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A4u Programme of the Week: Virgin Atlantic

A4u Programme of the Week: Virgin Atlantic

Name: VIRGIN ATLANTIC

Affiliate Manager: Carla Tapia-Cat

Contact Details: carlat@nonstopconsulting.co.uk / 0203 178 8483

For such a big brand and many offerings, what are the main focuses for the Virgin Atlantic Affiliate Programme this year?

"The Virgin Atlantic Affiliate program is one of the best known travel programmes in the UK. Over the life of the programme, the affiliate channel has become one of the most important in the online marketing mix.

"One of the main focuses in 2011 was communication and engagement. Virgin Atlantic wanted to increase the level of engagement with our key affiliate partners to ensure we have established a two way flow of information for the benefit of both parties. We have worked hard to establish and maintain these relationships by various means including our very successful 2011 affiliate day.

"We also wanted to engage with affiliates who we felt we could be working with more effectively, and as a result of efforts in this direction we increased the number of key partners year on year.

"It was great to see our work recognised and many of our activities in the NMA Battle of the Brands.

"In 2012 we intend to expand on this further and we are developing some new initiatives to ensure that the VAA programme remains front of mind. Watch this space..."

What commission rates are you offering?

"The programme offers a flat rate of 2% on seat bookings. However we like to treat our relationship with key affiliates as marketing plans in their own right, and so there is a lot of flexibility to create more complex, bespoke packages where we can bring in a range of incentives. We would encourage any affiliates with an innovative approach and relevant sites to get in contact with our management agency, nonstopConsulting, to discuss further."

Which demographics of affiliate can promote your programme, using your current crop of affiliates as an example?

Virgin Atlantic works with a broad cross section of affiliates. Incentive and loyalty play an important role, as do our meta-search partners. The main rule is that the affiliate’s site contain travel-related content.

At a time of caution within the Travel sector, what tips would you have for Affiliates who are looking to push the VAA programme?

"Affiliates who strongly feature Virgin Atlantic branding do better than those who feature it as one of many options. Potential customers respond to strong influencers. Like any affiliate site, one that successfully provides user value within a niche will maintain greater credibility with their audience than one that is too broad.

"So affiliates should focus on their niche and develop content around that so that visitors have an enriched experience. Brands that appear on these sites can only benefit."

Anything else our readers should know?

The Virgin Atlantic January sale is now on, with some amazing offers to our long haul destinations. This is one of our busiest periods of the year, so it is a great opportunity to join the programme. Virgin Atlantic affiliates receive regular newsletters with the latest programme information and exclusive competitions to win prizes like Champagne or tickets to our own corporate box at the O2.

Virgin Atlantic strive to deliver a relevant, dynamic programme that affiliates want to engage with. We would welcome any feedback from our affiliates on how we can do better.

Affiliates can join the Virgin Atlantic programme on Affilinet, TradeDoubler and AffiliateFuture.

Information about Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was recently voted “Favourite Scheduled Airline” at the British Travel Awards and is one of the world's best known and most loved airline brands.

Virgin Atlantic fly to over 30 destinations worldwide. Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Australia and Cape Town are just a few of the highlights, not forgetting all those USA and Caribbean favourites. The majority of flights are out of London Heathrow and Gatwick; however there are also selected services out of Manchester and Glasgow.

Want to be featured as A4u's Programme of the Week? Contact Mark Atherton for info.

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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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