Some of you might have gathered that affiliate program conversion rate tends not to be a big issue in the world of the duck. The only number we tend to look at is the one with a pound sign in front of it, and provided that’s moving upwards it’s good news. However, conversion data provided by networks for programs is I expect useful to some people in order to judge who to promote and not.

However is it time for that data to be kicked into touch?

For example Merchant X on a network has a conversion rate of 2% and an EPC of 0.15! What does that actually mean to you as an affiliate? Let’s assume you choose not to promote this merchant as the conversion rate is low and instead pick a competitor, Merchant Y, who’s conversion rate is much higher.

Now consider this – what if Merchant Y only has a higher conversion rate due to extensive work with vouchers or even cashback. In comparison Merchant X doesn’t work with these kind of sites, but it’s CR for say blog content is actually higher than Merchant Y.

Merchant XMerchant Y
Loyalty7%
Vouchers5%
Blog2%0.1%
Average2%4%

In the table above, Merchant X’s average CR is 2%. They don’t work with loyalty or vouchers so aren’t included in the average. Merchant Y does, but is poor for blog content and therefore has dragged down the average. Yet it still looks a better proposition than it’s competitor.

The above is a rough demonstration, and not based on any reality, but it serves a point. If you were going to write content for Merchant Y then you’d know that any text you put together that you should include their discount codes in order to improve the chances of conversion.

Although the table above only selects 3 areas of affiliate marketing there are of course plenty more. Email and Search for example. If you knew a merchant converts better via email than pure content then that could a great deal.

Opening up this kind of data to affiliates seems to me logical, but it’s probably akin to opening a can of worms, discovering pandora’s box inside and then opening that for good measure. Would networks and merchants be happy for this level of openness? Is the data there in the first place? Would it reveal more about a program than is currently available?

Then of course there’s the question would affiliates use the data? In theory it should help them make more astute decisions about who to promote and more importantly how. However, many affiliates prefer the suck it and see method. Sometimes a turkey for one affiliate is a golden goose for another.