An affiliate link is tool used in affiliate marketing programs. A unique link is assigned to an affiliate partner by a partner program. When a website user clicks on the link, that click is attributed to the affiliate partner. The link contains the affiliate's ID or username to enable tracking. This means that traffic sent by the affiliate can be recorded (and rewarded).
If the person that clicks the link later converts (for example, by purchasing the software) then that conversion is also attributed to the affiliate partner.
Example: Connectco signed up for Razor's affiliate program and was assigned an affiliate link. Their link got 20,000 clicks each month, meaning a nice payout for Connectco.
An activation rate is a metric used by companies to determine when their users are achieving value. Your partner program’s activation rate is the percentage of partners that sign up for your program that gain or add value in the program. What is defined as activation can differ between programs, but it's often a first sale, first referral, or revenue achieved over a set number of months — something that indicates the partner is likely to stay profitable or engaged.
To determine your activation rate, you can take the number of partners who successfully met your activation metric, divide it by the total number of partners who joined your program, and multiply that result by 100.
Also see: Activation
Example: Soltech measured their activation rate to be 30%, which was lower than their target of 60%. They decided to revamp their partner onboarding process to better prepare their partners to sell.