Affiliate Marketing • 19 min read
Through affiliate marketing, businesses can grow sales, improve traffic, and broaden their customer base. Nevertheless, running an affiliate program can be difficult, particularly when monitoring affiliate activity and determining commissions. An Affiliate Tracking Portal is essential when you have more than a handful of affiliate partners, and manual tracking is becoming a burden.
Everything you need to know about affiliate tracking portals, including their prerequisites, must-haves, key features, examples with pros and cons, and selection criteria, will be covered in this article.
What Is An Affiliate Tracking Portal?
An affiliate tracking portal is a software platform that empowers companies to manage their affiliate programs. As a business, you can track affiliate payments, commissions and make recommendations using an Affiliate Tracking Portal. Also, your affiliates can access marketing materials, performance reviews, and other tools to support their efforts in promoting your offers.
Prerequisites For An Affiliate Tracking Portal
Every Affiliate Tracking Portal has distinct features, so you must consider several things before choosing one. Some of these include
- Commission management
- Accurate tracking of affiliate activity
- Real-time feedback & analysis
These features will enable you to monitor your affiliate program performance and make fact-based decisions that affect your brand.
Must-Haves For An Affiliate Tracking Portal
Before you decide on what Affiliate Tracking Portal works best for you, you need to have several things in place, including:
- A converting offer
- Completed funnel pages
- Cart/Merchant Processor Setup
- Email Service Provider Setup (ESP)
A physical or digital product offer that converts on email or social traffic. Having supporting stats is helpful to convince more affiliates to promote your offer.
Completed Funnel Pages
You must have the following essential pages for your business ready and complete. These include:
- A landing page
- A sales page
- Upsell pages (optional)
- Thank you pages, etc.
These pages must be set up and connected to your website to allow accessibility and easy tracking.
Cart / Merchant Processor Setup
You must integrate the necessary shopping cart systems and payment processors into your affiliate program. This integration makes things seamless for partners who can share your links and record sales.
Email Service Provider (ESP)
Another must-have is your ESP. This is the place where your new buyers and subscribers are added to the mailing list. If you have an Email Service, you must integrate it into your affiliate program and portal, as the ESP is a main source of communication for your customers.
Essential Affiliate Tracking Portal Features
Every great Affiliate Tracking Platform has some of the features included below. These features are significant must-haves.
Monitoring Affiliate Activity
Every Affiliate Tracking Portal must provide you with durable access to monitor the activities of your affiliates, including their average or total number of sales, their shares, the number of clicks on a link, commissions, referrals, payouts, etc.
You need an Affiliate Tracking Portal that provides you with an easy-to-understand commission payment system. For example, if your tracking portal adopts a tiered commission structure, you might have to encourage your affiliates to promote your offer more to receive higher commissions. So it’s important to understand your Affiliate Tracking Portal’s commission structure before deciding which one’s best for you.
Whether you are tech-savvy or have hired a tech person to handle the craziness of the backend, you need to know if the customer service of your affiliate tracking platform is reliable. You’ll want to ask questions like:
- How do I log in as an administrator?
- Or more complex ones, like how can I export a list of all affiliates’ contact info or store links?
These are just two critical things to note when selecting an Affiliate Tracking Portal.
Our Building a Successful Affiliate Program course covers in-depth what you should expect of an Affiliate Tracking Portal.
Examples Of Affiliate Tracking Platform (w/ Pros & Cons)
There are hundreds of affiliate tracking portals. However, we’ll cover three examples that our clients enjoy the most..
Clickbank is a global online marketplace where businesses can publish and promote offers (digital or physical). Clickbank offers a broad range of affiliate partners and a good tracking platform, which we highly recommend due to its broad affiliate network and ease of payments.
|Broad affiliate network||Limited opportunities for customization|
Easy commission payouts
Everflow is an affiliate marketing and tracking software built by Google. With Everflow’s broad monitoring options we recommend this platform to keep track of changes and conversions resulting from your affiliate marketing efforts.
|Enhanced reporting features||Not easily understandable by beginners|
Refersion is a software that tracks and manages affiliate campaigns & commissions for brands. Its unique features include a customizable dashboard, extensive integration support, a sales and traffic tracking system, and periodic payouts.
|Simple connectivity options||Pricing can be steep for smaller businesses.|
Affiliate Tracking Portal Selection Criteria
There are several things to consider when choosing an affiliate tracking portal, including your budget, affiliate network, and customer service requirements. Additionally, you must consider your funnel and how the Affiliate Tracking will fit into it.
Click here to read part 2: Onboarding And Managing Affiliate Partners
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