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CASE STUDY: Hand Picked Hotels boosts brand visibility

Tuesday October 30 2012

Affiliate marketing partnership with LinkShare exceeds expectations and targets

Affiliate marketing partnership with LinkShare exceeds expectations and targets


Hand Picked Hotels is an award winning boutique hotel collection, created with the aim of being at the forefront of a renaissance in fine British hospitality.


With over 17 properties across the UK, the hotel collection operates at the luxury end of the market offering elegant accommodation in exquisite listed buildings. However, like any industry, competition for customers is fierce in the hospitality sector and Hand Picked Hotels was looking for a solution that would help to expand its market presence and increase awareness to help drive sales.


It was against this backdrop that Hand Picked Hotels looked at affiliate marketing as an effective and measurable way to attract new customers and boost visibility of the hotel collection while securing a high level of return from its investment.


Expanding marketing strategy


Hand Picked Hotels recognised there were a number of market segments it lacked exposure in and so required a partner that could take it to new markets and cement the overall visibility of the brand, to help drive customer numbers. In order to stand out from the crowd in such a condensed market, Hand Picked Hotels turned to LinkShare on the grounds of the affiliate network’s reputation for quality of service, coupled with excellent affiliate links and successful campaigns with well-known luxury brands.


LinkShare worked with Hand Picked Hotels to create a campaign that incorporated some of the most effective tactics used in affiliate programmes. This included the promotion of voucher codes, exclusive online offers sites such as as well as cashback sites, including, and employee benefits sites, like A targeted email campaign with NHS Discounts drove over 30% extra revenue in that month, which shows the effectiveness of large employee sites.


LinkShare also implemented a merchant-to-merchant programme, which saw Hand Picked Hotels partner with selected fashion brands to cross expose customers and target audiences. Banner ads and text links were also used to further cement the hotel chain’s digital footprint.


Success is proved by results


The company reported that that programme has gone from strength-to-strength and the combined force of voucher code promotion, together with cross exposure with selected fashion brands, has meant the campaign has exceeded expectations set for the whole campaign four months ahead of the target of January 2011. The campaign has seen steady growth since launch, clicks grew by an average of over 50% per month for the first six months and respective sales have seen a steady increase.


Alastair Watts, e-commerce manager at Hand Picked Hotels, commented: “LinkShare impressed us from day one: Not only in terms of the solid and broad network of contacts it has established but also the teams’ insight into the type of programme that would best serve our business needs. The results achieved to date have exceeded our expectations and we have already started to see a fast return on our initial investment.”


Liane Dietrich, managing director LinkShare UK, added: “Affiliate marketing is now well established as an effective way of enhancing e-marketing practice. Our work with Hand Picked Hotels is testament to our ability to serve the luxury end of the market by providing a bespoke service that boosts brand awareness and drives home business benefits quickly. In a marketplace where consumers are prepared to shop around for the best prices online, affiliate marketing is an excellent way of not just hitting your target audience but also building deeper relationships that will have a positive impact on the bottom line.”

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