After four years on the buy.at network, O2 are expanding their affiliate programme to Affiliate Window's Darwin Platform. This alliance will provide O2 with advanced reporting solutions, more frequent affiliate payments and facilitate introductions with a large breadth of publishers. Additionally, O2’s product offerings will be separated into individual programmes, allowing easier optimisation and clearer reporting for O2 and their affiliate partners.
A4u spoke to Sammy Elazab, Online Partnerships Manager, O2
As you 'call' for affiliates to enhance their performance offering, what are the most productive ways that affiliates can do this to help you with your programme?
"When we decided to launch the O2 programmes onto the Darwin platform we were determined to get the basics right in an attempt to help affiliates in the long run when promoting O2. Historically the programme on buy.at had been live for a number of years and I felt, as did a number of affiliates that I discussed the migration with, that we were suffering from the way the programme was set up mainly because times have changed so much both in the affiliate world and at O2.
"On buy.at our main O2 programme had all different products tracking through the same programme. This meant that the overall conversion rate, epcs, etc were not accurate as they were a collection of all the data affiliates passed through the one link. For example an affiliate may have 2 different sites, one for mobile broadband and another for mobile phones but all the data they had would not be able to be split and therefore conversions rates were not a true and accurate reflection of the traffic that was being sent.
"Now we have launched on the Darwin platform we have launched initially 11 different programmes and although affiliates may have to put in some extra work to implement all the different links I firmly believe that in the long term they should be able to benefit from more detailed and accurate reporting.
"I believe knowing and understanding these simple metrics will help all affiliates enhance their performance and don’t worry all the programmes are twinned as well!
"This also helps the team at O2 and Affiliate window when it comes to effective communication as we can get in touch with the right types of affiliates with relevant promotions as opposed to emailing everyone with every promotion O2 are currently doing (and there is a lot of them!). This will hopefully mean less emails coming from O2 but the ones that affiliates do receive will be more targeted and specific to what they need to help improve their promotions for O2."
What technologies can we look forward to from O2's programme as you migrate to the Darwin platform?
"The way in which our commission groups are set up in Darwin allows for much more accurate reporting and commission allocation than was previously available on buy.at. Before we relied on uplifting commissions at the end of each month but now we can handle it all in real time. We are now able to allocate commission on a product level enabling us to uplift commission on handset manufacturers and contract lengths quickly and easily if needs be. We are also working on a solution to insert free sim activations automatically on a weekly or maybe even daily basis which should give increased performance transparency for affiliates.
"Darwin also allows affiliates to see much more information about the O2 programmes from our individual programme profiles. Our Terms and Conditions are much more robust within Darwin as well so affiliates know exactly where they stand with promotion of O2’s products and services.
"Being on Darwin also helps us when we come to approve affiliates onto the O2 programmes. Previously it was so hard to find out how an affiliate might be promoting O2. With Darwin the affiliates have a chance to upload all of the URLs they use to promote and tell us a lot more about their promotional methods so approving them onto the programme is a much quicker process."
Finally, what's up ahead for the O2 programme that you can share with a4u users?
"O2 is constantly adding to its product portfolio and with every new product we launch we hope to be able to offer affiliates the chance to promote them and therefore increase their potential earnings as an O2 partner.
"One good recent example is O2 Travel Insurance which we launched at the end of the last year and if you keep your eyes open there will be more to come over 2011 and going into 2012. To try and get you all excited about what the future might hold for O2 please have a look here www.welcometoO2ville.co.uk.
"Naturally not all these propositions will come to life but there are exciting times ahead for O2 and all that work with us."
Find out more about the new O2 Affiliate Programmes via their forum post.