You’re managing an affiliate programme and you want to know how it’s performing and what’s contributing to this performance. It’s time to audit your affiliate programme, but where should you start?

We’ve put together a 5-item monthly checklist to help you conduct an insightful check-up on your programme, and, in turn, keep your programme running smoothly!

Item #1: Profitability

The first key indicator of a successful affiliate programme is profitability. This comes down to the success of each and every individual affiliate.

The first place to check for profitability is with affiliates who are on bespoke commission deals. It is important to monitor these deals regularly to ensure a positive ROI. For example, if you set a bespoke CPA of $200 for an affiliate that brings in many players, and the average player value is only $150, it may be time to contact the affiliate anddiscuss how to improve performance or renegotiate your rates.

On the other hand, if an affiliate is bringing in many high-value players, make sure they are being recognized and rewarded for this – with high-performing affiliates, you want to build long-term relationships. You can determine the optimal tier of commission for an affiliate based on player volumes. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager for additional insight into commission tiers, they are great resources!

Item #2: Broad Trends

In the last 6 months, have any of your top 10 affiliates disappeared or dropped in performance level? Have any previously low-performing affiliates started reeling in players left-right-and-centre?

Identifying changes in trends over time can help you evaluate the effectiveness of changes made to your programme within that time period. For example, if you see that a particular affiliate has been bringing in more players and at the same time started using a new set of banners, you could suggest those banners to other affiliates that may be not be performing as well.

Item #3: Conversion Rates

Conversion rates, as opposed to click or registration rates, are a critical indicator of campaign value. If you notice a particular affiliate with a very low conversion ratio, such as a click-to-registration ratio of less than 1%, this could be indicative of scam clicks or the involvement of spam communications.

Typical healthy conversion rates to target are 7-10% for click-to-registration and 20-30% for registration-to-deposit. Have a strategy to address suspicious activity, and make sure you’re not wasting any resources. Ask your account manager if you come across activity that seems suspicious.

Item #4: Organization

While it may seem obvious, poor organization within an affiliate programme can wreak havoc on its effectiveness. Think with the end in mind and be as strategic as possible when organizing your groups, campaigns and promotions.

Make sure you name your affiliate groups in a way that is standardized, descriptive, and scalable. For example, best practice for commission group labelling is: [Merchant Name – Group/Affiliate Name – Commission Structure].

Also be sure to archive groupings or promotions that are no longer timely. This way, you still have access to a record of your programme’s past, but it is clear to affiliates which materials and groups are currently relevant.

Another activity to do regularly is to check for groups that have become inactive. For example, if a particular commission group has stopped generating revenue, this could mean that that commission structure is less attractive to affiliates, and that you may want to send a mass communication to reengage the affiliate members, or choose to replace it with a more appealing option.

Item #5: Creatives

High-quality, easily-accessible creatives are crucial to your promotions strategy. As with affiliate groups, make sure your creatives are grouped and archived in an organized manner so that affiliates can easily access and pull the appropriate links.

Also check regularly that your creatives are up-to-date – an old logo or defunct bonus advertisement can tarnish your programme’s image. Try using tools like rotating banners to automatically replace old images with new ones, which will help you and your affiliates to save time.

It is also important to track which creatives are converting, and which ones aren’t. Take a look at your affiliates that bring in the most players, and your players with the highest lifetime value, and take note of which creatives were used in their success.

Affiliate managers, what do you look for when auditing your programme? Tell us in the comments below.