Analytics

How to Build a Great Affiliate Marketing Dashboard? Best Practices and Top Metrics to Include

Learn how to build an effective affiliate marketing dashboard including which metrics to add to it and what best practices to follow.

Masooma Memon Masooma Memon on July 8, 2022 (last modified on June 29, 2022) • 12 minute read

Have you been meaning to create an affiliate marketing dashboard? Good call!

The dashboard can help you track and optimize performance, narrow down which channels drive the most results, and a lot more.

Keep in mind though, understanding which type of an affiliate marketing dashboard you need, how to design it, and which metrics to include is uber important.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got the answer for you in this guide.

We talked to 28 experts, 75% of who are currently using affiliate marketing and 17% have used it before. Only 7% of them haven’t used it but plan to.

So here’s what we’ll cover today:

Let’s get on with it.

Why You Should Use an Affiliate Dashboard for Your Program

An affiliate dashboard visualizes your complete affiliate program on one screen, helping your track affiliates and campaign performance.

Creating an affiliate marketing dashboard comes with many perks. These include:

Easily Track Your Entire Affiliate Program

From affiliates you’re partnering with to how much revenue they’re bringing in for you, an affiliate marketing dashboard visualizes it all on one screen.

As a result, tracking performance becomes a piece of cake. You don’t need to pull emails to check performance, for example. Instead, you can grab performance statistics from a visually engaging screen in an instance.

Improve Affiliate Campaign Performance

By laying all affiliate campaign metrics in one place, an affiliate dashboard helps you see patterns in data and performance. This, in turn, assists you in identifying opportunities for improvement.

Besides, by summarizing channel by channel performance, this kind of dashboard helps you double down on profitable channels and incentivize affiliates that bring in the most revenue.

Keeps Things Professional

In addition to helping you track, analyze, and improve performance, an affiliate marketing dashboard helps you build better partnerships.

For example, you can easily onboard new affiliates using a welcome affiliate marketing dashboard. You can also track their progress while letting them track their performance on an easy-to-understand dashboard.

Types of Affiliate Marketing Dashboards

You can create a handful of affiliate marketing dashboards or work with an all-in-one dashboard as 46%, the majority of the folks we surveyed, use.

Types of Affiliate Marketing Dashboards

Needless to say, each type of an affiliate marketing dashboard has its benefits. Let’s look at them next:

  • All-in-one affiliate marketing dashboard. This dashboard type shows all your essential affiliate marketing metrics from across your marketing channels in one place. You can easily use it to track and analyze important metrics on one screen — no switching between dashboards required.
  • SEO marketing dashboards. An SEO marketing dashboard helps you track the sales that come from the websites of your affiliate partners. See how frequently they link to your product/service and how many people click those links. You can also easily track leads coming through this type of affiliate marketing.
  • PPC marketing dashboards. This dashboard shows you the performance of ads that affiliates run for your business. You can use it to track visitor actions such as the links they’re clicking.
  • Social media marketing dashboards. This type of dashboard drills down your affiliate campaigns’ performance by social channels. The board shows you how each channel is doing, which one is doing the best, and which needs the most work.
  • Email marketing dashboards. This dashboard helps you track sales from affiliates’ email lists. Using it, you can easily tell which affiliates have the most engaged lists.

The dashboard type that you choose to create for your business depends a lot on where you are in your affiliate marketing journey.

Maxburst’s Andrew Ruditser’s advice is pretty helpful here. According to Ruditser, “there are two major approaches to building an affiliate marketing dashboard. The first approach is to create a basic dashboard to track the performance of one affiliate network. This is the best option if you are new to affiliate marketing and don’t want to spend too much time worrying about advanced features.”

Ruditser adds, “the second approach is to create an all-encompassing dashboard that can track multiple affiliate networks, lead generation processes, and other metrics.” This is best suitable for those who have been into affiliate marketing for some time and have been successfully using it to grow their revenue.

Most Effective Affiliate Marketing Channels

According to our expert respondents, proven and most effective channels for affiliate marketing are social media platforms, blogs, and email marketing (in this order).

Most Effective Affiliate Marketing Channels

And it turns out, PPC isn’t as effective as the rest of the affiliate marketing channels.

This makes it clear, people only trust recommendations and buy from those people (your affiliates) who engage with them. For example, by providing them value through the content they create for their blogs.

5 Metrics to Measure Affiliate Marketing Success

Now that you’re clear on what an affiliate marketing dashboard is, how it benefits you, and the types to create, let’s look at the metrics to add.

Five of the most popular metrics that companies add to their affiliate dashboards are:

  • Revenue. Added by 71% of businesses, the metric shows how much revenue this type of marketing brings them.
  • Conversion rate. Included by 61% of companies to their affiliate dashboard, this metric shows at which rate your affiliates’ efforts are converting into business for you.
  • Net monthly sales. This metric is added by 50% of companies and it depicts the sales businesses make on a monthly basis from affiliate marketing.
  • Traffic quality. 50% of experts add this metric to their affiliate dashboards. It shows where the traffic is coming from and its composition, helping you identify how aligned it is with your target buyer.
  • Affiliate engagement. 50% of companies slip this metric into their affiliate marketing dashboards. It shows the engagement your business gets because of affiliates mentioning your product/service.

Here’s an overview of other common affiliate marketing metrics added to dashboards:

Affiliate Marketing Success Metrics

When building your affiliate marketing dashboard, you shouldn’t select metrics randomly though. Instead, choose a combination that shows you how well your affiliate marketing is doing.

For example, at Fair Cash Deal, Rashard Alomari shares the combination metrics featured in their dashboard. “Number of leads, Clicks Conversion rate, Cost per lead, and Revenue per affiliate.”

“Combined, these metrics give you end-to-end insights regarding your affiliate marketing efforts. You get to know what is working and what’s not, whether there’s a lack of affinity between your audience and items and how much sales you need to make for profit,” says Alomari.

“The impact this has made on my business has been enormous. We have been able to streamline our reporting mechanisms and curate much better and visually appealing content for our customers and followers.”

On the other hand, Brandon Walsh from Golf Clubs Guru shares, “My affiliate marketing dashboard includes click-through rate, visitor conversion, and ad impressions. These metrics allow me to closely monitor my engagement with the target audience.

As a result, the marketing team can make data-driven decisions to increase the return on investment. Customer engagement and retention have increased due to these efforts. This has impacted my business positively as I can change my marketing strategies to boost my sales and generate higher revenue.”

Similarly, Radhika Gupta from 365 Solutions relies on three main metrics. “I created an affiliate dashboard three years back, keeping the basic parameters and three critical affiliate metrics in mind:

  • First, I used affiliate link click-throughs. This helped me analyze which links performed best and which were poor. I accordingly changed my link placement and their usage.
  • Next, I used visitor conversions which helped me identify how often visitors convert, which helped me understand their behaviors and target them better and improve sales.
  • Finally, the last one is link and advertisement impressions which gave me the percentage of people who saw my links that ended up clicking on them.”

In short, Gupta writes, “I kept things simple and included less but highly crucial metrics. The end result was that I could eliminate bad links and increase sales two-fold, and the impressions were pretty strong from the previous year.”

So you know what to do, right? Instead of tracking and obsessing over lots of metrics. Choose the most important ones so your focus doesn’t dilute and you can work on what matters the most.

Here’s more on how to track your affiliate marketing performance using 17 important KPIs.

How to Create a Great Affiliate Marketing Dashboard: 3 Expert Best Practices

Since the vast majority of the people we surveyed are using affiliate marketing and creating dashboards to track performance, we decided to ask them about best practices for creating great affiliate marketing dashboards.

Here are the top 3 tips we gathered:

  1. Make sure your dashboard presents data in an easy-to-read manner
  2. Create click events dashboards
  3. Add user engagement tracking features

1. Make sure your dashboard presents data in an easy-to-read manner

Effective data visualization is the key to creating usable boards that you can easily reference without having to spend hours trying to understand what a chart says.

Meaning: your affiliate marketing dashboard doesn’t just need any charts and graphs. Instead, it needs easy-to-read charts to present data. This makes it simple for you to analyze campaign performance.

It’s why Brandon Walsh from Golf Clubs Guru recommends, “Each dashboard design should specifically focus on effectively presenting data.

For instance, if an affiliate marketing dashboard was created for the CMO, it needs to have stats and figures represented by visuals, such as charts and graphs. This allows them to view the marketing performance and see the overall progress of the strategies implemented.”

2. Create click events dashboards

“Right now, I use GA4 reports to create ‘click event dashboards’ to see the highest outbound clicks for a particular course on my website (I track affiliate clicks from Udemy / other corresponding websites),” writes William Chin from YourDigitalaid.com.

“So for example, I recently posted an article on web development with a few links to Udemy. While I could check the affiliate network (Rakuten) to see whether or not these pages have driven clicks to the website, this only tells me clicks that have gone through LinkShare (the network) and to Udemy.”

“Using GA4’s new (easy) dashboard creation. I’ve created an ‘Outbound click’ event and also track the default ‘Click URL’. Here’s a day’s worth of data:

Create click events dashboards

“As you can easily see, my PMP article is successfully driving a lot of clicks to Udemy. Once your dashboard is created, you can easily filter the data and blend to get a better understanding of your demographics.”

Create click events dashboards - 2

“Ultimately, it only took me 20 minutes to build this dashboard and now I know what pages are performing well and which ones are not (click drivers per se),” Chin concludes.

3. Add user engagement tracking features

“I’d really recommend adding user engagement tracking features to your affiliate marketing dashboard,” comments Plasmic’s Yang Zhang

“Amateur affiliate marketers tend to think in binaries — did the user convert or not, or have they been retained (or not). User engagement is more of a spectrum and involves the right dashboard data analysis to classify users into buckets.”

This means even if a user hasn’t converted yet, you still have a chance to convert them based on how interested they’re in your business.

Zhang explains, “Start with three categories — casual, core, and power users. The latter are the ones who are coming to your site frequently to find information, review updates, and purchase products.

Core users have a steady interest in your business while casual users may have only stopped by once or twice. When you start divvying up your user base this way, your dashboard becomes a better source of granular information you can use to make better decisions.”

In fact, the same dashboard can help inform your lead nurturing campaigns. For instance, focus on engaging core and power users.

Create your Affiliate Marketing Dashboard Today

To recap, a great affiliate marketing dashboard helps to track and analyze your affiliate campaigns’ performance. You can always create one, central dashboard that shows all your essential metrics or create channel-specific dashboards.

Either way, an affiliate marketing dashboard is only as effective as the metrics it features and its design.

A dashboard featuring a tornado of metrics, for example, is rarely useful since you can’t focus on what matters the most. Similarly, a poorly designed dashboard with unreadable charts and graphs doesn’t help.

Want to create an easy-to-read, visually engaging dashboard within minutes? Use Databox to create your affiliate marketing dashboard.

Start with identifying metrics to add to the dashboard and their data sources. Then plug these data sources into Databox and it’ll create a beautiful dashboard for you.

If needed, customize the dashboard — change its color or font size, tweak charts’ size, and so on. And that’s all, your affiliate marketing dashboard is ready.

This was easy, wasn’t it? So sign up for Databox for free and start building your dashboard right away.

About the author
Masooma Memon
Masooma Memon Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.
You may also like...
Read more

How to Create a Dashboard In Jira? A Step By Step Guide

Learn how to create a comprehensive dashboard in Jira that will help you stay on top of your most important projects.

Analytics   |  Aug 11

Read more

Crucial Landing Page Metrics You Should Track to Increase Conversions

Your landing page looks perfect, but how well is it converting? These landing page metrics will help you monitor and analyze its performance.

Analytics   |  Aug 11

Read more

How to Build a Safety KPI Dashboard? 8 Metrics You Should Include

Learn how to create a safety KPI dashboard, including understanding which metrics you need to include and why.

Analytics   |  Aug 10