The consumer journey is more complex today than ever before. With the advent of influencer marketing and large media houses becoming publishers in affiliate networks, top of funnel partners are pushing the industry to think beyond last click attribution. Rakuten Advertising gives brands the flexibility to track and reward publishers that contribute to driving brand awareness and top of the funnel activities.  To help measure and incentivize publishers who appear earlier in the click journey, brands can create a multi-touch commission offer through the Advertiser dashboard.

Discover Top of Funnel Publishers

The first step is to determine which publishers in your program are driving the upper funnel traffic. To do this, start by adding a 0% first click tier to your program baseline. Why 0%? So that you can use your baseline to gather data and then extend private offers to your top performers. This allows advertisers to manage their budget more effectively and gets them acclimated to the concept of first click commissions. After 3-4 weeks, you should have enough data to determine which publishers to extend a first click commission.

To review the data, you can use the Multi-Touch Commissioning Report. It allows you to see commissions by publisher and which click position each publisher has in the conversion journey:

Multi Touch Commissioning Report

Strategy Suggestions

After you review the click data, then you can use it to shift last-click commissions to first-click as it aligns with your customer acquisition strategy. In other words, you can reward publishers based on their contribution to moving shoppers down the funnel, wherever they fit.

If you are an advertiser that focuses on content publishers, then you should consider implementing multi-touch commissioning as it could provide some leverage when negotiating flat fee rates. This might be enticing for influencers and bloggers as it will create longer-term revenue earning potential.

As a publisher, you should always consider a first-click commission in exchange for a flat fee placement when the data supports it, especially in email newsletter, listicles and gift guide placements since they are popular discovery channels for shoppers.

As the adage goes, “affiliate marketing is all about relationships.” And no two relationships are alike. Because of that, we give you different tools to handle specific relationships and help align advertiser goals with publisher business models.

Rakuten Advertising is leading the way when it comes to performance marketing solutions. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can get more out of your affiliate program.

Ivan Pena is a Senior Director on the Rakuten Advertising Product Adoption team. He focuses on providing global publisher teams the information, training and support they need to help publishers understand the Rakuten Advertising product roadmap and how it impacts them. He has been with Rakuten Advertising since 2013 and is based in Tampa, Florida.