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Case Study
Oct 16, 2023

Thrillist Affiliate Revenue Success Tripled

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Thrillist, a prominent brand in the lifestyle and entertainment industry, is synonymous with providing engaging content and recommendations. Leveraging its influential position, Thrillist actively explores innovative strategies to enhance its revenue streams. Through the strategic utilization of affiliate links, particularly from product reviews and recommendations, Thrillist taps into a rapidly growing source of revenue in the media landscape. With the integration of Vendo, Thrillist envisions a promising opportunity to significantly amplify its sales commissions—potentially experiencing a 3-5x increase. This involves seamlessly embedding shoppable products and a user-friendly shopping cart into its engaging content.


Vendo is your ultimate destination for marketplace success – the one-stop-shop. With a platform for automating daily operations, a diverse brand catalog (or the ability to invite your own), merchandising tools, and multi-channel selling options, Vendo is committed to ongoing daily support for the expansion of your marketplace business.

Break the mold with Vendo – it surpasses traditional affiliate links by fostering extended visitor engagement, securing customer data, and creating lucrative opportunities for upselling.

Unlocking Success in Digital Publishing

Thrillist, founded in 2004, has evolved into a prominent digital media and lifestyle brand that focuses on providing engaging content related to food, travel, entertainment, and culture. With a mission to inspire and inform its audience, Thrillist has become a go-to source for individuals seeking recommendations, reviews, and insights into the best experiences across various lifestyle categories.

Success Factors of Thrillist

1. Curated Lifestyle Content:

Thrillist's success is rooted in its curated lifestyle content, covering a wide array of topics such as food, travel, entertainment, and culture. The platform's ability to offer diverse and engaging content caters to the interests of its audience.

2. Localized Recommendations:

Thrillist excels in providing localized recommendations and guides, helping users discover the best experiences in their specific regions. This personalized approach enhances user engagement and relevance.

3. Insider Tips and Reviews:

The platform is known for its insider tips and reviews, offering authentic and credible insights into various lifestyle categories. Trustworthy recommendations contribute to Thrillist's credibility as a reliable source for quality experiences.

4. Dynamic and Trendy Visuals:

Thrillist employs dynamic and trendy visuals, including photos and videos, to complement its content. Visually appealing presentations enhance user experience and capture the essence of the recommended experiences.

5. Interactive and Shareable Content:

Thrillist creates interactive and shareable content, encouraging user engagement and social sharing. Features like lists, quizzes, and interactive guides contribute to the platform's virality and reach.

6. Event Coverage and Calendars:

Thrillist covers events and maintains calendars of happenings in various locations. This real-time coverage keeps users informed about upcoming events, fostering a sense of community engagement and participation.

7. Mobile-Friendly Platform:

Thrillist prioritizes a mobile-friendly platform, recognizing the importance of catering to users who access content on smartphones and tablets. A responsive design ensures seamless accessibility across devices.

8. Integration of Deals and Discounts:

The platform integrates deals and discounts, providing users with opportunities to save on recommended experiences. This value-added feature enhances user satisfaction and encourages continued engagement.

9. Collaborations with Influencers:

Thrillist collaborates with influencers and tastemakers in various lifestyle sectors. These partnerships add diverse perspectives and contribute to the platform's authority in recommending trendy and popular experiences.

10. Community Engagement:

Thrillist actively engages with its community through comments, social media interactions, and user-generated content. Fostering a sense of community allows users to share their experiences and recommendations.

Thrillist's Audience and Values

Urban Millennials, Travel Enthusiasts, Foodies, and Lifestyle Explorers:

Thrillist's primary audience includes urban millennials, travel enthusiasts, foodies, and individuals who actively seek new and exciting lifestyle experiences. The platform resonates with those looking for curated recommendations and insider insights.

Discovery and Exploration:

Thrillist's audience values the platform for its emphasis on discovery and exploration. Users appreciate the opportunity to find and engage with unique and trending experiences across different lifestyle categories.

Suggestions for Sustaining and Enhancing Success

1. Emerging Trend Coverage:

Stay at the forefront of emerging trends by continuously covering and highlighting new and innovative experiences. Thrillist's ability to identify and feature emerging trends keeps its content fresh and relevant.

2. Enhanced Personalization Algorithms:

Invest in advanced personalization algorithms to provide users with more tailored recommendations. Utilizing data-driven insights can ensure that content aligns closely with individual preferences and interests.

3. Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences:

Explore the integration of augmented reality (AR) experiences within the platform. This innovative approach can offer users immersive previews of recommended places, enhancing the decision-making process.

4. User-Generated Content Contests:

Launch user-generated content contests, encouraging users to share their unique experiences. Contests can generate a sense of community participation and provide a platform for users to showcase their favorite finds.

5. Subscription-Based Membership:

Introduce a subscription-based membership model that offers exclusive benefits, early access to content, and premium features. This can create a dedicated user community and contribute to revenue diversification.

6. Integration of Virtual Events:

Incorporate coverage and recommendations for virtual events, recognizing the increasing popularity of online experiences. This ensures that Thrillist remains relevant in a landscape where digital and virtual engagements coexist.

7. Sustainable Living and Travel Features:

Include content related to sustainable living and travel experiences. Thrillist's exploration of eco-friendly and sustainable options aligns with the values of an audience increasingly conscious of environmental impact.

8. Collaborations with Local Influencers:

Strengthen collaborations with local influencers and content creators to provide authentic insights into regional trends and hidden gems. Localized perspectives can enhance the platform's credibility and broaden its appeal.

9. Exclusive Partner Experiences:

Forge partnerships with businesses to offer exclusive experiences and discounts to Thrillist members. Exclusive offerings create added value for users and encourage brand loyalty.

10. Social Responsibility Initiatives:

Engage in social responsibility initiatives, showcasing businesses and experiences that contribute positively to local communities. Aligning with social responsibility values can resonate with users seeking meaningful and impactful experiences.

In conclusion, Thrillist's success is built on its ability to curate engaging lifestyle content, provide localized recommendations, and foster community engagement. By staying attuned to emerging trends, embracing innovative technologies, and continuously enhancing personalization, Thrillist can sustain and enhance its position as a leading platform for lifestyle exploration and discovery.

However, there's another method for generating income from your online audience that you may want to explore.

Opt for Vendo's multi-brand marketplace to potentially triple your affiliate sales commission, reaching an impressive 20-30%.

Not only will users spend more time on your pages, but this will also lead to improved customer data retention, facilitating the growth of your email list and creating ample opportunities for future upselling.


  • Book a demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products
  • Customize your Storefront: We’ll help you craft a storefront that aligns with your branding guidelines,
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your favorite brands or choose brands from the Vendo brand catalog. We can also start reaching out to brands you’d like to sell on your behalf.
  • Select Products: Curate product collections manually or automate the process to efficiently manage your catalog and meet customer demand.
  • Embed products: Make your editorial content shoppable with products embedded right where your customers expect them to find. Simplify and streamline product discovery.
  • Start Selling Programmatically: Push products through multiple touch points: on your website, share it on social media, and include products in your newsletters. 
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands. No need to wait 30-60 days or worry about orders not attributable to your affiliate links.
  • Get Repeat Sales: Since you’re not linking out, your customers will keep coming back. We’ll help them with abandoned cart emails and promotional email blasts. 


Put a shopping cart in your content
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