Rethink Commerce Blog

Top 9 Metrics for Measuring Your Affiliate Program

Posted on September 7th, 2016 by

Let’s say you just launched your affiliate program, either in-house or with affiliate networks. There are a few key metrics you should keep in mind when measuring your program’s success. The affiliate performance that you see right away is typically linked to your overall brand performance. If your brand name is very popular or your sales volumes are high, your program’s impact will probably be proportional. However, the affiliate channel is by far the most convenient way to expand your business and increase your revenue with minimal investment.

To keep affiliate sales going based on more than your initial brand value, pay attention to these key metrics.

1. Active Affiliates

Your business type will determine whether “active affiliates” means affiliates generating leads, clicks or sales. To find out your active affiliates rate, just divide the number of active affiliates by the total number of affiliates . If the result is higher than 10%, you’ve targeted the right affiliates and traffic for your program. To increase the number of active affiliates, you should regularly run activation campaigns among your dormant affiliates (typically considered to be the affiliates that didn’t generate any clicks or sales in the past six months to one year).

2. Program Adoption

Consider the affiliates who are actively promoting your brand, product, or service; and have generated at least one link to promote you or have a minimum of one click. How fond are these affiliates of your product? Remember that not all affiliates apply to your program just because they love your product and genuinely want to promote your name. Many affiliates choose your brand primarily because of high commissions or other offers. Measure your affiliates’ affinity with your market by periodically analyzing if they are really engaging in promoting your products and if they actually address the market you want to get traffic from.

3. Rising Stars

These are affiliates that currently generate low volumes in your program, but have potential to grow. Measure the number of your rising stars affiliates and engage with them individually to help them reach a new level in your program . Don’t hesitate to directly contact any affiliates that you see as having potential to grow the business. Make offers, adapt your program to their needs, and provide all the materials they need to get your products in front of the right audience. Additionally, organize contests for these affiliates or incentivize them with special bonuses for reaching specific thresholds, such as number of sales, total volumes or commission amount.

4. Affiliate Sales Fluctuations

Pay attention to your sales fluctuations: when they tend to drop or when you notice a rise. Usually, sales will be high during fall and winter, the global shopping seasons, and drop during spring and summer. Make sure to incentivize your affiliates even more during dormant periods and always double check sales fluctuations as these may indicate you need to fix a technical problem, affiliates need help promoting your products or a competitor came out with a better offer. Measure changes, find the cause and take action to get the best results.

5. Number of Dormant or Lapsed Affiliates

From time to time, make sure to send dedicated emails to your dormant affiliates to remind them of your most recent contest or campaign and encourage them to join in, even offering a discount or a bonus if they do . Rewards usually work when trying to activate this category. Periodically, get rid of your lapsed or hard-bounce accounts. A broken email address means you won’t be able to contact the leads, which will lower your email deliverability rate.

6. Conversion rate

This is the handiest way to get a glimpse of your affiliate program success. Just take the number of conversions you have and divide it by the number of clicks per respective product or link. Increase your conversion rate by constantly updating your products’ creatives, making special deals or offering discount coupons. Always check the technical aspects of promoting a product, verify the shopping cart and make sure that the buying process is as easy and intuitive as possible. Basically, if you encounter any difficulty when trying to buy your product from any kind of device, your customers will too, so fix these problems as soon as possible.

7. AOV

Average order value is another important metric to look after in your program. The higher the AOV, the higher your ROI (return on investment) and the more you get out of every customer you have, meaning you get the most out of every penny spent on acquiring those customers in the first place. Find the AOV by dividing the total sales volume in a given period of time by the total number of orders registered in the same timeframe. AOV is closely linked to another metric, Lifetime Revenue per Visitor, which measures how much your client spends on your product or brand on average. Develop strategies to retain customers, such as sending occasional reminders or product updates and asking for feedback.

8. Number of sales

Obviously, you should have a satisfactory number of sales in a given period of time. Even if your product is very expensive, selling it only once a month means you aren’t doing everything you can to get the business going. Boost your affiliate revenue by revamping your products and making your affiliates happy with special deals and fresh creatives – and don’t forget about the end customer!

9. Incremental sales

Compared with your other distribution channels, how much business does your affiliate program generate? If you take care of your affiliate program, you’ll typically observe a decrease in the total spend involved in promoting your products (especially in the case of physical products) and an increase in ROI.

So there you have it – nine key metrics to track if you want to improve your affiliate program. Did we miss anything? What’s your favorite affiliate metric?

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