Preparing to launch your affiliate marketing campaigns and to setup affiliate campaigns is never a simple task.
While the process is almost always the same to setup affiliate campaigns, most affiliates make mistakes that would hurt their campaigns. Initially, you’ll need to dive in with your hands and feet together, and it’ll take some time, effort, and attention to detail on your part.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll most likely be a pro at launching campaigns, one after the other.
Launching campaigns demands focus, clarity, and planning.
Here’s how you setup campaigns, the right way.
Choose your Networks
There are so many affiliate networks right now that you could easily spread yourself thin just by signing up to more affiliate networks than you’d be able to manage. Pick your affiliates networks with care as some of them have a reputation of scraping off data, links, and even commissions.
Pick your affiliates networks with care as some of them have a reputation of scraping off data, links, and even commissions.
More often than not, you’d be wise to pick networks that’ve been around for a while and have many affiliates signed up already.
At Powerhouse Affiliate, we have a private affiliate network with the best CPA offers for you to get started.
You could also try to get into reputed networks such as Peerfly, MaxBounty, ClickDealer, and others.
Pick the right offers
Probably the hardest thing to do for an affiliate is to pick up an offer.
Think of offers as “ideas”: they always look good and feel good. But whether or not an offer works is something you’d be able to find out only if you actually put that offer to test.
Let your gut guide you to a handful offers you think are good enough. Then follow these rules to help make your decisions:
- The payout doesn’t determine if an offer is going to be profitable for you.
- Don’t shy away from small payouts since these are still great picks if you are just starting out as they’d also be easier to convert (think email submits, Zip submits, and Single Opt In offers).
- The only way to tell if an offer is good or not is by testing the offer against incoming traffic.
- The more the payout is, the more work it takes for you to make it work.
- When in doubt, always ask (reach out to your affiliate manager, discuss the offer in the forum, or drop a line at our Facebook group).
Always start small
Starting small is not the same as being cheap. When you are starting out with a campaign on any traffic source, you’d want to start with a budget you can afford easily.
For a few first weeks that your campaign will run, you’ll be mostly experimenting, testing, and optimizing. During this phase, you don’t want to throw as much as cash you can on your campaigns.
You’ll also be experimenting with your offers, placements, topics, keywords, and more. Keep the amount of spend on a low side so that you’d then have the bandwidth, time, and scope to work through your campaign setup.
Prepare to put in the work
While you keep your budget low, the amount of work you’d need to put in is going to be high. Setting up itself requires that you choose the right offer, read the offer guidelines, create landing pages (two versions), put in the offer links, set up geo-redirection, set up the campaign through your tracking system, etc.
In the hallways of affiliate marketing, there’s no such thing as “setup and forget”. Once the campaign is launched, you’ll want to tweak your campaigns as much as you can. If you were running a PPC campaign, you’d want to test your bidding strategy, day parting, placements, topics, keywords, targeting, geo, etc.
For landing pages and ads, you’d want to test your landing page versions. Gather enough data, swap out non-performing ads or landing pages, etc.
Understand the flow
Before you set off with the offers, take a while to put yourself in the customers’ shoes.
- When exactly does the offer convert? If it’s an app install, for instance, do you get paid when an app is just downloaded, download and open, or download, open, and make a purchase?
- Is the merchant’s landing page good enough?
- How does the landing page look like for the customers?
- What are the rules the merchant has clearly stated? Ignore those rules at your own peril.
This part is called “due diligence”.
As if affiliate marketing wasn’t hard enough, you’d never want to invite trouble in any way.
Work the numbers
Marketing has always been a game of numbers.
Understanding how clicks lead to visitors, and how visitors convert into leads is crucial to your profitability.
Ad impressions — clicks — visitors to landing pages — conversions
From impressions to conversions, you’ll see the numbers dropping. That’s natural and that’s why you’d use a tracker to understand how it all plays out for you.The advantage you have with digital marketing is that you can calculate everything you’d ever need to. Impressions, clicks and the resulting CTR (clickthrough rate), landing page conversions, etc.
If you use paid advertising, you’ll also be able to calculate the cost of impressions or clicks and the ROI.
How are you setting up your affiliate campaigns? Share your journey with us.