How To Optimize Your Affiliate Program
In a complex digital landscape, determining the incremental value of individual marketing partners is very impactful. However, brands often struggle with it, especially in the affiliate space. Since affiliate is a low risk channel, brands often invest fewer resources into understanding its incrementality - resulting in many affiliate programs being overlooked. With the right approach to data and technology, it can be easy to optimize affiliate partnerships and drive efficiencies for the program as a whole.
When evaluating incrementality of individual affiliates, it’s important to look at data points that measure performance both in the affiliate channel and broader marketing efforts. Depending on client KPIs, factors such as new to file, leapfrog percentage, and customer retention rate can all be utilized to look at affiliate performance.
Another way to analyze data from holistic marketing efforts is by implementing a multi-touch attribution (MTA) solution. With this model, it is possible to track and assign value to all media interactions in a customer’s conversion path. This data enables marketers the ability to identify where affiliates have been both under and over credited, allowing for smarter optimizations. This allows marketers to start uncovering which partners are currently overvalued - indicating their commission rate is too high. Alternatively, it will expose partners that are undervalued - showing areas in which increasing spend will add incremental value.
After the initial optimizations, it is important to continue monitoring partner performance because affiliates constantly alter their approach in the space. As they make changes to their platforms (sites, apps, etc), these updates will impact their performance. Ongoing optimizations ensure marketer’s programs are running efficiently at all times.
As affiliate marketing continues to move away from being a coupon-forward channel, having an attribution solution in place will help marketers better optimize their programs. Although affiliate traditionally drives bottom of the funnel traffic, the influx of content that affiliates bring into the space is changing this dynamic. Last touch models will even more so misidentify the value they add to marketing efforts. As the space continues to evolve, having a MTA solution in place ensures there is a continued understanding of how these changes may impact programs.
If you are interested in learning more about leveraging attributed data, reach out to the affiliate team at Rise.