HubStars recently relaunched its mainstream Affinity platform, introducing a raft of new options for partners and increasing user retention significantly. As a result, the company has grown revenues by 51%.
The results cap off a strong 12 months for the white label provider, which has also seen impressive international expansion. In November, HubStars acquired Olé Dating, a similar company targeting Spanish-speaking markets.
It has opened across 24 new territories in total, taking steps to impact the US in particular. In April, GDI spoke with Hubstars Sales and Acquisition Manager Andy Croghan to find out more about the platform’s growth in that space.
This month’s interview looks at HubStars more broadly, and asks what factors have influenced the results in a year when registrations are likely to treble.
Read the full interview with Croghan below:
What are some of the challenges partners face in 2019?
AC: ‘’There is always increasing competition in acquiring new users in the dating marketplace. Users have so much choice that retaining and growing your user base is an exciting challenge. You have to make sure you understand why users like the platform, what features offer the users most value, and adapt to new and more effective ways of increasing your user base.
We are able to offer more branding opportunities than ever before with more countries and niches being added to the platform, so dating brand owners are able to grow their businesses profitably using multiple niche brands.’’
What makes acquisition difficult in 2019?
AC: ‘’One of the biggest challenges this year has been managing the changing digital marketing space. There have been several updates to Google’s core algorithm in the past 12 months that have caused many industries and businesses headaches. We are extremely fortunate to have an in-house acquisition team that are able to test new ways of increasing SEO ranking and navigating changes to paid search traffic.
We have been able to relay our learnings to brand owners that use our platform and assist them in effectively lowering their marketing costs, whilst boosting the numbers of users being generated by their marketing campaigns.”
What have been some of the key focus areas for HubStars over the past 12 months?
AC: “From the outset of the year we have been focusing on the relevancy of the brands using our platform, working systematically with our partners to ensure that their brands are able to maximise their appeal to the niche and country they are marketing to. A consistent focus on brand relevance has always been the best way to ensure any search acquisition strategy is robust enough to withstand new competition or market changes. Making sure every brand using HubStars is compliant with marketing policies and is converting the users at increasing rates would not be possible without the help and support of our partners.
In addition to this, we have been making changes to the platform to support user acquisition strategies that incorporate alternative marketing channels such as native, display and social media. Search traffic has an advantage over many marketing channels as you are able to target users at the moment they are actively seeking out your product (whereas other marketing channels require brands to grab users’ attention when the user is not seeking out your product).
In the past couple of months, we have seen success in this area by working with our partners on non-search marketing channels to optimise the platforms’ conversion funnels on a channel-by-channel basis. Being able to effectively optimise the user experience using knowledge of how they were acquired has resulted in the platform converting users at a higher rate, no matter what the marketing channel.
We enjoy a very close relationship with our partners which continues to be an essential element to our ongoing success. I want to thank all of our partners for helping us to achieve ever growing numbers of registrations and as a result, growing revenues.”
What’s next for HubStars?
‘’With the Christmas period just around the corner, partners are already adding new brands to their portfolios to be able to maximise revenue growth throughout the period. It’s an exciting time for HubStars and we are ready to close out 2019 in style.’’
Visit the HubStars website here.