Best practice from Webgains.
Founded in 2006 by husband and wife duo Sarah and Andrew Curran, my-wardrobe (my-wardrobe.com) is the place for accessible luxury, the ideology is based around fashion being inclusive and not exclusive. The site covers womenswear, menswear, shoes, bags, accessories and a recently launched gift-shop.
The site receives approximately 700,000 users per month and it has an active email database of over 95,000 subscribers. my-wardrobe.com has built its authoritative reputation through a diverse range of media channels.
Offline they dominate the PR world and are heavily involved in partnership-marketing e.g.: working in a reciprocal promotional fashion with like-minded brands such as the Soho House Group, Cowshed and the Q Song Music Awards.
Online marketing resource and investment is equally high, with a dedicated manager and budget for each function e.g.: Search, Social Media and a CRM Manager.
In July 2009 my-wardrobe decided that given the importance and value of the affiliate marketing function that it was necessary to hire a dedicated in-house Affiliate Manager, Sophia Zydenbos (ex Webgains account manager).
‘The advantage of working with an international affiliate network like Webgains is that we have been able to extend our reach to various European markets, it’s early days but we can already see results’ SOPHIA ZYDENBOS, MY-WARDROBE
Approach Sophia describes her role when she first joined my-wardrobe, "We had an issue when I first joined relating to the misuse of voucher codes. Many voucher code affiliates were not adhering to the existing terms and conditions, consequently a big ‘clean- up’ was required.
"I chose to approach the misguided affiliates in a diplomatic fashion, clarify the T&C’s, and give them 4 weeks notice. Many merchants do not deal with affiliate blunders correctly-they spam affiliates or communicate in a harsh unfriendly manner and consequently get bad PR.
"I would suggest dealing with blunders immediately, personally, amicably, in an empathetic manner. my-wardrobe currently works with voucher codes on an exclusive and short-term basis eg: for new affiliates a bespoke short-term trial code is created, the company use the Webgains Voucher Management Tool to manage and implement various codes."
my-wardrobe and Webgains adopt a very personalised and labour intensive approach to affiliate management, ensuring that they create and produce key tools for the top-performing affiliates.
Generic banners don’t work as well as customised banners or content, although time-consuming short-term this approach pays off long-term.
The key to success is having dedicated affiliate management resource, as Sophia further emphasises, ‘You may have the best intentions to run a world class program however, if you can not commit to allocating a 100% dedicated resource your efforts are like throwing water on sand’.
Another key ingredient to delivering affiliate success for my-wardrobe has been having a comprehensive and structured communication strategy. A weekly affiliate newsletter containing a lot of requested content and news of woman’s-wear and menswear is sent out.
A weekly digest with ’What’s Hot’, exclusive products and ‘Breaking News’ is sent to content affiliates. Sophia posts daily of the a4uForum, believing that a regular flow of news and updates is required to cut-through the noise from other affiliate programs.
Additional social media channels e.g.: twitter and facebook are used extensively. ‘Qualities a successful affiliate manager will demonstrate are ‘pro-activity, accessibility, approachability and timeliness,’ explains Marie Uhart (Webgains my Wardrobe Account Manager). my-wardrobe also runs creative competition incentives for affiliates to keep them motivated.
In October 2009 it ran a competition offering two winners a prize of £250 each for the best written blog posts. For the launch of the gift shop in November ran a similar competition with a wide range of prizes for best written product articles and blog posts.
In addition my-wardrobe send out their quarterly ‘Style Guide,’ to its top fifty affiliates, the reason behind this is as Sophia explains, ‘ In a virtual world tangible gifts and marketing material sent to affiliates are appreciated and provide you with the advantage of standing out. If you have material from other channels it makes sense to be as creative and resourceful as possible’.
Long-term my-wardrobe want to conquer international markets, Sophia discusses this objective in more detail, ’We have an incredible website and very loyal customer base, consequently we are confident that we can attract a wider audience internationally over a short period of time.
The advantage of working with an international affiliate network like Webgains is that we have been able to extend our reach to the European markets, it’s early days but we can already see results.’
'Results for my-wardrobe’ states Sophia, ‘are very good, we see month on month growth. We are very pleased with the attention to detail and overall service we receive from the Webgains team in the UK and internationally’.
For more information contact:
International Marketing Director
Dragon Court, Top floor 27-29 Macklin Street
London WC2B 5LX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7269 1228
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7269 1249
E-Mail: email@example.com www.webgains.com
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