A 3-step guide to aligning partner incentives for business growth

Aligned partner incentives boost engagement and performance—and it’s easy to do with the right partnership management platform on your side. Use in-depth reporting and Dynamic Payout options to ensure top-performing partners generate incremental value and support brand goals.

A 3-step guide to aligning partner incentives
Ryan Council
Ryan Council
Product Marketing Manager
Read time: 5 mins

When done right, partnerships can drive exponential revenue growth. Brands such as Rugs Direct achieved a 600 percent year-over-year revenue growth by aligning rewards to each partner’s incremental value. 

business growth

Using insights from Performance Reports and Dynamic Payouts also helps your brand leverage the power of partnerships to achieve business goals and KPIs. 

Key takeaways
  • Step 1: Set clear, actionable marketing goals, like increased revenue or traffic, to motivate partners and provide them with an objective to work towards.
  • Step 2: Evaluate and measure each partner’s incremental value by leveraging insightful performance and Optimize reports on partnership management platforms like impact.com.
  • Step 3: Use these reports’ insights to accurately reward partners for their contribution to achieving specific goals. Strategize a winning commission strategy using flexible payment options, including tiered payment structures, participation bonuses, and more.

Line up partner incentives to achieve brand goals in 3 steps

3 steps to align partner incentives

You can define company goals, identify a partner’s incremental value, and create a successful commission strategy when working on partnership management platforms such as impact.com. Discover the steps you can implement today to propel business success through partnerships. 

Step 1: Identify company marketing goals 

A business marketing goal is a desired outcome that helps you achieve your broader organizational goals in the short or long term. Setting specific and actionable goals provide a clear focus for partnership success by motivating partners and defining a target for all partners to work toward. 

Ensure marketing goals are simple yet clearly defined, ambitious yet achievable, and measurable. Common goals include the following: 

  • Increasing revenue remains a primary goal for 43 percent of marketers
  • Acquiring new customers raises brand awareness and establishes footholds in different markets while boosting revenue through increased purchases. 
  • Retaining existing customers promotes repeat purchases and secures brand loyalty. 
  • Driving traffic increases conversions, search engine ranking, and brand exposure. 
  • Improving customer experience can help your company be 60 percent more profitable than those not focused on the customer. 
  • Tapping into new markets gives access to more customers and creates a brand presence in different areas. 

Step 2: Use robust reporting to measure partner performance

Measuring partner incrementality helps you identify each partner’s value in achieving specific goals. The impact.com team typically defines incrementality as an event or desired outcome happening solely because of the contribution from a marketing channel or partner.

Powerful partnership management platforms, like impact.com, offer insightful reporting features that provide a transparent view of partner performance to highlight top performers. Using a combination of the following impact.com reports helps you realize a partner’s value and tailor contracts and payouts to truly align with value. 

The Performance by Partner report shows you a wide range of performance data—including clicks, actions, revenue, and costs—broken down according to each partner.

The Contribution report helps you discover how often a partner is a first, middle, or last touch in the conversion path and how frequently each partner gets credit for the conversions they help drive. Additionally, the report shows how often the partner was the only touchpoint in the conversion path.

The Crediting Concerns report provides insights to assist with crediting partners proportionally for the value they drive. 

The Behavior report analyzes the conversion behavior of customers to help you identify which partners are the most successful and lead to the quickest conversions or highest average order values. 

impact.com benchmark report

The Benchmark Recommendations report shows you partners that perform well in your segment and have good revenue opportunities for your program. 

Step 3: Align your commission strategy to partner value 

Powered by the insights from these reports, you can implement winning partner commission plans using Dynamic Payouts to incentivize significant growth for your brand. With impact.com’s flexible contract options, you can use some of the following strategies to drive partner performance. 

  • Gamify your partnerships program to include tiered payments to boost productivity and engagement. A tiered payment structure grows partner earnings as each partner drives more conversions. 
  • Adjust payouts based on a variety of factors, including on a customer level (new vs. existing, geolocation, lifetime value), order level (card size, promo code), or item level (margin, SKU, category).
  • Setting path-based conversion rules through impact.com’s Optimize feature suite ensures confidence about incrementality and positions partnerships as the organization’s highest return on investment channel. 
  • Use Participation Bonuses to reward all contributions along the marketing funnel. 
  • Chained Events by impact.com ensures that partners receive rewards when (and only when) they drive measurable results for your partnerships program. 

Dynamic Payouts based on detailed performance data can help you tap into great benefits, including:

Dynamic payouts
  • Protect your margins by only paying for value-generating partnerships.
  • Boost partner loyalty by customizing contracts for each partnership.
  • Motivate partners with tiered incentives, creating clear goals for each partner. 
  • Promote incremental sales and recognize partners converting customers on their own. 


Which brand goals should I choose?

Select targets that facilitate business growth. Ensure goals are simple, achievable, and measurable. Brands can choose from various marketing goals, including acquiring new customers, boosting revenue, improving customer experience, and driving website traffic. Keep updating your teams and partners about the top goals—even as they shift and evolve. 

How do I maintain effective partner incentives?

Partnership management platforms, like impact.com, offer robust reporting features like Performance by Partners giving you access to valuable information about each partner’s performance. Couple the insights from these reports with flexible payment options to reward partners according to their value. Brands can include tiered payment structures, participation bonuses, and more.

Why track incrementality?

Incremental value proves which partners and channels drive sales on their own. These top performers and strategies help you maximize budgets, boost performance, and improve attribution.

Be a goal-getter with optimized partnerships

Start seeing impressive results by being more strategic about partnerships. Choose a partnership management platform, such as impact.com, that offers innovative reporting features and flexible payment options to match incentives to each partner’s strengths and ultimately align performance to drive business growth. 

These impact.com resources will help you set better brand objectives, measure partner success, and pinpoint incremental value:

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