Stay Ahead Of Affiliate Program KPI Variations – By Cristian Miculi

by Colleen on August 23, 2012

As in any other performance marketing effort, you have to carefully monitor your affiliate program key performance indicators (KPIs), understand variations, and act at the right time towards reaching your objectives. The faster you react to variations, the easier the effort will be.

General goals for any affiliate program are growing sales and exposure for the merchant’s products or services. This being said, here are some suggestions for key program indicators deviations that I recommend evaluating on a weekly basis. Affiliate Sales – the more the merrier.

Sales amounts falling:

– Verify the performance of your top affiliates. Some of them may have reduced their traffic or, even worse, they may have stopped promoting your products if they found a similar merchant offering better conditions – get in touch with them to see what happened;
– Check for any sales seasonality – try to boost sales: run an affiliate sales contest, make it easier for affiliates to promote your product (via discounts, marketing resources, etc.);
– Take a look at the purchase funnel for conversion rate drops – identify if any changes made in the website pages that impacted the conversion rate and where along the funnel the potential customers abandon.

Clicks / Impressions – show the exposure for your products / services. Clicks have more weight as performance indicators, since they express the qualified traffic you get.

Clicks numbers declining:

– Check whether the sales have dropped, too (see above);
– See how many affiliates are promoting your products compared to the previous period of time – contact affiliates not advertising you anymore and see what happened;
– Make sure there aren’t any technical issues with your program provider / network – solve this immediately, since that may have affected sales numbers also.

If clicks are growing and conversion rate is dropping – check affiliates with lowest conversion rates and see what they need in order to sell more.

New Recruited Affiliates – see how attractive your program is to affiliates.

Fewer new affiliates:

– Look at what your competitors are offering affiliates – differentiate your offer with something more;
– Add channels for affiliate recruitment – get an affiliate info page on your website, promote your program on affiliate forums, via PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, contact big affiliates in your vertical;
– Are you running your program in an affiliate network? – see what opportunities they offer for recruitment – newsletters, direct contact, list of power affiliates, etc.

Active Affiliates – the ones generating sales.

Fewer active affiliates:

– Some might need tools from you to promote your products – get them banners, send them free products for evaluation, product differentiators;
– Coupon affiliates like exclusive discounts – generate vouchers for each one;
– PPC (pay-per-click) affiliates perform best using your keywords or brand name – see if you added exceptions against these practices.

I highly recommend constantly monitoring affiliate program performance and taking action whenever you see deviance from the targets you set.

Cristian helps software vendors and affiliates grow their online sales in the Avangate Affiliate Network.

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