Affiliate tracking is technology used to track the traffic, referrals, and/or sales that come through a specific partner. The purpose of affiliate tracking is so that a company knows which affiliates drive favorable business outcomes (in other words, attribution), and can reward these individuals accordingly. UTM links are the most common mechanism for affiliate tracking.
Affiliate tracking can also be achieved using promo codes. For example, if an influencer can offer his or her audience 10% off a 1-year software subscription with the promo code PERCY10, this allows the company to track precisely how many sales Percy drives. This then enables the company to determine which partnerships are most lucrative and invest in building these relationships and enabling them to do their best work.
Example: Through affiliate tracking, Partner Marketing Manager Lisa identified five partners who were driving 60% of PekoeCorp’s partner-sourced sales each year. She decided to send them each a gift basket of PekoeCorp swag, fancy chocolates, and red wine.
The process of enabling and mobilizing the partners you've recruited to perform valuable activities for your business (e.g. sharing a link, making a referral, or closing a deal.) Many programs will define partners as “active” as soon as they’ve made a single successful referral or sale, but this can vary by program, so it’s worth figuring out what determines whether a partner is truly active in your program. Common partner activation signals include first deal registration, first closed deal, or generating revenue for a set number of months.
Partner activation is different from partner onboarding. Activation requires the active participation of the partner in the program, so it normally occurs after a partner has successfully onboarded.
Example: The newest partner to join RayCorp's partner program achieved activation three months after they finished onboarding when they successfully closed their first deal.