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.
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.
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.
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