“You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.” – Will Smith
I’ve always believed that profitable campaigns are built, not discovered.
Some guys will teach a strategy of basically throw shit against the wall until something sticks, but there are a few issues with this approach.
- You’re not learning anything. Even if you make money then it was due to luck. What are your moats that’ll keep competitors from taking over your campaign?
- You’re not mastering any niche. I believe in the 95/5 rule. 5% of affiliates make 95% of the revenue in any niche. If you’re always jumping around chasing campaigns, you’ll never be in the 5% club.
- You’re overlooking potential goldmines. If I campaign bleeds money the first few days, does that mean it can’t ever make money?
Let me give you an example.
A few weeks ago I launched a campaign in a vertical I’d never tried before. One of my trusted affiliate managers vouched for the campaign’s potential, and I saw more and more competitors promoting it.
It took me a few hours to get everything ready to launch. I was excited at the potential of the niche and kept refreshing my stats.
By the time the day was over, I was -100% ROI in the hole. No conversions.
50% of affiliates at this point would consider the campaign a failure and move on to the next one. I know from years of experience that this is normal. Now that I had some initial data to work with, I mindmapped out my game plan for the next few days.
The first day I focused on testing the offer. It’s simple, if the offer sucks then everything else in the funnel can’t work. Just by consistently testing offers over the next few days I’d get a nice EPC boost.
Next, I noticed everyone was using the exact same landing page. I ripped it in order to use it as a benchmark. From my experience though I knew that this landing page sucked and I could easily improve it.
But if the page sucks, why is everyone using it?
- Affiliate A is the innovator. He created the landing page from scratch and it’s profitable for him. He sticks with it because it’s good enough, and he rather spend his time scaling the campaign.
- Affiliate B, C , & D see affiliate’s A landing page and decide to use it. Because most affiliates are lazy.
- The rest of the affiliates copy this landing page and just assume it’s the best because everyone else is using it.
I launched the next day with 3 landing pages.
a – the page everyone is using
b – the page everyone is using, but I added different elements to increase the conversion rate.
c – I came up with a new landing page from scratch.
The winner turned out to be b.
The page outperformed the original one by 50%. By the way, I don’t judge the value of a landing page with silly metrics like “landing page CTR.” All that matters is you track the landing page revenues, and see which one makes more money.
I don’t want to get into too much of how I optimize a campaign for obvious reasons, but here’s what the ROI roughly looked like.
Day 1: -100% ROI
Day 2: -75% ROI
Day 3: -50% ROI
Day 4: -50% ROI
Day 5: -50% ROI
Day 6: 0% ROI
Day 7: 25% ROI
Day 8: 100% ROI
Day 9: 50% ROI
Day 10: 50% ROI
Day 11: 200% ROI
What if I gave up at day 5?
Campaigns never go as smooth or as linear because there are outside factors involved that people don’t account for.
One example is the campaign could actually be better because of your tests, but it performed worse money wise because the vertical sucks on Tuesday. That’s why you need to be patient and think about your campaign changes.