Affiliate marketing hacks seem to be everywhere these days, but we have collected the ones that actually work. We know optimizing affiliate campaigns usually takes time, effort, and attention. But there are a few things you can do that don’t take a long time and can help you quickly hack your way to campaign success.
Read the article for 9 affiliate marketing campaign hacks (and some bonus sub-points) to help you boost your return on investment.
1. The general hack – the waterfall approach
To get profits fast, you need to quickly find what works and what doesn’t. We’ll assume you’ve found a good offer to promote first, but we do have a hack for that later on.
Finding what works means you need to get a lot of data quickly and then take action.
You can then adopt “the Waterfall Approach” to help maximize your profits, fast. We’ll go over the three steps as well as a few more affiliate marketing campaign hacks.
Start broad and narrow down your affiliate campaign funnel
The best way to start off your affiliate marketing campaigns is to start broad. In Zeropark, this process can be done via RON (run-of-network). To get a lot of data, you need to target broadly across sources. This will help you find out which prospects respond best to your offer and which placements are more effective than others. By targeting broadly, you can discover unexpected bonuses.
Don’t limit your campaigns to the minimum daily budget
If you limit your campaigns to the minimum daily budget in Zeropark of $20 then you are going to miss out. You won’t get traffic from more costly and better-quality sources. We also release more traffic later on in the day and so by sticking to the minimum daily budget, you’ll miss out on those traffic offerings.
Lower bids mean less traffic and possibly traffic of lower quality. Bidding higher means you get more traffic and higher quality traffic.
Bidding higher gives you the data you need and more conversions which is a great starting point for a campaign.
Adjust your bids at the source level
Some sources will perform better for your campaign and some will perform worse. When you have got enough data to see a significant trend, it’s time to refine your targeting.
Pausing and blocking sources that underperform means you’ll spend more on traffic from higher-performing sources leading to a better ROI.
If you spot an individual target that is converting well within a poorly performing source, then set up a separate target campaign for it. That way you won’t miss out on its traffic and conversions.
Set custom bids on strong sources
If you find a few high-performing sources, then bid up on them. An affiliate marketer should want to get as much of that traffic as they can. You can do this by setting a custom bid. This will narrow the range of your bids so they are closer to the value you set and so you can refine your bid targeting for certain effective sources.
Adjust your bids for targets
The final step of The Waterfall Approach is to refine your bidding for the best targets. It’s difficult to skip from a broad campaign to a target as there are so many of them running in a broad campaign.
In addition, if you skipped the previous step, then you may find that a target stops performing or has drops in traffic during the day. If you optimize for source first, then you have a fallback if a target doesn’t perform well.
2. Alternatively, run a keyword campaign
If you don’t want to run a broad campaign, and you don’t mind spending a bit more from the start, then you should check out running a keyword campaign. You need to make sure you have an offer that will match a keyword for this to work, but if you do, you’ve got yourself a pre-optimized campaign. You’re required to submit a list of keywords and then you can match your offer to this list of keywords and wait for the conversions.
You do risk missing out on some well-performing placements and you will need to spend more to start, but the benefit is better-matched traffic. It’s also worth noting that this type of campaign works well with e-commerce if you choose the right keywords.
3. Run two offers at once
When you set up two campaigns that are almost identical except the offer is different, you’ll quickly find which performs better and can pause the offer which performs worse. Then, you can start scaling the one which does work. There’s also an in-platform hack that makes it easy to copy a campaign – simply hit the “duplicate campaign” button.
This is a simple form of a/b testing, but we will cover that in another affiliate marketing campaign hack later in the article.
4. Copy the best of your competition
Although it’s great to stand out from what other advertisers are up to, copying effective ideas from competitors is a great campaign hack. It saves you all the work of identifying a good offer, and the way to sell it. You can even borrow elements from their ideas and add your own special sauce to make them extra effective.
This works especially well if you have access to a spy tool. You’ll probably know of AdPlexity as it’s one of the best in the spy tool market, and provides affiliate marketers with an insight into your competitors’ desktop, mobile, native, and push ads. The cost per month ranges from $149-$249 which means you need to be serious about your spying if you are going to use this one. There are also some free ones available (check out the image below for more of them) if you are just dipping your toe in the spy tool waters.
Another source of inspiration is the forums, like STM and AffiliateFix, as well as affiliate marketer or digital marketing blogs, which can be great sources for inspiration to learn from.
You never know, you could learn your next affiliate marketing campaign hack from these digital marketing blogs. Alternatively, you could use an Influencer marketing platform like TikTok or an affiliate marketing YouTube channel for more inspiration.
Whatever, you choose, there is always more an affiliate marketer can learn.
5. Use a new creative to avoid creative fatigue
This is really important for Push campaigns but also applies to pop and redirect. If you use the same creative (or lander) then you risk numbing a prospect to your offer. This can be true if you keep using the same creatives or if you use the stock creatives from an affiliate program offer, for example.
This can be described as banner blindness which comes as a result of customers seeing the same banner ads, landing pages, and even videos so many times from online marketing that they subconsciously ignore them.
One way to avoid this creative fatigue is by using a spy tool (as we mentioned above), this will help to see if your creatives have been copied and are no longer competitive. New creatives are best as the target audience hasn’t become saturated with them just yet.
But of course, you will need to test your creatives to make sure that the new ones you create will be effective in driving conversions.
6. A/B test your affiliate campaigns
Every aspect of your campaigns should be optimized to get higher click-through rates and one way to do this is via testing which parts of your campaigns are working well.
This process called A/B testing will help you find out exactly which parts of your affiliate marketing campaigns are working and which need to be dropped. Affiliate marketers should only keep the parts of their campaigns that get clicks and therefore make money.
Although, it is important to run these tests long enough to determine that it is the creative or the copy for example that is the cause of the problem, rather than the offer itself.
It’s also important to fill all of the creative slots in your campaigns so they can be varied and you can avoid this creative fatigue we talked about above. Push Ads in Zeropark can have up to 10 different creatives at the same time. Fill each one, even if it’s just a small change like using a different color here or a synonym there. You may see that one small difference can have a big effect on the whole campaign.
To measure the impact of this properly it is a good idea that affiliate marketers use ad tracking solutions like Voluum, for example. This way you can attribute a click to the changes in the creatives that you make more clearly. Therefore you’ll be able to where you are making money and where you could be losing it.
7. Pause creatives that don’t work
This next step may seem obvious after the last one, but these affiliate marketing hacks go hand in hand. With all your spots filled, you’re going to need to pause and delete the underperforming creatives. Of course, if you don’t get enough traffic then you’ll need some significant differences in performance to know one is better than another.
This is less likely for smaller changes such as those we mentioned in the previous tip, but those minor changes may give you a headstart in the long run.
It’s a no brainer!
8. Test more than one type of traffic with the same offer
Some traffic suits certain offers and verticals better. But some offers will work across traffic sources. A mobile download may work well on push traffic, but it may also work on mobile pop traffic. Out of these two, one may perform much better, and starting by running the same offer on two traffic types helps you optimize faster but also notice if an offer is just no good.
9. Use rule-based optimization to pause or bid up
One of the greatest affiliate marketing campaign hacks is to use Rule-Based Optimization (RBO). This allows successful affiliates to automatically pause (or bid up) a target, source, geo, or campaign when certain criteria are met. With the right rules in place, you can pause the worse performing sources in your campaign and bid up on the rest.
However, you must use RBO with care as sometimes the risk outweighs the benefits. For example, if you put on a rule to pause your campaign at a certain level then it may stop performing when it is doing well. This can result in a loss of potential income if the campaign were to continue on its own.
So, use RBO to boost your campaigns and make you money online while you sleep but be careful as there is a balance between using it and it saving you money and overusing it and losing money. Know the risks and if in doubt reach out to the customer success team or an account manager, they’ll steer you in the right direction.
You can do whatever you want and your campaign is still optimized.
Affiliate marketing campaign hacks help but need investment
We are sure that you can see that most of these affiliate marketing campaign hacks aren’t that tricky and can bring results fast. But they all require you to invest some money to get going. We’ve all heard the phrase you have to spend money to make money. Well, in a way it’s true for any online business. If you want to save some cash, you’ll have to spend more time to get the same results in terms of affiliate sales. But some of these hacks (For example, RBO) will still work for you.
Most affiliate bloggers using a WordPress site rely on content creation and search engine optimization when trying to promote their affiliate products, but there is a better way. It’s possible to make more money quickly via paid traffic. So, in order to boost your affiliate earnings, you have to optimize this method of paid traffic.
If you are more interested in the longevity of your campaign, check these tips out.
Hopefully, you will have at least one new way of optimizing your affiliate marketing campaigns with these hacks. Don’t forget to use RBO with care to save yourself from missing revenue on successful campaigns, remember to use it to boost your campaign revenue in these cases instead.
Let us know if you have tried any of these before, or if we have missed any life-saving hacks that you use on a regular basis.