The most important part of any affiliate campaign is the offer. If the offer doesn’t convert, then nothing else matters.
You guys know you should always test multiple offers, but how do you know which ones are good?
There are tens of thousands of affiliate offers out there to choose from. Some will work, most won’t. Also, some offers are best left for when you’re more advanced and have a bigger budget.
Affiliates work fast, so there’s not a lot of time for evaluation prior to actually launching, but there are some preliminary checks I like to do.
In this post I’m going to:
- Show you some of the preliminary checks I do on affiliate offers
- Give you some questions to ask your affiliate manager about offers
The process consists of narrowing your offer list, doing basic research on the best selection, and launching campaigns fast to launch and determine which are the best ones.
These are the 5 questions I ask before an offer makes it onto my “List of Offers To Test”.
#1 What Does My Affiliate Manager Think?
You need to build (and keep) strong relationships with all your affiliate managers.
Yes, there are times when your affiliate managers will disappoint you. And guess what? You may even feel disrespected every now and again.
While you have the right to take your business to another network, remember this: never burn bridges.
Affiliate managers can act as your eyes and ears IF you treat them well.
Your AM can tell you more about any offer, including the payout, possibility of pay bumps, and top traffic sources the offer is running on. If you’re lucky they might share a few tips on how other affiliates are running the offer successfully.
It goes without saying that affiliate managers want you to run their offers. This is good for them and their business because every lead you send makes them money. But it may not be what’s good for you.
AMs you have good relationships with will help you tell which offers are best for you, right now.
#2 Is The Affiliate Offer Popular on the Traffic Source I’m Running?
It’s your responsibility to see what’s popular on the traffic sources you plan to run.
I get so many emails asking “What’s a good traffic source to run on?”.
Here’s the truth: All traffic sources are good for SOMETHING. Your job as an affiliate is to figure out what offers and verticals work well on the traffic source you have chosen to master.
Checking what runs on your traffic source gives you a clear idea of what your competition is doing. This allows you to answer questions such as:
- Do you like what your competitors are doing in regards to their strategy?
- Is there something you can do better than them on the same traffic source?
- Is there room for one more affiliate to make money?
- Do you have a competitive advantage you can use to beat those affiliates bidding the highest?
Protip: Ask your affiliate manager for help. They aren’t able to provide confidential information, but most are more than willing to share which approach has the best chance of generating positive results for you. The amount of info your AM divulges is directly correlated to your relationship with them.
#3 Is This Offer Available on Multiple Affiliate Networks?
The exact same offer may be available through several affiliate networks. While it’s easy to choose the first offer you come across – especially if you have a favorite network – don’t rush to a decision. I also give a Best Affiliate offer that can earn you $500 – $5000 per month at the last of my post.
Instead, review multiple affiliate networks to see how many are offering access to the same offer.
If there are multiple networks involved, you’re in a position of power. Review each one, paying close attention to the benefits to you, the affiliate. Which network is offering the highest payout?
Protip: The highest payout offer might not be the best. The network might be paying you out more, but they might also be scrubbing the offer to make more money on their end.
With this information in mind, you can shop around. Take the best offer to the other networks, asking if they can match or beat it. You may be surprised at how quickly a little bit of competition works in your favor.
You might also be surprised when you find a lower payout offer makes you a higher profit – that’s just the way it is in affiliate marketing sometimes. You only find this out by ruthless testing.
#4 Do I Have The Experience To Make It Work?
Over time, affiliates have a way of feeling invincible. You’ve achieved success in the past, so you assume that things will always go this way in the future.
You didn’t get to where you are by making stupid mistakes. You got to where you are by focusing on the details and making good decisions based on data.
Just because there are guys making $50k per day running on AdWords doesn’t mean you should try to compete with them. Some offers are best suited for newbies with a smaller budget (lower payout offers).
Same with traffic sources – some traffic sources are newbie-friendly, others are not.
You have to evaluate offers based on your past experience.
I’m not saying you should put all your eggs in one basket. What I’m saying is that you should make future plans and decisions based on your past experiences and successes.
Your experience as an affiliate is your most valuable asset. Use it to your advantage when evaluating affiliate offers.
#5 Is It Best For Me RIGHT NOW?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can promote and make money with any affiliate offer. However, I want you to take a step back and ask yourself this question: what’s right for me at the present time?
But what if you wanna promote ringtones in 2016?
You want to focus on what you’re good at.
I see too many guys learn one thing (like mobile), start to make money, then they wanna jump ship into something else (like native, or Facebook).
If you’ve been trying mobile for 2 months, you’ve now got 2 months of experience.
If you really want to make a switch, ask yourself why. If it’s because you’ve realized there is too much competition, or it’s going to cost too much, then it’s okay to switch.
If you don’t have a good reason, don’t switch.
Don’t let your AM pressure you into trying things that are too advanced for you. It can be hard to say no when they tell you the numbers guys are doing in something completely different, but sometimes saying no is good.
You know your affiliate business better than anyone else, so it’s up to you to decide which offers are best for you RIGHT NOW. I have given all details about affiliate offer I personly uses.
Protip: One of the BIGGEST mistakes new affiliates make is that they choose an offer that pays out $20 over one that pays out $2. This is an example of not knowing “What works for me now”.
Here’s my logic that explains why you should choose low payout offers.
#6 What’s The Vertical’s Future Potential Like? ( Affiliate Offers)
If you were graduating university right now, would you have a better future getting into newspaper advertising, or mobile advertising?
Wayne Gretzky said, “I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it’s going.”
- Where is the offer in the product lifecycle?
- Is it going to be hot next year or has it already peaked?
- Is it evergreen, or is this a one-time trend?
- Is your offer becoming irrelevant due to free options?
This is something you can talk to your AM about, but also your network.
#7 Do I Know Anyone Who Has Made The Offer Work?
Networking and masterminding are essential.
I like to go after affiliate offers that I’ve had some friends make work.
There are two main reasons for this:
#1 I KNOW that the offer is good
When you’re trying to get an offer working, you are never sure until you actually run it. When you know someone else has got it profitable, it gives you the reassurance to spend money trying to get it profitable yourself.
#2 We can share inside information
If we’re both working with an offer, we can cover twice as much ground. Does it work best on Facebook, mobile or native? I’m not sure, but we can split up the testing. Once we figure out which source it works well on, we can test twice as many banners / landing pages to get the right combo.
This is just one example of how inside information can help you on your campaigns.