Taking Your Christmas Bonus Next Week?
Affiliate And Love Advice For Valentines Day

Taking Your Christmas Bonus Next Week?

Since I posted about potential Valentines Day campaigns, I’ve spoken to a few marketers and the consensus seems to be that although it would be nice to profit well on a Valentines Day campaign, it isn’t a long term recipe for success. So a lot of marketers don’t bother.

I think a couple of the people I spoke to were trying to schmooze me over having read the previous posts about focusing long term. There’s a difference between focusing all your profits on the short term, and understanding the consumer cycles that exist to be exploited.

“Why should I bother with a Valentines Day campaign when I can only get two weeks of profit out of it?”

It’s a fair question. But let’s say you DO make the effort to put together a profitable Valentines campaign. You may only get two weeks of hard profit from it now, but you’re also safe in the knowledge that you’ll have a campaign to roll out next year, and the year after…and so on. It’s a short term campaign that delivers long term results.

As affiliate marketers, we aren’t blessed with working for large companies that can hand out Christmas bonuses when December rolls around. We have to make our own bonuses.

If you were the manager of a high street store, would you neglect Christmas festivities on the basis that it’ll be January soon? No, you come up with a marketing strategy and you use it to take advantage of the current consumer mindset.

When people talk to me about building long term campaigns that can profit all year round, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I just see it as an opportunity lost. Valentines Day isn’t going to disappear from the calendar anytime soon.

Neither will Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, New Years Day, Guy Fawkes Night…

You can choose to ignore every single one of these events on the principle that you’re happy with your stable campaigns and don’t want to rock the boat. Okay, but are you simply turning down the equivalent to your Christmas bonus?

If you were to turn each of those events above in to a profitable seasonal campaign – and they can be extremely profitable – you will have done a lot to boost long term profits. Why? Because we know that they’re going to roll around in 2011, 2012…there’s no expiry date in sight. High street shops and online retailers know this. They adapt to whatever current event is being pushed on the consumer and they increase their sales accordingly.

I’m not only talking about seasonal campaigns. Most of us have had a profitable short term cash cow on Facebook at some point. You know? The kind’ve campaign that delivers three straight days of super high profits and then nosedives in to a loss. Is this sort of campaign worth ignoring?

I don’t think so personally. I like these campaigns because I can slam the Pause button, leave it for a month, then cream another couple of days of profit. It might be a short term coup. But it’s a long term option to have. The more of these campaigns you can have at your disposal, the larger your reach becomes and the more flexible you are.

I’ve made a big song and dance about focusing your efforts on the long term, and I don’t back down from that at all. But it genuinely surprises me how many marketers are happy to neglect seasonal opportunities. Tapping in to the current consumer mindset is vital. Just as it’s important to be able to produce consistent stable profits, it’s also important to predict those consumer cycles. You don’t think an actual marketing agency would let you ignore them, do you?

I remember reading a post recently about focusing efforts in to one niche and adopting tunnel vision to stick with it until it succeeds. While this can work, I don’t see it as a sensible decision unless you’re getting closer to owning a product, or at least having a long term asset in that niche. If you’re simply doing CPA lead generation, you NEED to be aware of what’s happening around you. Especially if you’re working at the volatile end of the market where products can disappear overnight.

My job is made easy when I’m selling what a consumer is actively looking to buy. If there’s one thing that definitely isn’t a short term gamble, it’s that Valentines Day will be just as culturally significant in 2011 as it is 2010.

So are you going to adjust to the seasons? Or carry the same message all year round?

Affiliate And Love Advice For Valentines Day

Valentines Day is on the horizon, as I’m sure those of you with girlfriends have been made painfully aware. And even for the singletons amongst us, it’s pretty hard to escape. I’ve always said that Valentines Day is “off season” for me in dating terms. For three years running now, I’ve found girlfriends in March and then broken up with them before the Christmas season. I’m beginning to wonder whether this is a coincidence or whether I’m subconsciously month-parting my affections for maximum ease of stress.

Either way, the dating CPA market holds obvious appeal as we charge towards the big day. You can guarantee that even the most hardened bachelors are going to be thinking twice about those “Want A Girlfriend?” ads. It’s all down to the social messages being put out there by commercials on television, banners in high street shops – and affiliates with dollars for eyeballs.

While the most obvious campaigns to be considering are dating offers, I’m going to suggest that they’re not actually the best example of opportunity in the current season. Take a look at the market. You have various ways of approaching the Valentines Day hoo har.

I’ll break out four stereotypes:

Person A – The die hard romanticist. He or she is deeply attached and wants to go that extra mile to make their partner feel special. Depending on the wealth demographic, you could be looking at targeting special Valentines weekend getaways. Round up a list of the hot spots. I can’t speak for America because I don’t know shit for what you guys do on Valentines Day. But over here, Paris and Venice are both popular getaways for the more affluent couples. Look in to flight and hotel packages with specific Valentines Day themes. Some couples are happy to go for a meal and then on to the theater. See what you can find.

PPC is going to be a hard nut to crack but PPV has HUGE potential and is relatively untapped (from what I’ve seen). PPV advertising has really taken off in the last year or so and with a one-off theme like Valentines Day, it’s a total wet dream for effective targeting.

Person B – The reluctant love atrocity. Think Martin Clunes from Men Behaving Badly. There are some guys who mean well but simply don’t have a scooby what to do for Valentines Day. These people are a stone wall match for the various gift dedicated stores that specialize in spelling out what your girlfriend – along with 4 million other girlfriends with the exact same taste – want to receive for Valentines Day.

Honestly guys, “My Last Rolo”? I think I might fucking blush.

Whatever though, these people are generally straight thinking types in an overpowering buying mindset. The Valentines Day pressure is so huge that if the gift looks even remotely like it might put a smile on her face, the purchase is already signed and sealed. Anything to put it to bed for another year.

Unfortunately when you’re working with the various gift stores, you aren’t going to be seeing a huge commission. It’ll be a small percentage. For that reason it’s important to build out gift specific keyword lists and find a store that allows direct linking through to the product pages. You don’t want to be wasting clicks on users who can’t locate the damn page they were interested in.

Person C – The dreamer. Have you seen the commissions on those “Name a Star”, “Give Your Sweetheart an Acre of the Moon” certification packs? If you’re Finch, you’re targeting these as a matter of routine – Valentines Day or no Valentines Day – because they’re such an untapped market (and probably won’t be for much longer after this post). Well, there are many guys and girls who absolutely love these dreamy smeghead tokens of love. Competition is low, targeting is extremely easy, and the commission is generally very good because the products are such an absolute waste of money in the first place.

“Here you go, darling. I bought you a portion of the moon from the International Space Acai Center. It’s just a piece of paper and a bunch of coordinates. But I’m such a dreamboat. Blowjob?”

I guarantee she’ll be impressed at your sheer bollocks for making such a lovesick puppy gesture.

Person D – The sympathizer. Oh come on, we’ve all felt the embarrassing attention of the Valentines Day Sympathizer. This is the eccentric motherfucker who doesn’t have a girlfriend, but still wants to celebrate the big day. Imagine your granny leaving a giant red envelope at your work station. Eager eyes watch as you tear in to the card only to see that – shit – it’s from your own kin. The entire office cackles at your sympathetic “It’s okay, really, somebody loves ya Jonny” card while you nonchalantly try to explain that you’ve had a new postbox fitted back home to deal with the excess mail.

The Valentines Day Sympathizer doesn’t necessarily want to spend money. But he or she WILL spend time browsing the eternally familiar Valentines Day e-cards and electronic gifts. It’s actually surprisingly lucrative to tap in to this “novelty” end of the market. You want to be targeting social media whores who already have a thousand applications added on Facebook. I’m pretty sure Farmville would do the trick.

Anyway, that’s a brief rundown of some different approaches you can take to milking the fat ass Valentines Day cow. I hope everybody gets what they wanted. If you’re a guy, that basically translates to have a good shag and don’t wind up in the spare bedroom.

Oh and I should also point out that if Valentines Day fails to tickle your interest, all is not lost. March 14th is International Steak & Blowjob Day. I’m pretty sure Tesco has an affiliate program. Sign up and get some links on the sirloins.

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