The question “are affiliate programs worth it?” is a topic that has challenged online marketers across all sectors since the industry’s inception. In fact, a quick check on Performance IN reveals an incredible 200 search results on this very topic. That is 200 differing opinions on whether the channel adds value and that’s almost definitely because the honest answer is, “it depends” and we recommend using Google Analytics to research the conclusions that’s right for you.
Rather than add our own thoughts to the mix, we at Coam.io have decided to simply share with you one possible way of making your own judgements about whether your affiliate program is worth it. We encourage you to make these judgements by understanding two things:
- How often do affiliates introduce a user to your website
- How often do affiliates convert a user who has been on your website before
Of course you can debate the merits of such an approach heartedly (and I’m sure some of those 200 articles already have) but let’s instead focus on how you could look at this data.
The below links offer you two options to explore this:
The second is a guide on how to check if affiliate marketing is worth is using GA4 (the latest Google Analytics).
Once you’ve followed the guide above, you can use our industry benchmarks to gain an understand of what the data you’ve produced is telling you.
Compare against Industry Benchmarks
Calling upon over a decade of affiliate marketing experience, we’ve created this handy table which should help you understand the results of using the methodologies referenced above.
In answering the question “are affiliate programs worth it?”, this is a key frame of reference to understand which affiliates are having a positive effect on your brand building efforts:
Down by 50+%
Low Value: They convert customers that have already been on your site but do not introduce customers to your brand often.
They sometimes converts customers that have already been on your site but do not introduce customers to your brand often.
Up or down by < 20%
Medium value: They have a healthy mix of both introducing customers to your site and converting customers who have already been on your site.
This affiliate sometimes introduces customers to your site and does not convert customers who have already been on your site very often.
Up by 50+%
High value: This affiliate is a strong introducer but does not convert customers who have already been on-site.
We hope that you’ve found our “How-To” guides interesting and that you now use your own data in Google Analytics to adopt our methodology and finally answer the question for yourself whether or not your affiliate program is worth it.
This isn’t the only way to judge an affiliate program though. Feel free to read through our pieces on where affiliates get their traffic from to discover a different way of assigning value to the affiliates that promote you.
If you’d like to discuss your results with us or learn about a more value focused approach to affiliate marketing, feel to reach out at Edwyn @coam.io