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ClickAngel – the changing face of affiliates

ClickAngel – the changing face of affiliates

When ClickAngel launched in 2005 it didn’t realise just how fast the affiliate market would grow and how it would have to evolve to stay on top.

The business was conceived when a group of Leeds MBA students completed some research on how companies were using Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing to their commercial advantage.

The group saw their opportunity and formed ClickAngel to provide and manage a pay per click advertising service for these companies.

Having successfully carved out a niche for providing local, targeted traffic to its clients in a wide variety of sectors the affiliate has had to constantly review its techniques to continue to generate its last click revenues.

Managing an affiliate network

When ClickAngel launched, it looked for affiliate networks that could provide a connection to specific merchants it wanted to do business with. Founding director of ClickAngel Ed Hall explains: “Using PPC to drive targeted traffic through we knew that the retail sector was fundamental to what we wanted to do, and was an area where Affiliate Window had long standing relationships. So it made sense to partner with them from the very beginning”.

ClickAngel was keen, not just to have access to, but to build relationships with these merchants and Affiliate Window was instrumental in helping to build this relationship by arranging face to face meetings and attending meetings should it be required.  
“Affiliate marketing is a basic concept but, to do it well, it requires a well managed communication campaign both with the network and the merchants. For us to achieve our targets we needed this to be as smooth as possible and Affiliate Window went out of its way to help.”

Through its work with partners such as Affiliate Window, ClickAngel now generates sales of over £100 million annually for companies such as  Vodafone, Travelodge, and Marks and Spencer “The merchants that work with us do so because of the quality local traffic we drive to them,” continues Hall.

 “Affiliate Window has proved itself to be a flexible and proactive partner. As well as its blog and regular newsletters our personal project manager is always available via telephone, email or MSN which ensures we can always get the information we require when we need it.”

Last click wins...

Since launching back in 2005, ClickAngel has grown dramatically with treble digit growth but understands that with this growth the industry is constantly evolving with the introduction of new techniques. One such technique, vouchercodes has seen its popularity soar. This is demonstrated by research from Hitwise which showed that the number of online searches for retail discount vouchers soared by 143 per cent in the final quarter of 2008. “In the current economic climate, it is not surprising that British consumers are turning to the internet to save money and get the best deals”, Hall explains.

“However, the potential revenue sources being lost to vouchercode sites meant we had to evaluate how we implemented them into our campaigns. When a consumer clicks via one of our links to a merchant and is about to buy something they are increasingly becoming savvy to the options that voucher codes provide and look for this input box. It is quite likely that they will then visit a voucher code site and look for a code, potentially stopping the merchant from recognising our work in generating interest with the consumer and rewarding the last click commission to which ever voucher code site they ended up on.”

If you can’t beat them, join them

It became clear to us that voucher codes were going to be a big growth area and would provide security in the event of a general economic slowdown, so we began speaking to our affiliate networks to get some advice and guidance. As a result, ClickAngel launched its own independent vouchercode site,
Affiliate Window provided advice on how ClickAngel could make the most from this new venture and also to provide some insight and guidance on how merchants can get the best out of this technique. “The team at Affiliate Window was really helpful and happy to share their experience to help raise brand awareness and drive sales”, continues Hall.

Moving forward

ClickAngel’s vouchercode site launched in December last year and now works alongside its traditional affiliate programs to provide regularly updated information on the latest voucher codes, discount vouchers and discount codes for the thousands of big brand online shops. Sales through Affiliate Window have risen markedly and continue to grow as more people use the VoucherSeeker site.

“Following this successful launch we are looking to move into other areas, such as the price comparison market and will again look to work with trusted partners, such as Affiliate Window, to guarantee this goes as smoothly. We are proud to work with Affiliate Window and are sure that we will continue to see the benefits of working with the company in future.”

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