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Referral Link Tracking And Affiliates For Events

Posted in Spotlights on June 13, 2018

If you want an easy way to track the success of your online marketing efforts, look no further than referral links. Referral links are URLs with an additional tracking function that allows you to see tickets sold and revenue generated from people that viewed your ticket page via that URL. Furthermore, referral codes show you conversion rates for people who clicked on that URL and purchased tickets. So you might see that one referral link has a high conversion rate, and one might have a low conversion rate, and you can optimize your spend and ads from that point. In this post, I will discuss how to use referral codes, how to create them, and then ways to take them to the next level with other marketing functions.

How To Use Referral Links

Although it’s clear that you’ll be using referral links to track your marketing success, there are two other ways to take advantage of this simple yet powerful tool. First, we’ll look at how to use affiliates and promotional partners, and then we will see how to “close the marketing loop”.

Affiliates and Partners

The great thing about affiliate marketing and partners is that they have access to audiences that you would not traditionally have access to. But first, what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is where you have an affiliate, or partner, that markets a product to an audience and gets paid a percentage or flat rate for each product sold. These affiliates will often have websites, ads, and email lists that they reach out to and sell products on behalf of a company. For each sale that they generate, they receive a commission on that sale. Generally speaking, this is a win-win scenario. The company does not have to put themselves out there, so to speak, or develop a marketing strategy. They simply pay per sale. Meanwhile, the marketer does not have to spend time developing a product and working with manufacturers or do R&D. From a ticket sales perspective, the same concept applies.

You will need to work out a commission rate with the affiliate beforehand. In order to attract more affiliates, I recommend looking into having a strong bonus structure for them. Amazon, for example, pays around 7-8% in commissions for some affiliate sales, so that is a good baseline to start with. Of course, you’ll also need to consider

Note: Legally speaking, these affiliates must post a disclaimer that they have affiliate links on their site (or social media) that make them money. If you are planning on engaging in using referral links for affiliate marketing, check with all potential affiliates first.

Closed Loop Reporting On Platforms

Closed loop reporting is a marketing concept that refers to creating a link between data and sales. By being able to connect data such as traffic from different marketing platforms to sales, you can discover your best performing marketing material and your worst performing material. You can also find out what platforms and audiences are converting. This helps you better spend your marketing dollars on areas that work, and you can also more precisely identify what your target audience is. The best referral tracking systems show you the revenue and conversion rate for each source, so these insights are even more beneficial. You’ll be able to help reduce your cost per lead, and also provide feedback to affiliates or your marketing team.

How To Create Referral Links

SaaS Software

There are several software companies devoted to creating and tracking referral links.

Ticketbud

One of Ticketbud’s marketing features available to organizers is the ability to create referral links. You can quickly and easily create referral links with our Track Referrals page. You then get access to total sales per ticket, what tickets are sold, how many times people have viewed your page via the link, and what percentage of views converted into ticket sales.

  • To get started, sign up or log in to Ticketbud and create an event.  If you've already created an event, click My Events at the top navigation bar and select your current event. Navigate to your event's Dashboard and select Track Referrals from the left pane.

    Ticketbud Promote has a lot of different tools - Track Referrals is one of the best there is.

  • Simply enter a code in the add a new code here field and select the Add code icon to save.

With referral links, you can see how the audience responds with purchases, page views, and total tickets sold.

    • When a code is successfully added, it will appear in a list format underneath the add a new code here field. The link that appears underneath the code is the link you'll want to share. Ticketbud’s referral link system also includes the following stats:
      • Sales: total ticket sales that have been generated by the link.
      • Tickets: number of tickets sold through link visitors
      • Page Views: number of times the page has been viewed

 

  • Added to Cart: How many times purchasers added tickets to purchase

 

  • Orders Completed: How many sales that were completed. Does not consider tickets sold.

 

 

    • Conversion Rate: Percentage of views that converted to sales.
    • Cart Abandoned: How many orders that were not completed.

To watch a video walkthrough of how to create track referrals click here. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us at cs@ticketbud.com.

Take Your Referral Codes To The Next Level

UTM Parameters

Are your affiliates planning on advertising on multiple sources? Or, are you planning on advertising on the same platform, but with different methods (i.e. using Facebook social posts, and Facebook ads). You could create multiple referral codes for each person, but that might create too much to track, especially if you are planning on going the affiliate route. Instead, look into UTM parameters. A UTM Parameter helps you establish the source, medium, name, and content of your marketing campaigns. The source is the referrer, for example, Google or Facebook. The medium is the marketing medium you use - for example, a banner ad or an email. The name is the name of the campaign, and the content is used to differentiate between different ads.

Here’s a good example of a UTM Parameter combined with a Referral link: https://ticketbud.com/events/21346612-924d-11e7-bed5-2f1acb1c581f/ticketbud/?utm_source=organizer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=check_in

So, we have two parts to this. The first part is the referral link, which is https://ticketbud.com/events/21346612-924d-11e7-bed5-2f1acb1c581f/ticketbud. Whenever anyone clicks on this, a view will populate in the dashboard. If someone buys tickets, I’ll know from who. Then, we can look at the UTM parameters, which are: /?utm_source=organizer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=check_in. We can see that the Source is Organizer, the Medium is Email, and the Campaign is Check In. This will help any promoters and your marketing team use the same referral link (for example, if they are targeting VIP attendees) but on different platforms so they know what is succeeding.

Note: Tracking UTM parameters will require that you have set up an analytics account, such as Google Analytics. You can read all about how to use Google Analytics for events here.

Link Shorteners

If you’re planning on using referral links and UTM tracking, the URLs can get really long, really quickly. I recommend using a Link Shortener, such as bit.ly, to turn these monster URLs into short links. A couple of recommendations when using link shorteners:

  1. Try and add a custom snippet to the end. This will help you look more branded
  2. Look into getting a custom domain, and then attach that custom domain to bit.ly so that you have even more control over your brand and trust.

Conclusion

Referral links are an easy and effective way to attract new audiences with affiliates, and also to assist your marketing efforts with closed-loop reporting. You can use a software company to build out your referral links for your event, or you can use Ticketbud’s inbuilt referral link feature set. Finally, you can combine your referral links with UTM parameters and link parameters to really take full advantage of the flexibility of these simple marketing tools.

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