Travel and retail sectors are driving force behind latest affiliate marketing campaigns.

Affiliate marketing network, LinkShare has announced a 34 percent growth year-over-year same-store sales in the first quarter for its UK network of advertisers and publishers, significantly outpacing overall e-commerce growth in the UK. According to the IMRG Cap Gemini Sales Index, saw UK online sales increase by 18 percent in the first quarter.

The LinkShare UK network also saw continued growth with a raft of new customer wins which build on its strong foundations in the retail and lifestyle sectors. A total of 41 advertisers have signed up to LinkShare’s already buoyant network since January 2011, with travel and retail some of the biggest growth areas.

Well-known brands in the retail sector including Marks and Spencer, Long Tall Sally, Helly Hansen, and Pretty Green have all launched programs with LinkShare in the first quarter of 2011. LinkShare’s customer wins also extends to contemporary furniture and accessories retailer, Dwell and online marketplace, Priceminister. In a sign of new areas of vertical growth, a number of travel brands including discount travel supplier Hotwire, travel store Packyourbags and (Discount Hotel Reservations) have also joined the network.

Affiliate marketing is a sector that is rapidly expanding and provides an excellent opportunity for brands looking to make the most of their online footprint, as it offers a targeted campaign reach which can be closely monitored and tailored to maximise the ROI of every pound spent. With recent research from LinkShare indicating that measurement and ROI are major themes for marketing activity in 2011*, affiliate marketing is an excellent way of boosting a digital footprint, enhancing customer acquisition and improving the bottom line of a business.

Josh Skoko, Director of Online Marketing at Hotwire comments: “We are thrilled to have LinkShare as a partner to help us grow our business in the UK. For the past ten years, LinkShare has helped us acquire new users in the US and we trust they will be critical in the UK as well, providing an efficient channel to reach our price-conscious target audience and help consumers get great deals on hotels.”

Liane Dietrich, MD LinkShare UK adds: “We’re delighted to announce such a strong line of customer wins. We have an established presence in retail and lifestyle and we’re encouraged by the continued growth we are experiencing, especially in the travel sector. Consumers are familiar with the mechanics of affiliate marketing with the use of vouchers and cash-back sites now a common part of the shopping experience.

“It’s also exciting for us to see the green shoots of growth in the travel sector, an area where we believe affiliate marketing holds tremendous potential for brands looking to increase sales while having a measureable impact on consumer behaviour. We’ll be putting a great deal of effort into educating this sector about the benefits of affiliate marketing in 2011 and we look forward to building on the wider achievements of this first quarter over the course of the year.”

About LinkShare UK
LinkShare is the world's largest affiliate network with over a decade of affiliate marketing experience. LinkShare's client service is unique to the UK market and our UK partners are able to benefit from our global affiliate relationships, leading advertiser and publisher tools and the international experience the UK team offers.

Since launching in the UK in 2006 LinkShare has partnered with some of the UK’s leading brands such as AVON, Dorothy Perkins, French Connection, John Lewis, Karen Millen, Kurt Geiger, LEGO, Lipsy, Miss Selfridge, Monsoon, Radisson Edwardian, Republic, Schuh, Speedo, Superdry, T.M.Lewin, Topman, The White Company and UNIQLO.

Well-respected by both advertisers and publishers, LinkShare provide access to a unique network of quality publishers, alongside market-leading tools to maximise ROI. Superior service combined with technology innovation allows advertisers and publishers to acquire and retain new customers, increase revenue and drive results. Uniquely in the affiliate market, LinkShare’s patented tracking technology has never relied on pixels or cookies to track transactions.

LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London and Tokyo. LinkShare is a division of Rakuten, Inc.

* LinkShare surveyed 100 marketing professionals during the Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A) exhibition in London on 1st March 2011.

Published on: 12:35PM on 2nd June 2011