Basics of educational offers in affiliate marketing
Some time ago Sergei Gamolia visited our office to record a podcast on the topic of educational or essay offers in affiliate marketing. The podcast was recorded in Russian.
However, we believe that you can also learn something useful from that podcast.
So, first things first. Sergei Gamolia is the head of growth at Edugram, an affiliate network specializing in educational or essay offers.
Roman: What’s an essay offer?
Sergei: An essay offer allows students to find someone willing to write an essay or any academic paper. A student contacts the site and asks for help.
Roman: How big is this vertical? How many affiliate networks are there?
Sergei: The vertical has been around for more than 10 years, and there are quite a few affiliate networks.
Roman: What does an essay offer include? If somebody can write a thesis or a final qualification paper, they just contact your network somehow?
Sergei: Well, yeah. Later on, a student comes, commissions a paper to be written for them and pays for it. Then, we split the profits between the author and us, as we work on a revenue share model.
Roman: Who is the audience?
Sergei: Any student, for example, there are 30 million students in the USA, and 20 million students in Brazil, so there are quite a few would-be customers around.
Roman: What about the average LTV of a student?
Sergei: In our case, it’s 7 commissions a year. Of course, somebody can commission 30 papers a year, while somebody commissions only 2.
Roman: How much does an affiliate receive?
Sergei: In Russia, the average share an affiliate gets is 30%, so if the thesis costs $180, a partner receives $60. In the USA it’s a little different, the first payout is 80%. However, after that a profit is made on rebills.
Roman: What are the best traffic sources?
Sergei: Google and Facebook.
Roman: And what are the best geos?
Sergei: Well, for us it’s Russia, the USA, and Brazil. However, we do have much more geos available.
Roman: Can you tell us a little more about the funnel?
Sergei: We are a freelance marketplace, a customer goes to our landing, fills up two fields (a paper title and email) and then there are authors bidding to take up this work. On average, it’s $40-50.
Roman: When should customers pay for a paper they ordered?
Sergei: Depends on the geo, on average it’s 1 or 2 days.
Roman: And what’s the conversion rate for those who commissioned a paper and paid for it?
Sergei: The conversion rate for search traffic accounts for 20-30%, Facebook traffic converts slightly worse, while the conversion rate for doorway traffic constitutes 10%.
Roman: Can you tell me a little bit more about creatives that are being used?
Sergei: Well, there are two types: the first is “let the professionals do the heavy lifting and avoid all the problems with your studies”, the second is targeted at students who spend a lot of time playing videogames, something like “keep playing your favorite game and don’t worry about your studies.”
Roman: How to reach out to the target audience?
Sergei: If you are working with Google, then you should use keywords. It’s all pretty obvious. However, in some geos you need to use cloaking.
Roman: So, Google is the best traffic source?
Sergei: Yeah. However, it’s not that easy to work with Google.
Roman: And how much money do you need to start driving traffic to essay offers?
Sergei: For Google it’s $500, while for Facebook it’s $100
Roman: And what’s the payout period for a commission?
Sergei: Depends on the geo, on average it’s 1-2 months and then rebills start coming.
Roman: Okay, thank you very much.
Sergei: Thanks for inviting me!
Our guest: Sergei Gamolia, @sergeigamolia on Telegram.