Using KPIs for Affiliate Campaign Success – By Travis Glenn

by Jenae Reid on August 25, 2017


Affiliate marketers have long known a simple rule: keep the merchant happy for long-term success on a campaign. The merchant, also known as the advertiser, the client, the product owner, etc., is the company that benefits from the marketing activities. They are also the company that is ultimately paying the bill to the affiliates and the affiliate network.

Merchants have traditionally listed conversion points and target demographics they provided to the affiliates. However, the last several years have seen a huge increase in clients expecting completion of very specific Key Performance Indicators (known as KPIs) to consider a conversion valid. By digging into exactly what the KPIs are for a certain offer, the affiliate can make sure he is setting up to deliver on client quality expectations.

A detailed set of KPIs for an offer can give you a lot more information than simply knowing the conversion point. For example, one of the KPIs on a mobile app or game offer could be number of times a user opens the app within a set time period (48 hours, 5 days, etc.).

For a finance offer, the KPI could be based on the income range of your leads, or the amount of credit they are applying for. Ecommerce merchants may score your performance indicators by looking at the average cart amount, the amount of sales or discounts utilized, cancellation rates, and more.

Sometimes the KPIs are obvious; sometimes they may be something that seems completely unrelated. The bottom line is clients are collecting more data, and they are using systems that help them analyze much of this data to measure every component of the engagement with the prospective customers you send them.

Depending on your traffic source, promotion methods, and your arrangement with the client, you may not have a way on your side to measure every single KPI metric. In the instances where you’re unable to self-verify these metrics, speak with your affiliate manager and see if this information can be reported over to you on a regular basis.

Good affiliate networks and clients will welcome someone who is interested in this information, because they know that is an indication of a knowledgeable, organized, responsible affiliate.

Make sure to seek out information on the KPIs for an offer before you begin promoting. Clients and affiliate networks do not always list all KPIs on the offer info page, but if you ask the right questions, you will be able to get the information.

Affiliates should strive to be as informed as possible as to what actions the client is qualifying and judging the quality of your conversions. Conducting split-tests and measuring different traffic sources against the offer’s KPIs will give you a leg up with optimization and long-term success on your campaigns.

Merchants, if you aren’t sharing your primary KPIs with the affiliates promoting your offers, you are missing an important opportunity to help them provide the best possible results.


Travis helps companies increase results using affiliate marketing and social media strategies. On twitter @travispeerfly

This article appeared in issue 39 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2017.


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