Advanced tactics to grow a men’s apparel program through change

Sometimes even when you do everything right, there are factors outside of your control on the client side that impact the affiliate channel. That’s the time to dig in further, explore, and research every aspect of the business that affects online marketing.

Such was the case with one of our clients, who is a large online retailer of high-end men’s wear. It would have been easy for our agency to sit back and know that during our first year managing the program we grew sales by 97%. Over a period of time we saw the program growth decline, and while it remained up 28% from when we took over the program, we were eager to identify and solve any problems that might have been prohibiting the rate of growth we saw initially upon taking over the program.

We found that the two year decline occurred because of three things that affected the affiliate program’s performance:

during our first year managing the program we grew sales by 97%

  1. The company’s change in promotional behavior as they tested different offers
  2. A tracking issue
  3. Testing of different attribution models

As those tests came to an end and tracking was restored, sales increased 160% and there was a 234% increase to $3.7 million from the first year we took over the program.

We accomplished this renewed growth by using our industry expertise to mine for data and pinpoint areas where creative as well as proven tactics would provide solutions benefitting the client.

Working in partnership with the client we developed and tested a liquidation strategy that included commission increases to get their offers to a few large affiliate sites that could offer more exposure and increased sales through aggressive promotions.

The results of working with two highly-relevant and targeted apparel deal sites (getting offers on their respective homepages from December 2019 and January 2020) resulted in a 5x increase in revenue generated by those affiliates.

Our multi-pronged approach also included commissions increases as incentives, exclusive offers to key affiliates, select partnerships that allowed trademark plus bidding, and recruiting influencers in the retail apparel space.

Exclusive Offers

The decision to make exclusive offers to a handful of premier partners was extremely successful and yielded an additional $1.2 million in revenue, 107,000 clicks, and more than 7,700 orders.

Trademark Plus Bidding

Engaging with two carefully selected partners to perform trademark plus bidding garnered an additional $411,000 in revenue and nearly 20,000 clicks.


Our persistence and innovation resulted in a successful partnership that over 5 years led to a 234% overall revenue increase

By working with a half dozen influencers through the platform, we realized $7.1K in revenue, 1,000 clicks and 51 orders during a three month period.

We are always working to recruit new publishers into any program, but it’s also important to find ways to engage those already in the program. Our continued efforts to improve revenue and performance was bolstered by increasing the number of active publishers by 30%.

In turn that helped increase the program’s overall conversion rate from 3.17% in 2017 to 7.07% in 2019. The steps we took were carefully thought out and provided a clear strategic path to reverse the downturn. Our persistence and innovation resulted in a successful partnership that over 5 years led to a 234% overall revenue increase of more than $2.3 million.

By working in conjunction with the client, we were also able to educate them on the holistic impact of decisions and how they directly and indirectly affected the affiliate channel. This greater understanding and transparency helped them make more informed decisions moving forward and set up an even more solid foundation for continued growth.