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What is affiliate marketing, and how could it help your SME?

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Marketing has been key to the success of many and it’s great to see the affiliate channel being used by groups of all sizes to cut through the noise on an international scale.

UK e-commerce sales topped a staggering £133 billion in 2016 (Business Insider, 2017), 16% higher than 2015, and contributing to a global total way into the multi-trillions. The
fact that these figures will reach even greater heights in the years that follow is simply an added bonus, as the opportunity to earn is already here.


If only such a well-cultivated environment equated to guaranteed success for our homegrown businesses. Today’s companies must think bigger, think smarter and be more agile to fend off competition from all angles. They sell in a market where any new start-up can steal the march on a 20-year-old global corporation, provided the approach is right.

For those either just starting out, or perhaps with little in the way of resource, this increasingly online-driven world presents both threats and opportunity in equal measure.


Marketing has been key to the success of many and it’s great to see the affiliate channel being used by groups of all sizes to cut through the noise on an international scale.

Many see launching an affiliate programme as a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn’t want to only pay commission on the sales and leads they drive? We do, however, believe
the benefits go much deeper than that. We’ve seen UK SMEs expanding across the world, utilising the channel and its publishers as a way of selling to new markets.

Another exciting development lies within affiliate’s own expanding reach, as it’s easier than ever to engage with bloggers, celebrities, athletes and other influential figures, many of whom are now using the affiliate model to monetise their businesses.

The benefits of such advancements are in the best interests of all, but it’s refreshing to see UK SMEs tapping into reach they could have only dreamed of some 10 years ago.

We’ve seen these groups become some of the fastest adopters of new tech, creating some truly innovative strategies, and there is plenty of room for more newcomers to take to the channel with the same levels of enthusiasm.

We believe it’s easier than ever to grow a business with affiliate marketing and this is the focus of our latest guide.

Take to the following pages for an overview of the channel, its benefits, uses and crucial tips for getting started. We’ve also included Q&As and case studies from SME advertisers on our network, who will show exactly what’s possible with the right approach.

We hope you enjoy the resource.

Click here to view the report