Performance marketing supports SME so-sure

Affiliate marketing


SMEs using the affiliate channel are achieving considerable success. Including so-sure, a revolutionary social mobile phone insurance provider, that launched its first full-scale affiliate programme with Optimise Media in 2018. The disruptor wanted to grow its sales but, with limited resources and tightly controlled budgets, there was some scepticism about what could really be achieved. 

Optimise recruited new publishers, targeted relevant demographics, and maintained a fixed cost-per-sale metric. As a result, so-sure gained substantial growth and impressive ROI, making the affiliate programme one of the most efficient marketing channels across its marketing mix, ultimately achieving volumes that have increased eight-fold since the launch.

What was the role of digital in the media mix?

Like many SMEs, so-sure did not have the luxury of dedicating time and resources to managing the affiliate programme. Using a full-service network, like Optimise, meant that so-sure were supported with a dedicated Performance Manager, so it only needed to invest as much or as little time as was feasible. Key in enabling this to work was the detailed media plan Optimise developed and shared with so-sure. Specifying affiliate types, estimated sales volumes and associated cost-per-sale budgets, the plan gave complete transparency on the strategy and tactics, and meant so-sure had the confidence to invest in the variety of initiatives planned, to maximise the benefits of the channel.

Growing brand awareness: This was especially important for so-sure, a new entrant to market and a disruptor in the vertical. To support this goal Optimise carried out a gap-analysis, identifying and recruiting new publishers who had high traffic volumes and broad reach. Once promoting the so-sure programme, these publishers were optimised – the network helped create exclusive voucher offers for customers, identifying the best voucher offers to fit the target demographic. Specific creative assets to support a variety of channels such as email, social media, and paid search were developed and distributed. This delivered 10% of targeted sales and saw sales increase, on average, 30% month-on-month.

Reaching the target demographic: The team at so-sure knew that the most valuable customers were those with high intent, so customers who had just purchased new mobile phones were a key demographic. To target this segment, Optimise strategically positioned the brand in front of customers during and following key shopping dates, capturing customers when purchasing intent was at its highest. Optimise used a powerful mix of competitive consumer offers, fixed-cost tenancy placements and solus email sends. It also leveraged retail trends, increasing so-sure’s offers and presence in line with mobile phone sales peaks. Key tenancy placements were planned in line with Black Friday and mobile phone release dates, and so-sure was able to achieve 12% of targeted sales in just one day.

Delivering great ROI: Return on investment is the proverbial ‘proof in the pudding’ and a key strength that sets affiliate marketing aside from most other digital channels. To improve so-sure’s results and ROI from the Cashback channel, a strategy to combine the optimum Cashback rates with effective tenancy placements was executed. This increased sales from these affiliates but remained within required cost-per-sale. It was also important to flex these rates, increasing or decreasing them at key times to maximise sales and minimise costs. This approach enabled so-sure to improve its ROI in this channel by 10% in the last 12 months. 

Key statistics


Sales driven by Affiliate


Brand awareness

What results did you attain? What was the biggest achievement?

In the two years since launching its affiliate programme, so-sure’s growth has been exponential. Through its work with Optimise, so-sure has increased sales volumes, achieving substantial growth month-on-month and year-on-year. The overall results surpassed all expectations; the volume of sales driven by so-sure’s affiliate programme grew 425% in 2018-2019, and in the last 12 months the sales volumes have increased to 8x that volume. Brand awareness and engagement has increased with click volumes growing 95% YoY. The quality of traffic through the recruitment of new publisher partners, delivering access to new audiences, has been incredibly strong and the conversion rates on the campaign have consistently improved almost doubling year-on-year.Ultimately, so-sure exceeded all targets and expectations - testament to the effectiveness of affiliate marketing.


In a sentence…

Performance marketing supports SME so-sure


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