Our partners at Vimmy wrote an article breaking down the most common mistakes made by affiliates running push traffic. So, we give the floor to Vimmy.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have an open discussion about the push traffic market in 2020 without empty talk and trivial recommendations worthy of Captain Obvious.
First of all, we need to come down to earth and abandon John Connor’s “easy money” method from Terminator 2 once and for all.
There is no easy money in the push industry. Gone are the days when you could just copycat a creative, add a Smartlink to your campaign, and neglect optimization.
Day after day, I see even seasoned affiliates make stupid and totally avoidable mistakes that stand in the way of their success. Parallel to this, their colleagues are generating huge profits running the same traffic and spending four-figure sums on ad inventory.
Why is this happening? In fact, this is an open secret. So, let’s get started!
1. Ignoring subscription age
If your ad network doesn’t have this targeting option, don’t hesitate to press alt+f4. One of the worst mistakes you can make is running push traffic without segmenting the users by subscription age.
Today, the user is bombarded with too many messages the moment they subscribe to push notifications. They can receive up to 20 messages on the first day! On the second day, the unsubscribe rate hits 50%, while the other half of users just don’t know how to block push notifications.
This doesn’t mean that those who subscribed to push notifications less than a day ago don’t convert. In fact, they do, but this type of traffic is sold at a different price. Moreover, the auction for the freshest subscribers is often “overheated”, and so it is worth targeting other audience segments and waiting until the war of bids is over.
To wrap it all up, launch different campaigns depending on the push subscription age. I recommend setting up three campaigns.
- age 0; the newest subscribers and high CPC.
- age 1-3; the users are still fresh, but the bid is not that high.
- age 3+; set the recommended bid and analyze your KPIs. This audience segment can also convert pretty well.
2. Running someone else’s creatives
Let’s conduct a simple experiment. Subscribe to push notifications on a certain website. It won’t be difficult for an affiliate marketer to find a platform that collects push subscribers. I bet that eight push messages out of the first ten you receive will be exactly the same or that you have already seen those more than once. So, do affiliates who copied the campaign of the auction winner have any chances to generate a conversion?
You need to understand that more and more users are interacting with ads in push notifications. Many of those subscribe to push alerts on different websites. So, imagine how many messages they see on their devices on a daily basis.
Spy services are nothing more than a tool for finding new ideas. If you want to earn a serious income, the first thing you need to pay attention to is creatives. This involves using spy tools for market research, analyzing landing pages, and A/B testing.
Conclusion: Be one step ahead of your competitors and come up with new creative angles while others copycat old campaigns.
3. Not using a tracker
You will be surprised if you find out how many beginner affiliates don’t use tracking software and work blindfolded.
Affiliate marketing is about analyzing your data and looking for the best-converting traffic segments, which is impossible to do without a tracker. By the way, if you want to try out Binom Tracker, you can get the first month for free using the code VIMMY.
You can also set up a postback URL to fire conversions. This will allow you to optimize your campaigns based on basic parameters.
NOTE: If you run your offers in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, you must have your tracker and landing pages hosted in the region you’re advertising in. This will enable you to ensure minimal traffic loss and improve your CR and ROI.
Summing it up, be sure to use a tracking solution. At the very least, set up a postback URL. Also, host your tracker and landing pages in the countries you’re advertising in.
4. Insufficient testing process
“I’ve spent $5, your traffic is crap, give me my money back.”
“I launched 10 campaigns, but they didn’t generate any profit. I’ve just wasted $100! Our partnership is over.”
These are real dialogues. Insufficient testing is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
The first thing you need to account for is competition. Millions of push subscribers aren’t waiting for a single message from you to input their credit card, enter their email, buy a cryptocurrency and male enhancement cream, or meet a hottie.
After reading a paid case study, many affiliates start thinking that they are only one step away from success and that the author of the study is just some foolish philanthropist who gave away all his secrets. You need to understand that case studies are intended to channel your thoughts in helpful directions and, which is most likely, promote a certain traffic source or CPA network.
So, after you pick up an offer, make creatives, build a pre-lander, and set up your tracker, you need to put all your efforts into testing. Your task is to gather enough data for further analysis. What traffic volumes should you run before disabling a certain zone? What amount of money should you spend on testing a single offer?
Here’s a basic testing strategy for SOI offers:
- blacklist IP zones that provide no events to be analyzed after you spend more than the amount of one payout on testing;
- if you have spent 20 times the amount of one payout on testing an offer, that is considered enough.
For instance, if you are running SOI sweepstakes with the payout of $2 for registration, your testing budget should account for $40. After optimizing your campaign, you can decide whether you should continue promoting this offer or not.
Conclusion: insufficient testing results in a lack of data for correct conclusions.
5. Poor analytics
So, we have finally reached the most important point, at least in my opinion.
Different audience segments convert differently.
By this, I mean all browser and OS versions, all browser languages, all feeds, all placements, all subscription ages, all ISPs, all days and hours. See what I’m getting at?
Once you have gathered enough data, you need to analyze it carefully and find the traffic flows that worked the best with your creative and offer.
This is where your ability to find patterns and notice something that remains hidden to a passing glance will come in handy. For that purpose, you will also need a tracking software.
By adopting a systemic approach towards analysis, you will see what can be automated and what optimization tools you need. For instance, you may need to create (commission) a bot that will send push alerts on Telegram upon a triggering event. Based on these alerts, you will be able to optimize your campaigns through API such as disable certain placements, manage bids, launch and stop campaigns. Automating routine tasks is a necessity if you want to make from $XXX a day.
The Pareto principle applies here as well: 20% of audience segments account for 80% of traffic costs.
Your task is to find these poorly-performing segments and disable them without a second thought. Some networks don’t have all of the necessary targeting options, and so you have to buy traffic that you don’t need just because someone is either greedy or too lazy. At Vimmy, we give our advertisers access to all possible targeting settings so that you can buy the traffic that you need.
Checklist of dos and don’ts for affiliates running push traffic
- Launch different campaigns depending on the format (desktop, mobile);
- Keep track of your auction position. Set a competitive bid. The higher the win rate, the higher your traffic quality. Depending on your ROI, try to secure a win rate of more than 50%;
- Blacklist placements and websites that don’t generate a profit;
- Create your own global blacklist and be sure to add it to all your new campaigns;
- Monitor your creative’s CTR in real-time. If this metric is going down, it’s time you replace your creative to a new one;
- Ensure your landing pages load fast and without errors. Tools.Pingdom and Gtmetrix;
- Don’t forget to set up daily and total budgets at the testing stage to avoid spending extra money on poorly-converting offers;
- Use tokens provided by your network. This will come in handy at the optimization stage;
- Feel free to ask the support team or your manager is something is unclear. They are here to help;
- Test different creatives. You will be surprised when you find out that the creative you thought was the best of them all is performing bad profit-wise. Your target audience is not you! So, rely on numbers rather than assumptions.
- Expect that you will get rich immediately after launching your first push traffic campaign. Affiliate marketing is a full-time job, and no one will pay you just for sitting in front of your computer for 8 hours. You can have success or excuses. Not both;
- Add several GEOs in one campaign. Different regions are associated with different traffic costs and different performance, and so you won’t get correct data.
- Ignore smaller GEOs. The smaller the GEO, the higher your ROI. In general, smaller regions have lesser competition.
- Give up if something goes wrong. No one is willing to share their money-making secrets. And you won’t be either. The key to success lies in testing, looking for new approaches, scaling up, and learning from your mistakes.
- Worry too much about fluctuating profits. There are days when your conversion rate is lower than usual or you are losing money. Don’t start frantically pulling all levers at once (you can make it worse). Evaluate your campaign in the long-term or mid-term perspective.
- Be content with your current profit. You can always do better! Consider diversifying the risks. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Be afraid of experimenting. Be a trailblazer, let others copy you.
An affiliate marketing article can’t do without screenshots. One of our partners has kindly shared with us his stats for the past 14 days. There will be no offer, vertical, creatives, or landings here because this is a topic of a separate article.
I think that this screenshot perfectly illustrates all of the above mentioned.
I wish you a good day and successful push traffic campaigns!
We would like to thank Vimmy for this comprehensive article.