Affiliate marketing experiences dramatic growth
• turnover growing by 70% year-on-year
• E-consultancy Buyer’s Guide reveals it as a £3bn industry

Affiliate marketing is experiencing dramatic growth in the UK, according to figures out today from E-consultancy1. The findings are echoed by the UK’s largest independent affiliate network,, which has seen turnover increase by seventy per cent.

Kevin Cornils, CEO of explains, ‘Performance marketing has grown as marketers increase their knowledge of new marketing channels and demand greater efficiencies from their online activity. Search engine marketing has arguably reached its peak but affiliate marketing is still in a high-growth phase with 78 per cent of merchants planning to increase their spend. Merchants and their agencies are gaining expertise and becoming increasingly strategic in their use of the affiliate channel. We have seen investment increase by approximately 70 per cent on our network over the past year with brands such as John Lewis, M&S, Egg, Virgin Media and British Telecom adopting our innovative technology, such as dynamic product feeds to affiliates, combining different affiliate segments to maximise CPA and improving their tracking and analysis of the results. This represents a huge opportunity for both affiliates and marketers that understand the channel and appreciate the benefits of true pay-for-performance advertising.’

Today’s report from E-consultancy follows research sponsored by buy.at2 which discovered that 78 per cent of merchants had increased their spend on affiliate marketing between September 2005 and September 2007 and the same percentage planned to increase it further in the next two years. 75 per cent of gaming companies said they had increased spend since 2005 followed by 71 per cent of travel companies, 68 per cent of financial services companies, 64 per cent of telcoes and 62 per cent of retailers.

85 per cent of the UK agencies surveyed by E-consultancy3 confirmed that they now manage more affiliate marketing for clients than they did two years ago with the channel representing 20 per cent of turnover. 92 per cent of agencies expected to be managing more affiliate marketing in two years’ time, and 90 per cent of them see affiliate marketing is a way of growing their agency or differentiating it.

One reason for growth is because the channel is the most cost-effective channel for driving customer acquisition. The research2 found that 95% of UK advertisers (merchants) said that it is ‘very cost-effective’ or ‘quite cost-effective’ for acquiring customers. Paid search was seen as the second most cost-effective followed by email marketing with these marketing channels viewed as ‘very cost-effective’ or ‘quite cost-effective’ by 90% and 82% of merchants respectively.

Affiliate marketing was also revealed as a highly effective channel for driving volume with three quarters of respondents (73%) saying that it drove either ‘high volume’ or ‘medium volume’. The travel industry was found to be making the most successful use of affiliate marketing.

A total of 239 UK merchants completed the survey in September 2007. Half of the respondents who were aware of their company’s turnover said it was in excess of £50 million per year. 100 agencies completed the Affiliate Marketing Agency Survey.

Kevin Cornils, CEO of concludes, ‘Affiliate marketing has proved itself as a particularly cost-effective way to drive a volume of customer acquisition which has resulted in increased investment in the channel. We have had a particularly successful year at with new customer wins including, dial-a-phone, Seatwave, O2 and BT. We have also developed new partnerships with Atlas and Doubleclick, launched new technology, acquired a lead generation company, recruited industry experts such as Louise Green from OMG and expanded our network into the US. We expect this growth to continue even faster in 2008 as technology and account management become more sophisticated and affiliate marketing becomes an increasingly strategic marketing channel for UK businesses.’

- End -
About E-consultancy
E-consultancy is an online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. E-consultancy, named Publisher of the Year at the 2006 AOP Awards, also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

Subscribers pay from £149 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content. E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2007, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers at a Central London venue.

E-consultancy has 58,000 registered users and more than 145,000 unique user sessions per month (audited by ABC Electronic). It is popular among internet professionals because of its time-saving advice and insight. The company also provides a range of public and in-house training programs, such as seminars and workshops.

If you would like to know more about our training options then please visit our website or contact Craig Hanna on +44 207 681 4078 or email him at

1. The E-Consultancy Buyer’s Guide

2. Full details of the Affiliate Marketing Merchants Survey report are available from or to E-consultancy subscribers, or on a pay-per-view basis, at:

3. Full details of the Affiliate Marketing Agency Survey report are available from or to E-consultancy subscribers, or on a pay-per-view basis, at:

Established in 2002, is the UK’s largest independent affiliate marketing network. drives online sales growth for 200 of the biggest brands across all sectors through its leading network of 9,000 good quality affiliates, supported by industry leading commercial and technical innovations. A pioneer of the open network, encourages merchants (advertisers) and affiliates (publishers) to communicate directly, to ensure the success of affiliate programmes. Clients include AA, Butlins, Carphone Warehouse, Capital One, Egg, John Lewis, M&S, Powergen, Sky, T-Mobile and Virgin Media. has experienced 250% growth in turnover year-on-year since 2004. In March 2006, secured its future growth following a £7.3 million investment from Esprit Capital Partners. Bruce McLaren, renowned for leading as International CEO to a successful sale to AOL Time Warner, was appointed Chairman. Former MD Kevin Cornils was recruited as CEO. In September 2007, was revealed as the UK’s ninth fastest growing technology company in the Sunday Times TechTrack.
For further information please contact:
Joanna Burton
Head of PR and Marketing
T: 020 7299 8380

Anna Barry
Marketing Manager
T: 0191 222 9720

Linus Gregoriadis
Head of Research
T: 020 7681 4051
E: Linus@e-consultancy

Published on: 12:00AM on 23rd January 2008