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Yub launched today with $12 million in funding to grow its affiliate network, which aims to help offline retailers drive sales with online offers.
Retailers and restaurants place offers and promotions on any online channel, and Yub will promote it across its network of 10,000 Web and mobile publishing partners that reaches 250 million monthly visitors.
What makes Yub stand out from other affiliate networks is how consumers redeem these offers.
When consumers see a promotion, they activate it by registering a credit card that connects the offer to their card. They can then redeem the offer in-store by using the same card, without needing to deal with loyalty apps or paper coupons.
Loyalty programs are a core part of marketing strategies for many retailers, and play an important role in attracting new customers and retaining current customers. Many businesses use affiliate marketing to distribute these offers, meaning that a third-party displays the ad in exchange for a commission.
However, affiliate marketing is controversial. There are those that call it a “big, ugly scam,” and others defend it as powerful way to get your brand out there and drive sales. The skeptics say that this strategy doesn’t actually translate into sales at all — and that it essentially lets affiliates to take a cut in exchange for doing nothing.
Yub’s approach enables it to draw a clear connection from online clicks to in-store purchases, so businesses can measure how their online campaigns translate into real-world sales. Affiliates only make money when a business there is a clear connection between the offer and the sale.
The Internet has both opened up the opportunities to target consumers with offers and made the landscape more complicated. Paper coupons may be on their way to obsolescence, but in their wake are spades of widgets, daily deal sites, rewards programs, loyalty apps, online coupon providers, loyalty cards, and point-of-sale systems jockeying for consumer wallets.
Offline retailers are still struggling to figure out the best way to get consumers to spend money in their stores.
Yub’s approach requires somewhat less effort from merchants and consumers. This is what distinguishes it from the hoards, although entering credit card info every time you want to redeem a coupon still seems arduous to me.
According to a statement from the company, 90 percent of Yub’s users indicated that they did not plan on shopping at the merchant before seeing the digital offer, and they spend an average of 1.5 times to two times more than the required minimum of the online promotion.
Eighty percent of consumers indicated they planned on shopping at the store of their promotion in the future after completing the offer, and 50 percent indicated they would return within three months.
Offers include “spend $30 at The Body Shop, get a $50 restaurant.com gift card,” or “spend $10 at Burger King, get $2 back.”
Part of what attracted investors was also Yub’s capability to help merchants see which clicks across affiliate networks drove purchase in their store. This data provides greater insight into consumer behavior, which helps businesses make more informed advertising decisions.
Investors include Atomico, Battery Ventures, DAG Ventures, DFJ Growth, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, T. Rowe Price, QuestMark Partners and Visa Inc.
VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying email marketing tools.
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