Push is a well known and loved ad format. Despite affiliates fearing for its longevity, due to the notorious Google Chrome updates, it continues to bring amazing profits.
If you’re still doubtful about the reliability of push traffic, here’s a case study that proves you can make four-digit numbers in one month of running a desktop push campaign.
Remember how there recently was a contest on the affLIFT forum that encouraged the community to open follow-alongs? We thought that some of them absolutely needed to be shared with the world.
Read the case study below to find out how a member of the affiliate marketing community made his campaigns profitable by focusing on the best performing targets!
How to succeed in affiliate marketing?
What does it take to win an affiliate marketing contest? Perseverance, creative ideas and hard work. However cliche that sounds, it’s exactly what earned Jonte the first prize. On the 6th of May, he opened a push traffic follow-along titled “ZeroPark Contest – Thinking outside the box – Desktop Push” to share with the community his journey of getting out of his comfort zone while trying something new.
Jonte has been working with push mobile traffic for a very long time and his chosen niche was always CC Submit Sweepstakes. Since the pandemic came and changed everyone’s lives, he decided to tap into the new needs of the market and test different verticals. He finally settled on CPS Utilities/Software offers which he has already tested on other traffic sources.
Finding the winning affiliate marketing strategy
Our winner’s strategy focused on “getting the highest AOV (Average Order Value) and user-retention possible as to continue to get [his] payout increased overtime”. He stressed the importance of running campaigns “completely whitehat,” that is, by diligently following the guidelines and rules regarding creatives, landing pages, and advertising techniques. The offer payout was $40-$60 and the total campaign budget was over $20k.
It’s important to note here that the participant has already tested this offer on different traffic sources and in various GEOs. However, in order to take his revenue to the next level, he needed a source with a huge volume and potential to scale up big — that’s where Zeropark comes in. Even though the landing pages and offer combination he used were already tried and true, he still highlighted the importance of split-testing every time you move to a new traffic source.
Using Rule-Based Optimization to maximize your ROI
Managing multiple campaigns from different traffic sources is not easy. That’s why Jonte decided to put his own skills into work and develop an automated optimization platform that he integrated with Zeropark through API. Choosing Voluum gave him the benefit of 100% data accuracy while tracking his campaigns in Zeropark.
Don’t get discouraged thinking that you can’t achieve the same results without the tool this affiliate had made for himself. You can use the available Zeropark features to optimize your campaigns in similar ways. Let me show you what can be done!
In Zeropark, we’ve got Rule-Based Optimization. It allows you to perform basic actions on your campaigns by setting rules in the form of IF-THEN logical statements:
IF a condition is met FOR the selected criterion WITHIN a given time frame, THEN perform a certain action.
IF a target has more than $100 spend & ROI is lower than 10% within the last 7 days THEN pause.
This AI-powered tool can be used to run your campaigns easily, without having to monitor them constantly. It makes multitasking a lot easier and can save you a good chunk of budget if done properly.
What Jonte did was set the auto-optimization rules to pause the underperforming sources and targets. He was targeting GEOs with huge volumes so using these rules allowed him to automatically weed out the unprofitable placements which showed no potential. On those that did seem saveable, he set markers (available in Voluum) to manually assess them and decide based on their performance.
Automatic optimization tools can be extremely helpful not only for advanced affiliates but also for those who are just starting. The rule-based optimization features offered by Zeropark should be sufficient for any beginner. If you wish more help from algorithms in managing your campaign, integrating your Zeropark account with Voluum will give you much greater possibilities.
The Desktop Push Case Study – Campaign #1
Jonte launched the campaign towards the end of the day and managed to gain two conversions. In the process, he blacklisted some targets and his auto-optimization tool also paused targets with 0% landing page CTR.
After setting a $200 daily budget, he let his campaign run overnight and woke up to find it breakeven.
The affiliate decided to adjust the bid since his win ratio averaged 15%, which meant there is a lot of quality traffic to unlock with a higher bid.
The second day ended with a negative ROI, however, the overall result was that the campaign broke even.
This time, Jonte decided to focus on optimizing push ad creatives. Initially, he paused the target #4. It seemed to have potential, but not for this particular offer. Next, targets #3 and #4 were paused (temporarily) as they were significantly overperformed by #1. Subsequently, by raising the bid for one of his targets, Jonte was able to achieve a staggering 642% ROI with a $72 spend and a $534 revenue!
Overall, the performance that day was very good. To make sure his auto-optimization software works correctly, Jonte went through the blacklisted placements and resumed one target that looked like it deserved another chance.
I prefer being aggressive, especially on sources like ZeroPark that have a huge amount of volume.
As you know, affiliate marketing can be quite unpredictable. Sometimes your campaigns tank and you don’t know why. It can be market saturation, it can be creative fatigue or maybe you’ve been outbid on your best performing sources. When Jonte’s campaign started getting negative ROI he assumed that he needed to increase his bids on profitable targets and wait.
The situation continued so Jonte used his auto-optimization software to add some bid-increasing rules for profitable targets with decreasing win ratio percentage.
The best target has been identified! $207 cost and $762.90 revenue – what a wonderful sight!
Jonte decided to focus on the best performing target and gradually increase the bid while paying close attention to how it affects the win ratio. Stats for the day:
That day, Jonte had a brand new idea for a lander with an angle that he’s never seen on spy tools before. He created the lander and added it halfway through the day. The idea has definitely paid off as the new creation ended the day with a 223.72% ROI.
And that target that made crazy ROI the day before? Still going strong at a total two-day average of 280% ROI. Jonte also started to consider the idea of creating a target campaign specifically for that one target. Or, alternatively, a target campaign with the 2-4 top targets (which would entail blocking those placements in the main campaign).
The total results for the day were once again positive.
Still green, but the ROI started to decrease.
After the first eight days, the performance of the campaign started dropping. Jonte paused the burned-out campaign and moved onto the next once.
Approximately two weeks later, Jonte received a pay-bump from the affiliate network which made continuing the campaign possible. The pay-bump was big enough to immediately take the results from break-even to almost $1,000 profit in less than a week!
Jonte admits the profits could have been much higher had he not neglected to cut the unprofitable landing page earlier. Why did he make that mistake? Because that was the one landing page that worked best for him in the past so all this time he was subconsciously waiting for it to take all the spotlight in this campaign too. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and Jonte ended up missing out on potential profits by failing to follow the data.
Mistake number 2 turned out to be very similar. Jonte used a total of 8 creatives but some of them should have been stopped much sooner. It’s easy to look in hindsight and comment on past mistakes, but when it comes to creatives, they are just too important to neglect.
The other thing with push is that creatives need to be updated all the time or you’ll suffer from banner-blindness. Creating unique creatives is superior to copying what you see on Adplexity. Even if you’re not the best graphic designer – it’s better to have a unique creative than a creative that’s been seen a million times.
Despite the struggles and mistakes, he scored nearly a $1,000 of profits:
- Cost: $5773.93
- Revenue: $6700.32
- Profit: $926.39
- ROI: 16.04%
The Desktop Push Case Study – Campaign #2
The moment Jonte noticed a drop in the performance of his previous campaign he immediately started to think about a new campaign. This time, he decided on Tier 3 GEO and an offer with a slightly lower payout. He knew from past experience that there was a lot more volume available in the GEOs and the CPV was generally quite low.
Jonte launched the new campaign late in the evening and immediately scored a conversion after just $1 spend. See that screenshot below? That’s what every beginner affiliate’s dreams look like!
Jonte decided to make a risky move of leaving the campaign on an unlimited budget overnight. The performance of the traffic turned out to be really good and he ended up with another green day.
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Because Jonte forgot to link his auto-optimization scripts to this campaign, it took a bit of a hit.
Despite the day being less successful, he made the most of it by reviewing and blacklisting some of the sources and targets. Additionally, he bid up on a couple of targets that had a spend of less than $5 but have already brought over $50 in revenue. Naturally, he also fixed his mistake and added the relevant optimization rules.
The auto-optimization rules began to work! There are currently two pre-landers in the game and they were both previously tested. Some changes had to be made to make them suitable for this particular offer, but the effort has definitely paid out as they both performed equally well.
The campaign is keeping up the performance. A tool that was especially useful here is Voluum’s flow optimizer set on ‘auto’ mode.
The campaign started strong but fell towards the end of the month. Jonte put it down to the unpredictability of the offer that had been around for a long time already. Despite the unimpressive yet positive results, the real profits were much higher due to over 15,000 push subscribers he gathered in the process of running the campaign. Here are campaign #2 stats:
- Cost: $2848.83
- Revenue: $3382.53
- Profit: $533.70
- ROI: 18.73%
The Desktop Push Case Study – Campaigns #3 & #4
Before wrapping up his follow-along, Jonte shared with us that, in the meantime, he started two new campaigns. Campaign #3 (Tier 1 GEO) has only been running for a few days but already showed incredible potential.
- Cost: $233.72
- Revenue: $464.81
- Profit: $231.09
- ROI: 98.87%
Campaign #4, also run in Tier 1 GEOs, had been running pretty much unoptimized for a couple of days and yet managed to make profit. Jonte shared the initial results, and as well as his plans to optimize the campaign by removing landing pages eating up his budget.
- Cost: $214.63
- Revenue: $265.45
- Profit: $50.82
- ROI: 23.67%
Why cutting placements can be beneficial for your campaigns?
Zeropark offers huge volumes of traffic. Despite the benefits coming from using a traffic source with a big inventory, it also requires special strategies.
Throughout his follow-along, Jonte repeatedly mentions being aggressive in cutting landers, creatives, sources, and targets. What does it mean? Since he had previous experience with the GEOs he targeted, and knew that they have huge volumes, he didn’t wait long to pause or remove the underperforming components of the campaign. For example, when it comes to sources, he paused them once they reached 55%-70% of the conversion value.
I have better results cutting aggressively on these huge sources – especially dealing with T1 traffic. I could blacklist at 3*payout but let’s be honest, most of the time an offer is not converting – or especially not getting LP clicks – your budget is better spent elsewhere.
When you have a proven offer and you know what works and what doesn’t in terms of landers and creatives, the most logical strategy is to cut aggressively. Sources suitable for your offer tend to reveal themselves pretty early on. Coming to a new traffic source with already tested campaigns allows you to be strict while testing the traffic.
First, you need to eliminate such reasons for underperformance as a poor offer or uninteresting creatives. Once it’s done, you know that if a chunk of traffic doesn’t convert it’s because of a probable source-offer mismatch. That’s why, in that case, cutting sources and targets that don’t become profitable (or nearly profitable) within the first couple of days of starting the campaign is the right strategy.
How to optimize your affiliate campaigns to profitability?
Jonte did a very good job optimizing his campaigns. Despite some setbacks and mistakes, all of his campaigns were profitable and worthy of running beyond the contest. He also shared some extremely valuable insights.
So, how did he manage to be so successful?
- Jonte had an already working funnel before starting his campaigns with Zeropark. It means he didn’t have to run his campaigns at a loss to check what creatives and landers perform best.
- Despite having a well-working combination of offers and creatives, he kept on testing. He knew that different traffic sources might have audiences with different preferences.
- Jonte tested multiple landers and creatives, constantly thinking about new angles to add to his campaigns.
- He didn’t copy the creatives from spy tools. He worked on his own ideas just to avoid showing people the same ads as other affiliates.
- Jonte didn’t give up when his first campaign took a dip. He immediately started a new one that ended up making profits the very same day.
- He focused on the best performing targets. A large percentage of his overall profits came from selected targets that significantly overperformed the rest. By slowly bidding up on those targets he increased the revenue and profits which kept his campaign afloat.
- He wasn’t afraid to cut aggressively. If there was something eating up his budget, he showed no mercy. Poor landers and creatives were replaced, underperforming sources and targets were paused, while he focused on what showed the biggest potential.
- Once again, bidding up on profitable targets was the key to good results!
- Jonte used auto-optimization tools to help him manage the campaigns and weed out the worse-performing chunks of traffic.
- He overcame the obstacles. Jonte made mistakes, which caused him losses, but that didn’t stop him from trying new things. He launched more campaigns, tried different offers and GEOs, and constantly reviewed and changed his landers and creatives.
Overall, a lot of effort went into running these campaigns, but all of it paid off and they were all optimized to profitability.
Desktop Push Case Study – Conclusions
The forum contest ended on May 31st, but Jonte didn’t close his follow-along right away. He said he would continue posting updates as the campaigns had yet to reach their full potential.
Jonte tried something new and achieved success through creative thinking and hard work. Running desktop push was not his regular niche but it only challenged him to be more resourceful and dedicated.
When asked about the success of his campaigns, Jonte shared some valuable insights:
I definitely think the success is due to already knowing what works because I was already running the same campaign profitably on ~7+ other traffic sources at the time I launched the ZeroPark campaigns. So I already had the top Landers, creatives, etc. Of course, I also made sure to keep updating my creatives as I mentioned, but knowing what’s worked well in the past is useful when creating new angles/designs. Additionally, my auto-optimization rules were a life-saver because most of my attention was focused on other – higher-volume – traffic sources so having the rules blacklist placements for me was very helpful.
Here are the total campaign statistics (without additional revenue from Monetizer or his private push subscription database):
- Cost: $9,071
- Revenue: $11,337.86
- Profit: $2266.86
- ROI: 24.99%
Jonte’s campaigns show how focusing on profitable targets and quick response to creative fatigue are essential to turning profit. Auto-optimization tools, such as Zeropark’s Rule-Based optimization, are also incredibly helpful and shouldn’t be overlooked. In short, get a plan and use the newly discovered knowledge to see how easy it can be to optimize your campaigns to profitability.
Thanks for the ZeroPark competition! I hope everyone can find some value in my case study.