Affiliate networks are a great starting point to launch a campaign. However, to take a programme to the next level and maximise its potential, we recommend using affiliate software.
As I explain in ‘How to start an affiliate programme’, an affiliate software or tech provider can open doors to more opportunities and help your in-house experts or affiliate marketing agency run a more efficient campaign.
Often, moving an affiliate campaign from a network to a tech provider requires an affiliate migration. This can be complex and time-consuming, which is why having an experienced affiliate marketer on board will play an important part in the process.
1. Build the centralised tracker
First of all, we build a centralised migration tracker that is accessible to us, the brand, and the new tech provider. It is used as a migration management tool, to track progress and store affiliate contacts.
As there are three parties involved in the project, being organised and communicative goes a long way.
2. Complete a tracking audit
A full tracking audit will be completed by our team to ensure the new affiliate pixel is fully optimised. We don’t simply replace the existing tracking; we ensure all the relevant parameters are captured. The more data that is passed in the pixel, the more granular we can be when we reporting and awarding commissions, meaning the cost of sale (COS) is always accurately controlled and monitored.
Many campaigns track gross value (vs. net) in their affiliate pixel, meaning commissions are applied to higher values than they should be. Removing the VAT from your tracking can easily reduce the cost of the campaign by 20%, leaving more budget for tenancies.
3. Review the affiliate mix
At this stage, we will review the existing affiliate mix to look for missed opportunities in the campaign. Diversification will help to strengthen your programme, not least because working with various partners allows you to create touchpoints across the customer journey. We will, however, look to exclude any low-quality affiliates.
With the Dormeo affiliate campaign, we reduced the number of voucher codes on the programme by more than half without losing revenue and delivered a 2,736% return on investment (ROI).
4. Review the commission structure
Next, we review the cost of the campaign by analysing the current commission structure. By introducing new parameters in the pixel, we have the opportunity to apply CPAs in a strategic manner and maximise ROI.
For example, we could differentiate the CPA based on mobile vs. desktop traffic, new vs existing customers, or any other parameters relevant to the brand.
5. Plan for recruitment
To support the quick wins identified in the early stages, we draft a phased recruitment plan. Layers of complexity will be added to the campaign gradually, prioritising affiliates that drive revenue before looking to partners that can drive brand awareness or reach out to new demographics.
Once the migration is complete and we have set the basis for a strong campaign to grow, we will continuously review the tracking, commissions, COS, and affiliate mix to ensure we meet your brand digital marketing objectives and keep up with market trends.