Marketing Strategies

Publisher Spotlight:

We recently caught up with Kieryn Cowan, APAC Regional Manager at, to talk about tackling onsite conversion rate through data-driven techniques.

KC shares his thoughts on how advertisers can use to improve conversion rate, reduce bounce rate and increase basket size.

Tell us a little bit about

KC: Back in 2014, a few long-standing affiliate marketers saw an opportunity to better improve the conversion flow for advertisers thus SmarterClick was created. Fast forward to today, SmarterClick has rebranded itself to, with a clear focus on data-driven conversions. We currently service over 500 clients worldwide, with strong growth in the Asia-Pacific and US markets. is the leading expert in optimising customer conversions, helping brands unlock the potential of their audience through seamless, personalised engagement tools. We create perfectly timed, brand-aligned prompts and messages that turn unconverting customer journeys into success stories. Through a combination of overlays, basket abandonment and browser notification technology, tracks a real-time user session, understands the behaviour and intent around that journey. At the point of a journey showing signs of missing its goal (whether that’s conversion, form sign up, purchase and so on) we engage with the user, driving more completed journeys and improving a website’s conversion metrics significantly.

What sets you apart from publishers in your category?

KC: We exist to improve an advertiser’s onsite conversion rate, reduce bounce rates and to drive an uplift in average order value (AOV). Where we differ is the flexibility to tailor our platform towards each advertiser’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and audience engagement metrics.

We don’t build products based on what we assume advertisers are in need of. We build products that are flexible enough to offer bespoke solutions to every advertiser. We work with brands to conduct incremental tests including identifying what incrementality means to them, defining the hypotheses, setting up the test workflow and delivering results. Onsite conversion should never be seen as a one-size-fits-all proposition, and we have built our business ethos around this.

How do you help advertisers add value and drive incrementality?

KC: You’re paying good money to bring in the traffic. If you only convert 1-3% of the visitors, then the money spent on bringing them to the website is wasted. We help you better convert the traffic and/or increase the value of the basket. At the end of the day, you actually save money and time, improve your overall bounce rates and increase AOV.

“But how?”, you ask. Here’s a real-world example. We helped a telco increase its conversion rate by delivering a personalised campaign that aligns with the brand’s messaging. The campaign was focused on creating the ideal user journey and also a sense of urgency through limited time offers. As a result, we became one of the telco’s top publishers and successfully reached a conversion rate of 9%.

What excites you about the affiliate marketing industry and where it’s headed? What new innovations will we see from you this year?

KC: The affiliate channel is putting a stronger emphasis on data and collaboration of these insights, which seems to have accelerated rapidly in recent years. This year our product roadmap will focus on data-driven initiatives and further personalisation, which we are excited to share with advertisers shortly.

Overall, there’s a real focus on the ‘rentable tech’ model in other markets. Arming your site with specialised tech platforms who can work on a performance model and drive innovation within the affiliate sector is becoming more prominent, especially as the market looks to non-traditional partnerships to drive growth and look at ways of offsetting potential cookieless futures. Our personalisation can be driven by the customer journey in real time, based purely on behaviour, which allows us to keep personalisation as a key part of our offering.

Why did you choose to partner with Rakuten Advertising?

KC: There is a great synergy between Rakuten Advertising and our platform. We both have a wealth of data available for advertisers to leverage and drive growth through the affiliate channel. The Rakuten Advertising team is always opened to diversifying the publisher portfolio for their advertisers, which allows tech platforms like us to get in front of brands and help them reach their goals. Together with the network’s best-in-class account managers, we have successfully used data and audience segmentation to achieve proven, stronger outcomes for many brands and we look forward to growing in the APAC region together.

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Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising leads the industry in delivering performance-driven ad solutions that help the world’s top brands connect with unique, highly engaged audiences – from first impression to final sale.