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Tracking Affiliate Marketing Sales
Affiliate marketing has seen an explosion in the last decade, becoming one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies globally. For affiliate marketers, content creators, influencers, and YouTubers, affiliate marketing is one the easiest and quickest ways to generate income online. The success of affiliate marketing as a strategy for both businesses and affiliate marketers lies in the ability to leverage the exposure and abilities of affiliate marketers online directly to important target audiences. Tracking affiliate links helps to work out if an affiliate campaign is successful or not.
Any successful affiliate marketing campaign requires some key components in order for it to generate income for both the brands and affiliates. In addition to the usual success components such as making sure affiliates have an engaged audience, and affiliate links are shared on appropriate platforms, one of the most important elements of a successful affiliate marketing campaign is making sure affiliates track affiliate links, affiliate referrals, marketing metrics, and any resulting sales.
If you are a content-creating affiliate using affiliate marketing links, tracking affiliate sales will:
Affiliate marketing is essential for driving sales and traffic.
How To Track Affiliate Sales: Key Performance Indicators (Kpis)
The success of affiliate marketing has meant that brands and affiliate marketers have adopted and utilised important tracking methods and technologies to prove the success of performance marketing. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will provide you with metrics that will help you identify strategies that are working well and those that are not. Important KPIs for affiliate marketing including earnings per click, conversions, traffic details, and income statistics.
Let’s have a look more closely at the top 15 KPIs you need to be aware of if you want to track your affiliate marketing links.
Affiliates need to track the revenue generated by their chosen affiliate programs. Tracking revenue not only helps to identify revenue-rich links but also:
Earnings Per Click
The number of clicks will help you determine if your links are getting the right exposure and generating income. Knowing the earnings per click will enable affiliates to identify the affinity between the product/link and the audience. Metrics relating to clicks are not just important for knowing the income generated, they also help affiliates known which links are poorly performing or defective. For example, if you have a large number of clicks but only a few converted sales, then you need to check if the tracking is working accurately and whether there are any issues with the landing page.
Monthly sales figures are important for affiliates to assess and track the monthly income they are generating, and how that income is generated. Having figures for each month means that you can see which months performed well and what action you took in high-performing months that you can repeat.
Impressions metrics are those that show the number of impressions on a link or ad by a visitor. Knowing the number of impressions helps affiliates work out the click-through rates and success of the link. For example, if you have a link with only a few impressions then you might need to reconsider placing your link in a better location. Alternatively, if you have high impressions but a low number of clicks and conversions then perhaps there is an issue with the landing page.
Return On Ad Spend (Roas)
Also known as return on investment, ROAS is the income generated once you have deducted all your costs. These costs could include the costs of running your website and any affiliate software program you use. The ROAS figure is the holistic perspective you need when assessing your affiliate marketing strategies. If tracking shows the ROAS is high then you are doing everything right, if it is low then you need to reassess your strategies and see why they are failing.
Affiliate Sales Breakdowns
Knowing the ratio of affiliate commission earned per brand means content creators can focus and target their efforts. Affiliate sales breakdowns show the affiliate the extent of income generated and help affiliates decide which brands are worth the effort they are putting in. Normally, the higher the commission being paid, the harder it is to generate sales. This doesn’t mean that the higher commissions are not worth chasing, it simply means that although the conversion rate might be lower, the income generated overall is higher. Affiliates should always consider the affiliate sales breakdowns carefully to see how beneficial the sales are to them.
It is really important for you to know which affiliates programs are active and generating income. Many affiliate marketers have a host of affiliate links, so it is important to know which affiliates are helping you to increase your ROAS, and those which no longer serve any purpose. Identifying and tracking the active affiliates means you can channel your energies into promoting those active links to your visitors.
Overall Affiliate Engagement
Tracking engagement takes different forms and can be done in different ways. What you are looking for as an affiliate is:
The affiliate tracking information listed above will help you track affiliate links that are useful to you and identify those links that are not generating income. Tracking affiliate engagement also provides helpful information about affiliate referrals and conversions, and this is information you do not want to overlook. Increasing your engagement with the audience your will increase your engagement levels and increased engagement = increased clicks.
Average Order Value/Size
The average order value from your consumer is one of the most important KPIs for affiliates. Not only is this crucial evidence to present to brands to demonstrate how good you are at affiliate marketing and get a better commission rate, but it also provides you with important information about what products your audience likes, and your customer retention and loyalty rates. If the average order value is low on a product you need to think about changing the affiliate strategy so that you can increase the sales/clicks/commissions.
Customer Lifetime Value
The customer lifetime value metrics will help you understand the total revenue a customer brings you, and the income generated by their retention and loyalty. For example, if a visitor clicks your link and makes a purchase of a product and they then become a regular customer this means they generate regular income. Measuring customer lifetime value helps you assess their worth alongside the viability of the affiliate program. It also means that you can present brands with metrics relating to your success.
Trigger links refer to links that trigger a specific action that is set out by the affiliate. For example, you could have a trigger link attached to new subscribers so that they get sent an automatic email or ad. For affiliate marketers and content creators, trigger links are often used as welcome emails or emails sent a week/month after the first purchase. As an affiliate, you can use trigger links to maintain contact with your audience and consumers, and the best thing is that once they are set up they require little work!
Reversal rates measure reversed commissions. These are commissions that are reversed as a result of a customer return and refund, in which case the commission paid to the affiliate is deducted. As an affiliate, if you have a product or service you have an affiliate link for that has a high reversal rate then you need to consider whether it is worth your time advertising the link. High reversal rates usually suggest that the product is of poor quality or that the brand is not offering good customer service. As an affiliate, whilst you want to use reputable links and generate income you also want to make sure you protect your own reputation and brand, and reversal metrics help you identify those affiliate links that are not the best.
The higher the traffic to your website or platform, the higher the chance of achieving clicks and conversions. Traffic refers to visitors to your platform, and understanding how your visitors react to your affiliate links can help you improve your affiliate marketing strategy. For example, if you have a mixture of ads, banners, reviews, links, and promotions on your page you can track the behaviour of your visitors to see what kind of marketing and affiliate links they are most attracted to.
Quality Of Traffic
The quality of traffic is just as important as the level of traffic you have. For long-lasting relationships with your audience, you should aim to have good-quality organic traffic. This will ensure that the rate of visitors bouncing off your site remains low, and you can engage your visitors to your ads and links. Building trust is a huge part of successful affiliate marketing campaigns, and having good traffic quality will help you build that trust and engagement.
Conversions are the ultimate goal for affiliates as they are essentially sales and actions. When a visitor to your platform clicks on the affiliate link and carries out the action required (ie purchases the product being advertised, or subscribes to a newsletter) this increases the conversion rate. The greater the number of conversions, the greater the income generated for the affiliate.
In short, by tracking affiliate marketing links as an affiliate marketer, you are able to track and monitor important analytics and metrics relating to your marketing content and strategy. Tracking affiliate marketing links will enable you to view the success or failure) of your marketing attempts and to grow your affiliate business.Tracking affiliate links could also help you negotiate better commission with the affiliate brands.
At the end of the day, when it comes to affiliate marketing both the brand and the affiliate marketer have the same goal – to generate sales and income. If you don’t track the conversion rates, traffic volume, return on investment and affiliate engagement, then you could be losing out on crucial information that will impact on your success as an affiliate marketer. Check out the free affiliate link tracker here to get started.