Last year we looked at how business intelligence was powering more meaningful data. With advertisers, agencies and affiliate networks having access of significant volumes of data, it is playing an even more important role in shaping strategies across the online spectrum.

One of the main benefits of online advertising is the fact that every action is trackable. It is possible to understand how much influence a piece of creative or promotional offer had upon consumer behaviour. By thinking about the metrics that are important to them, advertisers can determine how data is being captured and the insights they wish to gain. This post outlines five data points advertisers can take into consideration when analysing their campaigns.

Mobile Data

Mobile commerce has experienced a staggering increase over the past few years. One in every three transactions is now originating from a mobile device. Advertisers can analyse their mobile data to understand the devices generating traffic as well as how each device is converting.

By uncovering their peak periods it, is possible to plan mobile activity more effectively. For example, mobile traffic is typically higher at weekends so mobile promotions should be scheduled to take advantage of the increase in traffic.

The impact of optimising the mobile customer journey should also be considered. Has the conversion rate increased and does it encourage customers to spend more when landing on a mobile optimised version of the site?

With the increase in mobile activity, a major challenge for advertisers is understanding the customer journey across multiple devices. Cross device tracking will play an increasingly important role in the coming years and will enable advertisers to further optimise their campaigns for cross device customer journeys.

Customer quality through publishers

The data captured allows for greater analysis of the publishers delivering high quality customers. There was a time when advertisers were purely focussed on the quantity of customers, however, a greater emphasis is placed on the quality of customers.

Each advertiser will have their own unique KPIs when analysing the quality of customers, but this could typically be a customer that returns frequently and has high order values each time they do.

By analysing the data of each of the top publishers on a programme, advertisers can understand those that are driving quality customers and reward them accordingly. For example, contrary to common misconceptions, the leading cashback sites have shown themselves to be adept at delivering profitable customers. By optimising the level of cashback on offer, advertisers are able to generate increased volumes of profitable customers.

Analysing the influence

Premised on the last click wins model, affiliate marketing has typically ignored the value publishers are able to provide at the earlier stages of the customer journey. With the vast amount of data available, advertisers are able to further analyse customer journeys and the influence a publisher may have had over a customer.

For example, price comparison or content sites may typically sit within the research phase of a customer journey. While the customer may not convert immediately after viewing one of these sites, if a customer that touched upon one of these sites went on to convert at a later date, it could be argued the site held some influence over their decision.

By monitoring customer journeys across multiple channels, patterns may emerge to show that customers who typically visit a certain comparison site, then go on to convert at a later stage. This will highlight the influence this site has had upon multiple customer journeys and allow the advertiser to reward them for their influence. This could typically be by looking at an alternative payment model such as a fixed cost tenancy agreement, or by paying a higher CPA for the sales the publisher does win on the last click to reflect the additional value earlier in the path to conversion.

Changing Promotional Messaging

With a number of promotional types operating within the channel, it is important for advertisers to understand the promotional activity that is working. It is possible to run tests to see the impact of promotions.

For example, changing the offer and messaging within an email could have an impact on the volume as well as the quality of sales.

Additionally, with vouchercode publishers able to generate vast volumes of customers, it is important to test the codes that are being used and analyse the performance of each. For example, does a £x off promotion convert better than x% off? What is the impact on average order values when using each?

By analysing performance data, advertisers can understand the promotional activity that sees an increase in sales as well as an uplift in the quality of customer generated.


While once advertisers were only interested in the volume of sales coming through the affiliate channel, there is now a lot more scrutiny placed on the value of these sales. Reporting has become increasingly sophisticated as client needs have required more bespoke analysis of their data. By better understanding the data available, advertisers have been able to optimise their campaigns to drive higher numbers of valuable customers to their brands.

Matt Swan

Matt Swan


Matt Swan is a Client Strategist at Affiliate Window.