How to View ShareASale Newsletter Performance Reports

Your affiliate newsletter has been sent to your affiliates, but how to you find out who is opening it? It is important to analyze such things as the open rate, bounce rate, and the individual affiliates that are reading the newsletter. I will provide a step-by-step guide to finding and reading your affiliate newsletter performance reports.

Step 1 – Locate and Click on the “Send Newsletter” Icon

Once logged in you will need to hover over the “Affiliates” tab and click the “Send Newsletter” icon.

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Step 2 – Click on the “Full Archive Page” Link

After you click on the “Send Newsletter” icon you will need to scroll down and click the “Full Archive Page” link. The link will take you to a page where it will show you all your previous newsletters sent.

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Step 3 – Choose “Report” from Newsletter Archive

This section will show you every single newsletter sent along with other pertinent information including: newsletter ID, the send date, how many affiliate it was sent to, the option to view the newsletter, and report. For the purpose of this post we are going to click on “Report”.

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Step 4  – Review Data for Specific Newsletters

Here is the data for each newsletter you chose. The rectangle box at the top will have the entire selection of available newsletters that have performance data. I removed all the sensitive information from the image, but you should see a few choices (if you have sent them in the past).

The information provided below provides exact numbers of opens, the open percentage, bounces, the bounce percentage, and the individual affiliates that opened the newsletter. To find out who the affiliates are that opened it simply click the “plus sign” (red square).

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Why are affiliate newsletter open rates and bounce rates important? They help in determining the best method to communicate with affiliates as well as the best times and days. The bounce rate could be a combination of invalid email addresses, mailboxes full, etc. To determine the best day and time to send affiliate newsletters we recommend A/B testing. Send a newsletter out on different days of the week, at different times, with different subject lines. Once you have completed the tests, simply review the data, learning from your successes, and constantly refining how you handle your future mailings.


How To Create and Send ShareASale Affiliate Newsletters

Affiliate newsletters are an important component in managing relationship with your affiliates. Communicating with your affiliates is extremely important to keeping them engaged and active. Newsletters should have a personal touch and provide affiliates with information they can use to further promote your products. In January I wrote a post on writing effective newsletters, but today I am going to show you how to send a newsletter through the ShareASale interface. I will provide a step-by-step guide to this very important, but sometimes overlooked piece.

Step 1 – Locate the “Send Newsletter” Icon

After you log in to your ShareASale merchant account, hover over the “Affiliates” tab and you will see a “Send Newsletter” icon (looks like a stack of newspapers). Click the “Send Newsletter” icon.

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Step 2 – Choose the Format You Want to Send the Newsletter In

You have three (3) options on how to send the newsletter to your affiliates:

  1. Text
  2. HTML
  3. Split Campaign.

When I send newsletters out for clients I use the HTML option because it allows me to create a robust newsletter with images and clickable links. The split campaign option is available when you want to maximize your open rate.

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Step 3 – Determine the Recipients of the Newsletter

By default is provides a list of ALL affiliates to send to, but if you do not want to send it to all affiliates ShareASale allows you to search affiliates in many ways including: groups, tags, commissions earned, clicks, country they reside in, or even past newsletter recipients. Once you determine who is getting the newsletter you will see them in the recipients section to the right.

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Step 4 – Compose your Newsletter

This is the section where you actually compose your newsletter. For this articles purpose I have chosen the HTML format. You must enter a compelling subject line (you want affiliates to open it) and the body of the newsletter. ShareASale offers ways to customize and personalize newsletter using Macros. You can insert a Macro and have the affiliates name automatically populate when it is sent to them and also include specific creatives that will embed the affiliates ID automatically.

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Step 5 – Preview your Newsletter

Once the subject line and body of the affiliate newsletter are complete you can preview it and make sure it is formatted the way you want and it is mistake free. In this step you can send a test to yourself to make sure all is good.

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Step 6 – Finalize the Newsletter and Prepare to Send

This is the final step before the newsletter is sent to your affiliates. To the right you will see a summary that will include any items that need your attention. The ones that require your attention will be in red. Here you will choose a From/Reply-to address and the delivery date and time. You have the option to schedule it, but not for a specific time, only certain times during the day. Please note that Friday’s are not a recommended day to send newsletters.

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There you have it, a guide to sending an affiliate newsletter through ShareASale. Like many of the other tasks in ShareASale it is straight forward. Next week I will show you how to locate affiliate newsletter open rate information.

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.