Making a big impact with affiliate marketing on a tight budget
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was in a five-year partnership to sell pet insurance with AXA Insurance. But competitively priced policies alone weren’t getting pet owners buying. Three years in, the animal welfare charity was struggling to make online sales. So they asked us to help. We went for a comprehensive, cost-effective affiliate marketing programme to make the biggest impact in the shortest time – even on a shrinking budget.
The Big Number
Peak profitable campaign creates over 7k sales in two years
During a two-year run, our affiliate campaign delivered 7,844 sales through CPC and created a healthy network of rewarding affiliates partners.
Cutting costs with year-round affiliate marketing
A drop in profits for the partner programme restricted RSPCA’s CPA. Adding to the challenge, competitors could pay more for generic searches and sales to entice pet owners to buy insurance through paid search.
But advertising on a partner site and paying each time their ad was clicked was too expensive for the charity. So we developed a year-round affiliate marketing programme to include January, when most sales are typically made.
Strong relationships and a focus on top affiliates boosted sales
The first year was all about building relationships to find the right affiliates to run RSPCA's ads on their site to drive sales year-round. We focused on businesses willing to be paid their commission in January, the top month for insurance sales. By December we had 200 partners. As planned, January was a winning month.
The marketing budget was reduced in the second year of the programme so to stay competitive we cut commissions and slowly reduced our affiliates. Holding onto our top performers meant sales continued to rise, even with a smaller pool of partners.
Don’t sweat change - big profits can come from shrinking budgets
Despite RSPCA’s dwindling budget in the second year, sales soared. Why? We didn’t panic. We sprang into action and quickly adjusted our marketing strategy to find the best solution. Concentrating on high-performing affiliate partners resulted in 390 sales - nearly the same as the previous year. Competitors may have had bigger budgets but we didn’t let this stop us from growing sales through affiliate channels. In fact, the campaign became RSCPA’s most profitable for their online and offline channels.