Castle partners with Flight Centre to maximise revenue through affiliate marketing
About Flight Centre
Flight Centre is one of the world’s largest and most successful independent travel retailers with over 1,300 stores around the globe. They are long-haul, tailor-made holiday specialists offering travellers unique and incredible travel experiences. Flight Centre offer their customers a truly personalised service. Whether you’re looking for a family holiday, city break, round the world trip, honeymoon, or business trip, they handle everything for you, taking the hassle out of the booking. They plan, book, and craft the perfect trip for you, creating a stress-free booking experience.
Flight Centre’s aim
Flight Centre came to Castle as they wanted to set up an affiliate marketing programme for their brand to generate sales and increase brand awareness. Affiliate marketing was something they had never explored before and wanted to see if it could work effectively for their brand, adding a new profit arm to the business.
What Castle have done for Flight Centre
At Castle, we are affiliate marketing experts. Our affiliate marketing experts connect brands with affiliates that have proven success in your sector to ensure you’re reaching the right audiences and maximising revenue. With a network of over 13 million affiliates at our disposal, we carefully craft an affiliate marketing strategy that works for your brand. We’re proud of our tailored approach, taking the time to get to know our brands and develop a thorough understanding of the market and your objectives so we can create a bespoke strategy to ensure the highest return on investment.
Flight Centre provided us with the goal of growing their affiliate presence, as this is an area they had never explored before and wanted to introduce a new stream of revenue through affiliates, as well as increase their brand awareness. Flight Centre’s business model is offline, contacting customers over the phone to provide a more personalised approach, which sets them apart from other travel agents. However, this presented some challenges. In order to track the leads coming through affiliates effectively, we had to implement offline tracking which linked to their phones and internal booking systems. This was essential for allowing us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns, so we took the time to set up this complex integration.
After setting up their affiliate programme on the affiliate platform Awin, we started to reach out to our large network of affiliates on behalf of Flight Centre. We built connections and relationships with content creators and influencers. We target these specific types of affiliates as this allows us to tailor the campaigns and promotions more, which is the best approach for the industry they’re in. They also don’t work on a discount code model like many other companies do with affiliate marketing, so we had to develop some more creative ways to attract customers.
Since setting it up, we have added over 350 affiliates to the programme, and continue to add more each week. To do this, we carefully select affiliates from our large network who we feel will achieve success for Flight Centre, have the right audiences and proven success in their sector.
We maintain and nurture a relationship with the affiliates on behalf of Flight Centre. This includes creating in-house newsletters and sending them out to every affiliate on the programme providing updates and information about new campaigns and discounts. We have also run several paid promotional campaigns with the bigger affiliates with increased commission to increase sales and maximise revenue.
So far, we have managed to add over 350 affiliates to Flight Centre’s programme and they’re performing above industry standards for affiliate marketing. The baseline average for active subscribers across affiliate programmes is 10% but Flight Centre is running at 25%. We’ve also managed to get Flight Centre featured on some of the top travel bloggers/writer’s websites. These content pieces are driving significant revenue for them, helping to drive traffic and deliver consistent month on month growth.
60% of the holidays and flights from the affiliate programme come from our content partners and we’ve seen huge success with round the world travel tickets and luxury holidays which are some of their most expensive packages. We’ve established these are the highest performing affiliates and therefore continue to reach out to and onboard new content creators to the Flight Centre platform to maximise results.
It was a challenge for us to take on a client in the luxury travel sector after the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and its huge effect on travel. It was difficult to get consumer confidence in travel back up and convince people to spend on holidays whilst we’re facing a cost-of-living crisis, particularly from an offline business. As people are so used to being able to simply buy holidays online, convincing potential travellers to use a different system and explaining the benefits of Flight Centre was a big priority.
This is part of the reason we focused on content creators and bloggers as opposed to a discount code model as this allowed us to be able to explain in more detail the process and the benefits of booking with Flight Centre. This has worked well for us as we’ve not only managed to achieve consistent month on month growth since we started the campaigns in December 2021, but we’ve sold some of their biggest and most expensive package holidays.
Over 50% of the bookings made through the affiliate programme are new business. This shows that the work we’re doing with affiliates is increasing brand awareness for Flight Centre significantly and helping them to reach a completely new audience. Flight Centre had never previously used affiliate marketing and thanks to our work it has already turned into a profitable arm of the business for them in just six months. Currently, we only work on the UK side of the business, but it has performed so well so far that there is the potential to take it worldwide.
We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done so far for Flight Centre, but we’ve only just started and are excited to see how much further we can take them.