If your inbox is anything like mine, your Monday mornings are probably spent combing through network emails of what to promote, what to test and where to send your traffic. Of course, working out what to do with our traffic is a minor point. Getting it profitable is the hard part where we’d most appreciate advice!
Good old fashioned affiliate arbitrage is beginning to feel like running from a tsunami of problems.
Spiraling click costs, weaker inventory, stubborn advertisers. Sound familiar?
If it does, we have something in common. I’ve been looking at several ways to combat the challenges faced in advertising on the major social platforms. Let’s face it, neither Facebook or Plentyoffish are getting any easier to crack. You can concede defeat, or you can retreat and regroup.
So what actions can you take to avoid becoming the next affiliate casualty?
Open your mind to new bidding strategies
This is particularly important on Plentyoffish. Bidding strategies can make or break you. Making a simple change can completely turn around your fortunes. For example, I’d gotten it in to my head that bidding $0.67 with a frequency cap of 4 was the sweet spot for one of my campaigns. For a long time, this was very profitable. But you shouldn’t be afraid to bid on different groups of traffic. When my campaign ran dry, I was forced in to a change. Eventually I regained profitability on the same offer, with the same creatives, just by bidding $0.48 with a frequency cap of 7.
Sometimes you have to bid less, and live with the lower conversion rates, to achieve a greater ROI. For Christ’s sake, don’t live and die by your conversion rates. Live and die by what’s making you money.
Dayparting, weekparting, monthparting, retardparting.
Have you scrutinized your stats and analysed them on an hour-by-hour basis? If you’re working in the dating niche, this is pretty fucking significant. Forget about conversion rates. Look directly at the EPCs vs. CPCs over a 24 hour period.
You also need to consider a variable bid approach. Many affiliates say that you simply shouldn’t advertise dating offers during certain hours. On the flipside, traffic is a lot cheaper for those of us who decide to take that path. Probably because those saying you shouldn’t bid in the morning, are the same idiots bidding the same fixed amount 24/7 and then wondering where their profitability went. Well, duh.
Use language that sells your offer twice as hard.
If you’re not yet using landing pages, you might as well be a dinosaur dodging asteroids. It may be fun for a while, but sooner or later it’s going to be game over. Something I always look to do when my ROI drops is sell the offer twice as hard. Particularly if I’m in a small demo where a lot of eyeballs have already seen my main sales pitch.
Go back and look at your landing page. Give it a language makeover. Take every single descriptive word and ramp it up a notch, particularly the words that are being used as anchor text. Bust out a thesaurus and leave no corner of your landing page untouched. Every single conceivable concern or restraint from joining Site X now needs to be dispelled and extinguished. You simply can’t afford to lose as many clicks as you used to.
And for this, I’d give you one piece of advice. Don’t write on your own level. You’re not trying to sell a Rocket Science degree. Write as if your landing page is going to be read by the dumbest idiot in America.
Scale away from the competition.
This is the single easiest way of regaining profitability that you’ll still choose to ignore. It simply involves taking the components of your most successful campaigns, having them translated, and targeting non-English speaking markets. By advertising in non-English speaking countries, you instantly eliminate the competition that inflates your prices elsewhere.
But you’ve got to remain patient. Just because your campaign is nicely formalized in the mother tongue of the poor bastards you’re advertising to, that doesn’t make it a guaranteed success at the first time of asking. And many affiliates give up because it’s not as easy to optimize a campaign in a foreign market. There’s also lazy scaling syndrome. Where you translate your creatives but don’t bother with the landing page because it’d mean shelling out a few extra dollars.
This is particularly mind-boggling logic when it comes from the very affiliates who know first-hand what difference a landing page can make to ROI. Don’t be a fuck nugget. Do the job properly.
If straight arbitrage fails, capture the data.
The way we operate as affiliates, our mathematics are very simple. We need to get traffic cheap enough so we can sell it and make a profit. Okay, great. But most affiliates leave themselves exactly 5 seconds to play God with that data. If the click doesn’t convert, it’s forever lost.
Just yesterday, I received a network email advising me to target users earning over $100,000 to maintain maximum quality on an offer. It got me thinking. This moron earns $100,000 in a year and he’s clicking my link, just like I asked him to. In the absolute best case scenario, I’m only going to make $7 from him – if he converts on my offer. How much money am I leaving on the table by not keeping the schmuck to myself and upselling like there’s no tomorrow?
By building your own email lists and capturing data, you can afford to compete with the rising click costs. Because each conversion is worth so much more. You don’t even have to build an email list. Just brand your landing page in such a way that if the user decides not to click through, he has somewhere else to go where he can provide value to you. That’s a gigantic tip right there, and I’ll let you interpret it as you wish.
I’m guessing many marketers are finally recognising how replaceable an affiliate engaging in straight arbitrage actually is. It’s not too late to do things differently. But don’t say you didn’t see it coming when Plan A hits the wall.
Recommended This Week:
Looking to finally get your campaigns translated in to another language so you can start making money again? One Hour Translation is fast, cheap and thankfully much more accurate than the badass copy and pasting skills that took Finch to an unexpected C grade win in his French GCSEs. Viva Mon Francais!
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