Remember 5 weeks ago when I published my blog post titled: My "Don’t Give Up" Campaign? If you don’t, then you should probably go read that before reading any further.
I’ve kept my word and have not given up on the campaign, but at the same time, I have not done very much work on it (mainly due to the roadblocks as mentioned in this post). I mean, I have been working on it, but it was more regular maintenance as opposed to any aggressive efforts such as split-testing 10 different interest/keyword groupings.
I mention this because the "Day 39" in this post’s title makes it sound like I’ve been working relentlessly on this campaign, when the truth is that I’ve mainly been keeping an eye on it every single day, adjusting bids on various ads accordingly.
Before I continue, let’s take a quick recap on the results of the first 3 days of this campaign, as written in my original post:
Day 1 Results:
TOTAL: -$1,113.24 (-83% ROI)
Day 2 Results:
TOTAL: -$81.52 (-12.7% ROI)
Day 3 Results:
TOTAL: -$30.02 (-21.1% ROI)
What a disaster. But if you look closely, my ROI on days 2 and 3 weren’t that horrible. –12% and –21% ROI is really not bad for days 2 and 3 on a campaign. In fact, that’s actually pretty good.
Your initial goal should always be to break even on a campaign, because if you can break even, then 95% of the time you should be able to profit. It’s just a matter of continued optimization, and as long as your quality isn’t horrible, you should likely get a bump from the advertiser as advertisers love traffic they can depend on. And all it takes is a bump on the offer on a break-even campaign to turn it profitable.
From Red to Black (Green)
I’m happy to announce that I have turned this campaign around, and it is now making money instead of losing money.
Here are the exact numbers on this campaign over the past 4 days:
Day 36 (March 13th, 2013) Results:
TOTAL: $56.41 (39.3% ROI)
Day 37 (March 14th, 2013) Results:
TOTAL: $22.98 (16.5% ROI)
Day 38 (March 15th, 2013) Results:
TOTAL: $39.97 (42.0% ROI)
Day 39 (March 16th, 2013) Results:
As of 12:15pm (not an entire 24-hour period)
TOTAL: $34.77 (46.2% ROI)
It actually turned profitable before day 36, but for the sake of time and length, I’ve only included the past 4 days.
What I Did
I actually just edited this section in before publishing the post as I thought it might be useful to readers. But because this post is already quite long, I will just write it in bullet-form:
- Adjusted bids on ads accordingly
- Scaled laterally
- Split-test and swapped out offers
- Got several bumps on the main offer
- Waited – as my click and campaign history grew on Facebook, my CPC’s shrunk (got down to as low as $0.07 CPC for US traffic)
Why I’m Happy
Estimating that today will end somewhere around the $50 profit mark for this campaign, the past 4-day average works out to $40/day.
That’s $1,200 a month. Basically $1,200 a month of free money that is more or less passive (assuming I don’t attempt to scale it, and just check in on it from time to time).
But it’s not $40/day that makes me happy. It’s the fact that I managed to turn around this particular campaign from a loser to a winner.
Again, if you read my My "Don’t Give Up" Campaign post, you’ll know that this campaign was for an offer that I’ve tried several times in the past, never getting anywhere near break-even, and so the negative history of this offer goes further back than just 39 days ago.
It’s nice to know that if you do stick with a losing campaign and keep plugging away at it, that you can turn things around.
While I’ve been fortunate enough to be making some decent money from affiliate marketing lately, it’s always a nice feeling when you can add another profitable campaign to your list, no matter if it’s a $10/day campaign, a $40/day campaign, or a $400/day campaign.
Why I’m Not
First, I feel like I cheated a little.
The whole idea behind my "don’t give up" campaign was to stick with a campaign until it turns profitable. It was a type of experiment and challenge to myself to see if I could do it.
While I certainly did turn the campaign from a loser to a winner, part of the reason for that was because I swapped the original offer I had been running for another one. It was a very similar offer in which I could keep all my existing ads and targeting and completely just swap the offers, and it ended up yielding a far better EPC.
And so, I feel a little guilty as if I didn’t really make the challenge, since I didn’t end up using the original offer.
On the other hand, the challenge was to stick with a campaign until it turns profitable, not a particular offer. And since I did stick with the campaign, I guess I can let myself off the hook.
After all, I shouldn’t feel bad about adding a new profitable campaign to my list.
Another way I feel guilty, though, is that I feel that I got a little bit lucky on this campaign. While I did split-test around 5 different interest/keyword groupings, the one that ended up being profitable was sort of a mistake.
When I was creating my Precise Interests on the campaign, I had taken a list of keywords that I wrote in Notepad (properly separated by commas) and copied them into the Power Editor. I didn’t notice that Facebook had actually messed up a lot of the keywords by removing articles (a, an, the, etc.) and punctuation, making the keywords a fair bit different than the ones I had originally wanted.
I believe this happens if there are aren’t enough people who match the interest you add; Facebook won’t allow you to add it as a custom keyword interest.
It wasn’t a huge thing I guess… after all, the keywords basically just ended up being the keywords that people actually used instead of the ones I put in.
What I Learned
This was a good learning experience for me.
First, I learned that I probably do give up on losing campaigns too early. This case study proves that. As a result, I will put more effort and time into campaigns before I label them as unprofitable in the future.
Secondly, I learned that 100,000 is not too small of a reach for Facebook campaigns. I used to think that a reach of anything below 1 million was not worth my time, mainly because I always think in terms of potential scaling. But a smaller reach usually means a more focused and targeted demographic, and thus higher CTR’s and lower CPC’s. As a result, I will not rule out smaller reaches in the future (although I probably won’t go much below 100,000).
Lastly, I learned that the elusive 0.15% CTR on US Facebook traffic is not just a fantasy or fairy tale, but actually obtainable. I had always had trouble getting high CTR’s and low CPC’s on Facebook in the past. I managed to get campaigns profitable at CTR’s of 0.06% and CPC’s of $0.90, but always struggled to get a good CTR.
Now, I have CTR’s of 0.40%+ and CPC’s as low as $0.07 CPC on US Facebook traffic. Now I can’t blame others of simply having a better Facebook account or make other lame excuses – I know it’s possible and that I just have to work harder on getting them.
What is Stopping You?
In my My "Don’t Give Up" Campaign blog post, I ended it by writing:
I’d be thrilled if I can make this profitable – even if it’s just $10-$15/day, as that’s $300-$450 month and would be a proof of concept for this mentality/school of thought.
…and now, 5 weeks later, without a lot of work, the campaign is averaging $40/day profit (over the past 4 days).
There is nothing magical or secret to what I’m doing. It’s all very basic stuff. There should be absolutely nothing stopping you from succeeding in affiliate marketing.
There are countless sources out there for learning, but you need to go and find it and teach yourself. The best way to learn though, is to jump right in and get your feet wet. You can read all you want, but there is no substitute for hands-on learning in this industry.
I’ve been getting a ton of people e-mailing me lately, due to my recent success, asking me to tutor them and guide them along. I’m happy to help, but I’m already swamped as it is and just don’t have the time (at least not for free) to do that.
Instead of asking me on how to get started, why not just get started? I’ve already listed places and sources on where you can learn, the rest is up to you.
Getting your first lead/conversion is an incredible rush, and getting your first profitable campaign has a good chance of turning you into a full-time affiliate marketer.
Just keep at it and DON’T GIVE UP!