Setting up an affiliate offer sounds easy in theory…
…then again, so does putting a golf ball into a hole.
In practice, however, setting up an affiliate offer involves far more than simply having an offer and sending traffic to it.
At Databowl, when dealing with affiliate offers we like to start from the bottom, and then reverse engineer our way up. Most companies have offers that fall in-line with the Pareto Principle – in other words, their offers produce 80% of the revenue, for 20% of the pound-for-pound promotional activities they engage in.
Starting from the offer and working our way up means we get the highest converting property for affiliates to send their traffic to.
Get More Affiliates by Thinking Like an Affiliate
Want more affiliates? Start thinking like one!
In the eyes of an affiliate, the only thing that is visible is data. Tracking platforms that display ads with creative angles are doing great, and EPCs and ECPM are the name of the game.
If you want an affiliate’s tracking platform to send you traffic – instead of someone else – then you have to make sure you’re delivering better earnings per click, than competitors who are pushing the same offer. How? Well, earnings per click is calculated using the profit affiliates earn, divided by the total number of clicks x 100. In order to improve this, you must optimise the offer. Here are a few ways of doing this:
- Mobile Responsiveness. Mobile traffic is blowing up, and if your offer isn’t optimised for handling incoming traffic from mobile devices, you’re already destined to fail.
- Split Testing. Split test as many variables as you can – headlines, body copy, calls to action, etc. The results of this will show you what is working and what is not.
- Sort Your Back End Out. Your back end is invisible to affiliates, but optimising it can pay massive dividends. Making your offer more valuable in the long run means you can afford to out-bid your competition for potential traffic. Good ways of doing this are by increasing your up-sells, cross-sells and continuity programs. Many advertisers are curious as to how certain offer owners can pay such high acquisition rates for a lead… and a lot of the answer is to do with what happens behind the scenes, and what happens in the longer-term with each customer they generate. In the past, Gusty Renker released certain data about their conversion rates, which showed that some of their leading products took more than 16 months for them to break even with each lead. This might sound like a painful way to outspend the competition on acquisition, but it certainly explains how they’ve managed to build a $2 billion dollar direct response master company.
OK, so your offer is ready, and now you need to find traffic. Here are the three best ways to get it:
- Affiliates. Affiliates are like an army of the world’s best media buyers, and can make creating a successful offer seem like a walk in the park. To get the best affiliates, you have to have your own marketing strategy. This means going to the best trade shows, getting your offer on marketplaces that are frequented by affiliates, and developing relationships with networks that already have flocks of affiliates beneath their wings.
- Partners. Partners are similar to affiliates, but you retain more control. By partnering up with large media outlets who fit your offer demographics, you can develop ways to access their traffic. Teaming up with their email lists, putting links to your offer on their website, and integrating natively on their web properties are all good ways to do this.
- Internal Media Buying. There are big sources of traffic you can tap into online, such as Facebook, AdWords, and Native networks. These are all loaded up with stacks of leads of every kind, and can give you extra leverage. Plus, you have maximum control over the leads you’re buying when sourcing them this way.
Balancing everything we talk about in this article is not really an easy task. The market is constantly changing, and device types are shifting on a regular basis. Your flow and marketing processes will need to continually evolve and adapt if you want to be successful. Make sure your knowledge and awareness of the market state is also being kept up to date, by learning of the latest trends and newest developments.