Case Study #1: Launching a New Program: Compact Appliance

The Challenge: After closing its Affiliate Program due to non-performance a few years ago, Compact Appliance, an Internet Retailer 500 site, decided to re-launch an affiliate program in August 2007. Compact Appliance carefully selected Gen3 Marketing to launch and manage the program and, given its past experience, gave us a tight timeframe to prove the value of the channel and to generate a positive ROI.

The Plan: Compact Appliance's previous experience with Affiliate Marketing had not been positive so we knew we had very little time to prove that the channel can complement the overall marketing mix and profitably drive significant incremental top-line. Within the first 4-6 weeks of our partnership, we worked with the client to select and negotiate terms with CJ and to develop a great foundation on which to build. This foundation was built on strong program terms, policies (keywords, return days), creatives and a promotional online strategy that was married to overall business strategy. After weeks of planning, Gen3 launched the program on CJ and set out to leverage all of our meaningful relationships with relevant affiliates. In short order, we recruited, activated and optimized the program with many key affiliates in the discount, rewards and affinity, PPC, social networking and niche spaces. With each key affiliate, we ensured that the brand was not only well represented but also that Compact Appliance's overall promotional strategy was reflected on these sites.

The Results: In just the first month post-launch, affiliates generated enough volume to prove the channel was worthy of a second look. By the third month post-launch, affiliate sales had doubled and by the fourth month, they had doubled again. Just 8 months into its re-launch, the Compact Appliance program can already boast '4-Bar' status with CJ and is proudly marketed by most of the biggest affiliates online.

"Gen3 Marketing has allowed us to re-launch an affiliate program both profitably and with very quick return on investment. Our previous foray into affiliate marketing left us frustrated due to lack of internal resources in managing prospective and existing affiliates. Gen3 has made our program scale very rapidly by leveraging their extremely targeted expertise in the affiliate marketing arena."
- Jason Roussos, President, Richlund Ventures (d/b/a CompactAppliance.com)

Case Study #2: Outsourcing an In-house Program: Luggage Online

The Challenge: Luggage Online, an Internet Retailer 500 site had been managing its Linkshare program in-house for a number of years and decided to see if there was any benefit to outsourcing. After a careful search, Luggage Online selected Gen3 Marketing to manage its program and gave us 6 months to prove that outsourcing could deliver a solid return for a mature program.

The Plan: Luggage Online had done a very fine job for many years in managing its affiliate program in-house but recognized the fact that it did not have the expertise required to recruit, activate, police and optimize its affiliate relationships. Gen3 Marketing set out to do just that. Luggage Online had a huge number of quality affiliates in the program but was missing a couple of the biggest names in the PPC, Discount and Rewards space so we added them to the mix. We also leveraged our relationships with existing top affiliates to build an exclusive promotional strategy that had never before been in place. We also built a plan to reward affiliates for exceeding various hurdles (rewarding inactive affiliates for activation, rewarding semi-productive affiliates for greater productivity). Finally, we aligned site-wide and product-based promotions with what was being communicated to affiliates in order to leverage the power and collective marketing muscle of this key online channel.

The Results: Though Luggage Online was a mature, healthy program when we were hired, we have been able to consistently exceed last year's results by 30% - 40%.

"It only took a few weeks with Gen3 to begin seeing positive results with our affiliate program. Andy and Mike rolled-up their sleeves and immediately began recruiting new affiliates, activating old affiliates and getting better placement for Luggage Online on affiliate sites. We couldn't be more thrilled with Gen3 and their performance and look forward to many more years of working with the Gen3 team."
- Tim Jacobsen, Vice President, eCommerce, LuggageOnline.com

Case Study #3: Switching Affiliate Agencies: Coffee For Less

The Challenge: Coffee For Less had been outsourcing the management of its Commission Junction program for years and was not seeing the ROI necessary to continue to manage the program externally. Deciding to give outsourcing one more shot, Coffee For Less hired Gen3 Marketing in August 2007 to see if we could deliver results worthy of ascending Coffee For Less to Internet Retailer 500 status.

The Plan: When Gen3 Marketing started managing the existing CJ program for Coffee For Less, we identified three things that needed to change in order to take the program to the next level. First, historical results were too dependent on affiliates capitalizing on the Coffee For Less TM without permission. Second, while all affiliates are not equal, too many affiliates were being treated homogeneously. Third, while there were a number of quality affiliates already in the program, there were some big holes in the line-up. Gen3 Marketing tackled each of these issues early on by employing precise recruiting and optimization tactics that enabled the Coffee For Less brand to be added to some of the largest destinations online and to be promoted favorably when juxtaposed with the competition.

The Results: In just a few months, Gen3 Marketing was able to substantially grow comps for this mature program (we continue to consistently exceed 2007 figures by 100% year-over-year) and generated enough incremental value to land Coffee For Less on the Internet Retailer 500 list.

"I must say that I need to give all the credit for our program's success to our affiliate managers, Andy Cantos and Mike Tabasso at Gen3 Marketing. They are the ones that have encouraged me to stick with CJ, and have grown my program tremendously."
- Ben Kirshner, CEO, CoffeeForLess.com

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