Affiliate Manager: Mark Calzaverini
For those who don't know about DirectFlights, can you give us a quick overview of the programme?
Directflights.com is the UK’s fastest growing flight and travel comparison site.
Affiliates can join our programme on Tradedoubler. We work on a CPC basis so we reward affiliates 15p for every single lead. A valid lead refers to a click-out from our site to a travel agent or airline.
This guarantees a steady flow of income to the affiliate. It means that the more traffic they can send us, the more they will earn. At all times, we carry out tests and checks to ensure we only reward genuine affiliate traffic.
Affiliates can now join our programme direct with us and we are also moving towards a multiple platform solution in the near future.
What types of affiliates are you looking to join your programme?
The best fit both for us and for the affiliate are those travel-related portals, websites and blogs that do not have the time or the resources to implement travel search technology but would still like to benefit from the added value that it can bring, both in terms of the user interactivity and as source income of course.
For example, imagine you own a euro-trip blog with articles and pictures about places like Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Dublin, Moscow… You want to monetise your site and do not know where to start. The best choice you have is to partner with a flight comparison site like us who will share the revenue from the leads or click-outs.
Why? For two reasons; First because the visitors to your site are naturally going to have an interest in travelling to those cities. Secondly, the comparison element is very powerful since we display prices from many different agents and airlines. This means we have some of the cheapest prices around which in turn will lead to more traffic and ultimately higher revenues for the affiliate.
We also consider many other types of sites, so as long as they are legal. Shopping comparison websites for instance are also a good fit.
What technology / widgets / promotional options do affiliates have for the direct programme, and which ones would you recommend currently?
We are currently renewing our stock of search banners with some new ones, giving affiliates more choice than ever before. We are rolling out 14 different sizes and three different colours.
In the pipeline are also some static as well as some flash banners.
Probably the single biggest innovation for affiliates who chose to go direct with us, are the banners that include a “pop-up” window option. This means that instead of just directing the user to a search results page, the user is given the choice to select a number of agents to compare from as well. This effectively means that affiliates can earn up to 40p with every flight search.
We also have a set of green flight search banners allowing affiliates to cater for the eco-conscious user. Our carbon friendly flight search calculates the impact on the environment of each flight.
Seasonality in the Travel sector, when is your busiest time of year, and how far in advance should affiliates be preparing for this?
This is true. Like everyone else in travel, the busiest times of the year are the summer months and January, when lots of people book their holidays. However, we find that it goes up and down all year round, as demand for air travel is huge these days compared to what it used to be. If I were an affiliate, now would be a great moment to review any commercials and thus prepare for the last-minute Christmas and January booking rush.
You'll be in attendance at the a4uexpo on the 18th-19th October. Who should come and say hello?
Anyone! We are very friendly! We are very excited as this is our first time attending so we would like to meet people who can help our business. Our affiliate marketing activity is increasing every month and we are constantly looking out for new and innovative ways to grow.
Anything else our readers should know?
We have the ability to create a white-label solution for our top affiliates. To qualify, they just have to meet a minimum set of requirements. In other words, we can create a bespoke travel comparison site at no cost at all and pay you for the resulting traffic.
Last, but not least, directflights.com is going global as we are launching a series of international versions, starting with the US.
Join the DirectFlights.com programme today.