It’s easy to get caught up in the notion that money is the only way to measure the success of your Affiliate Marketing efforts.
While financial reward is probably one of the driving factors in you becoming an Affiliate, solely measuring how many commissions you are making only tells you one thing. How much your paycheck will be.
Whilst it’s important to know how many commissions you’ve made, there are plenty of other quantifiable metrics that you can be measuring and monitoring that will highlight the strengths of your campaigns and flag up any flaws and weaknesses. Using this information, you can build upon your strengths, improve your weaknesses in order to grow your online business, resulting in better returns for you.
So which metrics should you be measuring and what can they tell you?
We’ve put together our list of metrics that we think every Affiliate should be keeping their eye on. Note that while we’ve categorised them by channel (website/email marketing/etc.) you could just as easily group them by metric type (retention/consumption/cost/etc.).
Website or Blog
- Page Views
This tells you how many times each of your pages has been viewed. By looking at this information you can gain an idea of which pages are attracting visitors.
- Unique Visitors
Unlike Page Views, Unique Visitors tells you how many people are viewing your site rather than how many times people have viewed your site. You can compare this with the total number of page views to understand the behaviour of your site visitors.
- Pages per Visit
Seeing how many pages your visitors view helps you to gauge how much of your site they are consuming. If your visitors are staying on your site to view multiple pages then you can assume that your content is stimulating and encourages visitors to return to your site and subscribe to your email list.
- Session Duration
This reflects how long visitors stay on your site before exiting or moving on to an external link.
Looking at these stats help you to determine which of your pages are performing well and which ones aren’t. Perhaps you have a page that people just don’t seem to click on, if this is the case you can look at the SEO for the page and perhaps play around with the titles of the links to that page from your other pages.
If you are paying for traffic you can look at these stats to check that you are getting value for money. If people aren’t spending very long on your site or you have lots of unique views but a low page views or vice versa it may be that your traffic source can be improved.
This is how many times a particular email blast has been opened by your subscribers. Most good auto-responders will have a stats tool that enables you to monitor this metric.
Your auto-responder will also be able to tell you how many times each of the links in your emails have been clicked. This will help you to determine which of your emails converts reads to clicks most successfully.
This shows how many people are opting out from receiving emails from you.
- New Subscribers
This shows the number of people subscribing to your email list.
Metrics relating to your email help to evaluate how targeted your emails are and how well they convert. Your overall aim is to have high open and click rates, a low unsubscribe rate and plenty of new subscribers. You can use the open and click rates to see which emails your subscribers are most interested, perhaps a certain format for the subject results in more people opening the emails or a particular type of content encourages more clicks.
Look at the trends for people liking and following your social media pages.
How often do your followers share your posts?
This is slightly more difficult to quantify but look for trends in people commenting on your pictures and posts.
How many ‘likes’ do your posts receive?
These statistics are really useful for assessing how well your content is being received by your followers. Find patterns in the types of posts that spark responses from your followers like shares, comments and likes. Use this information to target your future posts.
- Custom Data
Use our custom data tracking on your Affiliate links to monitor the traffic sources that are resulting in the most clicks and conversions. This helps you to identify which sources are in need of fine tuning.
This statistic is shown within your ClickSure Affiliate Account and is how much you are earning on average per click that you send to a ClickSure offer.
Calculate how much money you are spending on your various marketing methods, so website costs, auto-responder fees, adverts etc.
- Cost Per Lead
Use figure from your spend and total clicks to your Affiliate links to calculate a Cost per Lead figure that reflects how much each click is costing you. Compare this with your EPC, hopefully your EPC will be significantly higher than your costs!
These sales metrics allow you to analyse how much value you are getting for the money that you are spending. You will probably find that when you start out, your spend is higher than your income but you should notice over time that your EPCs will hopefully rise and your costs reduce slightly.
Having access to these metrics doesn’t just help you to see how effective your website, email marketing and social media sites are, it also helps you to move your online business forward. There’s no perfect template for making money online, there are plenty of guidelines for models that work but a lot of your success will depend on spending time studying your model, identifying what works and what doesn’t then fine tuning your model to improve performance. If you can master that, you’re onto a winner!