This week’s Affiliate Marketing Monday is going to be fully focused on the reporting aspect of managing an affiliate program. As discussed in a previous edition about Managing Your Affiliate Program, reporting is an essential part of properly manging any program. I am going to discuss a few different categories that you will want to include in your report: Traffic, Sales, Costs, Affiliate Data. Let’s begin.
Whether you are running an affiliate program, paid search campaign, or trying to measure your SEO results, traffic reporting is essential. You always want to know where your traffic is coming from, how frequently, what kind of traffic is it and is it converting (which we will get to in the sales section). In most affiliate networks you should be able to run these reports quickly and I always recommend pulling out certain information and creating your own report worksheet. Some things you will want to track are:
- Total Visits
- Which affiliates brought the most traffic
- Month-to-Month increase / decrease in traffic
- Creative / link traffic
These are a few categories that will help you make decisions on where the most traffic is coming from and how you can utilize this to build better relationships with these particular affiliates.
Yes, all of the data you are collecting is affiliate data, but what I mean by this is information specific to your affiliates. Here are a few things you may want to report:
- Total Affiliates
- Active Affiliates (month-to-month increase / decrease)
- % of total affiliates that are active
- Affiliates by category (content, coupon, search, etc.)
- How many affiliates created sales?
This section of your reporting is crucial because you may need to run affiliate promotions in order to increase the amount of active affiliates or the number of affiliates that are actually creating sales.
Just as the traffic section is a must, this part of your reporting is mandatory. You always need to know your costs because how else can you measure success of your programs. There are a few costs that you will want to have on your report as minimum
- Cost per Sale or Cost per Acquisition – this is important to know how much you are paying out for one sale or lead or whichever acquisition you would like to report on. Be sure to know what your maximim CPA is to measure your results.
- Network Fees – each network have fees included that can be found in your agreement with them. Be sure to know exactly how they are calculated each month. These fees can be based upon a percentage of your monthly sales numbers or a flat fee. Most of the time, it is based upon a percentage of your sales or percentage of the commission paid to the affiliate.
- Total Costs – Sum up all of your monthly costs so it can be compared to your monthly revenue.
- Cost as % of Sales – This one is not always mandatory, but one metric that I include in all reports. This gives you an overall look at how much it costs for every $1 of revenue.
This one I think is the section that everybody looks at right away. How much did we sell? Of course you want to know how much you sold, but you also want to compare that to other metrics in the report. It is good to see your overall revenue figures, but some of the following are good to track as well:
- Total Orders
- Average Order Value (AOV)
- Individual affiliate sales numbers
- Creative / link sales numbers
- Month-to-month increase / decrease
- Profit Margin
With these tips, you should now be able to create a simple month-to-month affiliate marketing reporting worksheet. I would recommend updating it monthly, and if the time is available to run a quick benchmark check mid-month to see if you are on pace and if not, what kind of changes you can make to get you back on pace.