More than £3 billion in sales was generated last year as a result of affiliate marketing campaigns, it has emerged.

Following the release of research by E-consultancy, bigmouthmedia has suggested that it is an area for online marketers to take a closer look at, in addition to search engine optimisation and paid search marketing.

According to the study, affiliate marketing experienced growth of around 45 per cent last year, generating a total of £3.1 billion.

Compared to the 2006 figure – £2.16 billion – experts estimate that this level of growth may continue through the coming year.

"Affiliate marketing continues to gain momentum because the performance-based model is so popular with advertisers," said Linus Gregoriadis, head of research at E-consultancy.

He added that the online marketing industry is generally getting more professional and that media agencies are taking note of the increased profile of the strategy.

Mr Gregoriadis concluded that the retail, financial services and travel sectors have particularly embraced affiliate marketing, with small and medium-sized businesses also increasing their investment.

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