As a beginner affiliate marketer you might be putting all of your efforts into learning and testing different solutions to see what works best for your campaigns. There are a lot of variables to test — GEOs, ad formats, devices, sources, targets and dayparting… test it all, and you’re bound to have a profitable campaign!
But it’s one thing to optimize your campaigns to profitability… and another thing to find a solid offer.
Do you want to learn how one affiliate discovered a game-changing strategy of testing offers that immediately turned his campaigns green? Take a look below!
@amazone took part in the contest Zeropark ran in May 2020 on affLIFT. He opened an impressive and engaging follow along which ultimately won him the community prize. His thread provided a ton of value for other affiliates, including the famous offer testing strategy that we’re about to reveal.
This is not going to be a regular case study, though. We won’t go into details about what optimization steps the affiliate took to make his campaigns profitable. Because that’s not how he managed to turn his luck around. His success came down to learning a strategy that helped him find offers that were profitable almost right from the start. But first, let’s go through his preparation process.
How to prepare for running an affiliate marketing campaign
Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’ve run a couple of campaigns already, preparation is just as important as execution. Do extensive research and ask yourself: What are you really hoping to achieve? Be prepared to face challenges, but don’t let them discourage you.
Before starting his follow along thread, @amazone thought about everything. These are the steps he took:
Set a goal
First of all, be realistic — just like @amazone. Setting a goal can keep you motivated unless it’s something unattainable. Is making million dollars from running affiliate marketing campaigns possible? Yes. Is your first campaign going to bring you three digit profits on day one? Probably not. Getting your first conversion or finding your first green sources are small but great milestones to look forward to when starting.
@amazone’s medium-term goal was to find a $50-$100/day profitable campaign within 3 months. While he celebrated each tiny step (like his first $5 revenue day), the goal has kept him focused and motivated.
Choose a vertical
It’s time for a bit of research. Use the available resources to get the hang of the current market situation. Ask network and traffic source representatives or check spy tools for what’s trending. Make use of the seasonality and ongoing world events. Either way, choose a vertical that you’re comfortable with, or one that’s easy for beginners.
Estimate your budget
Running out of money might be just one of the worst things that can happen while your campaigns start taking off. Depending on what verticals, ad formats and GEOs you choose, you’ll need to prepare an adequate budget. @amazone estimated his budget to be $1-$3k per month with around $30 of daily budget set aside for testing.
Also, sometimes you need to decide how much you are comfortable losing and use that budget for testing. Besides being ready for initial expenses, you should also have a reserve in case you need to stream more revenue into a campaign that’s showing potential.
Find additional resources
Once you settle on a vertical, GEO and ad format, it’s important to consider any additional resources you might need. The most obvious one is the affiliate tracker which will help you analyze the data to make correct optimization decisions.
Also, if your offer doesn’t come with a lander, you need to think about landing page builders and hosting services.
Spy tools are very important when it comes to doing market research, so if you don’t use one already, it’s highly recommended that you look into it. If you need suggestions, we’ve recently released an article describing the benefits of using spy tools, and giving some tips on how to choose the best option for you.
Spied a good landing page but it’s in the wrong language? Don’t forget to find a reliable translation service. Using Google translate might be a cheaper option, but it’s not as accurate, and might lead to awkward translations which will make your landers seem unprofessional.
Once all of the additional resources are prepared and accounted for in your budget, you’re pretty much ready to go!
What are the benefits of running campaigns with affiliate marketing communities?
@amazone had thought of everything. He’s done plenty of research and started his follow along by listing all of the resources he’ll be using. He launched his first campaigns, but he wasn’t alone in his struggles. He opened a public follow-along which allowed him to share his thoughts and plans with a whole community of affiliate marketers with different experience levels. So, how did the forum help him achieve success?
- @amazone used the community bonus while registering to Zeropark, which gave him some additional funds right from the start.
- Before he was able to launch the campaigns, he needed to set up tracking. @amazone used the tutorials available in the forum to integrate everything correctly.
- There was a forum-exclusive Zeropark webinar in preparation for the contest. @amazone had a chance to participate and ask questions to gather information on how to run his campaigns.
- He looked for advice on how to optimize sources and targets in Zeropark and was immediately recommended video resources from the forum moderators.
- At first, @amazone kept launching a lot of new campaigns, hoping to test as many different options as possible. Luckily, he was soon reminded by the community that this is not the best way to go about things. Even when you know what you’re doing, launching too many campaigns at once might not be the best idea. That’s why it’s really good to get a second opinion!
- It’s hard to determine what CTR percentage signifies potential, so an experienced affiliate helped @amazone figure that out. Here’s what he’s learned — High CTR isn’t always a good thing as people might click on more aggressive ads more often, but they won’t convert upon seeing the offer. Low CTR isn’t ideal either as it might mean two different things. One, the creative is poor. Or two, it’s specific enough so that not many will click on it, but most of those who do will convert.
- Yet another golden advice — unless you know your landing page is good, use Google Translate to render one sentence at a time. That way you’ll save money by not investing in landing pages that won’t bring a return.
- Additionally, @amazone used the Free Survey Landing Pages section of the forum to find landers to test with his offers.
- Finally, the two most important things that @amazone found out from the community deserve their own titles… so keep reading to learn the 7 steps to finding profitable offers followed by the ultimate strategy to testing offers, landers and creatives as a beginner affiliate!
7 steps to finding profitable offers on Zeropark
The golden advice shared in the follow along was that no matter how much you put into some campaigns, they will never be green if the offer isn’t good enough! So why waste money trying to optimize offers that have questionable chances of succeeding?
Another affiliate saw @amazone’s struggles and decided to share his strategy on finding profitable offers. It can be described in 7 simple steps:
- Apply to various affiliate networks and find as many well-performing offers as possible.
- Make sure the offers have good landers included in the package and use VPN to check the user experience for yourself.
- Choose your targeting wisely — at first focus on Tier 2, Tier 3 or even 4 countries and go for the pop traffic as it’s cheap and doesn’t require creatives.
- Test as many simple-flow and SOI offers as you can.
- Don’t forget to track your campaigns!
- Set the budget to 3-5 times the payout of your offer and launch the campaigns.
- Kill the offers that don’t have any conversions within the budget and immediately find new offers to replace them.
@amazone applied this strategy right after he learned it. Before, he was struggling to optimize many different campaigns, which were close to becoming profitable, yet not quite there. He tested many offers and launched 10-20 campaigns a day but despite some green numbers here and there, finding a profitable offer was much harder than he expected. This is what his results looked like a few days after applying the strategy:
Once he found offers that showed good potential, he could use another advice that was offered to him in his follow along. How to optimize the performance of your funnel? How to make sure you have the best possible creatives for your offer? That’s what the next section is all about.
Testing offers, landers and creatives as a beginner affiliate
When it comes to testing affiliate marketing campaigns, it’s really best to stick to a chosen niche. If you choose to start with running sweepstakes, for example, you should focus your testing efforts on that type of offers exclusively. Here is some advice that @amazone received from @Tyoussef:
Join at least two CPA affiliate networks and contact the representatives. Ask each of them for 6 recommendations in one particular vertical from the last 7 days. It doesn’t matter whether the offers are low or high payout because you want to test as many as possible, regardless of the payout.
The next step would be to ask for recommendations as to targeting and ad formats. Your account managers and support teams are very knowledgeable so they might shed some light on what’s got a chance of success at that moment.
Once your offers are ready and you are approved to promote them, you should create at least 4 landing pages per offer. Vary the style of landers and use as many options as possible to test what works best with the offer. In case of sweepstakes, you should try something simple, a spin wheel lander, a survey, an award for being the n-th person to visit that website — you name it!
If you’re using the push ad format you will also need to create at least 4 different creatives for each offer. Research what works for push creatives and use as many CTR-raising tips and tricks as possible.
Now it’s time to launch the campaigns and watch as the results start coming in. All you have to do is pause the worst performing landers and focus on the sets that perform the best. Once you’ve cut the worst paths and creatives you can focus on more granular optimisation. But, more importantly, you can create more landers and creatives just like the winners to, once again, test the success rate of different styles.
Zeropark as a traffic source – community review
To summarize his experience @amazone shared some positive thoughts on why he had a pleasant experience working with the Zeropark platform:
The UX is very simple and straight to the point.
Easy to create campaign
Top up fee is not expensive
Easy to optimize campaign by pausing the target and sources
Easy to change the bid, budget spend, daily budget
Have optimization rules (have not try it yet, but I saw several threads in affLIFT use this)
Can custom bid in each target and sources
Accept adult traffic
It was not a surprise that he won the community prize. @amazone kept his thread updated consistently and never hesitated to answer questions and help out other affiliates. The community provided support, motivation and useful lessons that helped him find the perfect money-making strategy. In his follow-along summary, @amazone said:
This contest and making follow along progress are really helping me out. Because the pressure to keep updating this thread, the pressure to test campaigns are enormous. I have to do it no matter what, delete all my excuses. Hence, in this follow along I received many unanswered questions while creating campaigns, all the guidelines, all the talks from you guys in this forum now make more sense. I can keep up with your conversations.
Affiliate marketing might seem complicated at the beginning but the more you learn the more straightforward everything becomes. Struggling to find profitable offers on a smaller budget is normal and doesn’t mean you’re headed for failure.
@amazone was well organized and prepared before launching his campaigns. He decided not to do that alone and opened a thread in one of the community forums. He received a ton of valuable feedback and ultimately learned how to test offers to never waste money on trying to optimize the poor ones.
If he managed to achieve consistently green numbers after using that strategy, then so do you! You’ve got everything you need right here, so don’t waste your time and launch your campaigns.