Shifting focus to power affiliate activity in a global pandemic

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This case study examines how edX and ThoughtMix recognized a demand for online learning due to COVID-19, adjusting strategies to optimize activity on Awin.

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As stay at home orders went into effect in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people shifted to a fully digital lifestyle – living, learning & working at home. As such, this change led to a much greater demand in e-learning resources. 

edX is a global nonprofit where you go to learn, transforming traditional education by removing the barriers of cost, location and access. In partnership with global affiliate management agency ThoughtMix, edX recognized this growing demand for online learning due to COVID-19, and as such, sought to adjust program strategies to optimize their affiliates’ activity on Awin.

The Approach:

To power success for the affiliate program on Awin,  edX and Thoughtmix set two overarching goals - increase sales and drive access to edX’s high-quality education materials and resources – which they sought to via these three main shifts in strategy:

  • Improve publisher engagement: At the onset of COVID, edX and a leading US university launched a free online course on ventilator use to support critical care teams caring for patients receiving mechanical ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support affiliate activity around this, edX was featured as an  “Awin + ShareASale Champion” across the Awin Group’s ongoing COVID-19 blog and social campaigns to increase awareness of how the advertiser was contributing to the global pandemic
  • Maximize platform reach: Leveraging Awin’s global platform, ThoughtMix focused attention on countries outside the US to grow the brand’s affiliate revenue - most notably in Spain, Germany, the UK and India, seeing particularly strong results from multi-lingual newsletters to bolster new and existing publisher activity
  • Focus on new partner types: ThoughtMix realigned the strategy to spotlight comparison sites, learning portals and editorial content to ensure these partners were utilized during key exposure periods, particularly in the early stages of lockdown when diversification was critical

The Results:

Supported by Awin’s innovative technology and high-quality partners, ThoughtMix was able to drive marked results for edX in the affiliate channel:

  • +185% gross program revenue YTD, compared to same period in 2019
  • +30% conversion rate
  • +75% productive publisher rate
  • +167% QoQ contribution from comparison sites, learning portals & editorial content

To learn more about the edX affiliate program on Awin, including how to partner with the brand, click here. For more information on COVID-19, please visit our information hub where we bring you the latest news from Awin and ShareASale, as well as links to network insights and useful pointers, alongside wider updates. 

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