Introducing our new monthly publisher spotlights, where we ask our publishers a series of questions to find out what challenges they face, and what they would advise advertisers looking to work with them through TradeTracker.
To kick things off we spoke to Graham Jenner, the partnerships director of TopCashback, to find out their views on the past, present and future of the affiliate channel.
When and how did TopCashback start and get in to the affiliate space?
Graham: "The company started in 2005. Our founders had launched and sold some other affiliate-based sites in the past but wanted to build a business that was less reliant on search traffic and be a destination site of its own. Their big passion was to build a business that would genuinely save customers money. At the time 100% cashback was a new model that many people said couldn’t work. It was slow going and by the end of 2006 TopCashback still only had 9,000 members. I think it goes to show that it’s worth persevering with a good idea. We now have over 10m members globally!"
What challenges have you faced over the past 12 months and what challenges do you think the channel will face over the next year?
Graham: "I think there have been a few challenges in the past 12 months like GDPR and the current ITP 2.0, which we are yet to see the full impact from. From a TopCashback perspective, I think we are in a nice position at the moment with advertisers tending to appreciate the sales and the value we provide. We are in quite a unique position in the sense that we have a good ability to target relevant customers for brands but also have an incentive to help change customer behaviour. That is a powerful combination that opens up interesting conversations about improving customer lifetime value."
What would you advise new advertisers who would look to work with cashback publishers such as yourselves?
Graham: "I think the biggest thing is to be open to doing things. In order to get the most from a cashback publisher (or any publisher for that matter) you need to invest time into understanding what the publisher can do and how you can get access to their customers. You should see it as a partnership where the goal is for both businesses to be profitable. Ultimately if your publishers are not making revenue promoting you it won’t be sustainable for them. With a cashback site specifically, the more people that see your brand the better chance you have of getting more sales and attracting a new audience. With that in mind you should look at what tenancy opportunities they have and what level of cashback you can offer to entice these customers. As a rule of thumb, I would always say try and make the offer exciting if you want to see good results. If you are not excited about the offer you are running its unlikely that the customer will be!"
Do you have a list of do’s and don’ts that would help advertisers ensure they get the most out of working with TopCashback?
Graham: "For us specifically, I would say the first thing is to make contact. It’s hard for us to do much unless people talk to us! We like to get an idea of the goals and objectives of the advertiser and then make suggestions based upon those early conversations. We feel that is better than us blindly suggesting ideas that may or may not resonate with them. In terms of ‘don’ts’ I probably have loads! Pet hates for me are not responding when you ask for an idea, even if you don’t want to go ahead it’s just polite to reply and give feedback to help the person improve their idea next time. As a cashback site the cashback offer is the most important thing when we are promoting to members, so making sure that you can offer us an exclusive rate is important (exclusive to us means the highest in the market that no one else has)."
Finally, what has been your highlight when working with advertisers on the TradeTracker platform?
Graham: "Speaking to the team the main thing that came across is that everyone is really responsive and happy to help when we speak to them!"
We’d like to thank Graham and TopCashback for presenting us with their insights to the performance marketing channel.
Be sure to check back every month for more insights from some of the leading publishers the UK has to offer.