Affiliate Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Campaigns
What you think I rap for, to push a fuckin’ Rav 4? – Kanye
I hit my first $500 profit a day back in 2008. Man I thought I was at the top of the world. I asked my affiliate manager how much revenue the top guy was doing on the offer.
My jaw dropped when he said $5,000+ a day.
I couldn’t understand how that was possible, and I had no idea how to scale the campaign to that level.
Scaling is the process of taking a profitable campaign, and increasing it’s volume.
How would an “offline” business increase its revenue?
– A restaurant can expand through franchising (Like McDonald’s)
– A factory can increase the number of distributors
– If you’re only selling one product, you can create multiple products.
I had a $500 a day campaign – I assumed I just needed to create 10 more campaigns just like this, and I could be earning $5000 a day! The process is easier than you think.
Remember that getting a campaign profitable is only half the battle. Now it’s time to make as much money as possible.
I’m going to show you some of the ways me and my team have been scaling our campaigns for the past 8 years.
Before You Scale
Here’s the most important step before you scale a campaign: you need to have a solid ROI. Most people scale their campaign too soon. They don’t go the extra mile of improving the profitability of their campaign.
It’s easier to scale a campaign that’s making 70% ROI compared to one that’s at 20% ROI each day. It’s more “solid.”
Some easy ways to squeeze profits:
- Test offers
- Cut Bad Placements. Some websites you’re advertising to won’t make money. Pause them.
- Improve Your Targeting
- Better ads, angles, and landing pages
I want my campaigns to be at least 50% ROI before I start scaling.
Once again, don’t scale unless your campaign is solid.
Now you’re ready to scale.
It’s easiest to divide scaling into two categories: vertical and horizontal.
This is where we expand our campaigns on the existing traffic source.
Bid Higher – Try increasing your bid to see how it affects the traffic. The more you bid, the more impressions the traffic source you send you.
Improve the Click-through Rate on Your Ads – The better your ad CTR the more traffic you’ll get for the same amount of $. Ads die fast due to banner blindness. It’s important to come up with a system for uploading new ads.
More Countries – This is one of my favorite ways to scale a campaign. Some offer these days can take 40+ countries.
The first countries I scale to are the ones similar to our base campaign.
By similar I mean they either speak the same language, or they are culturally similar.
If your campaign is profitable in Colombia, it makes more sense to launch campaigns in Mexico compared to France. You don’t need to translate, and the target audience has more in common.
*Just because a campaign is profitable in one country, doesn’t mean it will be in another one. Some reasons could be cultural differences, the offer’s not as strong, or the quality of the traffic is lower.
More placements – Some traffic sources can have hundreds of placements. You can make money by pausing the unprofitable sites…but you can imagine that will cut into your volume. A better way is to focus on improving the overall profitability of your campaign, so you can afford to buy more traffic.
Different Traffic Types – Some traffic sources offer multiple types of ads.
If you’re running only newsfeed ads on Facebook, test out right hand side ads. If you’re only running pop under traffic on Exoclick, try testing out banners.
You know the traffic is solid. Just see what else they’re selling.
There’s only so much traffic that one network can do.
Once you’ll done all you can with your existing traffic source, the easiest way is to scale are to ones with similar audiences.
If you’re profitable on LeadImpact, then scale to another PPV network…TrafficVance
If you’re profitable on Decisive, then scale to another DSP such as Go2Mobi
After you’re done testing out similar traffic sources, then you can try the ones that much more different.
Example: Scaling from Facebook to Google.
Maintain the Campaign
There’s a limit to how many campaigns one person can manage.
You don’t want a situation where you’re so focused on scaling that your original campaigns die out.
This means you have to be on watch for new offers, test out new angles, and constantly upload new ads.
Don’t spread yourself out so thin that you can’t defend your home base.
Apply the 80 / 20 Rule
The 80 / 20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) states that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the causes.
Here’s a made-up example.
Assume I’m running 6 different campaigns right now on 1 traffic source.
France $2200 profit per day
Italy $1000 profit per day
Germany $500 profit per day
Thailand $300 profit per day
Malaysia $200 profit per day
France and Italy are doing the best. Although Thailand and Malaysia are profitable, they are not up to my standards.
I would pause the campaigns in Thailand and Malaysia even though they are generating $500+ profit a day. “Charles you’re crazy, why would you not want free money?”
Working on the smaller campaigns means I’m not using that time to work on bigger campaigns.
I could also use that energy to do more tests on France / Italy. I could be testing other countries – maybe Spain could be a $3,000 a day campaign that’s undiscovered…I wouldn’t know unless I push it.
Or maybe there’s a new vertical that’s even better than the ones I’m doing $4k a day on. I won’t know unless I launch it.
There’s a limit to how many campaigns a affiliate can run; it’s better to spend your time on things with the most leverage.
Volume is Power
I have a Volume mindset compared to a ROI mindset.
I hate when newbies ask what’s the ROI on a campaign. Who cares what’s the ROI.
ROI 300%. Profit $100 a day
ROI 30%. Profit $4000 a day
I don’t know about you but I’ll take campaign B.
This matters when it comes to decisions such as how you bid and cutting site placements.
By the way, more volume means you have power to get better payouts.
You Need Cashflow to Scale
You can’t scale if you don’t have the cashflow to back it up.
Nothing sucks more than to have to pause a profitable campaign because you can’t fund it.
I run most of my traffic through AMEX charge cards. *Note: Only use credit cards for profitable campaigns. Do not get into credit card debt trying to make affiliate marketing work.
You can also get faster payment terms from the affiliate network. By default networks pay once a month. You can get paid through weekly wires but you have to be generate $1,000 a week first.
It’s all about how you talk to them.
“I am running out of cash, can you put me on weekly wires”
“Hey affiliate manager, I’m going to have to pause my campaign soon because of cashflow issues. Is there anyway I could get my payment wired early within the next two days? I talked to