How affiliate marketing can help businesses to thrive

From a small business operating from Cornwall to a successful brand recognised nationwide, Weird Fish is continuing to optimise its growth and reach, with help from Gloucestershire's affiliate marketing agency, Conversion Digital – as SoGlos hears from the retail company's head of e-commerce, Steve Hammond.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
SoGlos caught up with Steve Hammond from Weird Fish to discover how Gloucestershire's affiliate marketing company, Conversion Digital, has helped the business go from strength to strength.

Conversion Digital is an affiliate and partnerships management agency that aims to harness the power of digital partnerships to implement bespoke affiliate marketing strategies that deliver top-line growth and incremental revenue, helping businesses to thrive and reach their desired audiences.

Since 2018, the Gloucestershire-based agency has been helping retail business, Weird Fish, to grow its reach through affiliate marketing.

SoGlos caught up with Weird Fish's head of e-commerce, Steve Hammond, to find out how the company has transformed its affiliate marketing program since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with Conversions Digital's expert advice and guidance.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business

I have worked in various roles throughout my career, including store management, area and regional management, and head office. The diversity of positions has helped give me a broad understanding of all things retail. Before Weird Fish, I also led the formation, development and strong trading performance of a leading cycling website.

Weird Fish is a lifestyle clothing brand founded in 1993. When we launched, we set out to offer something different from the norm — a sense of adventure, an eye for practicality and plenty of style and quality. 

We pride ourselves on quality – crafting clothes that are made to last. Working closely with our trusted suppliers, we ensure our factories follow strict ethical practices, including no child labour and excellent working conditions. In a nutshell, we’re always looking to build cleaner and greener processes. 

We are continually broadening our use of more sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel and Ecovero. In addition, our buying teams are always looking to develop greener processes so we can help minimise our impact on the planet.

Our ranges expand with each season so we can give our customers a greater choice. This includes different types of products across our essential staples, including our Macaroni sweatshirts or our favourite Tallahassee and Starshine dresses.

We’re big on values, longevity and doing things right. 

Can you tell us about your working week? 

My working week is, in a word, busy! There is always something to be done at Weird Fish. The office has a fantastic work culture; everyone is welcome to share their opinions on our products and operations.

I work a hybrid of remote and office working. I am always in the office Mondays and Tuesdays to set the week up and make plans for the coming weeks - it’s great to meet colleagues face-to-face and create those relationships. I am typically at home for the remainder of the week, although I go in every other Thursday for my customer service meetings as I also manage this team.

Mondays usually involve reporting and planning, while Tuesdays look forward to future seasons, offers and business drivers. We also hold our web development sessions on Tuesdays to understand where we are on the development roadmap.

I set aside time on Wednesday afternoons and Fridays for admin, as well as people and business reviews, leaving the remainder of the week for trading the site and seeing where the team are at with their numerous projects.

What is an affiliate marketing agency and why do you use one?

An affiliate marketing agency is a specialist partner that builds successful affiliate partnerships that align with our brand, targets and broader marketing strategy. 

When affiliate marketing is done right, it’s an excellent tool for increasing revenue, boosting order values, encouraging customer loyalty and much more. 

We needed to nail our strategy, which meant trusting the experts with the experience and network to plan and execute it for us. 

Can you tell us about Conversion Digital and its role in your business?

We started working with Conversion Digital in 2018 and can’t recommend its services enough. Since our partnership began, we’ve worked closely with our dedicated account manager and the broader team to optimise and grow our program.

Our affiliate program has delivered consistent results and is integral to our broader digital marketing strategy. Since working with Conversion, we’ve forged long-lasting relationships with key publishers that align with our values and deliver month after month. 

Along with nurturing existing relationships and optimising performance, Conversion works hard to bring us an abundance of new opportunities to grow our program further every month. 

As a paid-on-performance model, affiliate marketing is a cost-effective growth strategy and we’ve been continually impressed with its results. 

What made you seek out Conversion Digital? 

When I arrived at Weird Fish in March 2020, two weeks before the first lockdown, Conversion Digital was already a company partner. Conversion Digital has completely transformed our affiliate program over the last three years. Affiliates are now a much more significant part of our business and we go from strength to strength with this channel.

The company has in-depth knowledge and stays fully up-to-date with the latest innovations and programs. Having them manage all these new providers for us is invaluable as they present us with providers that match or could be a match with our customer demographic.

The partnership is strong and they are an effective team that delivers, even when we make late additions or changes to our program.

How do you feel you and your business benefit from Conversion Digital? 

Our affiliate program has delivered consistent results since we started working with Conversion Digital in 2018. Since we began our partnership, we’ve worked closely with Chris, our account manager, to develop KPIs and targets, which are met and often exceeded. 

Affiliate marketing has allowed us to expand our digital marketing efforts while minimising the risk associated with investing large amounts of capital upfront. Furthermore, thanks to Conversion's sophisticated tracking and reporting, we have access to lots of valuable data, which allows us to forecast and plan effectively. 

Who would you recommend an affiliate and partnerships management agency such as Conversion Digital to?

Any e-commerce brand should seriously consider affiliate marketing. It’s a low-risk, high-reward marketing tool that can drive incremental revenue. Affiliate marketing is becoming more popular every year. So, if you’re not already utilising the sales channel, you should be. Chances are, your competitors are already doing so. 

If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to play the long game. Affiliate marketing is not a quick fix, and you can’t expect to see results overnight. So be patient. 

In partnership with Conversion Digital  |  conversiondigital.co.uk

More on Conversion Digital

More from Business