Helping William Russell track the success of their affiliate program

William Russell is an expat insurance provider, selling health, life, and income protection insurance to individuals and families living abroad.

Manually tagging customers in their CRM

One of the main ways William Russell acquires new customers is through affiliate marketing. Bloggers, influencers, and companies working in the expat industry can become an affiliate of William Russell, promoting their insurance products to their expat audience. Whenever a consumer clicks the affiliate’s tracking link and becomes a paid customer of Wiliam Russell, they pay the affiliate a commission.

Previously, the team at William Russell issued each affiliate with a unique tracking link generated by their affiliate marketing platform. Whenever a consumer purchased a policy having clicked on the tracking link, the affiliate marketing platform would recognise the affiliate’s identity and pay the commission due to the affiliate. 

The challenge was that the affiliate marketing platform wasn’t connected to William Russell’s CRM (Microsoft Dynamics 365). The result was that one of their sales agents spent 1.5 hours per day manually identifying affiliate referrals as they appeared in the affiliate marketing platform, and linking them in CRM.

Over the weeks and months, 1.5 hours per day builds up, and that’s time better spent converting leads and closing deals. The management team at William Russell knew they had to find a better way.

Sending affiliate tracking data into Microsoft Dynamics

The team at William Russell set out to find a way to pass affiliate data into their CRM automatically, so that they could track the source of each lead & customer without having to manually tag them all.

They had initially planned on building their own system that passed the data into Dynamics, but once they found Attributer everything got a whole lot more simple and streamlined.

They ditched plans for a home-grown system, and instead started putting UTM parameters behind each of their affiliate links. 

They then use Attributer to capture these UTM parameters and pass them into Microsoft Dynamics 365 in a way that allows them to see which affiliate referred each individual lead.

With the data in Microsoft Dynamics 365, the team at William Russell use the CRM’s built-in tools to automate a workflow that links leads to the correct affiliate, saving 1.5 hours per day.

And because Attributer captures information on leads from all channels, William Russell is also able to answer marketing analytics questions like

  • How many leads & customers do we get from our affiliate program vs our other marketing efforts like Google Ads & SEO?
  • How much revenue has been generated from our affiliate program?
  • Which affiliates are sending us the most customers?


Saving 1.5 hours per day of tedious manual work

By using Attributer to send which affiliate generated each lead directly into their CRM, they have been able to eliminate 1.5 hours of tedious manual work tagging leads.

And because Attributer passes through attribution information on all leads (not just the ones from affiliates), they have also been able to see how their other marketing initiatives (such as their Google Ads and SEO efforts) are performing in comparison to their affiliate program.

This has ultimately meant that the William Russell marketing team has a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t, and is able to make informed decisions on how to best to acquire new customers moving forward.

“We used to spend 1.5 hours per day manually tagging leads in our CRM so we knew where they came from. Attributer has completely automated this process for us and we can now see which marketing initiatives are generating customers & revenue.”


Will Cooper - Marketing Director, William Russell Insurance

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