Tag Archive | "ROI"

Budgeting in Affiliate Marketing – How to use money as a tool and not get controlled by them.

The million dollar question: I want to become an affiliate marketer, but what budget should I start with?

Effective budgeting is what fuels successful companies, so also Affiliate Marketers. Successful affiliates budget accordingly, starting with the overall budget, broken down into campaign budgets. The overall budget it’s important because it gives you an overall capping to work with and this way you will have control also over your personal budget. The most important rule is to make sure your personal budget is less than your overall budget, in that way you have enough funds for re-investing into diversification and scaling.

You should look at your affiliate business like a stock portfolio, you need diversity in order to have cash-flow. Most successful affiliates dedicate a percentage of their overall budget to testing new campaigns, another percentage for scaling high ROI campaigns and the rest to keep rolling the “safe” campaigns.  If you are just getting started you need to focus on testing just one campaign at a time, but not exceeding the budget allocated for that particular campaign. There is a safe way that you can take, the BitterStrawberry’s global SmartLink that will provide automatic campaign optimization, the most complex targeting on the market and solutions for any miss-targeted traffic. All of this is done through a Performance Benchmarked System, which redirects traffic through more than 16 parameters such as country, device, ISP, connection type, etc. always pushing more volume to the offer that has the best C.R & EPC. You just need to sit back and enjoy the results! In this way you obtain the needed amount of liquid capital that you will need to scale up using the HybridLink, for complex targeting, or to focus entirely on specific campaigns with no dynamic payouts in the MarketPlace.

BitterStrawberry team is testing thousands of offers every day at the same time, but if you are just starting you should begin testing them one by one, not all at the same time, like we mentioned before. A decent initial budget is around $5000, so you can use around $4000 for creating campaigns, but you still have $1000 to test other offers and afford doing mistakes. For sure, the bigger the budget, the more tests you’ll be able run. But, if your budget is only $300 and you have to spend $99 a month for the tracker, and $50 for hosting, you’ll have only $150 testing budget. In general, for the cheapest and low quality traffic you pay 2$ for 1000 clicks and you will be able to test 2 campaigns max with that traffic. For quality traffic you pay around 8-10 $ for 1000 clicks and if you count also the 10% difference in click between the source and the offer, another 5-8% traffic outside the target you will not have a lot left to optimize. So, you either consider the lower CPC or increase your budget from additional sources. But, keep in mind that testing it has a high importance.

Basically there are three different variables where you should use testing: offers, landing pages and ads. The difference between a successful affiliate marketer and a newbie depends also on how many of these you are able to test. And the difference is made by the budget again. But you can fight the limitation of the budget with a good strategy. And we can help again! BitterStrawberry’s free platform delivers performance, 12.000 highest conversion direct offers, optimization and last, but not least, custom guidance from experienced Affiliate Managers. Make an account and your dedicated Affiliate Manager will contact you to ask you for more info so together you can make a custom strategy depending on your traffic source and budget. 

Start with the right GEO’s for you!

Generally, in online marketing, geos are defined in Tiers. There are 3 major ones: “Tier 1” geos which are considered to be the most competitive and generally have the highest rates, “Tier 3” geos which are less competitive with smaller rates and “Tier 2” geos that are somewhat in the middle.

If you’re asking what classifies them as most competitive, or less competitive, here is a short comparison:
Tier 1 geos are more regulated, especially in regards to carrier billing flows, due to the maturity level they reached over time. Most affiliates run them for their more than average –to – high payouts. Among the Tier 1 countries we can name Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, UK and USA.
Tier 2 & 3 geos are not that much targeted by marketers, but their markets are still growing. Payouts are not nearly as high as Tier 1 countries, but due to the market expanding you can get conversion rates of up to 1/10. This makes Tier 2 & 3 countries a good way to start, as traffic is way cheaper compared to Tier 1. But that shouldn’t mean you have to disregard Tier 1! Once you have a critical budget to target Tier 1 countries, include them in your mix! If we would name a few Tier 2 countries these would be: Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, Ghana, Honduras, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, Paraguay & Portugal. If we made you curious about Tier 3, here are a few examples: Iran, Kuwait, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Syria & Zimbabwe.

In general, it’s good to test 10 geos, pick 3-5 best ones and scale up your traffic sources without adding new ones, just clone your campaigns. Some Traffic Sources have predefined rules to limit campaigns on a specific targeting, so by multiplying your campaigns can get you additional volumes.

As we mentioned earlier, you should start with geos that are easy to convert. For example, if your starting budget is $1000 and you’re able to break even, you can have two choices.  You can run a campaign that pays out $100 and you will have 10 conversions. This is good. On the other hand, if you run a campaign that pays out $1, you will have 1000 conversions, you will earn that same amount of money, but the most important part is that you will have more data. What you can do with it? You can do more split-tests and you will learn affiliate marketing. This is playing smart.

If you have a low budget, you should choose offers with $5 or $10 so you give yourself enough time to be convinced your campaign is set up right and that everything is tracking properly.

Preservation of budget is key to everything, but there’s no high reward with small risk. While for CPC doing brokerage and selling at a higher CPC brings you ROI (if you have good connections), when doing CPA, CPL, CPI, users interest is the decision maker here. So setting a budget that allows you to collect actionable data on is crucial!
One more important thing! Be sure to always ASK what are the top geos EVERY DAY! There are opportunities that come and go fast, you don’t want to lose them! Register to BitterStrawberry platform and you get a daily email with top geos and offers and your life becomes easier.

If you’re a publisher and you’re not equipped with geo-targeting or carrier detection tools and you don’t want to send traffic altogether, but to advertise more efficiently to your visitors in the countries that have the best performance, let us know. We have a custom solution to only serve ads to your most eligible for conversion users, while all the rest of your visitors enjoy your quality content.

If you do relevant testing, our advice is to search out new traffic sources, maybe even consider FLAT BUYS from new traffic sources.

Keep an eye on the billing flow. 

Focus on lower payout offers & easy billing flow. Despite the Psychological Effect high offer payouts have on you, you actually CAN make a ton more money with them! The Conversion Flow is the most important to look for when hunting for offers.

While high-payout offers delights you with having fewer sales to generate to reach good payments, the higher the payout they offer, the more complicated the conversion flow is.

While converting on high payout Tier 1 offers is quite tricky and requires serious budget & a lot of testing, Tier 3 countries have opportunities such as Single Click Flows offers. The user lands on the offer and has to click “I agree” or “Subscribe” and you are in the game. Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico and a big part of Arab countries are a gold mine if you know how to work them out properly.

Keep in mind that not all the best offers for you will have a high payout. You can have a profit of 10K by running $50 offers. The payout is not always an indicator for the best offer. The most important part is the conversion. If the clicks are cheap and the offer converts well, it can be surprisingly good.

That’s all for the moment, guys! Most important is not to lose your focus and don’t set as your only target to be becoming a millionaire in few months. Give yourself time to learn, use your budget smart and if you have questions, get in touch, we would love to answer them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Protect Your Profit in the Affiliate Industry

By Moris Katzobashvili, Sales Director Edge226

Moris holds over 5 years of experience in the industry, Supply and Demand Master, Consulting Startups, Senior Ad-Networks, Affiliate Networks and SSP’s, B2B Leader in company growth and in exploring new verticals. 

ROI, Margin, Profit, Revenues – We measure our entire network and business success in a one simple line with a $ sign next to it. But behind that bottom line there are numerous parameters that inflect our performance and monthly earnings.

Most of us are familiar with the common and obvious factors such as media cost, employees, office expenses etc.  Although we must not avoid the hidden parameters that are effecting our cash flow without us even noticing it.

Neutralize Scrubs

Whether you are on the Affiliate side or the Advertising side, when closing on your billing cycle 15th of each month you are preparing yourself for an all-out war against scrubs. “Everybody goes through it”, we say to ourselves in the back of our mind, and all is left for us to do is to reduce the deduction as much as we can. So how can we limit scrubs amount to the minimum?

Before taking any active steps practical we must change our mindset, we need to become the proactive side and stop being passive. Our main goal should be finding a quick and reliable process for detecting immediate suspicious traffic sources in real time, easily disable these sources and notify your partners.

Now you can use Echo226 Mobile and Affiliate All-in-One Platform to gain back control with quality management enhanced feature-set like: Automatically pausing affiliate with low CR, or Multi fraud protection tools reports integrated to Echo’s platform in real time. With that kind of power, you can diminish the number of scrubs by preventing them in real time.

API – Can Make You or Brake You

Personal relationships in the Affiliate Industry has its benefits but for scaling up your numbers there is no other choice but automated workflows. API has become a huge “Buzz” word in our industry so no need to present its importance here, but how to use its endless productive possibilities is a completely different thing.

Beside the ability to pull the full offer information from partners with a press of a button, we need an API service we can trust. I cannot stress this enough, but a malfunctioning API could be the reason for closing your network with trail of very angry partners behind. When you decide to depend on a machinery to do your manual work, make sure it can handle your missions. Echo’s API is the only product in the industry with API Per User and not Per Network, meaning it’s the most powerful API tool for demand collector, reporting API and Live Bulk API.

Syndicate Your Affiliate Tools

If you are in this business long enough, you have probably heard about the Pareto principle more than once. Many affiliate networks had translated this principle into overwhelming their team with affiliate tools for testing, measurement and endless unique features that they must have. But instead of investing time on their core business, affiliate networks have started to get lost in the woods of multi-platform and tools that may increase profit for a specific account in the short term, however it’s a huge deviation from the right Pareto path.

With Echo226 All-in-One Platform there is no need to use different affiliate tools and having to sign in and out from numerous platforms to get the full picture. All information is available in one place. Now you can plan, deliver and optimize based on information on one platform, one dashboard – One Place.

There is a simple reason why Echo’s platform answers all the key issues regarding the affiliate network’s needs. We have entered this market after years as experienced SAAS product providers, and when the performance world was controlled by Right Media and Appnexus (remember them? :)) we came and changed the game. Now we have come to change the Affiliate Network industry with our All-in-One Platform. Give us a chance to show you how it is a game changer both professionally and financially. 

BOOK A DEMO TODAY AND GET A FREE TRIAL

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Part 1: Get a 500% ROI Boost…and…You’re Losing 80% of Your Revenue

Warning: This topic is going to require more than one blog post.  In order to get you all of the information necessary to implement this successfully, it’s going to take some extra detail. So hang in there, it will be worth it.

Part 1 – The Importance of Margins

Like it or not, affiliate marketing is a competitive space in specific over-emphasized markets.  Why?  Simply because most of the advertisers and networks emphasize and focus on already existing and proven markets.  Bizop, dating, specific financial verticals, diet, skin, etc.

It is of course for good reason that you see an overflow of these types of offers and affiliates that push them…because they are proven to work.  This is a good thing but also a bad thing.

It’s a bad thing because this funnels most affiliates down a very difficult and competitive path.  If all the “big boys” are promoting mostly the same offers everyone is competing in mostly the same niches.  Not of much concern for the big boys, but how does the lonely affiliate out there that doesn’t have a cash pile of working capital compete?  As you know, just to get started with some of the best traffic sources can cost tens of thousands of dollars which the typical affiliate just doesn’t have.  As a small to medium lone affiliate, you’re fighting an uphill battle.

Believe it or not, it’s actually quite easy to break into most niches and compete these days, and probably will be for some time, even with a small budget.  That is until everyone starts to promote their offers with a more long-term mindset which isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, but YOU are going to.

Before I dig into the specifics it’s important to understand that affiliate marketing is ALL about margin.  Think about it this way.  Here is the typical competitive game the affiliates are playing in these days, competing in or with:

  • Same niches
  • Same offers
  • Same networks and advertisers
  • Same payouts approximately
  • Same traffic sources
  • Same cost per click or impression
  • Same landing pages
  • Same ads

There are of course variations to all of the above, but for the most part, everybody is playing on the exact same court, with the same ball, with the exact same equipment.

I don’t really like to play an even or fair game.  It’s too much work and too taxing for not enough return.  I want to bring a bazooka, a rocket launcher, and fighter jet air backup, to a fist fight.

In affiliate marketing, the best way to bring a bazooka to a fist fight is have, by far, the biggest margin in the game.  In other words, you HAVE to figure out a way to get better profit margins than the next guy.

Lets break it down in terms of margins then.  What does a higher margin allow you to do in the affiliate world?

It’s very simple, if you are making a higher margin on every single conversion, you can afford to pay more for a conversion.  In other words, your cost per acquisition can be higher.  If Joe Affiliate is only making $25 on every conversion, but you are making $75…there is no possible way he is going to be able to compete with you in the same traffic sources.

Not only that, but you are able to profit significantly more because keywords, targets, and sites that you wouldn’t be profitable with at the standard $25 margin, are now profitable at a $75 margin.  So you can not only get more traffic from the sources everyone else is competing in, but you can tap into sources other affiliates can’t touch.

Tiny margin increases aren’t going to be enough to really set yourself apart from the other competing affiliates.  You’re going to need to implement something more powerful than:  asking for a payout increase, advanced bidding strategies, and higher converting landing pages.  Those are all great to have and you should implement them, but those are sticks and stones, not bazookas and rocket launchers.

So how do we really crank up the margins to gain a true competitive advantage?  Collect data, and monetize that data properly before passing your traffic off to the offer landing page.

That’s right, collecting data and monetizing it with very specific methods is going to put your earnings per conversion WAY above most typical affiliates (including the “big boys”), and it doesn’t require any massive initial investment.

The typical affiliate runs traffic from an ad, to an offer.  Or…best case scenario, they will run an ad, to a landing page, then to the offer.

We will be using DATA INTERCEPTION, as I call it, on our landing page; THEN passing the traffic off to an offer.

The next post in the series will be all about intercepting the data and how to monetize that data to drive your margins through the roof.

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