Although Awin and Anglian Home Improvements worked together since 2011, it is last year that marks a transformation in the way the two collaborate. At the beginning of 2016 – and following years of its affiliate activity split across lead suppliers – Anglian became the network’s exclusive merchant.

PerformanceIN caught up with Amy Vickery, lead generation team leader at Awin and Liza Wrigley, email & affiliate programme manager at Anglian, to find out more about the partnership and how it came about.

Following many years of working together, Anglian became an exclusive merchant on the network last year. Could you tell us about the reasons for this move?

Liza Wrigley: Anglian were looking to run an open programme which worked collaboratively with partners and agency alike. Awin provided the transparency required to do this with the open network policy which enabled us to progress the program with new sources of affiliate activity. It also gave Anglian the opportunity to work collectively with publishers, ensuring the programme is working efficiently for them as well.

Establishing more open relationships with affiliates has led to Awin and Anglian hosting affiliate days in which all parties come together to talk about campaign ideas and opportunities, this is proving to be a productive and inclusive way to work.

And has the programme changed over the past year? If so, how?

LW: In the past year, the programme has shifted direction, with a strategic decision made to focus less on email activity and to put an increased emphasis on content-driven leads. Awin were set this task with the ambition to improve customer engagement with the Anglian brand, therefore helping to improve both lead quality and to raise brand awareness.

Have there been any challenges Anglian had to overcome?

LW: The transition period between moving from two networks to one has been a valuable learning curve and the Anglian campaign is in a far stronger position because of these learnings. The Anglian team has worked with Awin very closely on the campaign and this has helped grow the programme significantly in 2017.

What trends in the affiliate space are you expecting to see this year?

LW: Changes in legislation and the implementation of GDPR will have a big impact on the entire database marketing world. Anglian is working hard to be ahead of the curve in regards to email marketing and is committed to ensuring all partners are moving in the right direction and asking what can we do to help them achieve a compliance-driven program. With these changes coming to fruition, we foresee a stronger focus on content marketing affiliate programs.

And from Awin’s perspective, could you tell us, Amy, about how the collaboration has changed?

Amy Vickery: It is great working with a client who is so open to testing new promotional routes and methods. As standard, our monthly Anglian media plans now feature a test budget line, which has enabled trials on a tenancy basis with leading publication audiences, including The Independent and The Telegraph. These CPM agreements are always user-targeted against key Anglian demographics and performance closely assessed by the affiliate team so that we can continually optimise campaign performance.

Since working exclusively, we have also introduced Anglian Affiliate Days. The setup consists of an allocated day of back-to-back affiliate meetings at the Awin offices to encourage open communication between advertiser, network and publisher to further develop working relationships and jointly brainstorm key optimisations. Off the back of these, bespoke email creative and landing page trials have occurred for key publishers to tap into additional markets. This open dialogue approach is also reinforced in the form of regular conference calls with all three parties, which Awin believes is the most productive environment for us to promote a client campaign within.