Archive for October, 2009

Planning and Executing Your Campaigns

Once you have the appropriate background knowledge and understand the “lay of the land” within affiliate marketing, the next step is to plan out a campaign for an offer that you want to promote. This is important to being as thorough as possible with your marketing initiatives and allows you to make execution second nature. When I started out with affiliate marketing, I realized one of my largest problems was that I would always “hope” for my campaign to convert and be successful by clicking the stats refresh button every 5 seconds. Do not follow that approach, instead follow some general guidelines that will allow you to know that conversions will come, instead of simply hoping for the numbers to appear. Sort of like making your own luck, not relying on being lucky.

Before you even go searching for a hot offer to promote, I recommend that you do market research by reading the MediaTrust weekly intelligence report by Trip Foster. He’s done all of the up to date research for you and written it out in an easy to understand debriefing of current trends. This will help maximize your chance for success by educating yourself to pick an offer that satisfies a current need, want, or demand in our society. (The more the better!)

When you are initially planning out your campaign, it never hurts to quickly take a pen and a blank sheet of paper to write down the key elements to your campaign that you may forget later on. So, with a pen and paper in hand, get out your phone and dial the number for your affiliate manager. Be sure to ask your affiliate manager for the following:

  • Top 3 offers in the vertical.
  • Street payout and high volume payout.
  • Whether or not other affiliates have had success with the offer.

Next, write down a short list of potential traffic sources that comply with each offer’s terms. (Try to keep it to only 2-3 sources when testing.) Then you need to chose which demographics/pyschographics that you will target with each traffic source. Try to target age and gender at the very least. Targeting is directly related to your campaign’s ROI. The more targeting you have will result in a higher chance for maximum ROI with your traffic.

Once your campaign’s traffic is taken care of, get in touch with a trusted designer that has worked with direct response advertisers before. If you do not have the creative expertise, you will need he/she to design creatives that you can use for your campaign and a landing page if you chose not to direct link your traffic. Going back to the sheet of paper, ask for the following information:

  • Delivery date. (Shouldn’t take more than 1 week.)
  • Cost for initial designs.
  • Cost for future design variations to test against.

Next, you will need to chose a tracking tool that is best able to optimize your campaign. Tracking202’s free self hosted Prosper202 tracking platform is with out a doubt the most popular among affiliate marketers.

With all of your data in hand on potential offers, traffic sources, and creative logistics, you will be able to execute your campaign fast and efficiently by crossing each item off of the list.  The chance each user converts in your sales funnel is largely in your control. Be sure to plan your campaign, it will help to make as many users convert as possible. For the most part, the days of arbitrage and simply throwing up banners to see if they stick are over. So, stop wasting money with antiquated internet marketing methods.  Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions…

Post any questions or comments below!


10 2009

Tapping Into Foreign Markets

My post about monetizing international traffic, published today on the MediaTrust blog-

For those of you who read my article on the MediaTrust blog named “Bite-Sized Affiliate Marketing Tips“, then you probably noticed my emphasis on the importance of driving at least some of your revenue from international traffic. Often in the flat digital world that internet marketers spend the majority of their day in, many forget that our potential reach on the web lies far beyond our own borders. Our daily lives are living examples of the global citizen’s we are becoming. After Jon Brougham, the Headmaster of The Hun School of Princeton made a recent address to my school, I was prompted to take a look around the room I am currently in. I can easily find three different items made in three different countries! He later said:

“In this flat, small world, we will rely upon mutual understanding and collaboration, not just for peaceful coexistence, but for economic well-being – for the exchange of products and ideas that will be our life-blood… If you are not ready to play in the global sandbox, you will be left out of the game.”

The main reason why affiliates choose to promote offers internationally is because the traffic costs are less expensive and are not saturated with as many competitors. For those that are just starting to get into the foreign markets, the most common transition is to target other English speaking countries, so that your creatives and landing pages do not need to be edited. A lot of the time people don’t realize it but yes, a lot of campaigns allow targeting to Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. All four are countries which speak English as their first language. If you combine the population of all four countries, that’s roughly 100,000,000+ more consumers that you are missing out on!

Then there are the countries that need to be targeted with translated creatives. MediaTrust hosts a variety of campaigns that offer expansive international targeting, and is the leading affiliate network for translated offers. In the past few months, many MediaTrust affiliates have been targeting France and French Canadian demographic, mostly located in Quebec. This has been an enormous success for many, and there is still room for more! Meanwhile, other MediaTrust affiliates have been seeing success by targeting Spanish speaking countries such as Argentina, Colombia, and Spain.

Now as you dream in the endless possibilities of less expensive traffic, the question remains: Where are a lot of these affiliates getting their traffic from? Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Bing remain popular for primarily English speaking countries. (Of course still have high volume traffic for any country/language throughout the world.)

For French Canadian traffic: The most popular traffic source is BV Media, they own a 90% reach on traffic in Quebec!

For Spanish traffic: This is a gem that has remained untouched by any affiliates and has placements on high quality Spanish sites: Impresiones Web

What about Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and others? Have you thought about being one of the first to monetize traffic in Asia with CPA offers?

There really is a lot of money to be made internationally, and the opportunities are often overlooked. Now time to brush up  your language skills as you get up and running in the foreign markets. Good luck!


10 2009

Increasing Conversions With Mobile Payments

Have you ever offered payment by PayPal or similar easy integrating payment processors?

Up until recently when the mobile payment processor named Zong was released to the public, the barrier into entering the mobile payment processing world was very tough. Now, with Zong, almost anyone selling any product (online or offline) can charge customers via their mobile device. Their technology is truly a unique product that has not been widely available to anyone ever before. 

On the Zong homepage, they make a valid arguement that 70% of the global online audience does not have a credit card, yet nearly all of them do have a mobile device. Not to mention the payments are likely to convert at a higher percentage because of less fields of information necessary to complete payment, such as a 16 digit credit card number. In general, mobile payments are best used for incremental revenue streams that are billed over months at a time.

From a pricing perspective, Zong is cheaper than credit card fees and merchant account fees. So, this is really a cost cutting payment option as well. However, be aware that mobile payments generally work best for one time or subscription payments of up to $10. This is not limiting companies to charge whatever their price point is though. Also, you must be aware of currency differences considering that Zong is servicing over 110 mobile carriers in 23 countries.

As of now, social sites are primarily using Zong mobile payments and are seeing great success. However, the mobile payment game is surely hitting the ground running. Be sure to check out this new opportunity to process payments!


10 2009

Feed the Sea

I recently came across the quote by the author Jean Rhys:

“Feed the sea, feed the sea. The little rivers dry up, but the sea continues.”

In the context of internet marketing, this quote directly applies to two things specifically: traffic diversification and niche selection. A lot of affiliates on the web get caught up in the pursuit to find  an obscure traffic source that no one else is using and then dominate it. I agree with that mentality, but I disagree if you are not trying to dominate the more mainstream and “sea” like traffic sources such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.

Next, when selecting small niches to dominate, be aware that yes there are large money making opportunities in small niches (aka a little river). However, be diverse in your selection of niches because during certain times of the year, some are very hot and some are very slow. If you choose a large niche that is always in demand, and thus there is always a lot of money to be made, the little streams of revenue likely won’t dry up.


10 2009