Shocking Affiliate Stats (And Why They Matter)

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I run a lot of reports, especially this time of year. I watch various metrics including my own site’s traffic (and where it is coming from), where the traffic is going, and how much money I am making. But sometimes using raw data without digging in deep enough can actually cause you to lose money. I have 2 great examples from this week.

The Merchant Taking Advantage of Me

2 data points that affiliate marketers look at are the AOV (average order value) and the conversion rate (the percentage of traffic you send that actually buys anything).

I have a merchant that is doing REALLY well in those two areas for the month of December:

AOV: $102.73 Conversion Rate: 21%

Those are pretty great numbers for just about any program. I should be pushing them like crazy, right?


A number that is even more important is the actual commission rate. This isn’t the top line number that they advertise for the program. This is what you are being paid after you take into consideration sale prices, non-commisionable items, etc.

Total Sales: $2568.17 Total Commissions: $2.91

That’s not a typo. That’s $2.91 in commissions on $2568.17 in sales. Thanks to Eric Nagel for doing the math on this one for me, that’s a 0.11% commission rate. As in— 1/10 of 1 percent commission rate.

I would say that is essentially free traffic. What they are paying me versus what I am sending them amounts to pretty much free traffic

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