How to track and measure affiliate marketing success?

Measure Affiliate Marketing Success

Have you seen ads showing how to earn a million dollars in just six months with affiliate marketing?

Well, that motivates a lot of people to join affiliate marketing. However, many of them end their affiliate marketing streak in just a few months and are still looking for success in affiliate marketing.

Because they don’t have a strategy or tools in place to help them grow their business.

The reality is that only 1% of affiliate marketers make more than six figures of income through affiliate marketing.

But remember, making a million dollars in six months is not a reality. It takes way longer than that. You have to continuously work and adapt to market demands to reach that 1% club.

So, how do they do it?

They keep measuring different affiliate marketing metrics and continuously optimize their marketing strategy for higher conversion rates.

In this article, will discuss which Key performance indicators(KPIs) top affiliate marketers use to measure affiliate marketing success.

But before that let’s understand why is it important to measure affiliate marketing KPls?

👉 Why is it important to keep the measure of your affiliate marketing campaigns? #

1. Campaign performance optimization

Tracking your campaign lets you analyze which strategies are working and which need improvement. These insights help you measure affiliate marketing campaigns and focus on the most effective strategies, such as changing your marketing messages, targeting different audiences, and changing the product you are selling. 

By continuously tracking your campaigns, you can improvise and boost your conversion rates to earn more commissions from affiliate marketing.

2. ROI measurement

Affiliate Marketing ROI is the most important factor for the success of any business. Keeping track of your return on investment is crucial in affiliate marketing. If you measure the amount you spend on ads and other campaigns against the revenue generated, you get a better picture of which campaigns are driving profitability. 

These insights help you make changes in your marketing budget, making sure that you spend less for every sale you are generating.

3. Fraud detection

Fraud transactions and sales are a big issue for every affiliate marketer. By using affiliate marketing tools, you can avoid this. Affiliate marketing tools are developed to identify patterns of fake transactions, which can help you detect fraud and estimate your actual earnings.

As you already know, affiliate commissions aren’t always confirmed instantly; they usually take 60 to 120 days. So, if there are fraudulent transactions, you will only know about it after 2-3 months. So, it’s better to detect them instantly; it can help you safeguard your earnings.

4. Long-term strategy development

Long-term strategy building is one of the key parts of building a successful affiliate marketing business. By tracking your affiliate marketing data, you can analyze the data, filter out high performing merchants, and measure ROI to build a long-term business that keeps your earnings coming by spending less. This is not a one-time process; it’s an ongoing process that needs continuous improvements based on changing market demands and consumer behavior.

So, these are the key reasons why you should keep track of your affiliate marketing business. Now, let’s look at the key performance indicators(KPIs) that can help you measure your affiliate marketing success.

👉 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure affiliate marketing success #

1. Clicks

The number of clicks that you get on your campaign tells a lot about how your campaigns are performing well. If you are getting low sales for a very high number of sales, then your campaign needs improvement. 

On the other hand, high sales with very few clicks are also an indication of fraud, so you should monitor your campaigns. 

Check the ideal industry conversion rate, and if your campaigns are performing around that campaign, then you are doing well. 

2. Number of sales actions

This represents the total sales/conversions generated through your affiliate link. It can help you measure your earnings and new customer acquisition rate. These numbers can help you optimize your strategy. 

If you are getting low sales actions, that simply means you need to improve the campaign, such as changing ad copies or audience demographics.

3. Conversion rate

As mentioned above, our conversion rate should be around the ideal industry rate. However, it can sometimes go high during festive seasons and sales. If it is high around the year, that is something suspicious and needs immediate attention. 

Sometimes, a high conversion rate also indicates that you have been targeting the right audience with the right messaging. So, continuously monitor your conversion rate to avoid any discrepancies in your campaigns and to improve your campaigns.

4. Impressions

Impressions are an indicator of visibility. If your ad, articles, reels, or whichever medium you are using to promote affiliate products, aren’t getting impressions, it’s a sign that you are doing something wrong.

Keeping track of impressions is important. Any increase or decrease in impressions means that you are either doing something right or something is wrong.

5. Earnings per click(EPC)

There are many affiliate networks that pay you for bringing traffic to a brand’s websites. So, if you are running a PPC or social media campaign, keeping track of your earnings per click is always important. 

EPC= Total Clicks/Total Earnings

If your CPC is higher than EPC, then it needs immediate improvements. Affiliate tracking software can help you get this data, integrate multiple platforms with it, and gain insights on improvements that you can make to lower your CPC.

6. Cost per click and sale

As mentioned above, your cost per click and cost per sale are very important metrics for your business. Your cost per click and cost per sale will decide how much profit you take home with you.

Cost per click= Total number of clicks/total amount spent

Cost per sale= Total number of sales/total amount spent

Since both of these can pay you commissions, keeping them lower with personalized targeting, messages, and optimizing campaigns is always better.

So, these were the key metrics or key performance indicators (KPI) that can help you measure your affiliate marketing success.

7. Average order value(AOV)

AOV refers to the average amount that a customer is spending on every order.

Average order value(AOV)= Total amount spent/number of orders.

If you continuously measure this, you can identify higher AOV for specific customers. High AOV means you get an opportunity to upsell and earn higher commissions through a tier-based commission structure.

Low AOV means you need to optimize your campaign for better conversion rates.

8. Customer lifetime value(CLV)

Tracking your customer lifetime value helps you determine a campaign’s ability to build long-term customer relationships. 

CLV=Average Order Value (AOV)×Purchase Frequency (PF)×Customer Lifespan (CL)

Here AOV and PF can be calculated using the formulas below:

AOV= Total Orders/Total Revenue

​PF= Total Unique Customers/Total Orders

CLV is the total revenue you can expect from a single customer. If customers keep buying from you, again and again, that means you have a higher CLV.

It is a good indication for business as you have to spend less to bring customers, and you can earn higher commissions with repeated customers.

9. Return on ad spend(ROAS)

Most affiliate marketers promote and sell products using multiple ad channels. Keeping track of this KPI can help you determine which ad channels are performing well, so you can focus on those to generate more revenue by spending less. 

ROAS= Total revenue generated from ads/total amount spent on ads

It also helps you make improvements in marketing copies for low-return channels. 

10. Incremental revenue

Incremental revenue helps you measure the additional income generated over and above your base earnings. It helps you evaluate your affiliate partnerships, optimize your content strategy, and engage your audience.

You can keep track of this revenue and use it to refine your monetization strategies and negotiate better commission rates with brands. Focusing on incremental revenue will help you drive long-term growth and diversify your income streams.

To calculate incremental revenue, you follow this basic formula:

Incremental Revenue = Revenue with Initiative −Revenue without Initiative


  • Revenue with Initiative refers to the total revenue observed after implementing a new initiative, campaign, or strategy.
  • Revenue without Initiative refers to the baseline revenue that the business would have expected to earn had it not implemented the new initiative. This is often estimated based on historical data or projections without the new changes.

11. New vs. Returning Customers

These metrics play a big role in how much you will be spending on customer acquisition. Returning customers have already made a purchase once from a brand, so they already trust their products and are more likely to place an order.

While for new customers, the brand might be new and might take some convincing with product reviews, and videos. So, the cost of acquiring new customers will be higher than that of returning customers. 

Tracking this metric will help you determine which brands customers trust more, thus lowering your acquisition cost per customer.

12. Return rate or chargeback rate

As an affiliate marketer, you must be aware that brands confirm your commissions once the return period is over. And if the product is returned, you won’t earn any commission. 

That is money wasted. You should track your return rate from different brands so you can check which brand has a higher return rate. You might consider not promoting those products with higher return rates. 

Return rate can be calculated using the formula

Return rate = (Number of returned items/total number of items sold)*100

So, these were the key metrics or key performance indicators that can help you measure your affiliate marketing success.

Conclusion #

Affiliate marketing isn’t an easy business to earn money. But once you get a good grip over the products and marketing channels, the earning opportunities are limitless. Continuously tracking and measuring your affiliate marketing strategies can help you reach your business goals.

Tools like AffiliateTrack can help you track and monitor the progress of your affiliate marketing business. It can be customized based on your business requirement, unlike many affiliate marketing tools which limit your ability to customize software. 

With its integration capabilities with multiple affiliate networks and marketing tools, It offers in-depth tracking for each and every metric that can help you grow your business. With its one time fee option, you don’t have to pay monthly, you can pay once and use it for a lifetime.

Interested in knowing more? Check AffiliateTrack here.