As I’ve been delving more into affiliate marketing lately, with half decent success (I netted close to $3,500 profit from my campaigns last month), I’m going to share with you guys some of the tips, strategies, and techniques that have been working for me.
In each post, I will try to focus on one particular tip so that I can elaborate on it and give it more attention.
I thought I’d start off with the recommendation of "trying every offer". Now, the effectiveness of this tip will vary depending on a large number of factors such as traffic source, promotion method, and payout, but in general I still think it’s a good rule of thumb to follow.
Now, it’s important to note that you should probably only "try every offer" once you have a campaign in a niche that is already profitable and doing well. Otherwise, you might never find an offer that works simply because you haven’t optimized it properly.
Stick to your Niches
Please keep in mind that when I suggest trying every offer, that I don’t mean running an offer on weight loss if you mainly run finance (loan, mortgage, credit reports, etc.) campaigns, and already have campaigns, data, traffic sources and experience in that particular niche.
What I am suggesting is that you try all the related offers in the niche(s) that you’re already running.
For example, if you generate zip and e-mail submits, don’t just try 2 or 3 – try them all.
Sure, there are hundreds, even thousands of submit offers out there, but that’s exactly why you should test them.
Even if you’re already running a profitable campaign in that niche, there could be other offers out there that provide a better bang for your buck, and it never hurts to have ‘back-ups’ in case you hit caps or the offer goes down.
Just Because 8 Fail, It Doesn’t Mean the #9 Will
If you flip a coin 18 times in a row and it lands tails every time, what are the chances it will be tails yet again if you flip it once more? The answer is 50%. It will always be 50%. I didn’t ask what the chances were to flip a coin and it land tails 19 times in a row. I asked what the chances were that it would land tails again on the 19th flip.
The point is that while a bunch of related offers failing is a strong indicator that your traffic source and targeting isn’t working very well, if you have one offer that is working, you can’t let those failed offers decide the fate of the untested offers.
I personally never used to try every offer.
In fact, I did just the opposite.
I would scour all the offers across half a dozen of my favourite affiliate networks, being extremely picky on which ones I would even consider running. For every 200 offers, there was maybe 1 that I was willing to try.
I did have good reason to be picky though. At the time, I was creating landing sites (not just simple 1-page landing pages), and so it would take a fair bit of time to create a landing site around a particular offer. I was therefore very choosey in what I would promote.
I mainly direct link now, so it is infinitely easier to "try every offer", however I still believe that it is important to try every offer, even if you’re not direct linking. Offers simply vary far too much and are too unpredictable.
You could have a great traffic source, targeting, creative, and landing page but give up after offers A, B, C, and D fail. Little did you know that if you had only run offer ‘E’, that it would have turned a great conversion rate and ended up being profitable for you.
You just never know what will work and what won’t until you try it… which brings me to my next point.
Invest to Know
Most offers won’t be successful. At least, they certainly haven’t been for me. Maybe 1 out of every 20 offers I try will be successful, but when they are, they’ll usually more than make up for the ones that aren’t.
It doesn’t take very much to test an offer and know that it won’t work on your traffic source. If you’re running traffic to an e-mail submit at a cost of $0.05 CPC and a payout of $1.00, and you only end up with 1 lead out of 200 clicks, then you know that the offer is very unlikely to succeed.
You’re out $9, but now you know that the offer sucks, and can avoid it in the future with the satisfaction that you’ve already tested it, instead of just assuming it won’t work.
If you run 10 campaigns like this, you’ll be out $90. But your 11th offer might perform really well. Perhaps instead of just 1 lead per 200 clicks, it yields 13. That’s a profit of $3 for every $10 you spend.
It would only take 6,000 clicks to profit $90 on that campaign and break even on the 10 campaigns that failed. Everything after that would be profit forever.
You’ll Be Surprised What Offers Work
People are stupid.
Don’t assume that just because you might not be tempted to enter your personal details in exchange for that free laptop or iPad 2, that 46-year-old housewife Mary-Jo down the street isn’t jumping on the chance.
Think about infomercials. They’re corny and pitchy as hell, and most people mock them left and right, but the joke is really on them because they work.
Infomercials are the way they are because they work… people often say "who the hell would buy that piece of crap?", but the fact is that millions of people do and the selling of products through infomercials is a multi-billion dollar industry.
So, while you may be tempted to avoid certain offers simply because they look bad to you and that you’d personally never purchase such an item, don’t assume that others aren’t interested in it.
The only way to know for sure is to test the offer yourself.
A couple of months ago one of my affiliate managers messaged me and recommend I send traffic to a new particular offer they just got in. I looked at it and was sceptical as it did not exactly fit the demographic and profile of the traffic I was targeting, but he insisted.
Deciding to run some traffic to it just so that I could "invest to know" (see above), I ended up profiting around $500 a day from the offer.
Sometimes crappy-looking offers will perform great, and sometimes great-looking offers will perform horribly.
You just don’t know what will will work until you test it yourself.
Same Offer, Different Paths
Here’s another very good case in point on why you should test every offer.
Did you know that you could run the exact same targeting (traffic source, ad creative, etc.) to an offer for acne removal on Network A and to the (seemingly) same exact offer on Network B, and have incredibly different results? You might have grossed $200 on Network B while only grossing $16 on Network A.
This is because offers can have different ‘paths’ to conversion, even though they’re the same offer.
For example, Network A may have required that the user fill out a mini-survey after filling out their personal details on step 1, while Network B does not have the second step of the mini-survey. As a result, the conversions are far better on Network B.
While you can often test this yourself before running the offer (though not always, and you need to be careful not to generate a paid lead from yourself!), this is just another reason why it pays to test an offer before dismissing it as garbage.
You may have run the "same" offer on another network with it failing, but it could have a better path on the network you’re running now and be profitable.
You Just Won’t Know Until You Try
In the end, the point of "trying" every offer is that you just won’t know if an offer can work until you try it.
You can pre-analyze and make all the calculated predictions in the world, but you need to test it yourself to find out the truth.
The majority of my most successful campaigns have come from trying offers that I was very doubtful would work, but ended up trying anyway.