April 29, 2022

Partner Spotlight: Learn how Incubeta Builds Paid Affiliate Marketing Campaigns for Their Clients with No Upfront Costs

By Alex Cramer

When people say, “You get what you pay for”, that usually means that if you pay nothing, then you should expect nothing back in return.

But what if that’s not true?

In today’s affiliate spotlight, we’re speaking with the team from Incubeta, a performance marketing agency that offers its clients a unique model for running their campaigns.

Incubeta is a performance marketing agency that offers paid media services for their affiliate clients, but instead of asking brands to pay upfront, Incubeta pays the ad costs themselves and they only get paid back if they run a successful campaign.

As well as their core services, Incubeta has a strong position to support brands across the wider digital space with expertise in Creative services, Feed Management and the Google Marketing Platform, specifically Search Ads 360 and Display & Video 360 which they use in house to optimize their campaigns.

With over 600 employees located in offices around the world, Incubeta obviously knows what they’re doing, but what’s the secret to their success and can they make it work for your brand?

We sat down with partnership manager Callum Kennelly, group commercial director Alex Haynes and senior partnership manager Chris Donovan to learn more about what makes Incubeta a go-to marketing partner for affiliates.

Q: Define what Incubeta does for its clients?

CK: The way that we work in the affiliate space is like your typical core paid media services. So paid search, programmatic display and paid social are the top three. And then here in the EU and in the UK, CSS, comparison shopping services is also part of our remit. The way that we differ from any other marketing agency is the fact that through the affiliate space we can do everything on a pure performance model. 

Q: So when you’re fronting the media spend, how do you evaluate the clients that you want to work with so that you can see a return on your investment?

CK: We do have specific metrics that we require because obviously, we’re fronting spend and if we don’t make a return, the brand doesn’t make a return and it’s kind of a lose-lose for everyone. Whereas if those metrics are perfect, we make a return and so does the brand. So typically we’re looking to work with brands who have over 50k monthly unique visitors,  have a strong conversion rate past 1% and then AOV is always good if it’s kind of medium to high, but obviously, that can be flexible. So if a brand has smaller monthly uniques but a very high conversion rate there’s still a chance we can work together.

Q: Can you describe the profile of the typical clients that you work with?

AH: A lot of our experience is in retail. That’s a real area of strength for us. And within that, I pull out things like luxury retail, health and beauty and homeware as key areas where we’ve had a lot of experience and success. But we do work across travel, we work across finance, we work across software, as well. So it’s pretty broad in terms of who we can work with but retail would be a real area of strength. 

Q: And what size business are you typically working with?

AH: The areas where we tend to be most successful are within those probably small to medium-sized organizations where they’ve either tried to do it themselves in-house and now need to work with a performance marketing agency to help take them to the next level or where they’ve tried to work with a digital marketing agency already, but didn’t have the success they wanted and as a result, they like the idea of working with a business that’s highly incentivized to actually deliver growth for them. So that small to medium-sized business area is probably where at the moment we get most of our success.

Q: If you’re fronting the costs for these campaigns, you must have a lot of confidence that they’ll work. What can you tell us about how you’re able to consistently build successful affiliate campaigns?

AH: So, basically, a lot of it comes down to the fact that we’ve been running these campaigns since we started the business in the early 2000s. And what you’ve basically got is a big trial and error exercise, right? As we’ve learned over the years, we’ve been able to build a lot of automation into our back end, to help us monitor and change campaigns and to help us bid up in certain areas and bid down in areas that aren’t doing so well. But if anyone tried to do it themselves manually right now, they’d have no chance. Right? But because of our years of experience, we’ve been able to build a lot of what we’ve learned into these automated processes.

Q: So one of the keys to your success is the decades worth of data you’ve accumulated running affiliate campaigns.

AH: Exactly. I think that’s been very important but I think the other is that we’re always looking for new, smart ways to get the upper hand for our clients. It’s the way the model works, right? We’re incentivized to find ways to drive more revenue for them. That’s why the affiliate model is so good. To give you an example, we work with a lot of luxury businesses where they resell luxury brands. And so something we’ve helped them do is to assess the pricing competitiveness on their pricing versus competitors, who are also selling those brands. And if they’re very competitive, that allows us to push those products but if they’re not very competitive, it means that we don’t push those products. And it’s things like that that allow us to make sure that we’re always driving more revenue for our clients. So yeah, it’s a little bit about the experience and the data that we’ve built up, but it’s also constantly trying to find new ways to get the upper hand.

Whew! The team at Incubeta offered up a master class on building successful affiliate campaigns and we’ve still barely scratched the surface of everything they told me.

So tune in next week when we discuss the future of affiliate marketing, advanced affiliate strategies and how Incubeta can help North American brands break into global markets.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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