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Switching From Search and PPC to Cost Per Acquisition
Image Credit  Avis

Switching From Search and PPC to Cost Per Acquisition

Carrentals.co.uk was launched in 2007 and has become the UK’s biggest and most popular car hire comparison website, allowing customers to compare over 50 different car hire suppliers.

It launched its affiliate programme in 2009, which has steadily grown as the price comparison industry has proliferated.

Challenge

In June 2013, Carrentals.co.uk appointed marketing agency SYYCO with the aim of expanding its affiliate programme. SYYCO is a specialist travel affiliate marketing agency that was given the task of enhancing Carrentals’ commercial development and affiliate programme, specifically within the travel and leisure industry. SYYCO’s goal was to double the business between June 2013 and June 2014.

Solution

The main aim was to increase sales across affiliate programmes by over 50% between June and December 2013. Working closely with Carrentals’ in-house affiliate managers, SYYCO identified two main methods of achieving this: increasing conversion rates by at least 10%, and reinvigorating inactive affiliates.

SYYCO also decided to focus all of Carrentals’ business on a single affiliate network partner, Tradedoubler. At the same time, SYYCO helped the company to extend their product portfolio by securing supply agreements with value brands.

Approach

During this relatively short period of time, SYYCO’s strategy comprised several different activities:

  • Offering exclusive rates
  • Using a tiered commission structure based on sale numbers as a performance incentive
  • Moving from a focus on search and pay-per-click advertising to a cost per acquisition model
  • Developing a tailored partnership with cashback website Quidco
  • Continual updating of the website, including company success stories to attract potential new partners
  • Setting up Facebook and Twitter pages to increase awareness of the brand
  • Regular newsletters to keep affiliates up to date
  • Reducing their affiliate networks to just one, ensuring a dedicated yet simple affiliate programme     
  • Reengagement mailers to inactive partners

Results

This strategy has been hugely successful for Carrentals:

  • 61% uplift in revenues through the affiliate channel over the seven months in which they have been working with SYYCO
  • Year-on-year channel revenues have doubled over December 2013 and January 2014, resulting in a 12-month extension to SYYCO’s contract with Carrentals
  • Revenue between June and December 2013 was up 65% compared to the same period in 2012
  • Conversion rate increased by 14% in June 2013 compared to June 2012
  • Number of active affiliates up by around 30% since partnership with SYYCO began
  • Over 20,000 likes on Facebook and over 1,000 followers on Twitter, while downloads of the Carrentals mobile app increased 57% in 2013

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