales increases in the period from March to May 2020 of around 200 percent on average are exorbitant .

  • In the segment “Natural products for health and vitality” Quintessence Naturprodukte GmbH & Co. KG records an absolute best with over 400 percent growth in sales. We have been running this affiliate marketing program for several years. Right at the beginning of Corona, the customer had an opportunity that, thanks to a concerted campaign, led to such great growth for the end customer. Placements in newsletters, for example, were booked directly, thus attracting attention. The publishers with whom we have been working for a very long time recognized the opportunity and also increasingly promoted the shop with the above-mentioned action. The display partners also followed suit and increased the level of control, which also ensured extreme reach, sales and increased awareness.
  • Grube KG, on the other hand, owes its affiliate marketing sales increase of 140 percent with the product range “Forest / Hunting / Garden”, above all to the establishment of around 400 publisher partnerships, which has been established for many years. A foundation on which a commission changeover was set in the Covid 19 crisis, which ensured digital dynamism.
  • For our customers with the product world of textile fabrics, we started the “Stayathome” campaign right at the beginning of Corona and offered the customer an attractive voucher. On the one hand, the customer drew attention to the fact that people should stay at home and also provided a voucher to buy at a reduced price in the shop and to order employment for the Corona period at home. This campaign in particular has given a special push.
  • Exit intent solution: Of course there are many ways to order fabrics online in times of Corona and the competition is fierce. It was helpful to have an exit intent solution implemented on the website that kept the user in the shop, even when trying to cancel the purchase. This makes it clear whether someone is in the shop for the first time, or even repeatedly or repeatedly. Customers can thus be addressed in a situation-specific manner, for example, also motivated via a voucher. This has led to a sharp increase in sales figures, particularly in the months heavily influenced by Corona.

Increase sales and awareness

Since in addition to the turbo effect for sales promotion, there is often increased awareness, it is all the more surprising that affiliate marketing is still a hidden champion for many companies. We often experience this in initial consultations with companies. This also applies to social, charitable and sports associations, clubs and organizations. It not only brings advantages such as a free display range, but also additional sales without great cost risk. We know from our agency practice that affiliate marketing with successful companies, associations, publishers etc. can generate a percentage of sales of 15 to 25 percent within the entire online marketing mix.

Profit partners form digital

As with hardly any other form of marketing implementation, the term partnership is implemented so consistently: Every contributor takes on a part and everyone also receives a benefit. The partnership model corresponds to a triangular relationship: An advertising player (shop, association etc.) concludes cooperations with other partner websites (publishers, platforms) via a professional intermediary organization or agency.

The player (e.g. an online retailer or an association based on membership) places advertising banners on partner websites and thereby achieves conversions (e.g. merchandising sales or memberships) which are remunerated on a previously defined commission basis. This offers the possibility of a purely performance-based remuneration variant as a serious advantage over other paid media channels.

Best suited for B2C, everyone
Sectors and events

Affiliate marketing has a certain degree of universal potential, hardly excludes any industry, brings all players into play on the B2C stages and is also predestined and armed as a multifaceted communication option for events and campaigns – however, there is a lead time of around seven to calculate up to ten weeks.

Publishers and media companies want to attract subscribers, energy suppliers are looking for new customer contracts, sports and other clubs or organizations are enjoying a growth in membership fees, and if viewers are again admitted to sporting events, affiliate marketing could again become the lucrative communication channel for ticketing. We have highlighted three successful performance benchmarks of clubs from German professional football, calculated from average values ​​of affiliate programs.

Control as a performance factor

Affiliate marketing always requires extensive modulation options for an optimal result. Our best practices confirm the thesis: A promising cooperation with experienced partners affects topics such as blogs and topic pages, price comparison and voucher pages, retargeting and prospecting partners as well as exit intent solutions (reduction of the dropout rate).

The level options mean the different types of publishers. It is important that relevant pages are found where the potential buyer actually stays at the end of the day. It is always difficult to close publisher types from the outset and to apply restrictions – this limits the level of control and reduces success. You need know-how in the affiliate that can provide information about which partners are suitable for which industries and customers and which should perform best.

The advantages of affiliate in corona times briefly summarized

  • In the medium term, a substantial increase in range is possible
  • the development of new customers by high-reach publishers is an option
  • Sales are remunerated on a CPO basis and are therefore completely performance-dependent
  • A free branding effect can be achieved through banner displays in relevant environments that are not subject to payment

If you can use the marketing budget in the corona crisis, you should carefully analyze the opportunities that affiliate marketing offers, especially at the moment, for your own company or brand.

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