Affiliate Marketing: 8 Hacks to Squeeze More Profits Out of Your Campaigns
Who doesn’t want to make more profits from their campaigns?
Every campaign you launch has the potential to make life-changing money.
But sometimes you’ll test and optimize to get a campaign profitable… and it only makes a few dollars per day.
What do you do?
- Ditch the campaign, because $2.50 profit per day won’t turn you into Dan Bilzerian
- Try to squeeze more from it
It’s a tough call, but here are my thoughts on when to ditch a campaign to help you out.
There were some affiliates a few years back that made a killing with hundreds of laser-targeted campaigns on PoF.
They each brought in a couple of bucks a day.
I admire the dedication and ingenuity there, but creating and monitoring a million little campaigns would drive me crazy. It’s so fidgety, there’s no scale, and it sounds like it’d be a nightmare operation.
Having 2-3 campaigns pulling in $1k each per day versus 1,000 campaigns pulling in $2-3 each day?
Smart, successful affiliates would much rather build scalable campaigns.
Creating winning campaigns is tough, but it’s MUCH easier to improve the ROI of an existing campaign, than to start fresh.
It’s like that old sales quote: “It’s 5x easier to upsell an existing customer than sell a new customer”.
So don’t get disappointed that your campaign isn’t a home run yet.
You worked your ass off to get this campaign profitable, or near to break even. It’s time to make some decent profits on it.
Here are some proven optimization tips to take the training wheels off your baby campaigns and turn them into full-blown cash cows.
1. Test Other GEOs
I can’t get over how many affiliates forget that there are other countries outside the United States (especially with adult dating).
USA has the 3rd largest population in the world, but you don’t NEED a target market of 300 million+ people.
USA is too competitive for most newbies, and a lot of intermediate affiliates.
Take a look at some of the other biggest countries in the world and you’ll see Brazil, Pakistan, Indonesia, China etc. Hundreds of millions of consumers + cheap clicks = huge opportunity.
There are tons of untapped markets for offers that accept traffic in multiple GEOs. Why not try testing your profitable campaigns in some of them?
Most people will only run traffic in countries that seem familiar to them – it’s a basic cognitive bias that you have to overcome.
The bids in most countries are a lot cheaper than US, since far fewer people are targeting them. Conversions are often much higher as well, since these neglected markets don’t have banner blindness by trigger happy affiliates.
If I’m exploring new GEOs, I try to keep everything exactly the same. The same lander, same ads and same targeting (except for the country and language). You want to isolate the country, so it’s the only variable that changes.
I also go broad when testing GEOs.
I’m not going to test Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom as new GEOs.
They are too similar. They are English speaking, high incomes, high bid prices, high GDP, and higher payout offers.
I’ll test India, Brazil, Iran, Kenya and Estonia.
These countries are radically different from each other – language, custom, culture, income etc. One of these places might be a gold mine for any number of reasons.
Most affiliates are too lazy to translate and learn about new countries. This is an opportunity for you to take your already testing landers/ads and run them in a new GEO.
Here’s a bonus tip: you can create angles based on the region/culture to get more profits.
2. Commit to Continual Optimization
Affiliate marketing isn’t neatly split between profitable and unprofitable campaigns. Unprofitable campaigns can (sometimes) be turned around, and a profitable campaign can always be made better.
In either case, test new headlines, new images and new landers. The best way to boost your profit is to keep testing.
The BIG WIN is to test new offers.
If you’ve only tested 3 offers, you’re just lazy bro.
Go into your affiliate network dashboard and apply for 20 offers to test.
Don’t assume your current offer is the best because it has a slick landing page or requires fewer steps. You can’t tell what offers convert the best until you test them.
Testing new offers requires almost no extra effort on your part and can make a HUGE increase to your ROI.
It’s literally 30 seconds – clicking a button inside your affiliate network dashboard, and setting it up in Voluum.
Getting the campaign profitable is the hard part – now it’s time to have fun.
Think of it is this way – you have a campaign that’s making you $5 a day with a 100% ROI. If you keep testing it, you can boost it to $10 a day. Big deal, right?
Well, yeah, it’s actually a very big deal. You’re planning on scaling this campaign, remember?
Down the road, doubling your ROI won’t make the difference between having a $5 and $10 a day campaign.
It’ll make the difference between a $500 and $1,000 a day campaign.
3. Ask for Payment Bumps
Don’t just take the payment bump and use it as a bonus.
Think about how you can use your higher payout to get squeeze out more traffic. Maybe site IDs that weren’t profitable before are now. Or maybe you can now bid higher and see how your volume increases.
Maybe this means you can get the campaign profitable on a bigger traffic source with more volume.
Always be thinking like a businessman – how can you use an increased revenue to get even more revenue?
So the question is: How do you get a payment bump?
Let’s use some psychology. You have to ask and phrase it to benefit them.
“Hey John can I get a pay bump on my my iPhone offer?”
“Hey John, I’m losing money right now on the iPhone offer and might have to stop running it. I did some calculations and if I were to get $.50 more I could make money and scale this campaign.
I already talked to a few other networks and they’re willing to give me that payout. But I really enjoy working with you and your network.
If you can up the payout then I’ll do my best to increase the volume.”
Which answer is better?
Always be thinking from THEIR point of view.
They won’t give you a pay bump just ‘cause you want more money. But if you’re able to make it a win/win – why wouldn’t they hook you up?
4. Split Test Networks
This is yet another test that 99% of affiliates never try. They see the same offer on a couple of networks and just run with whichever one has the highest payout. Why not, it’s the same offer right?
Not at all. Even the SAME OFFER can convert very differently on different affiliate networks.
Why? Advertisers may scrub more harshly on some networks than others. Networks use different technology to track conversions or payment processing.
I can’t tell you the number of times I got a higher ROI with the network with the lower payout.
This is a really easy split-test that can give you 20% ROI.
5. Learn the Traffic Source Inside and Outs
Regardless of their chosen traffic source, successful affiliates have one thing in common.
They’ve learned to dominate it to get more volume, cheaper bids and higher conversions.
The single best way to master a good traffic source is to use ONLY that traffic source.
- You’ll come up with your own little hacks that’ll help you create campaigns quickly and boost your ROI.
- You’ll discover what offers and verticals work best on it
- You discover the best placements/ad sizes
- You can do some insider deals with the traffic source if you push enough volume
This is one of the biggest reasons behind a super affiliate’s success – they become a master at one traffic type.
6. Network with Major Players
Forming relationships is a great way to skyrocket your affiliate career. This doesn’t just mean building relationships with other affiliates. You want to build relationships with everyone that can help you turn your small campaigns into beasts.
The most successful affiliates thrive by building the following relationships.
Too many affiliates have almost no contact with their affiliate manager or other people from their top networks. They ping their AM once or twice a month to request a payment bump and that’s about it.
You’ll do a lot better if you recognize the importance of having strong relationships with these people. They can go to bat for you if you have a special request (like joining a private offer or asking for permission to run on an unapproved traffic source).
They can also give you the lowdown on the offers that are converting the best and the angles that work.
Plus if your AM likes you, they might give you automatic pay bumps just ‘cause you’re pals.
You may have spent $10k testing your chosen traffic source, but you still won’t know it nearly as well as the guys that manage it.
Make friends with them. They can give you a lot of tips to get more traffic and boost your ROI. They want to see you thrive, especially if you’re spending a lot of money with them.
The more traffic you buy from them, the more they won’t want to lose you.
Most affiliates only think of their AMs because you don’t often talk to your traffic source manager. Big mistake.
Shoot them an email, introduce yourself, and get on their radar.
I’d say that 99% of affiliates never meet the advertisers they push traffic to. You can open a lot of new doors by reaching out to them. Getting to know the advertisers lets you:
- Get access to other offers that aren’t listed on your network
- Push for better payment bumps
- Go direct with them for more profits
- Get insider tips on new angles and demographic targeting
- Get approved for different traffic sources other affiliates aren’t given access to
Advertisers love their best affiliates. Give them a shout out and see how you can make them (and you) more money.
Where do you meet advertisers (the offer owners)?
- Conferences – big advertisers will be at Affiliate Worlds and Affiliate Summits
- Email them – you might be able to find their details on offer page
- Get your affiliate manager to point you to them (although they probably won’t want you to go direct, so they may not do this)
7. Day Parting
I get a lot of questions about day parting.
It seems like a popular way to optimize campaigns. Possibly too popular, which is why I didn’t put it at the top of my list.
Don’t give me wrong – day parting has its place. It can turn some of your “meh” campaigns into real winners. But overall I don’t recommend it very often.
The problem is that loads of affiliates think day parting is a silver bullet to turning break even campaigns into ones with 100% ROI. They start messing with day parting features without enough data and often end up tanking otherwise good marketing campaigns.
So when do you start day parting?
Answer: After you’ve tested everything else to death, OR, if you’re on an ULTRA tight budget and you can’t afford to run traffic for full days.
For example, if you’re trying to run a RON campaign on mobile, some traffic sources don’t let you spread your budget out through the day.
You might decide to run at night when people are home from work and in a more relaxed (buying) frame of mind. This can give you a better chance of getting profitable, especially if you bid high and your budget gets used up quickly.
You need to be certain you can’t get a positive ROI during certain hours before pausing your ads.
Suppose you’re running a dating campaign with the following data:
- You got 22 leads between 5 AM and 6 PM.
- You got 45 leads between 6 PM and 5 AM.
Most affiliates with this campaign would pause their ads between 5 AM and 6 PM. This could actually be a really bad move.
But why? Aren’t you getting fewer leads during those hours?
Yeah, but that could just be because there’s less volume during those hours. If bids are lower and conversion rates are almost as good, you may even be getting a higher ROI and more profit during the hours you get the fewest leads.
You don’t want to day part based on when you get the most leads. You need to factor for the amount of money you spent during those hours. Never pause your ads during hours they’re profitable.
8. Build a List
You’ve probably already heard this a million times: “The money is in your list.”
Yet, for many niches, building a list can be a powerful way to monetize your traffic.
Why not kill two birds with one stone? You’re already pushing traffic to your landers. Sometimes you can capture emails from your leads before referring them to the advertiser.
Now you can upsell those leads to higher paying offers or push lots of other offers to them.
You can also look into directing people to an opt-in page if they aren’t interested in your offer. If you’re good at coding, or you’ve got a good tech contractor, this is something to consider.
Start Squeezing Your Campaigns
Successful affiliate marketers got that way because they’re never satisfied. They see a positive campaign ROI and, rather than sitting back on their asses, they think, “How can I get even more out of this?”
Be that guy. Be the guy who isn’t satisfied with mediocre profits or a few dollars a day trickling into your accounts. Use the tips above to take even your most successful campaigns to the next level.
Which one of these tips will you commit to trying this week?
Leave me a comment below with the action steps you plan on taking: