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Elements of Incrementality in the Affiliate Channel


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This presentation is from Affiliate Summit East 2016 (July 31-August 2, 2016 in New York City, NY). Session description: Learn what to look for when trying to find value in the affiliate channel. Merchants: These are the sales you want. Affiliates: These are the sales you want to generate.

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Elements of Incrementality in the Affiliate Channel

  1. 1. Elements of Incrementality in the Affiliate Channel Affiliate Summit East 2016
  2. 2. • What is an incremental sale • What are the characteristics of an incremental sale • How can affiliates drive incremental sales • How can merchants encourage incremental sales from their affiliates Elements of Incrementality In the Affiliate Channel
  3. 3. 3 – Been in the affiliate industry since ~1998 • Started one of the first SEO agencies • Transitioned to being a full time affiliate in 2000 • Natural search, datafeed, PPC, social, video • Moved into full time affiliate management in 2012 – Manage affiliate programs for,,,,,, and about 20 other programs Who Am I?
  4. 4. 4 • Definition: A sale that occurs or increases as a result of additional influence (courtesy of Karen Garcia from – Would the sale have occurred without the affiliate there? – Would the sale have had the same value? – Would the sale have gone to another channel without the affiliate in the click stream? – Imagine a bucket… What is an incremental sale?
  5. 5. 5 • The Bucket Analogy – 1st bucket: 6 different hoses from 6 different sources – 2nd bucket: 6 hoses spliced off from each other – 3rd bucket: 6 hoses from one source • Which bucket fills the fastest? What is an Incremental Sale?
  6. 6. 6 • Incremental isn’t necessarily black or white • Examples – Customer woke up in the morning with no thoughts of buying anything – Customer knew what he wanted to buy but not sure where – Customer already knew what he was going to buy and where he was going to buy it Levels of Incrementality
  7. 7. 7 • First/Only touch – Are there other marketing channels or affiliates in the click stream? – Was the affiliate the first touch? – Did the affiliate come later in the click stream? Elements of an incremental sale
  8. 8. 8 • Is the behavior introducing the merchant, influencing the purchase, or closing the sale? – Each of these has benefit but some are more incremental than others • Introducer – Most likely to be incremental • Influencer – High incrementaltiy • Closing sale – Questionable incrementality – This is where the work comes in Elements of an incremental sale
  9. 9. 9 • New Customer – Is this the first time a customer has shopped at the merchant? – Is this a regular customer? Has the customer purchased before? – Is the affiliate “reactivating” the customer? Elements of an incremental sale
  10. 10. 10 • Time between click and sale – Is the affiliate cookie set very close to the checkout? • Know your site metrics. How long does a normal checkout take? If an affiliate’s sales take significantly less time than that they probably aren’t incremental – Under a couple minutes could be concerning Elements of an incremental sale ~16 minutes between click and checkout ~1 minutes between click and checkout
  11. 11. 11 • High Order Value – Is the order above average? – Did the affiliate do anything to encourage a bigger cart value? • Recommending high ticket products • Suggesting multiple items • Pairing items together – Did the affiliate cause the cart value to increase? Elements of an incremental sale
  12. 12. 12 • Coupon Usage – A coupon doesn’t automatically negate any incrementality – Did the coupon cause or influence a specific action? – Did the coupon help drive the sale or close the sale? – Did the coupon encourage the customer to buy from one merchant vs. another? – Are the coupons just being used by people jumping out of the cart to find a discount? Elements of an incremental sale
  13. 13. 13 • If you take the affiliate out of the equation would the customer have purchased anyway? – Other paid marketing channels • Is the affiliate channel more efficient than other channels? – Offline marketing – Other affiliates – Regular customer Elements of an incremental sale
  14. 14. 14 • Be creative – new merchants, new products, creative connections • Communicate with your affiliate manager • Drive high AOV orders • Drive new customers • Push a merchant to your audience • Jump on high demand opportunities How can Affiliates Drive Incremental Sales
  15. 15. 15 • Know your stats/metrics • Know your customer flow • Know your affiliates and talk with them • Utilize advanced commission rules • Reward incremental sales • Pay less for non-incremental sales • Pay what a sale is worth • Be smart with coupons • Test Everything How can merchants encourage incremental sales from their affiliates?
  16. 16. Contact Me Email – Twitter - @drcool73 Skype – joesousa73