Understanding where true affiliate partner value lies for smarter investments

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Learn how, with SingleView, one Awin advertiser was able to accurately understand the influence of its affiliate partners to improve return on ad spend.

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A leading UK retailer wanted to identify partners driving true incremental value across its Awin affiliate program, evolve its single commission rate into a more sophisticated model that better reflected different publisher’s marketing contributions and free up budget to trial new affiliate activity - but was unsure how best to do so. Faced with this dilemma, the brand tasked Awin with finding a robust and affordable solution.

While this might seem like a tall order, by working with Awin the decision was easy: Implement Awin’s unbiased attribution technology SingleView.

The approach

With SingleView in place, the advertiser could uncover the value of specific touchpoints its consumers were having with affiliate partners to get a firmer grasp of what was working and what could be adjusted to improve return on ad spend. And after a simple integration (thanks to the attribution technology sitting in Awin’s first-party tracking solution MasterTag), SingleView analyzed affiliate program activity across two key metrics designed to better understand where true marketing value lay:

  • Incremental indicators: Which publishers deliver incremental performance (initiating new purchase journeys or driving increased AOV when involved)?
  • True net cost: How do CPAs vary when looking at them on an attributed basis vs last touch?

The results

Following SingleView’s analysis of true net cost it became apparent there were many publishers not delivering incremental value to the retailer when viewed through the lens of a last-click reward model.

With the brand’s default payment model awarding 100% commission to the partner generating the last click, SingleView found there was huge scope for optimization among specific publishers and affiliate types.

Most notably, the analysis showed that on the program a number of coupon code affiliates were earning the majority of CPA spend while delivering the lowest return on investment. As a result of this strategic insight, the advertiser developed a more targeted commissioning model, reducing CPAs for these coupon code publishers by almost 60%. This one action led to a 58% decline in overall spend with these specific partners, while maintaining a strong showing from coupon partners overall for the program - who delivered +2% in sales and an incredible +140% in ROAS.

These weren’t the only adjustments SingleView’s insight enabled. Following further recommendations from the multi-touch attribution solution, the brand radically overhauled its program’s commissioning models for several other partners to ensure rewards were being earned for the actual, incremental actions they contributed to its objectives.     

Once implemented, the results were impressive:

  • 5% increase in overall attributed revenue contributions from the affiliate programme
  • 12% savings in overall spend within the affiliate channel
  • 16% savings in CPA investments
  • 19% increase in ROAS

The cost savings SingleView brought to the affiliate program also meant the advertiser had extra budget to experiment with new partners it identified as providing valuable upper-funnel contributions, initiating customer journeys.

The combination of cost savings at the bottom of the purchase funnel with added investment in the inspiration and awareness spaces means the retailer’s affiliate program is now in a much stronger position – better able to reward a more diverse set of partners and to reach audiences across a wider breadth of online spaces.

Ready to make better investments across your own affiliate marketing activity? Get in touch.

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