This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Dunn, the Affiliate Marketing Manager at Lovehoney. Read on to find out what she had to say about what sets Lovehoney apart from competition, her advice for publishers who want to join the programme; and the strategy for the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your current role & responsibilities?
I’m the Global Affiliate Marketing Manager for Lovehoney – the UK’s biggest online adult retailer. We have 9 global websites, (including of course our flagship UK site) with an affiliate program for each site. I manage our in-house affiliate team for all of our global programs – it’s very much a team effort and as you can imagine, 9 programs to manage keeps us busy!
I’m essentially the liaison between Lovehoney, the affiliate network, and our affiliates. Our aim is to make promoting Lovehoney as easy as possible for affiliates, giving them all the information and tools they need, as well as assisting with any enquiries. We’re always seeking out new partnerships and opportunities to grow our programs, and of course we love to keep in touch with our existing affiliate partners.
Can you introduce LoveHoney?
We are the sexual happiness people and we’re proud to make a fun, fulfilling sex life available to everyone – 1 in 3 sex toys sold online in the UK come from our warehouse in Bath!
Why would you recommend Lovehoney and what is the main differentiator to your competitors?
We have over 195,000 customer reviews on Lovehoney (more than any other online adult retailer worldwide!) making us a trusted resource. Our customer reviews influence our own brand products and we’ve have created entire ranges using the feedback and tips from our customers.
We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service – place an order before 5.30pm and it’ll be dispatched the same day! As well as offering customers the added security of a 30 day free returns policy and a 1 year product guarantee.
Being an online retailer (only) sets up apart from many of our competitors, it also means there’s no offline activity to dilute the effectiveness of the affiliate channel. So a potential bonus for our affiliates.
Can you tell us more about your international digital marketing strategy?
We want to spread our message of sexual happiness globally and make a fun, fulfilling sex life available to everyone, everywhere. Our customer and data insights team ensure every business decision made is tailored to each market, and each channel is cohesive.
What advice would you give to Publishers wishing to promote your brand?
Don’t forget to mention our USPs when you’re promoting Lovehoney, as they definitely help increase conversions, and also always read our newsletters. We make sure to send across all of our hottest offers and best performing products, to ensure affiliates are promoting the most relevant messaging and achieving the best conversion rates.
The best advice that we can give our affiliates is to make sure you’re talking to us. We have an active affiliate team who are always happy to offer advice and assistance, so if you have any questions or promotional ideas you want to share, get in touch!
What are the benefits to working with an affiliate platform such as Webgains?
Obviously reliability. Plus a team of specialists on hand to always help with queries and issues. There’s a dedicated Webgains Account Manager for each of our programs, plus an overall global account manager, and a dedicated in-house team at Webgains to support their efforts. The Webgains AMs are very pro-active and helpful, plus having a local team in place for our European programs (DE, FR, ES) is definitely an asset.
With 7 of our affiliate programs live on the Webgains platform, our affiliates can benefit from cross program tracking across the 7 programs. This means regardless of which program/s an affiliate is promoting, they will receive commission generated via any of those 7 sites.
What is a typical work day when working for LoveHoney?
A day can range from analysing numbers to analysing the vibrations on the latest new product – things are definitely always interesting here at Lovehoney HQ!
As you can imagine (as an adult sector retailer) we can get some interesting and diverse enquiries! We have a huge cross section of affiliates, varying from mainstream to adult, and we love to work closely with them all!
What is your strategy for Valentine’s Day?
We strive to ensure affiliates have all the assets they need to promote key events such as Valentine’s Day. Including creative, gifting guides, details of new products/ranges, as well as newsletters with all the latest offers and exclusives, and Lovehoney news. We’ve been busy speaking to affiliates about their Valentine’s plans – it’s great when they share their promotional plans with us. So if you have any plans for your site over Valentines or other key periods, always make sure to get in touch. We are open to ideas and love to hear from our publishers!
What are your recommendations to the publishers for Valentine’s Day?
Check out our gifting guides for what’s hot this year and what customers are buying. Otherwise, here’s what we recommend promoting this Valentine’s Day: our best-selling Wild Weekend Couple’s Kit as seen on TV; the Valentine’s Sexy Gift Bundle with 52% off the RRP. Plus of course the fantastic best-selling Fifty Shades Freed Collection – as this is bound to be a best seller for Valentine’s! You can keep up to date on all the latest offers and exclusives via our weekly affiliate emails, and via the offers and promotions database on Webgains.
Are you expecting another record sales year this Valentine’s day based on Lovehoney’s official Fifty Shades products?
The launch of the new Fifty Shades range last year was a great success, and we’re definitely looking to repeat that this year – Fifty Shades Freed, the final movie in the trilogy, is released just in time for Valentine’s day.
Are there any exciting plans for LoveHoney in the near future?
We have some exciting new product launches coming this year – so watch this space!
How do you see the affiliate market evolve in the next 5 years?
We have 9 programs globally and each territory has its own challenges, though affiliate marketing is growing rapidly into new markets with experienced affiliates tapping into that global growth. I think reporting and attribution will become ever more important and will be reflected in the level and detail of reporting that will become available to merchants and affiliates. We’re also seeing huge growth in influencer marketing, and I think influencers will increasingly crossover into the affiliate marketing world.
Last word: a recommendation, an idea, a quote to live by?
Always live in the present – unless you’re planning an affiliate marketing campaign, and then always plan 3 months ahead!