Partnership marketing is on the rise, and it presents the perfect opportunity for DTC brands to get ahead in the market.

It’s an alternative marketing strategy where two like-minded brands partner up to create a campaign that benefits them both. Some of the most popular tactics include co-branded promotions, cross-promotions (where one brand promotes the other’s products to its own audience), and joint ventures (where brands collaborate on a new product).

We’ve picked our top 6 reasons why it works so well for DTC brands in particular and put together 6 key steps to help get you started!

Let’s get into it.


One of the best things about a partnership marketing campaign is that you don’t need a huge budget to get started and can achieve great results while saving money.

Partnerships are currently one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing compared to other popular strategies like social ads and influencer marketing, and depending on the campaign can actually be free. For start-ups or smaller companies with a tighter budget, strategies like cross-promotion on social media or via email are the perfect opportunity to promote their brand without ever spending a penny. 

And for bigger collabs that you do need a budget for, you’ll still be splitting the cost between you and your partner. Both you and your partner brand get access to a bigger pool of resources and talent for half the price. Talk about getting your money’s worth!


Partnership strategies like including a gift or a free sample with purchase work exceptionally well for DTC brands since you’re able to reach an entirely new audience of potential customers and get your physical product into their hands. 

It’s a great advantage to have over other non-product-based businesses that aren’t able to do so!

For example, with every purchase from your partner brand, their customer will receive a sample of your product to try for free, and vice versa. Allowing your partner’s customers to try out a sample of your product for free, helps them to build trust and confidence in the product (and your brand), as they can see for themselves how it works and how beneficial it is to them. It can be a great way to introduce the launch of new products and generate some buzz around them.


Customers are at the heart of everything DTC brands do, and partnerships have customers at their foundation!

Partnership marketing strategies like competitions and giveaways are fantastic at providing value for customers and building loyalty. If your audience feels like they have a good chance of winning some of your products, they’re more likely to engage with your brand and follow you on social media – giving you a whole new following of loyal customers ready to support your brand.

Brand partnerships also show your customers that you’re committed to working with brands that share similar values and goals to you, which helps them to build trust and confidence in your company and your products! This is why it’s so important to choose a partner brand that’s relatable to yours. For example, if you’re a sustainable brand, look for other sustainable brands to partner with. If you’re a woman-led business, do the same. 


This leads us to our next reason – the fact that there are so many amazing DTC brands out there just waiting for you to reach out to them!

The key to a particularly effective marketing campaign is to identify a partner brand that’s compatible with yours, with similar values and interests. Ideally, this would be a brand that isn’t in direct competition with you but still has products that complement yours with a similar demographic of customers. 

Finding a partner brand that has a similar audience to yours (eg, females aged 20-35), means it’s likely that their customers will also be interested in your products and services. It takes so much of the guesswork out of your campaign and practically guarantees that you’ll be promoting your products to customers statistically most likely to buy from you!

Quick Results

The average turnaround time for partnership marketing campaigns tends to be quick, so it’s the perfect strategy for DTC brands who want to keep up with different seasons of consumer behaviour, trends, and holidays.

With two brands working on the same marketing campaign simultaneously, you’re going to see results happening much faster than if you were working alone. With the help of another team, you will be able to create a much higher-quality campaign in a much shorter amount of time. To achieve the same results working as one, you’d have to either lower your expectations or budget for a longer timeline.


Maybe the greatest reason of all as to why you should start a partnership marketing campaign is that it’s low-risk and high-impact. It allows you to leverage the resources and expertise of your partner brand, while also sharing the costs and risks that come with the campaign.

It’s also a purely complementary strategy that works in conjunction with more traditional marketing efforts – so there’s no need to schedule time away from anything else! Experimenting with new alternative methods of marketing simply allows you to cover more ground and stay ahead of the game.

And since we already established that they can be done quickly and with little to no budget, what is there to lose?

Here are the 6 key steps to get started:

  1. Sign up to Shopswap
  2. Find your perfect match out of our 130+ brands
  3. Choose the right campaign for you
  4. Launch your campaign and reap the rewards
  5. Collect data to see how you can improve next time
  6. Plan your next one!