One of the hardest things for every young affiliate is knowing how to properly test offers and how to scale them. Some of you may be lucky enough to have mentors help show you everything, but the rest are left trying to build this gameplan on their own. You can spend hours going through the forums or digging through case study after case study, but it is always hard to be 100% sure of your strategy. You can also try befriending more experienced media buyers but you will quickly notice that affiliates aren’t the most trusting bunch and often don’t like sharing their secrets to success with anyone.
Luckily for you, we are not one of those untrusting affiliates, and we genuinely want you to succeed. Below you will find our own in-house media buying template for testing offers that our media buying team has been using and improving for years. Now keep in mind, no strategy works perfectly for every campaign 100% of the time. This is a general strategy that can be used for anything, but an experienced media buyer would know how to adjust it to fit his specific campaigns or know when to bend the rules a little.
now, Drumroll please…
1. Selecting an offer
Although this template is just for one offer, we normally start with 3 similar offers within the same vertical. We do this because the 2 extra offers could both end up being more profitable than the one you originally had in mind. You can also piggyback ideas, angles, optimization between the 3, but it is important to keep in mind that they may not all work the same.
2. Test budget
We recommend that you use a dynamic test budget based on the results of your campaigns. In other words, cutting the budget when your campaign shows little promise of becoming profitable.
To do this, you need to know the right time to stop your campaign. If you don’t see any conversions after 3 times the payout then cut that offer before it bleeds you of any more money because you probably won’t get it profitable. After that, you should keep extending the budget unless your total profit drops below -5 times the payout and has an ROI of less than -25%. For example, let’s say you have spent $100 on an offer with a payout of $5 but you have only made $70. From this, your net profit would be -$30 (under the -5 times payout limit of -$25 ) with an ROI of -30% (under the -25% limit) and thus, you should discontinue the campaign.
You can also apply this rule to individual feeds by stopping the feed the profit drops below -1 times the payout again with an ROI of less than -25%.
3. Preparing the angles
Try to start with at least a couple of different angles. If you are struggling to find inspiration, you can use spy tools to see what angles other people are running and, more importantly, which ones are working. Don’t solely rely on spy tools because true creativity can make you a lot more money.
4. Prepare your campaigns
Once you have them figured out, prepare a campaign for each angle including ads, pre-landers, and landers relating to the specific angle. Make sure to start with a competitive bid and high-quality traffic. We also recommend that you start with low users freshness (1-2 or 1-7 days) because it will help scale down your reach as well as provide you with more active users.
5. Check campaign performance
After you have a significant amount of data, check its ROI to see it looks promising. A good estimate is that if the ROI is greater than -25% then it’s likely you can pull it into the green. If it’s not, then check to make sure that that everything is correct and that it isn’t because of an error you made. If not, then stop the angle. This initial run is to test the market to see if your offer and angle hold promise to make you money in the long run.
6. Start to optimize
If the campaign looks promising then get to work optimizing it. For a step by step instructions on how to optimize check out our guide to optimization. Start by expanding your reach a little to test out more traffic while at the same time cutting all the traffic and creatives that aren’t working. Again you will want to have a competitive bid at this point and start focusing on the ROI. Remember, decreasing your bid doesn’t mean that you will increase your ROI or vice versa.
If you start to see the ROI increase, you know it’s working. If it’s not, then check the angle. If you think that it can be improved, then head back up to the drawing board otherwise, stop it.
Once you have enough data, you will want to create a whitelist. A whitelist, for anyone that doesn’t know, is a list of well-performing feeds and placements used as a targeting filter so that your ads are only get sent to that on the list. It is the opposite of a blacklist which is a list of feed or placements that you exclude from your traffic.
With this whitelist, you will want to use it to create a separate campaign targeting only your whitelist with an increased bid. Doing this will help you get more of the high performing traffic you want without having to increase your spending for your entire campaign.
After all said and done, this method should help you effectively test your offers and bring them into the green. This is the very same strategy that our in-house media buying team uses for their push and in-page push campaigns but it can be adapted for native as well. Again this is a general template that can be used for everything but there is no perfect formula that works the best for everything. We encourage you to build off this and adapt it to fit your individual campaigns.
To learn more about running push ad campaigns, we recommend that you check out our complete guide to push ads.