Getting to know – Evelyn Mackinnon at

EvelynMcKinnonWith another two A4U Awards (Best Travel Publisher and Best Retail Publisher) under their belt this year, I interviewed Evelyn Mackinnon at to find out the secret to their success…

Describe yourself in three words
I asked my brother for help on this one and he replied, ‘harsh but fair’ although I’d probably go with optimistic, outgoing and freckly.

When was the last time you actually ate a packed lunch? 🙂
Ha! I assume this question is referring to all the lovely eateries we have around our Farringdon offices and not the fact that I’m incredibly greedy and like to eat out a lot….emmm, January??

You occasionally shake off the office shackles to enjoy a spot of fine-dining in the name of “schmoozing”…what is the best bit of wooing?
Without a doubt the kebab that Pete Berry treated me to in Dalston’s finest Turkish the week before last!

You along with other voucher sites have seen a lot of scrutiny from the IAB and even the ASA…do you think the channel has successfully matured and professionalised?
When the voucher code guidelines were established by the IAB a couple of years ago, we were a big part of the process and so I’m really pleased at how they’ve come into action. Without a doubt the market is in a completely different place now and far more professional because of it. Having said that, whilst the guidelines are massively important, I do wish there was more focus on the ‘good news’ stories around the space and how massive a part of the online marketing climate it’s become. At we’ve worked incredibly hard on becoming a brand in our own right and I believe that our newsletter audience which currently stands at over 3.7 million subscribers is testament to this.
On the ASA front, the recent expansion of their remit into ‘online’ has only really clarified what should be best practice anyway and again, it’s drilled in the importance of professional processes and procedures. Having said that, again I wouldn’t say that the importance of this is limited to voucher sites and I think it’s really sharpened things up across the affiliate space.

Are there any plans to “go mobile” like some other partners in the space?
Watch this space!                                                                                              

You’ve got quite a strong social following – do you see real commercial value in this or is it a customer service thing?
Social is really exciting for us and we’re really please to have such an active and engaged audience here. In terms of the commercial vs customer service focus – our Editorial Team works incredibly hard at responding to every post and so we take a lot of the steer from what our users want from us. Having said that, on Facebook especially we have a lot of users contacting us looking for suggestions on what to buy based on where they can get the best price with the best savings. As an offshoot of this we’re able to marry customer service quite well with the commercials and influence the places they shop at based on the strength of the voucher codes we have to offer.

You tend to work very closely with merchants, how do you prefer your network and publisher team to support you?
Without a doubt the most successful brands on the site are those where there is a complete communication channel between the merchant, the network and ourselves and so as an offshoot of this I think it’s incredibly important for networks to foster and encourage strong relationships. It’s also important to us that we have a key contact to go to if there are any more general queries to resolve.

What was the last voucher code you redeemed?
A 20% off Warehouse voucher code. I left my A4U Awards dress purchase to the very last minute and so their next day delivery came in very useful!

Congratulations on this week’s A4U Awards success, another successful year for…
Tuesday’s awards were really exciting and we were thrilled to receive the Best Retail Publisher award for the third year in a row, alongside the Best Travel Publisher. It all came as a huge surprise and needless to say the rest of the company were ecstatic on Wednesday morning when we shared the news with them. Having such recognition from within the industry has been incredible for the team and it’s proudly marked what was another massive year for the site.

Next week we get to know Helen Nugent at affilinet

Serena Masih

Serena Masih

Serena is responsible for affilinet’s marketing strategy in the UK and for raising brand awareness through events, PR and other marketing activities.
Serena Masih

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