How to Track Affiliate Sales in WordPress (2023)
So you want to know how to track affiliate sales in WordPress?
That means you fit into one of two groups: you’re either thinking about running an affiliate program, or you’re an affiliate.
Great news, we’ve got you both covered.
Just click on the links to scroll to the information that’s relevant to you, and find out how to track affiliate sales in WordPress.
Tracking Affiliate Sales is Key to Improving Performance
It can sometimes feel like you’re flying blind in digital marketing. You can’t physically see how many people are “walking into” your shop and what products they’re taking an interest in.
However, you have something even more powerful, and it’s hidden in your analytics.
With the right software, you can get extremely detailed affiliate analytics that helps you fine-tune your performance. The key is being able to unlock the secrets that are stored within the data.
We’re going to show you how to track affiliate sales and understand the affiliate marketing strategies that are helping you to make those sales.
With these steps, you can make a measurable improvement in your conversion rates and start growing your business more quickly.
How to Track Affiliate Sales as a Program Manager
Sales are how you measure the effectiveness of your affiliate program. It’s great getting clicks to your website, but ultimately, you need the revenue that affiliate sales bring in.
So, how can you track affiliate sales in WordPress?
It’s actually incredibly easy to set up affiliate link tracking and see detailed results from your WordPress dashboard.
Step 1: Install AffiliateWP
AffiliateWP is the best affiliate management plugin for WordPress.
It’s going to allow you to create your own affiliate program (as opposed to an affiliate network) in under 10 minutes and start tracking affiliate sales. Awesome affiliate management tools will help you sign up the best affiliates (bloggers, influencers, SEO experts, and more), and real-time analytics are going to show you how to maximize affiliate sales.
Just head to the pricing page and choose the plan that best fits your needs.
Once you’ve completed your purchase, you can easily install the plugin following this simple guide.
As soon as it’s installed, you can use the setup wizard to connect your products, memberships, courses, and forms to AffiliateWP using the one-click integrations.
Before you know it, you’ll have a full-functioning affiliate program (no need for coding or technical knowledge)!
Step 2: Sign Up Innovative Affiliates
When you’ve completed the setup wizard, AffiliateWP will automatically create an Affiliate Area for you.
You can edit this by going to Pages and searching for Affiliate Area. The new page will show up in the search and you can edit it just like any normal WordPress page.
Use the editable templates to quickly design your affiliate registration form, and set out your requirements.
Affiliate applications will show up on your Affiliates page, and you can easily accept or reject applications with the click of a button. Affiliates will then be able to log into their account from the same page and easily generate affiliate URLs to your product pages.
They just need to copy the URL of the page they want to send traffic to, and paste it into the URL generator. A personalized affiliate link will be created, and they can use this to promote your products in their blogs, social media posts, email marketing, and more.
The chances are, that just like you, your affiliates will want to track their affiliate links and coupon codes very closely, and there’s one super helpful thing you can do for them here.
Add AffiliateWP’s Custom Affiliate Slugs addon.
This will allow affiliates to customize their affiliate links so they’re easier to track. Throw in the fact that they can make them much more attractive, and they’re a huge bonus for prospective affiliates.
Step 3: Track Affiliate Sales on the Referrals Page
AffiliateWP will automatically track conversions for you and assign referrals to the correct affiliates.
All that’s left for you to do now is track affiliate sales by navigating to AffiliateWP > Referrals. Here, you’ll see a summary of all your referrals, with detailed information on:
- Referral ID
- Product Description
- Referral Type
This will give you an immediate picture of the individual affiliate sales you’re making, but what if you want to take a wider view?
You can dig deeper into your overall affiliate sales by going to the Reports page. Click the Sales tab at the top and you’ll see a huge amount of real-time reports about how your program is performing. Compare sales over time, and get a good sense of how your affiliate program is progressing.
Step 4: Take Things a Step Further with MonsterInsights
MonsterInsights is the best WordPress analytics plugin, and it’s going to help take your AffiliateWP analytics tools to the next level.
It syncs with AffiliateWP with the click of a button, and helps add more detailed affiliate metrics to your Google Analytics.
You’ll now be able to see enhanced affiliate data for things like affiliate IDs, demographics, landing page conversions by affiliates, and other affiliate-specific data. Having this functionality allows you to track affiliate sales on a much deeper level and use the data to drastically improve the performance of your program.
MonsterInsights is a perfect tool for any website, but it’s particularly useful when tracking affiliate sales.
Check out MonsterInsights’ pricing!
How to Track Affiliate Sales as an Affiliate
Tracking affiliate links as an affiliate can get really tricky.
It’s easy enough when you’re a member of one affiliate program and only promote a couple of products, but it gets harder and harder as your affiliate marketing campaigns grow.
Because affiliate conversions take place on the merchant’s website, you have to rely on the sales data your affiliate program gives you. Hopefully, they’re using good software like AffiliateWP so you can get maximum insights into how you make sales.
However, there are some things you can do on your side to track affiliate links.
Let’s take a look at how you can track affiliate sales and improve your performance.
Step 1: Install MonsterInsights
MonsterInsights is the best WordPress analytics plugin and it’s got some awesome tools for affiliates.
Its dedicated affiliate links feature makes it incredibly easy to track affiliate links with Google Analytics and maximize your insights.
Simply head to the pricing page and choose the plan that best fits your needs.
Once you’ve completed your purchase, you can follow this easy guide to install the plugin and get everything set up.
Now that you’ve set up MonsterInsights, it’s going to make it incredibly easy to access your data and turn it into meaningful insights directly within WordPress.
Step 2: Manage Affiliate Links
Here’s where we come to the big problem of affiliate link tracking: you have affiliate links from different programs all over your websites. They’re not uniform, so they’re very difficult to track.
To overcome this problem, you need to start managing your affiliate links so they’re easy for your analytics to identify. There are two great software options to help you do this, Pretty Links, and ThirstyAffiliates.
Not only do they make it easy to insert affiliate links into your posts and make them less ugly, but they also make them easier to track.
This is because they allow you to create a more uniform affiliate link structure.
Let’s take a default AffiliateWP affiliate URL – it’s going to look a little something like this: https://merchantsawesomesite.com/ref/3/.
But if you take a Shareasale affiliate URL, it might look something like this: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=601672&U=123456&M=49337&urllink=.
To successfully track affiliate links, you need to standardize your link structure, and Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates let you do this.
So now, you can turn those links into something like this:
Once you have the standardized structure (in this case /affiliate/), then your analytics knows what to look for.
Step 3: Set Up Affiliate Link Tracking
Now that you have a standardized structure for your affiliate links, you can help MonsterInsights to identify them.
To do this, navigate to Insights > Settings and click on the Publisher tab at the top of the page. Here you can add your affiliate path, so, in our last example, it would be /affiliate/.
You can add as many paths as you want, helping you to manage your affiliate links while still collecting important data on the number of clicks.
Once you’ve clicked Save Changes you’ll then be able to track affiliate links by going to Reports > Publishers and scrolling down to the Top Affiliate Links section.
You can then expand on this report by clicking View All Affiliate Links Report. This will take you to an in-depth view of your affiliate link performance in your Google Analytics account.
Next, Get a Second Chance with the People You Don’t Convert
Not many people convert on their first visit to your website.
Whether it’s clicking an affiliate link, or buying a product, only a small percentage of people will end up taking the action you want them to take (the average e-commerce conversion rate is thought to be around 2.35%). That means a ton of people are leaving your website, and you’ve got no way to reconnect with them.
OptinMonster changes this by giving you a second chance.
It helps you to turn affiliate website visitors into leads (subscribers), so even if they don’t take the action you want them to take, you’ve got a second chance. You can put people into your email marketing campaign automations, build the relationship, and gradually convince them to take action.
You know how to track affiliate sales, now’s the time to give them a boost with OptinMonster, the most powerful conversion optimization toolkit.
FAQs: How to Track Affiliate Sales
Does Google Analytics track affiliate links?
Google Analytics can track affiliate links using the MonsterInsights plugin. It allows you to easily set up affiliate link tracking and gain important insights into the performance of your affiliate URLs.
What are the KPIs for affiliate marketing
The most important KPIs for affiliate marketing are referrals (conversions), affiliate revenue, clicks, and conversion rate. Together, these KPIs are going to give you a good picture of how your affiliate links are performing, but with good analytics, you can dig much deeper into these numbers and other important elements like user experience.
How do I set up affiliate tracking?
You can set up affiliate tracking using affiliate management software like AffiliateWP. This will enable you to set up an affiliate marketing program in under 10 minutes, and start tracking affiliate links, managing affiliate partnerships, and making affiliate payouts.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a URL that contains an affiliate’s unique ID or username. Affiliate management software allows affiliates to create unique affiliate URLs that leave a cookie in the browsers of people who click the link. The affiliate tracking software can then recognize the cookie in people’s browsers and assign referrals to affiliates when that visitor makes a purchase.
Knowing How to Track Affiliate Sales Gives Your Business a Big Revenue Boost
Affiliate sales make up 16% of all online orders and you need to get in on this by knowing how to track affiliate sales.
With AffiliateWP and MonsterInsights this is incredibly easy, giving you access to the affiliate data you need to grow your business.
Want more helpful insights to help your business grow?
We’ve got you covered:
- How to Set Up an Affiliate Program in WordPress (Complete Guide)
- How to Create Affiliate Links in WordPress (Simple Guide)
- How to Automate Your Affiliate Program in WordPress (Step-by-Step)
- 5+ Best Affiliate Giveaway Ideas (Ultimate List)
- How to Use Social Proof to Increase Your Conversions (7 Ways)
Now there’s only one thing left to do.