Key Metrics to Measure Affiliate Marketing Success
When it comes to the world of affiliate marketing, there are dozens of metrics you can use to measure affiliate marketing success. However, you should pay close attention to the following (and most important) metrics if you want to improve your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Impressions are the number of times your affiliate links, widgets, or banners have been seen by potential customers. So, if you have one affiliate banner on your site that appeared to ten users one time, that banner would have ten impressions.
By tracking impressions, an affiliate partner can determine how many people are seeing their affiliate links, which can help them make adjustments to optimize their affiliate marketing strategy for better performance. Impressions are also used to calculate the click-through rate — an important metric to measure affiliate marketing success.
Affiliate Link Clicks
Affiliate link clicks measure precisely what you would think — how many times your affiliate links have been clicked on by potential customers. Knowing how many clicks your affiliate tools have is important because this number is used to calculate the click-through rate.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that helps you determine the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing strategy. Statistically speaking, an excellent CTR for an affiliate marketing campaign ranges between 0.8–1.5% and is reflective of a clearly communicated and creative campaign.
To calculate your CTR, simply divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get the percentage.
Imagine you are trying to calculate the CTR for a link you included to the “Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel with Deli Lunch” on GetYourGuide in a blog post. After reviewing your metrics, you determine that the link had 5,000 impressions and 55 affiliate link clicks. This means that your CTR for this affiliate link is 1.1% = [(55/5,000)*(100)]. According to the statistic listed above, this is an excellent CTR for an affiliate marketing campaign!
The next metric you should keep in mind when measuring affiliate marketing success is conversions. Conversions are the number of sales made within a given period (days, weeks, months, etc.) and can determine the profitability of your campaigns.
Conversion rate is the most important metric to determine when measuring the success of your affiliate marketing campaigns. The conversion rate tells you if the people visiting your website and clicking on your links are purchasing the tours, hotels, activities, rental cars, or other travel products and services you are promoting.
As a general guideline, 0.5–1.0% is considered a good conversion rate for affiliate marketing. To calculate your conversion rate, divide the conversions (or sales) by the number of views your website (or landing page) had in a specific time frame.
For example, imagine you wrote a hotel review about the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London with an affiliate link to book the hotel. The blog post received 2,000 page views in the first month, and the hotel was booked ten times through your affiliate link. This means that your conversion rate for the affiliate link is 0.5% = [(10/2,000)*(100)]. This is considered an average conversion rate, so this blog post is doing a great job.
Earnings Per Click (EPC)
Earning per click is a helpful affiliate marketing metric that estimates how much income you can expect each click on your affiliate links to generate.
To calculate EPC, you divide the conversions (sales) by the number of clicks a specific affiliate link had in a designated time frame.
For example, let’s imagine you are promoting a tour that pays you $35 per sale. In one month, you sold four tours after receiving a total of 100 clicks. Your EPC is $1.40 = [(35*4)/100]. This means you earn $1.40 every time someone clicks on this affiliate link.
You can also calculate your monthly EPC across all programs in Travelpayouts (or another affiliate platform). Let’s imagine in one month, you made $500 in affiliate income with 2,000 clicks. This means you earn $0.25 every time someone clicks on one of your affiliate links.
The Importance of Setting Goals and KPIs
It is crucial to set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to be successful as an affiliate marketer. KPIs help you determine if the affiliate campaigns you are running are successful, and they can also help you pivot your strategy to improve your company’s profitability.
Goals also help your business achieve short-term and long-term objectives. For example, travel bloggers often have the vision to generate passive income with affiliate marketing. However, they lack a strategy and step-by-step goals to make this dream a reality. KPIs help you measure the progress of your goals so you can achieve them more quickly — and who doesn’t want that?
Instead of aimlessly adding affiliate links to blog posts, emails, and social media posts and hoping to make a sale, measuring KPIs can help you create an informed affiliate marketing strategy that results in success. By regularly measuring your click-through rate, conversion rate, and earnings per sale, you can determine if your marketing strategy is going well or if you need to make small changes to see the results you want from your campaigns.
Tools for Tracking and Measuring Performance
In order to track your affiliate marketing success, it is vital to utilize the tools and platforms available for monitoring and measuring your affiliate marketing performance. These are a few of the tools you can use as an affiliate marketer:
Affiliate Program Dashboards
When you join an affiliate marketing platform like Travelpayouts, you will gain access to a dashboard that reveals important statistics from your affiliate marketing campaigns, including impressions, clicks, sales, and potential payouts in an easy-to-read format.
While this dashboard will not show other key metrics like your click-through rate or conversion rate, you can always use the equations listed earlier to calculate these statistics for yourself.
SubID tracking is another helpful tool you can use with Travelpayouts and other affiliate platforms to track the success of your affiliate marketing campaigns. When you create an affiliate link, you can create a SubID — a unique identifier tag — that adds extra data to your link that is recorded beside each commission that occurs as a result of a click on that link.
In the example below, the affiliate partner created an affiliate link for a Small Group Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, & St. Peter’s Basilica Guided Tour. When making the link, she added a SubID that reads “Weekend in Rome” to remind her that this link is included in her blog post about “How to Spend a Weekend in Rome.”
Now, when someone purchases this “Small Group Vatican Museums Tour” from the blogger’s post about “How to Spend a Weekend in Rome,” the partner will know the purchase came from that specific blog post. This helps you see which blog posts (or campaigns) are performing well and which could use improvement.
How to Interpret the Data and Optimize Your Affiliate Campaigns
Now that you know some key metrics and tools to measure affiliate marketing success, we can use the information to inform our decisions in the following scenario.
Imagine you were looking at your overall analytics for your blog and noticed that while you had a high-click through rate, you had a low conversion rate. This means that while many people who visit your site are clicking on your affiliate links, few are making purchases.
With your newfound knowledge about affiliate marketing metrics, you realize the following reasons could be causing your high CTR but low conversion rate:
Perhaps you were promoting a “luxury” resort in your blog post, but when the reader clicked on the link, they saw the resort was a three-star hotel with poor reviews. It is essential to accurately promote hotels, tours, activities, etc., to convert affiliate clicks into sales.
Incorrect Search Intent
Maybe you included several tours for day trips to the Palace of Versailles in your blog post about “One Day in Paris.” Since the reader is looking at your blog post for ideas on spending one day in Paris, it is unlikely they would want to spend their entire day traveling to Versailles.
It is crucial for the products you promote in each blog to match the intent of why the reader is searching for the post. This tour would be a better fit in a post about “Top Things to Do in Paris” or “Best Day Trips from Paris.”
To gain a better understanding of search intent, watch a video from the free SEO course offered by Travelpayouts Academy.
Slow Page Speed
It’s possible that a person would click on a link and not make a purchase because the website was slow to load. Though there may not be much you can do if the company selling the product is the one with the slow site speed, it may be worth checking the speed of your website to ensure it is not inhibiting sales.
As you can see, when you track key metrics and analytics for your marketing campaigns, you can “fine-tune” your campaigns to achieve optimal results and meet your affiliate income goals.
Measure Affiliate Marketing Success & Get Results
It is crucial to track key metrics, like impressions, click-through rates, and conversions, to ensure your affiliate marketing campaigns are performing optimally. Affiliate marketing success doesn’t come overnight — it comes with persistence, hard work, and fine-tuning that can only happen by evaluating key metrics to see what is working well and what needs to change.
If you are a travel blogger or content creator looking to join an affiliate partnership platform that will make it easy to measure key metrics and succeed as a marketer — we hope you will join us at Travelpayouts! Travelpayouts offers access to affiliate programs for 100+ travel brands and comes with a user-friendly dashboard to track your progress — helping you to measure your affiliate marketing success with ease!
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