An affiliate has emailed me the following question:
How do you evaluate affiliate programs against one another (e.g. how does Shareasale compare to Pricegrabber, etc.)
First of all, ShareASale is an affiliate network (with 3000+ affiliate programs on it), while PriceGrabber, as far as I understand, runs an in-house-based affiliate program. So, it wouldn’t be right (or even impossible) to compare the two.
However, you have a great question there, and I believe I can help you with it. While evaluating affiliate programs side-by-side, I suggest analyzing the following 5 KPIs (key performance indicators):
- EPC — average earnings per one hundred clicks sent by affiliates to the merchant’s website
- Conversion Ratio — average number of affiliate-referred visitors who convert into customers upon visiting the merchant’s site (normally measured in %)
- Reversal Rate — percentage of transactions that affiliates refer to an advertiser get canceled/voided, and hence the commission gets reversed
- AOV — average order/ticket value
- Average Commission — average affiliate payout per referral
See the following article of mine (published in a recent issue of Visibility Magazine) for further details and examples: Affiliate Marketing Analytics.
Also, remember that focusing on any one metric is dangerous [see this article for a good example], and make sure you analyze your KPIs (especially the first three of the above-quoted ones) in one bouquet at all times. Only then you will be able to make good weighed decisions.