Earlier this month, I wrote a blog on how to become an agency in the ShareASale network. Building on the concept of how to become a preferred network in our network, I wanted to point out today the reports and tools every agency should be using.
By following this advice, you will be able to show your clients the benefit of having an affiliate channel and also be able to readily find new opportunities to drive incremental sales through the channel.
- Affiliate Comparison Report – The affiliate comparison report can be used to track the performance of affiliates. This is often important as it can be a way to determine why a program is either doing better or worse from month to month or year to year. Once the report is run, I often suggest taking a look at some of the key performers or worse offenders and finding ways to incentivize performance further.
- Year in Review Report – Sarah highlighted this report in her blog post. This report is neat in that it shows numerically and graphically the performance of a merchant program either Month over Month or Year over Year. I am often asked to evaluate the performance of a program, and I 100% of the start at this report to determine trends.
- Banner Performance Report – This report is a great tool to drill down to not only what banners are being used as explained here, but it is also a means to see exactly which pages the links and banners live. One of the common concerns for merchants is where their information as shown, and this report provides that information while also showing the overall activity for the program.
- Affiliate Timespan Report – This is the report that I use everyday and is very valuable in my opinion. It gives a quick snapshot of all of the activity on the account, including clicks, sales, bonuses, and voids. This report is a great way to get a snapshot of the merchant’s performance and easily calculate things like the ROI for the program.
These reports are definitely ones that should be run frequently to get a gauge of the program’s performance and to find ways to improve the overall program.
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
- Advanced Commission Rules – From Clickstream Commissions to First Sale bonus rules, the advanced commission rules are an amazingly effective method to incentivize and reward affiliates. If you have not already, I suggest everyone go to the page and watch the tutorial on various rules then email me any questions you may have on setting up a rule today.
- Custom Approval Rules – I touched on this topic a bit here, but after a recent blog post I felt it necessary to revisit. The custom approval rules are exceptionally useful and are a great way to start building relationships with affiliates, if you have a full understanding of the merchant business plan. What this means is if the merchant for instance does not want a coupon site or someone with -2 feedback, by all means auto decline them. However, the rules should also be used to expedite the process for affiliates that could be a great fit for the program, as approving or declining affiliate applications is one of the most important aspects of managing a merchant account.
- Advanced Tracking – Most everyone has a general idea of the sales and lead tracking our network offers. We do however have advanced tracking that can be used for recurring commissions, product level commissions, new vs returning customers and many other options. It is important to work with our technical team, as we can often make suggestions to improve a tracking implementation plan that will grow as the merchant grows.
- Tags – Brian provided a great overview of Tags, but I cannot express how important tags have been in terms of segmenting, incentivizing, and attributing sales for merchants. In some circumstances, it has been a tremendously effective method to increase the perfomance of the merchant program.
These reports and tools are a short overview of what I find to be effective methods to allow agencies to drive growth in merchant programs. I, however, encourage every agency to continually follow my posts for other suggestions and also continually ask questions to ensure you have the most up to date tips.