Measure Affiliate Marketing

Many online marketers take advantage of affiliates and affiliate programs to drive traffic to their sites without considering everything that can be measured.

Affiliate marketing is a very powerful customer acquisition strategy, essentially paying people a commission to evangelize your products or services and then sending traffic your way in hope that they’ll complete the transaction. Your web measurement application should allow you to track affiliate campaigns, much like a banner ad or email message. Tracking your affiliate campaigns in as much depth as possible helps you learn from the creativity of others as you plan your own future marketing activities.

Pay for Clicks, Leads, or Revenue: Which Is Better?

Most affiliate management programs (Commission Junction, Linkshare, and Performics) require that you pay on either a per-click, per-lead, or commission basis (Table 3-7).

When you’re paying for clicks, you might be paying for traffic that never actually visits your web site [Hack #51] , or that never actually converts into a customer [Hack #39] . The best example of this type of affiliate relationship is the Google AdSense program. On a per-click basis, affiliate publishers are paid by the amount of traffic they generate. The more clicks generated, the more the affiliate gets paid. In this model, you want to be sure you’re watching your affiliate conversion rate and the amount of revenue individual affiliates generate.

Where you’re paying for leads, ...

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