We introduce you to the leading affiliates
We are always being asked how to find affiliates; the more important question is how to find the most relevant affiliates. Publisher Discovery is designed to do exactly that. The platform provides outline affiliate analysis, including social and email details; as this is a relationship industry, it pays dividends to understand publishers more fully. That’s what led us to plan this series of interviews.
This ‘Publisher Spotlight’ is on Finder.com which regularly appears in recommended lists for all areas of finance and utilities as well as several others. If your program operates in that vertical then you need to be talking to each other.
As part of a series of articles, we feature our recent conversation with Tony May of Finder UK. Finder have recently expanded from their Australian roots into US and UK markets.
TM: Finder is a comparison website on a mission to help customers make better decisions in everything they do. Originally founded in Australia (where they are the market leader), Finder branched out overseas by opening UK & US offices in 2016. Since then, we have built up our UK team to almost 30 people and attract over 1.4m website visitors every month.
Our internal structure closely resembles a traditional news outlet with a large team of researchers, writers, editors and publishers who focus on producing the best content possible for our users. You can find a vast array of products which are reviewed and compared on our site ranging from the best mobile banking apps and financial products, to the latest fashion trends, travel deals and software reviews.
The comparison affiliate sector is a busy one; what makes Finder UK different?
TM: We bring a unique, content-led approach to the traditional comparison sector which allows us to work collaboratively with our clients to really bring out the benefits of their products and services.
As a relatively small organisation here in the UK, we’re nimble enough to turn projects around very quickly. We’ve also got a really approachable team and we pride ourselves on building honest, transparent relationships with everyone we work with.
There are challenges in most verticals at the moment; what are the main trends you find from your users – and what are the hot products you are focusing on?
TM: Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a significant shift in trends across our site. Our advertising partners in the financial sector have (quite expectedly) pulled back on lending products in the face of massive uncertainty. This has pretty much brought the credit cards, loans and mortgage markets to a complete standstill.
We’ve also seen a big drop in interest for all things travel given the national lockdown restrictions. However, we have witnessed increased popularity in other areas such as savings and investment products, as well as our shopping, grocery and utilities verticals which have benefited from increased online interest.
How do you see the Loans and Mortgage market faring over the remainder of this year?
TM: We’re starting to see signs of a recovery in the loans and mortgage space following what was essentially a complete shutdown. Brands are now tentatively beginning to bring their products back to market. However, there is still a long way to go. A good example of this is the mortgage industry – despite a number of relaunches, the overall reduction in the number of mortgage products on sale (especially in the higher LTV categories) is significant.
Lenders are reluctant to approve customers with smaller deposits in the current climate given the worries about falling house prices, negative equity and defaults resulting from job losses as the economy navigates its way out of lockdown. This is likely to continue until the full impact of the economic downturn becomes clear.
In Savings and Investments, are you seeing a change in the products consumers are choosing?
TM: With interest rates at an all time low and a reduction in the number of traditional savings products available, we have seen customer interest shift to products with a higher potential for returns such as general investment accounts and stocks and shares ISAs. This is being fuelled by increased accessibility to these types of products. New, mobile first entrants such as Freetrade & Stake make it easier for people to get into investing for the first time. Fintech brands such as Nutmeg, Moneybox and Plum are also combining savings and investment products into one app experience. We are seeing the lines between these previously distinct product sets blurring.
In our Affiliate Summit roundtable, there was a strong focus on CFDs, Forex and Cryptocurrencies. Are these products achieving mainstream acceptance?
TM: There is a growing appetite for these types of products based on our experience. You only need to look at the overall marketing efforts of brands offering these services such as eToro & Trading 212 to realise that they are growing in popularity. These platforms (amongst many others) make these products far more accessible.
However, I think there will always be a slight reluctance on the part of the wider population to fully adopt these instruments. They are inherently riskier than traditional savings and investments products, as well as being more complex / difficult to understand.
From an affiliate point of view, what’s the best way for a new advertiser to get your attention and get featured on Finder.com?
TM: We focus on creating impartial, honest and useful reviews for products across a range of verticals. Therefore, the best way to get our attention is to create a product or service which gets our writers excited and we will come to you! However, we are always keen to hear from brands that we may not have already featured. The best way to get in contact is via our online enquiry form, on LinkedIn or to come and say hello at the many industry events we attend.
What do you need from an advertiser – and what would you find most useful that is not usually provided?
TM: Robust tracking is obviously a key requirement for us, especially with those products which drive higher volumes. We also find that our best relationships are those which are open, transparent and based on trust. This is something we always look for in a partner. Something we’ve been wrestling with a little bit recently is gaining recognition for the app based products we promote.
Customers don’t necessarily follow the traditional affiliate journey in order to open these types of products. This is something we’re looking at tackling by modifying the reward structure with our advertising partners, as well as trialling customer incentives in order to keep them within the desired tracking journey.
Are there any new trends in finance that Finder.com are forecasting for 2021?
TM: I think as well as the shift away from credit and towards savings and investment products, the biggest trend for the rest of this year in finance is sure to be the uncertainty which still remains in the sector. We just don’t know when certain products will come back to market, or whether existing products could still be removed. That’s why it’s important for us to maintain a strong relationship with our advertising partners; and to always be on the lookout for new opportunities as and when they emerge.
About Tony May
Tony May is the Performance Manager of FInder UK, the UK arm of the global comparison website Finder. Tony is a partnership marketing professional with experience on the brand, SaaS and publisher sides. He is passionate about the affiliate marketing space and currently responsible for developing Finder’s financial services offering in the UK.
About Publisher Discovery
Read more about our affiliate discovery and recruiting tools in the latest Tech Update post. There will be further ‘Publisher Spotlight’ articles in coming months covering different promotional types.
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© Publisher Discovery July 2020