So you've set up your affiliate site, and you've found the perfect niche.
You launch a new campaign, you've got all your ducks in a row, and then you go to bed.
When you check in again, your heart sinks a little.
You've spent a bunch of money, but so far, you haven't gotten one single conversion.
It feels like an affiliate marketer's worst nightmare.
What should you do?
Call it quits and shut down the campaign? Do the opposite, and throw more money at it instead?
Actually, it's not as big a deal as you might think.
It's not that uncommon for a campaign to start off in the red at first, then start making money later, over time.
The key to making that happen is optimization.
Tweaking variables and seeing what works can be the key to turning a campaign around in a big way.
In a recent blog post, affiliate marketing magnate Charles Ngo offers a powerful, but easy to implement, four step process you can use to shift the winds of fortune and transform a failing campaign into a goldmine.
STEP #1: Determine and Evaluate Your Levers
In every campaign, there are a variety of levers that are used to maximize success.
Each of these levers has a specific role in the campaign, and pressing on the levers creates different results.
Those levers include:
- Landing pages
- The offer
- And many more…
When a campaign isn’t profitable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole thing is bust and should be flushed down the toilet.
It probably means that you simply have one or more of your levers in the wrong position.
Maybe your landing page sucks.
Maybe you’re presenting the wrong ad to the wrong people.
Maybe you haven’t spent enough time researching your targeting.
Maybe you’re bidding too much or too little on your ads.
Before you can optimize your campaign, you need to make sure you have all your levers in front of you.
STEP #2: List The Variables In Each Lever
[image source: Charles Ngo]
You identified that a landing page is a lever.
Well, what are the sub-components of a landing page?
- Button color
- Call to action
- And a bunch of others
With targeting you have:
Once you know all the variables in each lever, you can begin systematically working your way through them.
STEP #3: Rank the Variables In Order Of Importance
[image source: Charles Ngo]
When it comes to optimizing your campaign, you need to optimize each variable by order of importance.
Starting with the most important variable allows you to get bigger results faster.
So, for example, when it comes to affiliate landing pages, the order will go something like this:
- Angle. There are tons of different ways you can approach your landing page. Is it a review page? Is it the “3 questions” landing page? Is it an article/blog style?
- Headline. If your headline blows, no one will read the rest of your offer. Your headline is the attention grabber. Headline formulas will help.
- Images. Most people will have large images above the fold. People are visual so your image choice can make or break a landing page.
- Body copy. Your body copy needs to be clear, compelling, and irresistible. Learn copywriting here.
- Scarcity. Watch late night infomercials to see how they do scarcity. It’s everywhere.
- Call to action. Changing the wording on a CTA button or link can make a difference in your CTR, which then boosts your profits.
STEP #4: Create Formulas (if applicable)
As you gain experience, you’ll start to see certain patterns emerge.
You know that your CTR on a landing page should be around 10% or that your Facebook ads should have a CTR of 5%.
This understanding will allow you to more quickly diagnose problems and then begin optimizing.
This is called benchmarking.
You’ll also be able to create basic formulas for optimizing your campaigns.
For example, you may know that your targeting tends to be off in the beginning, so you’ll start immediately changing that around.
Or you know that it usually takes you about 3 headlines to get it right, so you’ll start there.
Having these formulas in place allows you to shut down the panic that usually sets in when a campaign starts in the red.
You can get more juicy details about amping up your affiliate sales over at Charles Ngo's blog.