Highlights from Google's and ShareASale's Newsletters

In the course of this week two affiliate networks sent out newsletters: Google Affiliate Network (GAN) – to advertisers/merchants, and ShareASale (SAS) – to affiliates.

Google Affiliate Network’s Newsletter to Advertisers

I really like the way GAN is providing their merchants with a “monthly dashboard” report where Google gives a good visual overview of what’s been going on in an affiliate program. It is a brief, yet information-packed two-page report which tells you a number of things about your affiliate program (and does it by means of graphs, and lists): 12-months program performance, weekly sales going back 15 weeks, info on top publishers, and a number of other useful pieces of data. The two graphs that I personally liked most of all are the following ones:

Publisher Productivity Report

Google affiliate network Publisher Productivity Report

Pie Chart on Percentage of Active Publishers by “Business Class”

Active Publishers by Business Class

Good, and useful information. I wish more affiliate networks were providing their merchants with these on a regular basis.

ShareASale’s Newsletter to Affiliates

ShareASale is one of the most consistent affiliate networks in keeping affiliates up-to-date on what’s happening in the overall industry, as well as on ShareASale itself. Two highlights from their newsletter:

Double-Digit Growth for Online Retail Forecasted

Quoting Forrester, SAS pointed out that “online retail sales will grow by 10% a year for the next 5 years” taking more and more of the brick-n-mortar businesses’ pie. “The report also notes that 154 million U.S. consumers made online purchases in 2009, representing 67% of all online users.”

New Affiliate Traffic Report Available

To simplify split-testing of links, as well as viewing your overall performance across a number of merchants, ShareASale has added a new report for affiliates to use — the Affiliate Traffic Report which “enables you to see a traffic and sales breakdown over a given time range for any particular merchant or banner”. Here’s a sample of how this report looks (I had to remove one column, merchant’s “Website”, to make it display well on my blog):

ShareASale Affiliate Traffic Report

As you play around with it, it becomes apparent that SAS has started gathering data for it on January 5th, 2010. Also, at this time affiliates can view data for a “range of one month or less”, which may be viewed as a disadvantage by some affiliates. This may be limited due to the potentially huge amount of data SAS may have to process, but longer periods (e.g.: 90 or 180 days, if it does have to be limited like this) may be better for some. Finally, it would also be also be good to see Reversal Rate displayed on this report (see how the only sale to merchant #3 from the top was reversed).

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