How do you use data in your affiliate programs?
We here at JEB get asked this on a pretty regular basis and our clients rely on us for data to make informed decisions. Well, buckle your proverbial seat belts because boy do I have a detailed, data-focused answer for you!
In an effort to make this more easily digestible we are going to look at the ways our teams leverage data in relation to our client’s programs and how we leverage data when working with the affiliates. Both are integral to how we do our jobs here.
Affiliate Program Data
When it comes to the affiliate programs our teams manage, we are always looking for ways to make our programs bigger, better, and more efficient. To do this we are constantly curating tools to help us measure the health of a program and help us to look at our programs from different angles. One of these tools is a dashboard that was developed to look at a mature program with a variety of publishers and how they are contributing to the program as a whole.
To utilize this tool, we assign each affiliate to a category based on their primary marketing model. Our aim was to make sure that affiliates were categorized correctly without having too many sub-categories to make the analysis efficient – we landed on 6. These categories are: Content, Coupon, Deal, Loyalty, Sub-affiliate, or Tech/Other. This part of the process is the most time consuming as we work to correctly and accurately categorize our partners. As this part of our process is completed, we can immediately see the diversification or lack of diversification in a program.
Leveraging data helps to make our teams as efficient as possible and also helps to avoid reaching out to the same publishers too frequently.
By looking at the category spread of affiliates we are able to see if the program is heavy in a specific type of affiliate or if a specific type is under-represented. We then are able to use this data to inform our recruitment efforts in a particular vertical if it aligns with our client’s goals and objectives.
We then take the next step by looking at a more granular level of the data. We break down each publisher category to the publisher level to look at the percent of revenue that each affiliate is driving in that category. Again, we are looking for affiliates that are either underperforming or are heavily contributing to a category so that we can take a targeted approach to optimizing the affiliates.
We also break down each affiliate by the percent of clicks that they are sending to a program. This data provides the information we need to make sure that affiliates are not impacting overall program metrics by sending a high volume of clicks without driving sales. These affiliates are selected by the team for outreach on how to increase conversions from their sites to help the health of the program overall.
Through this detailed analysis we are able to let our brands know where their program stands, where we are putting our focus, and where we can expect to see the biggest pay offs for effort. Leveraging data helps to make our teams as efficient as possible and also helps to avoid reaching out to the same publishers too frequently. When we reach out we are able to utilize data from this with our affiliates.
Affiliate Data Use
It is not only brands that find data useful, but as the industry continues to mature affiliates are looking at their own data more frequently. This means that as program managers the more data we can have and provide to our affiliate partners the better we can do to increase their success. Below is our chart that displays how each affiliate is performing in their given category.
We believe that with data comes insight leading to better opportunities to support our brands and affiliate partners.
We can use the above data when we reach out to affiliates to let them know if their metrics are in line with other publishers of the same type, or if they are not showing the same results. If that is the case, we are able to then look at their promotional methods in comparison with others to provide best practice recommendations that are founded in data.
Affiliates find this information helpful as they remain in the dark as to how they compare with other affiliates in their category for a given program. This data also helps our teams to have meaningful conversations and targeted discussions when we have check-in calls with affiliates. More data means less time wasted on inclinations and gut-feelings.
Our teams continually are looking for ways in which we can leverage data to make more informed decisions for our brands and affiliate partners. We believe that with data comes insight leading to better opportunities to support our brands and affiliate partners. Through detailed looks at our programs our teams are able to keep brands continually growing and having a more diversified portfolio of partners to work with so that they can have a more stable affiliate program. For our affiliate partners we work to provide insight into their performance and help to refine their marketing techniques for a brand to help drive more incremental value.
Have any questions on how we can leverage data for your program? Be sure to reach out to us!