Affiliate programs have become a cornerstone of today's online market. Inbound marketing as a concept has quickly become a standard for e-commerce companies who want to sell their products and services with maximum efficiency. It does not matter what you are selling: clothes, gadgets, insurance or anything else. If you sell it through an extensive network of affiliates, you can increase your income by up to four times or even more.
However, you need to remember that the efficiency of your affiliate campaigns depends on many different factors: on the strategy you use, the decisions you make and, most importantly, how you track affiliate conversion rate. Not being able to adequately track affiliate conversions can lead to a total failure of the whole campaign, and thus an inevitable loss of time and money you invested.
Let's learn together about what affiliate conversion is, how you can track it and what is the most effective affiliate tracking tool you can use to provide yourself with the detailed information. This article will help you to improve your affiliate campaign and increase your profits, so it is a good idea not only to read it, but also to use it in your future tasks!
What is a conversion in affiliate marketing?
Conversion is a term used to describe the act of a visitor taking an action on your website. It can be anything from filling out a form to clicking on a CTA button. It can even be downloading an e-book.
Basically speaking , to track affiliate conversions, you have to count how many people take that action and then compare it to what you expected based on your goals and objectives.
It is important to understand the difference between Conversion and Sale. A conversion can be anything that leads to an online purchase (e.g. signing up to an email list), whereas sales are usually made through an online checkout process or other actions that are related directly to the purchase itself. You should track your affiliate links, so you can see which ones are converting into sales and leads, as well as monitor how much money each link has generated over time.
How to track affiliate conversions
You can track affiliate conversions in two different ways: manually or using a tool like Commission Junction, Google Analytics, ShareASale or many other tools. The latter option gives you access to instruments that can help automate some parts of the process, while still allowing you to keep an eye on all aspects of your campaigns at all times - but only if they're set up correctly!
If you want to track affiliate conversions manually, then you should learn about various metrics in affiliate marketing.
The best metric to use when measuring affiliate performance is the conversion rate, because it tells you how effective your affiliate links are at driving sales. If you have multiple affiliate programs and want to compare them, revenue and number of sales are good metrics. If there is only one affiliate program you have to track, then number of clicks and leads are better choices as they can give insight into which products or offers are most popular with your audience.
Importance of Web Cookies for tracking affiliate conversion links
A good understanding of Web Cookies is crucial if you want to increase your profits in affiliate marketing, as it is a foundation for most of the processes related to affiliate conversion.
A web cookie is a small piece of data that is sent by the website to the web browser and stored on the user's device. Other websites can then use these cookies to provide the user with relevant information.
Cookies consist of a variety of data that can include the user's login information, any type of credentials, search history, and much more. Some cookies can contain detailed information about almost every action the user has taken during the session.
In affiliate marketing, cookies are used to track the activities of users who have clicked on an affiliate link. Each user receives their own unique set of cookies, which can last from months to years. If a visitor takes a conversion-related action during the lifetime of a cookie, you can track and analyze it.
Most affiliate systems use first-party cookies. These are collected by the website itself. In some cases, other types of cookies may be used, depending on your business objectives.
Not all affiliate programs rely on web cookies for tracking. Sometimes a cookie-less tracking process is used. In this case, all information about both the visitor and the affiliate are collected on the advertiser's server. This allows you to separate the tracking process from web cookies, making the information independent of the visitor's device. The moment a user clicks on the affiliate's link, all data about them is collected and stored in the advertiser’s database.
How link tracking can help your business
Create custom products based on the needs of your clients.
As you can analyze the activity of the visitors, you can catch their thinking process and understand their demands and tasks. Various metrics and statistics will help you to create a detailed business strategy for both short and long term.
Individual approach to your affiliates.
Tracking systems can be set up in dozens of different ways. It will help you to use the right approach to your affiliates, understand performance and make required changes on the go, without the necessity to spend hours of your time on gathering information from hundreds of random sources.
Make quick changes to your campaigns.
Link tracking provides you with an ability to monitor the performance of your campaigns in real time. It means that you can make both small and big changes in the campaign as quickly as possible.
Gather data from multiple affiliate campaigns.
If you choose the right settings and know exactly what you are doing, you can combine the information from different affiliate campaigns and find various correlations that can be important for understanding the internal processes of your business.
Track data from various channels.
If you use special tracking software, you can simultaneously monitor links that are posted in different social media like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
Increase the accuracy of payments.
Transparent and accurate payments are important if you want to build and maintain a reputation as a reliable advertiser. By gathering data from the affiliate links, you will be able to set up accurate automatic payments for your affiliates.
Create a detailed database.
The moment you start tracking affiliate conversions and links, you create an opportunity to gather enormous amounts of important business-related information that includes number of clicks, ROI, conversions and a dozen of other parameters. It will help you to re-evaluate your decisions, create dynamic strategies and be flexible.