Consider this scenario: you are an Affiliate and starting to plan for Q4. Your manager tells you that the goal is to increase sales by 20% from Q4 the year before. You may be thinking, “What steps can I take now to make sure that I accomplish this goal?”
Time is limited and choosing how to spend it is important. As Q4 approaches, you don’t have the freedom to experiment at your leisure. You know you want to grow your program but you don’t know which levers to push.
We will help you answer this question by walking through a few reports. Data can lead you to your goals in the most efficient way and help you minimize risks and wasted time.
In this post, we will help you discover:
- Low hanging fruit for instant program performance improvement.
- How to identify current top performing partners and partners with most potential.
- A helpful way to prioritize outreach by reviewing commission rates/sales data.
- How to view or filter certain reports to identify new trends or make new discoveries.
Purpose: Referral Links
The INVALID LINKS report is a perfect example of low hanging fruit. Anything listed in this report represents work that you are doing for nothing in return. Merchants listed in this report require something to be corrected or they must be replaced altogether.
- If you see a Merchant listed on multiple rows, it means they could have declined you but you are still sending traffic.
- Most common Invalid Reason is “Link not Active”. This means a Merchant could have gone (temporarily) offline or declined the relationship.
- An Invalid Reason of “Code Error” means there is an error in your link code.
- An example of a “Code Error” is if Banner ID = 0. You know this is a problem because there is no such thing as a banner ID of zero! Make sure to update your page with the proper banner ID.
In order to work towards your 20% goal, you will need to fix any errors and find replacements for any Merchants who are no longer active. Note the category of the Merchant so you can either replace with another current Merchant or search for a new one.
Purpose: Average Past Performance
Improves: Merchant Decisions
Next we check out the MERCHANT TIMESPAN REPORT. This report gives you a summary of your progress with each Merchant. Depending on how you choose to sort the columns of this report, different things will be revealed. In terms of hitting low hanging fruit, you want to identify those Merchants who are demonstrating some kind of momentum or potential.
Here are 3 examples of things to look for as you’re combing through the data:
- A Merchant with High Clicks but few Conversions means that your visitors are interested but faced with some disconnect upon clicking through.
- A Merchant with Low Clicks and high Conversions means that your traffic is converting well and the links associated with that Merchant is worthy of additional promotion.
- Sorting by EPC will show you how productive and effective clicks are for this Merchant.
EPC (earnings per click) is helpful in telling you how well a Merchant is performing in comparison to other Merchants. This is important because it may seem like a Merchant whose commission is $50 per sale has more earning potential than a Merchant with a $5 commission – but that is not always true!
It’s important to notice any changes to EPC over time, whether that be an increase or decline. This will tell you that the Merchant has changed something about their program or made internal changes such as website/UX updates, site structure and navigation, traffic flow, etc.
Purpose: Creatives’ Statistics
Improves: Promotional Choices
Our next stop takes us to the TRAFFIC REPORT. It has many of the same statistics as the Timespan Report but we can drill down into banner performance for an extra layer of analysis.
When you sort by “conversion” you can see which Merchants are converting the best for you. In this example below, we selected our top Merchant and clicked through to drill down further to see which links and promotional types are working best. Based on this drill down, we conclude that it’s a good idea to promote more specific products for this Merchant (which could help increase sales to get us to our goal).
Purpose: View Stats over Time
Improves: Big Picture Understanding and Forecasting
The HISTORICAL TREND REPORT is a great way to view a Merchant’s high level performance over any timespan, which is also broken down by day.
Using this information, you can identify seasonal patterns or trends that could work in your favor. You can also pinpoint historical spikes to research promotional tactics that worked in the past, and get a general understanding of whether each Merchant is trending upward or downward. This will help you understand which programs to invest more time and energy into on your path for 20% earnings growth.
Purpose: Internal Tracking
Improves: Campaign Optimization
First, let’s start off with the question, what is Afftrack? A customizable parameter you can add to any link that we track and can be a very useful tool in helping us along the path to our goal.
The AFFTRACK PARAMETER REPORT summarizes the use and results of any advanced tracking you have in place such as:
- A/B Testing of banners and emails
- Tracking of logged in users
- Tracking the same link over multiple pages
- Tracking product links
All of these reports should be on your radar as you manage and maintain your Affiliate Program. Staying in tune with and understanding your data can help you prioritize and save time by eliminating trial and error. Learn from historical data and events in the past (history tends to repeat itself!) By utilizing all of our reporting and spotting trends within them, you can find Merchants to optimize or Merchants to replace for better growth