The million dollar question,
What do I promote?
Lets define some terms:
- The vertical is the type of product you’re promoting
- The offer is the specific product you’re promoting.
An example of a vertical is dating.
Here’s an example of the structure:
- Start with the vertical
- Then you decide which country you want to target (Because some offers are only in certain countries)
- Then decide which offers to test
- Then which affiliate networks to run with
Here’s another example of verticals and offers:
An offer in the mobile gaming vertical would be Candy Crush and World of Tanks.
The Biggest Verticals in Affiliate Marketing Include:
- Dating / Adult Dating
- Health / Beauty
- Vouchers and sweepstakes
- Gambling / Casinos
- and much more.
Don’t worry about finding the “best” vertical. Pick something that’s good enough and keep it moving. There’s no “best”.
How Offers Monetize
There are mainly two types of offers.
1. Cost per Sale
2. Cost per Action (Lead Generation
Cost Per Sale (CPS)
CPS offers pay a commission to the affiliate only when a successful sale has been made.
Example of a CPS Offer
Let’s say Amazon’s affiliate program offers 10% commission on all products sold.
If an affiliate promotes a book from Amazon worth $50, he’ll receive a $5 commission for each book he sells.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
CPA offers pay commission to affiliates when a desired action has taken place (thus cost-per-action).
The images below show you some of the types of offers that might be paid out on a “per action” basis instead of “per sale” basis.
I recommend you go for CPA campaigns as an affiliate marketer.
- They’re easier to convert.
It’s much easier to get someone to take an action (like entering their phone number or email), than pull out their credit card and buy something.
Here’s an example of an insurance offer to explain why:
A car insurance company is looking for leads.
But if you referred someone and they actually purchased insurance from the company, they would pay you out a LOT more. But it’d be far more difficult for a newbie to convince someone to pay for a year’s worth of insurance, rather than just enter their email address.
See what I mean about how CPA offers are easier to convert?The more information a company receives, the more they’re willing to pay.
- An offer that collects an email only might pay $1.
- An offer that collects email, phone number, address, and more might pay $5.
Another example of a CPA offer is mobile app installs. The company may be willing to pay $0.50 for every app that’s installed.
These are just a few examples of CPA offers. Other examples include:
- Applying for a credit card online
- Signing up for a free profile on a dating website
- Paying shipping and handle for a free trial offer (think creams/supplements)
- Calling a phone number to inquire about legal consultation (pay-per-call)
Because CPA offers can be creative in the number of ways to get paid, there are tons of verticals and niches within the CPA niche.
The Traffic Source and Vertical Have to Match
Would a CNN reader be interested in audio books?
Here are some examples.
1. Anti-virus software is a popular vertical to promote on mobile.
However some traffic sources do not allow anti-virus offers. This doesn’t match due to the traffic source rules.
2. The advertiser may not like the traffic source.
A lot of mainstream dating sites don’t want their ads on adult sites due to branding reasons.
3. Promoting anti-aging wrinkle cream wouldn’t work on adult oriented traffic sources.
Why? Only women are interested in those offers, but adult sites are 80% men. This is a demographic mismatch.
4. An email submit may not work on some native ad traffic sources.
The click prices are too expensive, and email submit campaigns don’t pay high enough.
The best way to see what works on different traffic source is to do a bit of competitive research aka spying.
Picking Your First Vertical as a Newbie
Pick a traffic source first, and then pick a vertical that works well for that traffic source.
You wanna focus on Facebook? Gaming or lead gen offers do well.
You want to focus on mobile? App installs, and vouchers do well.
Traffic source first, and then vertical.
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say you have a $500 budget for a campaign. And you’re able to break even.
- If you run an offer that pays out $100 – that’s 5 conversions
- If you run an offer that pays $1 – that’s 500 conversions
You broke even on each one. But in the second scenario, you have so much more data. You can do more split-tests which lets you learn affiliate marketing.
My go to verticals for newbies are games or mobile app installs.
They’re easy to convert, and you won’t need a landing page for most of them.
Choosing Your First CPA Offers
Here are some rules I have for testing offers:
1. Always start off with multiple offers to split-test
Think of your business like a shop. You’d test out multiple products, and only keep the ones in stock that sell really well.
A vertical is the type of product you’re promoting. The offer is the specific product you’re promoting.
Not all CPA offers are allowed on all traffic sources. Pick a traffic source first, and then see what’s allowed.
Offers are generally cost per sale and cost per action. I recommend you start with cost per action because they’re easier to convert.
• Ask your affiliate manager what they recommend
• Do some competitive research to see what other people are running
• Choose an offer that’s easy to convert (low payout CPA offers)