Better Stats, Higher Profits
By Randy Mitchelson
Good affiliates know that marketing efforts
are futile without detailed reporting. Products
with the highest margin to ad spend ratio, ads
with the best click-through and conversion
rates, and keyword-level return on investment
are just a few of the metrics that can mean the
difference between success and wasted time.
Successful affiliates are also aware that using
more networks often leads to more sales. But
that creates a significant problem: Multiple
networks create multiple reports and require
For example, assume it takes two minutes to log in
and generate a report from one network. Also assume
you belong to eight networks and perform hourly
checks on those reports. You could spend more than
two hours per day or 10-plus hours per week generating
and examining reports. This is valuable time
that could be spent making performance-enhancing
adjustments to your campaigns.
A real-time, dashboard reporting solution is the key to
maintaining effective campaigns. These systems allow
marketers to immediately recognize and compensate
for real-time trends and changes in the marketplace.
They can react immediately — ultimately leading to
better and more profitable offers.
When you decide to harness the power of real time,
dashboard reporting as an affiliate, consider
these important traits before selecting a solution:
Real-time: Select a reporting tool that enables the
user to react to changing market conditions and
minimize reliance upon static or day-old reports.
- Web-based: Leverage the existing Web-based
culture to cut costs of development, support and
- Intelligent: The ideal reporting system offers interactive
features allowing users to manipulate data.
It will also create alerts that tell users when metrics
fall outside user-defined thresholds.
Simple: A solution needs to have an intuitive user
interface and should not require additional training.
- Secure: Seek a company with at least 10 years of
experience designing systems that require protection
of sensitive data.
Custom Report Development
Tools that streamline workflow and have the potential
to affect bottom lines have a way of becoming
sticky. A good example is found in the banking
industry. Because consumers are reliant on direct
deposit and online bill payment, you would be
hard-pressed to find a successful bank that doesn’t
As affiliates learn to use dashboard reporting
solutions to their benefit, it is critical that affiliate
managers ensure their programs properly integrate.
Providing real-time dashboard reporting across
multiple ad networks is a way to add value to existing
affiliate relationships. It will also attract new
affiliates and provide a system in which each party
Many dashboard systems can be white-labeled,
avoiding the problems associated with homegrown
solutions — the need for support staff, development
costs and maintenance. To help offset the cost of
white-label solutions, consider building a monthly
subscription fee into your affiliate program. Also explore
a revenue share with the company from which
the software is licensed. In the end, better tools for affiliates
mean higher profits for merchants, affiliates
and program managers alike.
About the Author: Randy Mitchelson owns National Web Leads in Estero,
Fla., an Internet lead-generation company. Through its
network of partners, National Web Leads delivers innovative
Web 2.0 solutions including real-time desktop and
mobile reporting tools for online advertisers and publishers.
DASHBOARD REPORTING -
Listed here are a few dashboard
reporting options for any-sized
Web business or affiliate program
AcxFusion is a real-time dashboard
powered by Applied
Cognetics. Earnings Per Click (EPC)
and revenue results are delivered
via desktop widget, Web interface
and Web-enabled mobile phone.
Ad networks can white label
acxFusion as a value-added
service to their publishers. A free
trial is available and basic monthly
subscriptions begin at approximately
ADVANTAGES: price, mobile, white
AffiliateReporting is an affiliate
marketing reporting tool by Move
Software. This end-to-end SEM
software platform offers much
more than basic reporting. For
example, users can create campaigns
on multiple search engines
at once. It includes a minimum licensing
fee of $500.00 per month.
ADVANTAGES: features, reports