Affiliate marketing is a great way to boost your brand, but it won’t be nearly as effective as you hope if you aren’t tracking your numbers. Metrics and KPIs are vital if you want to know exactly where you stand and what you need to do so that your affiliate program can improve. 

Helpful Metrics to Track on Your Affiliate Program

We’ve assembled a convenient list of important metrics to track on affiliate programs with the above in mind. Monitor these and use them to adjust and improve your actions so that you can hone in on affiliate marketing greatness. 

Total Clicks

Clicks represent the overall exposure of your affiliate marketing campaign. The metric represents the total number of people persuaded to check out your brand and what you have to offer. In a nutshell, it shows the growth and potential of your brand reach over time.

Let’s say you have 50,000 clicks from your program one quarter and 75,000 clicks in the next. This could suggest that something you did between quarters sparked a growth spurt for your affiliate channels. You’ll want to carefully investigate the moves you made to determine what actions pushed for said growth.

You can also take a look at which sites, affiliates, and platforms within your program are sending the most click traffic your way. This could indicate which of your partners or channels is most successful at drumming up interest in your brand. 

The importance of clicks doesn’t end there. Once you know your total clicks, you can compare this number to other factors to arrive at various conclusions about your brand and your affiliate marketing campaign, as we’ll be exploring below while covering other metrics.

Conversions and Conversion Rate

Your conversions are actions taken by customers that are a measure of your program’s performance, which are typically signups or sales.

Divide your total number of conversions by your total number of clicks, and you’ll arrive at your conversion rate, which you can think of as your affiliate program’s “batting average” — or field goal percentage if you prefer basketball analogies. Analyzing how this number changes over time can reveal all sorts of useful information.

Notice your conversion rate increasing suddenly after a specific change you made to your affiliate program? It could be a sign that said change struck a positive chord and inspired more people to buy. Conversely, a sharp decline in conversions could mean you’ve done something to sour potential buyers’ opinions.

Looking at the overall shifts in your conversion rate is essential for interpreting how your actions affect the brand and which of those actions you’ll want to repeat or avoid. You’ll also want to watch conversion rates on an affiliate partner basis to see who is leading the pack and who is trailing behind.

Lower-performing affiliates may need guidance on how to hit specific benchmarks, for instance — and you won’t know which affiliate requires additional support unless you’re keeping an eye on conversions.

Revenues and Profits

The amount of money your affiliate program is bringing in is a metric you should always have at least one eye on. 

Your revenue is an easy figure to track, as it’s the total amount of money that sales from your program generate. Multiply your sales price by the number of sales you’ve made, and you’ll arrive at your total. 

However, revenue doesn’t take into consideration the expenses you incur while running your affiliate program. You’ll need to subtract those from your revenue to determine your profit, which will help you gauge the success of your affiliate marketing efforts. 

Higher profits denote a better return on your investment, which suggests that your program is healthy and the tactics you and your partners are employing are working.

Average Order Value (AOV)

Another metric that will help you get a good idea of your return on investment (ROI) is your AOV. You can calculate your AOV by dividing your total sales revenue by the total number of orders you received in any given period. The higher the AOV, the greater your ROI. 

Knowing this figure will help you hone in on how much you’re getting out of each paying customer. Fluctuations in the AOV will also help you determine which strategies to develop and lean into as you go along. Optimize the money you’re funneling into acquiring new customers by keeping in mind the amount of money these customers spend on average.

Gross Orders vs. Net Orders

Your gross orders are the total number of sales you’ve made through your affiliates. Your net orders are the number of orders you’ve made minus cancellations, returns, and other circumstances that might cause a sale to become incomplete. Comparing these two numbers can give you a closer look at the health of your program.

For example, a large disparity between gross and net orders due to repeated returns could indicate a flaw in your product that’s leaving your customers dissatisfied. Alternatively, there could be some chicanery taking place on the part of your affiliates. You may uncover a deliberate attempt to cheat your business.

Whatever the case, checking your gross vs. net can clue you in on discrepancies that warrant further investigation.

Top Affiliates and Affiliate Sales

Of all the metrics to track on affiliate programs, those concerning your partners are some of the most important. Not all of your affiliate partners are equal in their ability, which is why you’ll need to track their performance carefully.

You’ll want to establish who your top 5–10 overall revenue generators are. From there, you can analyze what they’re doing differently that puts them above the majority of your other affiliates. That insight, in turn, will help you develop best practices for training your newer partners.

Determining who your high-value affiliate partners are will not only help you single them out but also give you the impetus to start developing tighter relations with them. These professional relationships could blossom into co-branding opportunities and similarly beneficial marketing initiatives, depending on their profile. 

If you focus your affiliate tracking solution’s efforts on monitoring who your top affiliate performers are over time, you can also identify and use worthwhile trends to your advantage. 

Which new affiliates are showing prominence, and which former top affiliates are faltering in terms of performance? Knowing the dynamics of your top performers allows you to ask “why?” with the expectation of learning more about how you can improve your affiliate program and increase revenues.

Active v. Dormant Affiliates

Knowing the number of affiliates you have, as well as the number of partners that are active versus those that are dormant, can give you an indication of the health of your affiliate program.

Take a look at where your clicks are coming from and compare it to your list of affiliates. You’ll see which partners are actively sending you leads and which have fallen by the wayside. This number is your active affiliates.

Your dormant affiliates, conversely, are those who aren’t bringing in any sales or clicks. They’ve become inactive — but now that you’re keeping track of who they are, you can incentivize these lapsed affiliates to get with the program. In some cases, just a quick email and a small reward are enough to get inactive affiliates back to promoting your products.

Affiliate Commissions

Do you know how much you’re paying your affiliates? Your commissions are the amount you give to each affiliate partner for the successful conversions they drive to your business. By tracking your commissions, you can learn more about your affiliate program’s health and make corrections to your compensation model. The goal is to keep you and your partners satisfied.

Monitoring affiliate commissions can help solidify some of the most essential metrics to track on affiliate programs. For example, these numbers allow you to calculate performance measures such as your Cost Per Action (CPA), or the amount you’re spending per the desired action from your affiliate. The latter could be a high-value lead, a sale, or whatever else merits compensation. 

Generally speaking, a low CPA is preferable. You’ll want to keep an eye out for outliers and find out why you’re spending more on those particular partners.

New Customers

One of the primary purposes of running an affiliate program is to bring in new customers. When your program stops bringing in a steady amount of fresh blood, it’s time to consider an overhaul or a re-evaluation. You must decide whether or not you want to keep the program running.

To make this determination, you’ll need to keep track of the number of new customers your affiliates are bringing in — as well as the number of total customers you have. Access to these figures will allow you to calculate your new customer percentage. When you see that percentage start to dwindle, it’s a sign to take action.

Monitor Metrics With an Affiliate Tracking Solution

Metrics allow you to gain an overall picture of how successful and healthy your affiliate program is — or could be. Knowing what your metrics look like over time will enable you to identify potential problems you’ll need to address.

But a running tally of your metrics isn’t always easy to maintain — which is why you should consider investing in affiliate tracking software like LeadDyno. A robust affiliate tracking solution lets you monitor and analyze the most important numbers surrounding your marketing channels. 

With functionality like this, you can identify what works and make adjustments quickly. However, you decide to manage your metrics, though, it’s essential to make sure you aren’t overlooking the important ones listed above.