The Value of the Affiliate Marketing Channel

The Value of the Affiliate Marketing Channel

Case Study
in Brief

Discover how JEBCommerce’s team helped save one of our clients 4-6 Million by showcasing the true value of the affiliate program based on analytics insights. Leading the brand to re-evaluate their overall marketing strategy.


In today’s digital marketing world, analytics and a strong understanding of data analysis can make or break your business. Gone are the days where marketers would throw money at a campaign and cross their fingers that it would pay off. Having a firm understanding of what marketing efforts are working, what isn’t and what changes can be implemented for improvement is a pivotal foundation for JEBCommerce. So much so that in 2015 JEB acquired an analytics agency to ensure that we are making the best and most informed marketing decisions for our clients.

The Problem

Ever since its inception, the affiliate channel has been under constant scrutiny mainly due to the difficulties of attribution, and a history of publishers coming in late to the sales funnel, in essence taking credit for a sale that they did not deserve.

Thanks to new technology, attribution has become far more accurate and it is easy to identify and de-incentivize this behavior, however, this reputation is still firmly rooted in many decision-makers’ heads as they plan their yearly marketing strategy. In early 2016, we saw just that as one of our clients had mentioned terminating their entire affiliate program because they simply didn’t see value the channel provided and thought that money could be better allocated elsewhere.

The Fix

We knew that if our client could see the true value the affiliate channel was providing to their bottom line they would quickly realize scrapping the entire program would be a huge mistake. Our team dove into the client’s analytics to see what the data said. Our team was looking for a few different factors including; year-over-year affiliate revenue growth, affiliate revenue as percentage of overall ecommerce revenue and affiliate revenue as first-touch (but non-attributed) revenue. The data showed Year over Year affiliate revenue has grown 24% and the channel represented 6.5% of total sales over the last 3 months.

First touch attribution is often not credited with eventual sales. In our testing 25-33% of first-touch efforts are not given proper attribution. Due to our testing, we were able to attribute a 20% loss in sales that would have been influenced by the affiliate channel, but never attributed.

The projected revenue loss of pausing or discontinuing the affiliate channel was astounding. Our calculations showed shutting down the channel would have resulted in a $4M-$6M revenue loss over the following 12 months.

The Bottom Line

Our client realized shutting down the affiliate channel was not an option. Analytics and business intelligence have been used to substantiate other marketing channels for years, now thanks to better attribution the data is also beginning to validate the affiliate marketing channel, making it a major player in most brands marketing strategy.

At JEBCommerce data is at the hub of all marketing decisions, ensuring a positive ROI, higher new-to-file rates, and greater brand awareness. With JEBCommerce, your most successful campaign yet starts today.