Why Merchants and OPMs Need to Be Analytics Evangelists

Merchants who are serious about their affiliate programs and OPMs looking to take the next step in solidifying their position as industry leaders need to be web analytics evangelists.  Here’s why.

Good Affiliates are Hard to Find

You exhausted hours and hours scouring through websites looking for appropriate affiliate matches.  You’ve reached out to them, and maybe even heard back and got them to sign up.

Their first promotional experience with you needs to be a good one.  You need to convert their traffic for them if they are worth keeping.  Some of them maybe apportioning off some of their PPC spend to drive customers to your website.  All of them are going to invest some sort of time in beginning their relationship with you.

So you need to assist them in understanding what’s happening with their hard earned website visitors.

Measuring Affiliate Click Throughs in Web Analytics

As I’ve demonstrated in 3 Key Analytics Strategies for Affiliates and Knowing More About Your Affiliate Traffic as a Merchant, I feel web analytics is a critical component to the success of any affiliate or merchant.

Your job as an OPM or merchant should include coaching affiliates in how to understand which parts of their traffic are clicking through to your website.  It’s easy to do, and will endear you and your program to them in the long term.

Don’t let an affiliate fail initially, and have neither of you know why.  They have alternatives to your program, and if they are smart, they will only be willing to fail for so long before they move on.  And they are harder to replace than you are.

A Higher Conversion Rate Means More Affiliates

When affiliates are looking for merchant partners, top amongst all of the considerations they take in are Conversion Rates and Reversal Rates. It can make or break you, determining whether or not an affiliate hits the Apply Now button.

Web analytics can go a long ways towards make of those numbers more attractive.  In reviewing this information, an affiliate can get better at what they do.  To review, however, they have to HAVE it.  And short of having Google Analytics installed, I’m not convinced most affiliates are collecting the data necessary to send you better converting potential customers.

So work with them to make sure they are collecting it.

Engaging Affiliates Keeps You Top of Mind

There’s only so many ways you can engage your affiliate base.  They are blasted with links, emails, offers, and newsletters on a daily basis.  Their attention span can be short, and regardless of how many times you’re told affiliate marketing is easy and “part time”, it’s a lot of work.  Hard work.

SO what if you were to offer them something of real value?  An opportunity to succeed not because you’re offering 50% off something no one wants to buy this week, but because you are making them better at what they do?

Do a webinar on analytics. Write about it on your affiliate specific blog. Tweet your affiliates about it.

I’m not sure how many affiliate programs are out there right now, but you need to stand out to stay top of mind. I think this is a great way to do it.

What do you think?  Please feel free to Contact me, or leave a comment below.

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.