Whether you’re a business owner just entering the world of affiliate marketing or a veteran affiliate on the lookout for new ways to update your program, knowing how brands evaluate your efficiency in driving conversions is crucial for boosting your revenue.
First and foremost, you need to understand the fundamentals of affiliate tracking and study the techniques that can help you optimize your strategy.
How would we determine who the fastest Olympic athletes in the world are without tracking their time? Without this crucial information, we would simply have to take their word for it, and the same goes for affiliate content publishers.
Affiliate marketing content can bring unimaginable streams of new revenue to businesses through affiliate links alone, but the process requires companies to track, analyze, and optimize the content continuously.
Businesses that understand the ins and outs of tracking affiliate programs ensure maximum efficiency and can refine their programs consistently. As with everything else, the more you know, the better you perform.
In this article, we’ll explore what affiliate tracking is, how it works, and how it can help you boost your revenue exponentially.
Affiliate tracking is a method that helps you track referrals online.
Traditionally, someone might have walked into a store saying it was recommended to them by a friend. The shop might have then given the person who made the recommendation by giving them cash or a juicy discount on their next purchase, so they would keep referring the store to others.
However, this approach doesn’t work as well online, where people can visit your website from all over the globe. So, instead, we use affiliate tracking, as it provides us with the option to see where customers and leads have flown in from, as well as knowledge about who has referred them to that particular site.
And instead of the customer saying that a friend referred them, affiliate software allows you to see whether a lead or customer has come from the website of an affiliate that works with said company.
The usual way to think about this is in terms of affiliate links, but affiliate traffic can work in many ways. Customers can, for example, use affiliate coupon codes, and there are also methods of tracking referrals without the use of links/URLs.
Affiliate tracking is a mechanism that facilitates reward systems. The affiliate marketer sends your business a potential customer, and you pay them a percentage-based (in most cases) commission.
Affiliate tracking is the pillar that holds this business model together, as it helps affiliates make quick money from commissions, which motivates them to help you grow your business by sending you, customers.
No matter what industry you’re in, affiliate tracking can help your business immensely because it is a highly successful, minimal-risk marketing method.
The best thing about joining forces with multiple high-end affiliates is that you don’t have to pay them unless they bring in profit. And while you may want to spend a certain amount of cash to get your affiliate program off the ground, you will start seeing it pay off in no time.
To make it in today’s competitive world, you need to have tons of knowledge in different fields, and this can sometimes distract you from what’s most important.
Affiliate marketing is a fail-proof way to move forward as it helps you recruit expert marketers to promote your product or service without high costs attached.
This allows you to do the things you do best with a calm mind knowing that your affiliate team is taking care of all the busy work.
Depending on your software or platform of choice, you will have different tracking tools available.
In the paragraphs below, we’ll go through some of the most popular tracking methods available:
Cookie tracking is one of the most popular tracking types. As long-time web surfers, we are familiar with Cookies as we are notified about them each time we visit a new website.
The purpose of Cookies is to recognize people, especially those who visit a web page regularly. They help affiliate tracking by allowing merchants to monitor data collected in the last couple of months; this is the main reason businesses that use affiliate marketing set up 2-month intervals regularly.
Cookie tracking, however, has one substantial drawback — everyone can easily remove them from their browser. Also, Cookies cannot be tracked on multiple devices belonging to the same person.
Postback URL tracking is seen as one of the most precise methods. It works with a server, meaning that nothing is omitted. All information data is kept on the merchant’s server. The great thing about Postback URL tracking? It’s much more efficient than Cookies.
With Postback URL, the affiliate networks place tags on the business’ URL, which is called an ID. Thanks to the ID in the URL of the business, it is updated automatically right after the user gets to the landing page. It is a deeper and more well-rounded method, ensuring much better results. Businesses that use multiple affiliate networks can benefit from this method the most.
This method is perfect for businesses that release campaigns with various commission payment scales. With product-based tracking, you can monitor all products separately, so commissions will not get mixed up between different campaigns. They can also be customized to your choosing — for example, for a specific category or product. This method will be perfect for you if your business is spread out on various websites.
Impression-based tracking presents statistics for every link or banner shown to potential customers. An impression is when the user sees your ad but does not click on it. With this info in hand, you can gain a deeper understanding of why people abstain from clicking your ads, banners, or links. As soon as you make the proper adjustments, your sales will improve.
You can use affiliate software like TheAffiliatePlatform to track and monitor the entire customer journey and understand at which stage they have interacted with one of your affiliates. Many businesses also offer affiliates special links to use when directing traffic to their site.
Precise attribution is a key part of the process because, without it, the effort of an influencer/affiliate can go unappreciated. Affiliates and businesses both have something to gain from precise affiliate tracking because making mistakes in this area can prove costly for all parties involved.
Businesses pay affiliates for conversions in various ways. Some pay is based on the last affiliate who has directed a customer to a product or service before making a purchase. Alternatively, they can pay affiliates who have guided the customer during their conversion journey. Usually, businesses specify their definition of conversion in the affiliate contract.
Most businesses use the following six attribution modes:
Attribution becomes complex when various affiliates are involved in the same stage of a potential customer’s journey to conversion. It all depends on the attribution model of the business, which should be clearly stated in the affiliate contract.
What Tracking Data Shows Which Affiliate Is Responsible For The Conversion?
Affiliate links have some parameters that track the brand, the affiliate, and other data. This information can be accessed via the question mark that precedes it in the URL. Parameters can come in various forms, depending on the platform and business model, but all of them contain unique data that identifies the parties involved and credits them for conversion.
Different businesses vary in their choice of tracking methods to know where leads and customers are coming from and use that information to identify which affiliate is responsible for the conversion.
Every network has its pricing. However, most charge a mixture of or all of the fees listed below:
The abovementioned fees can constitute a key part of the general costs of running an affiliate program. They are, however, just one part of the facts you need to be aware of when deciding on a network that will fit your needs.
It’s now time to start looking for powerful affiliate marketing software. And since there is a vast sea of choices, you need to know what features and tools to keep your eyes open for.
Here are some key things you should consider:
Your campaigns should be easy to run, meaning that you need excellent, well-rounded management. There is no need to set up an affiliate tracking system if it’s going to devour your time, so look for features like smart commission rules, an advanced affiliate dashboard, and integrated payouts.
Growth tools are another crucially important tool to make sure you have in your arsenal.
Affiliate marketing is an extremely competitive field, and you will be going head to head with many other programs for top-quality influencers and affiliates. The best path to successful affiliate marketing is to offer affiliates a good return, and for that to happen, you will need conversion-boosting growth tools.
If you’re going to invest wisely in your affiliate marketing strategy, first, you need to think about the right affiliate software.
To take your business to the next level, you will also need an affiliate marketing platform with a proven track record of driving revenue sky-high.
Powered by Smartico.ai, TheAffiliatePlatform is a comprehensive software solution that allows for multi-brand campaign creation and tracking while keeping each brand’s affiliate registrations and access separate.
With this affiliate system tailor-made for online casinos and sports betting, you can build strong partner relationships and expand your affiliate network on your terms. Its flexible tools can also help you optimize your affiliate marketing spending with surprising efficiency.
This white-label platform is designed specifically for casino, poker, sportsbook, and fintech operators.
In addition, TheAffiliatePlatform offers the following features and benefits:
TheAffiliatePlatform offers many more tools, and, driven by customer requests, new features and functionalities are released every month. To book your free in-depth demo, please click the “Request a demo” button at the top of the page.
To run a successful affiliate program, you need to use tracking methods — this is the best way to monitor and evaluate the performance of your affiliates. Armed with this information, you can gain much more in-depth knowledge of your affiliate network and plan accordingly.
There are various methods to choose from, so you have plenty of great options at your disposal, depending on your industry niche or the campaign you want to promote. Once you decide on an affiliate tracking method and an affiliate platform to help you drive traffic and revenue, working with your affiliates will be a walk in the park.
TheAffiliatePlatform team wishes you the best of luck!