As an increased number of businesses allocate more of their advertising budgets towards online performance marketing, it becomes increasingly important for advertisers and publishers alike to optimise this channel.

Analysing the performance of affiliate partners will help to identify the top performers at their peak time which provides an opportunity to optimise your strategy and as a result cultivate your affiliate programmes.

Five performance reports you should be running on a weekly basis to keep up with evolving trends include:

Publisher/Advertiser Performance

The publisher performance report allows advertisers to view the overall performance of the publishers who are promoting their brand. Likewise, the advertiser performance report works in the same way but from the publishers’ perspective, displaying the overall performance of the advertisers who have been promoted by the publisher.

By using this report, advertisers can understand which publishers to engage with more frequently and can identify top performing affiliates based on measures such as revenue, sales and influence. Publishers can also use the advertiser performance report to identify advertisers who are reaching a peak period and consequently make changes to the way they advertise the brand to complement this uptrend.

Both reports can be customised to view performance data over specific time frames, tailored to one specific partner, and broken down to individual transactions.  A recent addition to this report is to  view ‘assists’, which are confirmed transactions a publisher has been involved with along the customer journey but ultimately was not credited with the sale; often due to not being the last click referrer.

Commission Group Report

It is common for advertisers to create multiple commission groups within their affiliate programme around their different product types or ranges. This report helps advertisers who have setup their programmes in this way by providing an overview on their performance. Advertisers are able to understand which commission groups respond well with certain publisher types and adjust their strategy accordingly to benefit the strengths of their publishers.

Additionally, the commission amount in each commission group can be adjusted allowing the advertiser to encourage publishers to push a certain product or product range in line with their own sales target or focus.

Link Performance Report

This report helps advertisers understand which links perform best for their programmes and which banner sizes are the most popular for their publishers, allowing them to optimise their creative efforts to focus on the most in demand size ranges.

A detailed breakdown is provided of each linking method type, such as text, banner and product feed currently being used by your publisher database. Statistics available to help you recognise trends to your programme include CTR (click-through rate), conversion and EPC (earning per click) each of which can be displayed over specific periods of time to help monitor individual campaign performance.

Conversion Rate Report

Understanding the percentage of visitors to your site by way of publisher links who then go onto convert, can be a key way of recognising the potential of your website. Advertisers could consider a ‘conversion’ in a number of different ways, including a customer completing the purchase of a product through to membership registration or a newsletter signup.

Ways in which an advertiser can maximise the chances of a potential customer converting includes optimising around the unique selling point (USP) of the site and establishing onsite credibility. A better understanding of which publisher types drive the highest conversion rates for your products or services allows you to better manage promotional objectives within your affiliate landscape.

Device Split

As onsite traffic from mobile devices become more prevalent, ways in which advertisers are able to market their products to potential customers evolve. With the popularity of smartphone and tablet devices increasing, many advertisers are keen to embrace the latest opportunities of reaching the highly engaged audience that these mobile products cater to.

Device reporting allows advertisers to review the performance of various devices (mobile handset, tablet or desktop) over a pre-set period of time which helps to analyse and identify trends in user behaviour. This can help an advertiser recognise how their products perform on each device in a number of different performance metrics such as conversion rate, AOV, number of sales and revenue. Publishers could use this report to evaluate which advertisers perform best on specific devices and tailor the way they advertise their partnered brands.

Ultimately the tools provided by networks can be extremely insightful and it’s up to you to use those that best suit your key objectives. With all of this data so readily available it appears logical to use as much as it as possible.