The process of enabling and mobilizing the partners you've recruited to perform valuable activities for your business (e.g. sharing a link, making a referral, or closing a deal.) Many programs will define partners as “active” as soon as they’ve made a single successful referral or sale, but this can vary by program, so it’s worth figuring out what determines whether a partner is truly active in your program. Common partner activation signals include first deal registration, first closed deal, or generating revenue for a set number of months.
Partner activation is different from partner onboarding. Activation requires the active participation of the partner in the program, so it normally occurs after a partner has successfully onboarded.
Example: The newest partner to join RayCorp's partner program achieved activation three months after they finished onboarding when they successfully closed their first deal.
An activation rate is a metric used by companies to determine when their users are achieving value. Your partner program’s activation rate is the percentage of partners that sign up for your program that gain or add value in the program. What is defined as activation can differ between programs, but it's often a first sale, first referral, or revenue achieved over a set number of months — something that indicates the partner is likely to stay profitable or engaged.
To determine your activation rate, you can take the number of partners who successfully met your activation metric, divide it by the total number of partners who joined your program, and multiply that result by 100.
Also see: Activation
Example: Soltech measured their activation rate to be 30%, which was lower than their target of 60%. They decided to revamp their partner onboarding process to better prepare their partners to sell.
Ad clicks are an important marketing metric that measures the website traffic from a digital ad to the advertiser's website. An ad click measures user interest in that ad and the advertiser's product, with the end goal being conversion through either a sale or lead.
In general, the higher the ad clicks, the more successful the ad. Affiliate marketing, paid search and display ad campaigns rely heavily on ad clicks as a metric to determine if the program was a success. Some related terms are cost per click (CPC), which is the total cost the advertiser pays per user clickthrough.
Example: The banner display ads yielded a total of nearly 600 ad clicks to the advertiser's website over the course of the campaign, with an 8% conversion rate.
An affiliate link is tool used in affiliate marketing programs. A unique link is assigned to an affiliate partner by a partner program. When a website user clicks on the link, that click is attributed to the affiliate partner. The link contains the affiliate's ID or username to enable tracking. This means that traffic sent by the affiliate can be recorded (and rewarded).
If the person that clicks the link later converts (for example, by purchasing the software) then that conversion is also attributed to the affiliate partner.
Example: Connectco signed up for Razor's affiliate program and was assigned an affiliate link. Their link got 20,000 clicks each month, meaning a nice payout for Connectco.
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a brand pays third-party content creators to generate traffic and leads for the brand's products or services. Content creators often run a blog or produce video content. They promote the company in their content and are given a unique link to drive their audience to. Then, they are paid a commission for the value of the traffic driven to that link or sales made through it.
Affiliate marketing is a useful tool for businesses who want to reach a wider, established audience through a creator the audience is already familiar with. Affiliate marketing is a billion-dollar industry, and it operates in both B2C and B2B spaces. Return on investment for affiliate marketing can be very high since the company essentially outsources marketing and selling to the affiliate.
Example: Gretchen posted links to a specific software in her blog. For every click that link got, the software company paid her a commission. Gretchen was taking part in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate partners are partnerships that drive traffic to your properties through tracked links and earn a cut when that traffic converts. Affiliate partners are a subset of marketing partners.
An affiliate partner can be a business, an individual, or another affiliate program. Affiliate partnerships can expand your company's reach and increase revenue through increased exposure and marketing reach.
Also see: Marketing partner, affiliate link
An affiliate program is an organized system that enables affiliate partners to drive traffic to your properties through tracked links and earn a cut when that traffic converts. Affiliates come in many different forms and they can include influencers, content creators, publications, membership associations, and technology vendors.
In an affiliate program, an online merchant pays affiliates to send them traffic. There is a payout to the affiliate for that traffic, and then if the traffic buys the product, the affiliate receives a commission. An affiliate program is a cost-effective marketing strategy that works for both B2B and B2C brands.
Example: Lisa runs a popular software blog. Loop, a software brand, pays Lisa to place an affiliate link on her blog. When someone buys Loop's software through the link, Lisa gets a payout. Yay!
Affiliate tracking is technology used to track the traffic, referrals, and/or sales that come through a specific partner. The purpose of affiliate tracking is so that a company knows which affiliates drive favorable business outcomes (in other words, attribution), and can reward these individuals accordingly. UTM links are the most common mechanism for affiliate tracking.
Affiliate tracking can also be achieved using promo codes. For example, if an influencer can offer his or her audience 10% off a 1-year software subscription with the promo code PERCY10, this allows the company to track precisely how many sales Percy drives. This then enables the company to determine which partnerships are most lucrative and invest in building these relationships and enabling them to do their best work.
Example: Through affiliate tracking, Partner Marketing Manager Lisa identified five partners who were driving 60% of PekoeCorp’s partner-sourced sales each year. She decided to send them each a gift basket of PekoeCorp swag, fancy chocolates, and red wine.
An agency partner is a powerful partner, typically an agency who either send you leads or closes business on your behalf. They may also run a client's program on your software and charge them for services. Agency partnerships can increase marketing reach and earn additional referral revenue. They can help you reach new potential clients and add more value for current clients. They may also collect payments and maintain customer relationships on your behalf.
Agency partners work within the same industry between companies with aligned values and goals and they can provide significant improvement on ROI for businesses that utilize them.
Also see: Value added resellers (VARs).
Example: Louis was up to his elbows with current customers and didn't have time to source new leads, so he signed with an agency partner who found him new customers, nurtured his current relationships, and took over some marketing and payment efforts. Louis saw a positive impact on his revenue, and he decided to work even more closely with his agency partner for more efforts in the future.
In business, an alliance occurs between two companies that work together on mutually beneficial projects. These agreements are also called strategic alliances, and they usually involve cooperation in the development, creation, marketing, and sale of products or services or other objectives.
Alliances can either be joint ventures, equity strategic alliances, or non-equity strategic alliances. Joint ventures occur when two parent companies launch a child company together. Equity strategic alliances are created when a company purchases equity in the other. Non-equity strategic alliances are when two companies combine their resources and capabilities to reach set goals together.
Example: The well-known partnership between Starbucks and Barnes&Noble is an example of a strategic alliance. By placing Starbucks stores inside Barnes&Noble stores, each company shares the cost of the space while providing complementary services to customers.
Application forms consists of a series of questions that prospective partners have to answer before joining a partner program. While the questions on an application form will change depending on the program, they generally allow you to learn about a potential partner's fit for your program, including their goals, offerings, customer profile, and values.
The information found on an application form can help inform your decision to approve or decline partners that request to join your program.
Example: Beehive filled out the application form for the referral program at TechFront, and they were happy to find out TechFront approved them for the program based on their answers.
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Average deal size is a metric used by SaaS companies that represents the average amount of money that customers spend on a solution. Another way to explain it is the average amount of money a business makes per deal they close.
Average deal size can be calculated by taking the total revenue earned in a given period and dividing it by the number of closed-won opportunities during that timeframe. ACV is often calculated on a monthly or quarterly basis and used as a key performance indicator (KPI) for the business. Average deal size can be a helpful metric to use when evaluating the performance of sales teams, and it can also be used to determine the price points that are most likely to see leads convert.
Example: Luca's company closed three deals in the last month, worth $5,200, $6,700, and $7,000, respectively. He added the value of each deal up to a total of $18,900, which he divided by three to find an average deal size of $6,300.
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