How to View and Download ShareASale Performance Reports

In last week’s post I showed you how to access and pull affiliate performance reports on CJ Affiliate By Conversant. This week’s post will be on the same topic, but explore reports on ShareASale. After reading this you will have an understanding of the three (3) types of reports to focus on and what they contain. So without further ado, a step by step guide (with images) on how to pull affiliate program and affiliate performance reports from ShareASale.

Step 1 – Hover over the Reports Tab

Once you login to your merchant account you will see a navigation bar with 5 tabs including: Reports, Affiliates, My Creatives, Tools, and My Account. To access the affiliate reports you need to hover your mouse over Reports. You will see many options, but the three reports we will focus on are 1. Weekly Progress 2. Affiliate Timespan 3. Banner Performance.

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Step 2 – Click Weekly Progress

This report gives you a snapshot of the previous two (2) weeks performance broken down daily. You have the option to adjust the start date of the report, length of the report, number of weeks to display, and have it converted into a downloadable CSV file. However, I recommend opening the CSV files using Excel. Here is a post that shows you how to open a pipe-delimited file.

Weekly Progress # 1

The contents of the report include: clicks, gross sales, number of sales, net sales, voids, commission, number of affiliates in program, and number of active affiliates.

SaS Weekly Progress Report

Step 3 – Affiliate Timespan Report

You must hover over the Reports tab and click Affiliate Timespan. This report is similar to the weekly progress report except it provides each affiliate and the number of clicks and sales they generated for a specific time period.  You can customize the report dates, target individual affiliates and download the entire report in a handy CSV file.

Affiliate TimeSpan # 1

The contents of the report include: The affiliate ID and main URL, clicks generated, sales, commissions earned, EPC (Earnings Per 100 Clicks),  and average order value.

Affiliate TimeSpan # 2

 Step 4 – Banner Performance Report

Again, hover your mouse over the Reports tab and select Banner Performance Report. This report gives you vital statistics on the performance of your creatives (banners and text links). You can customize the reporting period to view, view only specific kinds of creatives (i.e. banners) and download it in a CSV file.

Banner Performance #1

The contents of the Banner Performance Report are:  banner id (click on it and it will show you the exact banner/text link), type, the amount of sales it generated along with dollar amount.

Banner Report # 2

As an affiliate manager that manages multiple accounts these reports touched upon are extremely important to review daily and weekly. They provide you current trends, top performing affiliates, and top performing creatives. They provide you all most of the information you will need to effectively manage your ShareASale affiliate program on a day-to-day basis.

How to Access Performance Reports on CJ Affiliate Network

Reports are an extremely essential piece to effectively managing affiliate programs, but knowing what reports to review and how to find them is equally as important. At any given time you (merchant) should know how the affiliate program is performing and what affiliates are driving results. Each affiliate network’s interface is different in how the reports are generated and accessed. I will show you a step by step guide (with images) on how to pull affiliate program and affiliate performance reports from CJ Affiliate by Conversant.

Step 1 – Click the Report Tab

Once you are logged into your CJ Affiliate merchant account, click the Report tab at the top. It is the 5th tab from the left.

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Step 2 – Select the Performance Report

This is where you select the type of report to view/download. To review overall program statistics select “Program” and to review publisher (affiliate) statistics select “Publisher”.

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Step 3 – Select Desired Date Range

You have a plethora of options here. There is a custom option if you want to pull data for specific dates/weeks as well as options for the current month, the last month (and up to the previous 6 months), the last 30 days, the current week, the day before, and the current day.

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Step 4 – Create and Review the Chosen Reports

Once you have selected the report type (program or affiliate) and date range to analyze, click the “Run Report” button and the data you requested will populate below the fold.

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Step 5 – Download Your Reports

To download your reports simply hit the “download” button and it will allow you to save it as a CSV file on your computer.

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There you have it, a step-by-step guide to downloading affiliate program performance reports in CJ Affiliate. If you are a merchant, but do not have your affiliate program on CJ Affiliate don’t worry I will be doing guides for other networks in the coming weeks.

Tips For an Effective Affiliate Newsletter

Affiliate newsletters are an integral part of creating and maintaining solid relationships with affiliates. However, it isn’t unusual for merchants to miss some of the key ingredients of an effective newsletter. I have seen newsletters that include only new or upcoming deals or a brief announcement about the program, but what lack structure, personalization, and other important elements. Not that there is anything wrong with sending new deals to your affiliates, but it should be in a manner that catches their attention. Affiliates may get hundreds of newsletters a month, so making yours stand out is critical.

The goal of affiliate newsletters is to show your affiliates that you care about them and want them to succeed. By showing you care the chances the newsletter is successful is greater. Affiliates are busy professionals too and a newsletter should be personalized, helpful, and motivating.  Here are the elements I include in newsletters to affiliates:

1.       Introduction

Thank the affiliates for being aboard your program and then outline what the newsletter is going to include (deals, contests, new banners, etc.). This will let them know what to expect when reading it.

2.       Promotions/Deals

This is the section where you want to inform your affiliates of any new promotions/deals that will be run during the next 30 days or so. Provide as much information about the deals as possible including any promo codes, expiration dates, and ready-made links to the deals that include the affiliates unique ID. Providing ready-made links with the affiliates ID embedded allows them to simply copy and paste instead of creating it themselves. If you cannot provide the ready-made links then you should provide them clear instructions on where they can locate them within the network interface (CJ, ShareASale, LinkShare, etc.).

3.       Top Performing Creatives

Pick out your 5 top performing creatives (banners and/or text links) and include them in this section of the newsletter. As with the promotions/deals section you want to provide them with ready-made links so that the affiliate can simply copy and paste. Affiliates want to promote your products using creatives that convert, so provide it to them. They do not have access to the analytics data for each creative, so by providing it to them they know which ones are going to make them the most money.

4.       Bonus Opportunities/Contests

This touches upon the motivating piece of affiliate newsletters. Providing affiliates additional ways to earn more money will keep them motivated and also push them to promote the product/service harder. Bonuses can be first sale bonuses (to inactive affiliates) or include a sales threshold to receive additional money (i.e. refer 10 sales in 30 days and receive a $50 bonus). Contests are also a fun way to get all your affiliates involved. By having cash prizes or highly sought after electronics (iPads) will help motivate your affiliate base.

5.       Conclusion

Reiterate any important information and be sure to let your affiliates know that you are there for them at any time. In this section I include the email address I can be reached at and also my twitter handle so if so some reason I cannot be reached via email they can tweet me. Providing affiliates with as much contact information as possible is our (AM Navigator’s) rule of thumb.

To recap: affiliate newsletters should be personalized, helpful, and motivating. Your newsletter is one of many they receive and you must make it stand out among your competitors. Including the 5 above elements (not all 5 need to be included in each newsletter) into your newsletters will show the affiliates of your program that you care and want them to succeed.

5 Common Affiliate Banner Mistakes to Avoid

On December 19, 2014 I wrote a post that discussed affiliate banner ads, more specifically requirements, sizes, and examples of affiliate banners. With my first post of 2015 I would like to discuss 5 of the most common mistakes (I see) made when creating affiliate banners. The mistakes that are going to be discussed are ones seen most often when working with merchants and can be the difference for an affiliate to use a competitor’s banner ad.

Mistake # 1 – Poor Graphics

This one in particular can be the difference for an affiliate to market a competitor’s product. Graphics should be clear and not pixelated. Merchants should be sure that the version of the graphic they are using is high quality and looks good on the created banner.

Mistake # 2 – Font Unreadable

This is one mistake I see way too often. Why would you include text on a banner when it is not legible? Font that is either too small or blurry will do more harm than good, in fact it may hurt the conversion rate. If you want to include a tagline or some other text on banners that is fine, but including it on small banners (i.e. 88×31) is not recommended.

Mistake # 3 – Brand Not Included

How are the potential customers supposed know who the product is being marketed by? Including the brand should be a top priority and should never be omitted. In my time managing affiliate programs I have seen this mistake more than I would like to, so never forget to include your brand name/logo.

Mistake # 4 – No Call to Action

A clear call to action is a must for all affiliate banners. Do not assume that visitor knows to click the banner, so ASK them by including the appropriate call to action. Examples of calls to action include: Shop Now, Click Here, and Learn More.

Mistake # 5 – Missing a Border  

This is by far the most common mistake I see when merchants create affiliate banners. The banners can include amazing graphics, a concise message, and a call to action, but are missing a small, yet important detail: a border.

Banners created with white or very light backgrounds get lost in the white backgrounds of affiliate sites. Be sure to include a 1 pixel line around the border of all affiliate banners to ensure your banners stand out.

If you avoid making the 5 common mistakes referenced you will have quality affiliate banners that affiliates will be proud to display on their sites. Affiliate banners are another marketing tool, so make sure they represent your brand in the way you want.