Maximizing Affiliate ROI

Apr 4, 2022
Written by Sophia Smylie

Managing ROI is a common focus for many advertisers. 

Luckily, CJ offers a variety of tools to help you determine and manage these targets for your program. Read on to learn how to leverage CJ’s solutions to maximize ROI.


Gain "Insights" and Set Goals

A great place to start is to pull reporting and evaluate current ROI to identify the goals that are most important to your business.


Use CJ Insights to look at overall program reporting, compare against YOY or POP data, and dig into more detail on a partner, link, coupon, and action level. When reviewing, consider the following questions:

  • Is your overall ROI in line with your business's target?
  • Which publishers are contributing to a high ROI, or have room for optimization?
  • Do any actions have a higher or lower ROI than the program?
  • Can you focus on additional program goals, such as revenue growth, expanding content distribution, or acquiring new customers to accommodate a lower ROI?
Affiliate Customer Journey Reporting

Affiliate Customer Journey reporting provides a great analysis opportunity when looking to understand ROI for your program. Since ROI is intrinsically tied to commission rates within your program, it’s important to have visibility into how your publishers drive customer interactions prior to the sale taking place. For example, if you see a higher purchase rate when a particular publisher is present in the evaluation phase, but they rarely receive credit, consider offering a higher commission rate to incentivize conversions.

While Affiliate Customer Journey reporting provides data that can support your commissioning decisions to maximize your ROI, read further to learn more about CJ's commissioning solutions and best practices to help you get the most out of your partnerships.


Get Creative with Flexible Program Terms and Commissioning

Program terms serve as the contract between you and each of your publishers and include details such as commission rates, performance incentives, item lists, as well as program policies. Each of these sections can be customized to help you manage your ROI. Create program terms for specific partners based on publisher performance, a promotional period, or even by publisher promotional method.

PRO TIP: Audit publisher partnerships every six months and before major peak seasons for your brand to ensure the program terms offered correspond with individual publisher performance and your ROI goals.

Here's a list of the CJ solutions that allow you to get creative with program terms and commissioning to maximize ROI:

Performance Incentives

Use performance incentives to create specific goals and reward publishers with higher commissions while maintaining your target ROI and a profitable default commission rate. There are three types of incentive goals to choose from when setting up performance incentives: 

  • Total sales amount driven
  • Total commissions earned
  • Total number of actions (sales or leads).

You can specify the threshold and the associated reward publishers would earn for reaching that threshold, efficiently managing your ROI while still encouraging growth.

Item-Based Commissioning

Another way to manage ROI is by incorporating item-based commissioning in your program terms to implement custom rates at the SKU level. For example, offer a higher rate for full price products, or provide a different commission for a cruise vs hotel stays. To set this up use Item or Product Lists based on your program's integration.

Publisher Groups

Leverage Publisher Groups to organize your optimization efforts and to help manage your ROI. Group publishers by promotional method, by performance, or even by different campaigns you are running with your partners. Extend program terms by group and even run reporting analysis at the group level to understand your ROI based on specific campaigns or promotional efforts.

Publishers can be in multiple groups; alternatively, include only one publisher in a group to limit link access, control promotional usage, and ROI.

Promotional Property Commissioning

Promotional Property Commissioning is another tool available to help maximize your ROI, allowing flexible commissioning at the property level. This is especially helpful for sub-affiliate, influencer, or global network partners, as they often have many different promotional properties which offer different kinds (and levels) of value to your brand. Set commission rates for specified properties to best align with your program goals and ROI.

Situational Commissioning

Another solution to consider leveraging to maximize ROI is Situational Commissioning, which lets you set a higher commission rate for attributes deemed most important to your business. For example, if you’re a retailer looking to incentivize publishers to promote a higher margin coupon code, consider increasing commission rates for transactions where that code is used.

These attributes are passed at the time of each transaction and allow you to invest more in these select situations, while still maintaining a strong ROI across the program.


These are all great tools to leverage if you are looking to maximize ROI but remember, it’s not one size fits all. Implement these solutions where they are applicable for your program to reach your ROI goals!

Topics: Optimization,
Situational Commissioning

Situational Commissioning is a powerful, rule-based commissioning solution that allows advertisers to build and reward on high-value commissioning scenarios based on order attributes unique to their business.


Insights provides actionable data on demand in an intuitive, streamlined and easy-to-use platform to help you identify where to take action for your program.

Affiliate Customer Journey

Affiliate Customer Journey analysis provides visibility into customer shopping behavior and unlocks the full value of the affiliate channel and affiliate partnerships.

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