Wild: Scaling up with affiliate partnerships

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Just over a year since starting their #AwinAccess journey, the affiliate channel now contributes to 10% of online sales for sustainable deodorant brand Wild.

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Consumers looking for sustainable and all natural beauty products have often felt the quality of the items performance suffered. With Wild there is no compromise, and as a consequence this fantastic deodorant has seen incredible success since it launched in April 2020.

Michelle O’Sullivan, Awin’s Global Customer Success Director, interviewed Harry Smythes-Thompson from Wild to bring to life for other ethically focused brands how their digital journey has developed, including the importance of their Awin affiliate programmes in the UK and Germany as part of their marketing mix.

Going to market at the start of a pandemic driven lock down would be the stuff of nightmares for many new business, but for Wild, the stay at home government orders allowed their direct to consumer subscription model to gain traction at an accelerated pace, firstly via social media.

They managed to navigate through their complex supply chain and operation to avoid issues on stock which then allowed them to focus on exploring digital channel promotion. Paid for activity was Harry’s starting point on Facebook, Google, TikTok and Snapchat which gave a boost to their establishing reputation.

In October 2020 they successfully raised a second round of funding investment to a sum of £2m via Jamjar (more commonly known as the founders of Innocent Smoothies) a perfectly complementary fit. With Jamjar on board, Wild had new confidence for international expansion and pushed to diversify their marketing channels even further.

Springboard via influencer tests

Wild dipped their toes into referral marketing via the use of carefully selected influencers directly before then embarking on a full network programme launch. As an eCommerce brand their focus is on strict return on investment goals, so the affiliate marketing payment model on performance was immediately attractive and gave them the ability to test risk free.

Harry discovered Awin Access online, and made the decision to proceed due to the ability to self-manage on the lowest cost possible.

He comments:

“For a brand unfamiliar with the network we quickly got to grips with navigating through the interface and understanding what commission we should be rewarding our publishers. It was amazing how many thousands of partners there were for us to browse and connect with and that there is a great variety in how they can promote such as ethical/sustainable content websites, bloggers, cashback and reward."

What is key to online partnership success?

For Wild, they embarked upon recruiting a digital agency to help optimise their activity.

Their tips for achieving growth include:

1) Tailor your communication to different affiliate partners that have different demographic types, utilise your learnings from other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to help guide the copy and tone you use to secure engagement.

2) Use the data available to you in the Awin interface to optimise, you can quickly see who is gaining traction, and who to establish a meeting with to understand how to work more closely.

3) Test different exposure opportunities that publishers have available, don’t quit on a partnership without exploring all options. Offer increased commission for a short period of time to facilitate this where you can't stretch to a tenancy/fixed fee arrangement.

 “Affiliates have massively helped to educate consumers on our products which helped to convert especially with an offer or cashback option”.

Hows it going so far?* 

*stats from September 2021

Performance highlights

  • 2k customer transactions
  • 5k brand impressions across partner websites
  • Driven 214k visitors

The programme has over 200 referral partners and an average click to conversion rate of 11%.

Internationalising the Wild audience to target markets: Germany

Off the back of the UK programme’s success, Wild launched a second programme on Awin Access in Germany in November 2020 to start building the brand’s European presence and become a globally recognised brand synonymous with reducing plastic in the bathroom.

Awin Access is designed for beginners. Perfect as a first step for those new to partner marketing, launch a self-managed programme pain-free without high cost or long commitment. Find pricing and join here.