Setting a clear, effective and easily measurable budget is essential for any business. Try to think of your affiliate business as you would a stock portfolio. As such, you’ll ideally be diversifying it in order to maintain consistent 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 maintaining well established and consistently profitable campaigns.
Major affiliate marketing operations test dozens of offers simultaneously every day, but if you’re just starting out, it’s better to test offers one by one. You should allocate around 80% of your overall resources for creating campaigns, and 20% of your budget for testing other offers. Obviously, the bigger the budget, the more tests you’ll be able to run. As such you’ll either need to find a way to get a lower CPC or increase your budget.
Never forget that testing is essential. The three basic variables you should use testing are offers, landing pages, and ads. The more test you can run, the better data you’ll gather.
Finding the right GEO
“Tier 1” geos which are considered to be the most competitive and generally are the most expensive when it comes to traffic. Tier 1 geos are more regulated, especially with regard to carrier billing flows, due to a maturity level they reached over time. Most experienced affiliates work in these GEOs of course because they provide the highest payouts. These countries include Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, UK, and the USA.
Lower and “cheaper” Tier 2 & 3 countries don’t payout as much, but there can still be some great opportunities to be had. Due to the ever expanding growth of these markets it’s often possible to achieve conversion rates up to 10%. This makes Tier 2 & 3 countries a good way to get started in affiliate marketing. before scaling up to Tier 1.
A good strategy for testing multiple GEOs is to pick and test out 10 of them and then scale down to only the 3-5 that have performed the best. You can then scale up your existing traffic source. If the traffic source has any targeting limits per campaign, you can simply clone the campaign and run multiple campaigns on the same traffic source.
If your starting budget is $1,000 and your goal is to hit a 10% conversion rate to break even, you could run a campaign that pays out $100 and hopefully hit 10 conversions. On the other hand, a campaign that pays out $1, will obviously require you to reach 1,000 conversions.
It’s the same amount of money, but having 1000 conversions is much more valuable in these scenarios because you’ll also be gaining more data that you’ll be able to test.
If you have a small budget of only $1000, choose offers with low, $5-$10 payouts to give yourself enough time to ensure your campaign is set up correctly and is yielding valuable data.
If you have a good tracker that’s pulling in detailed data from your tests you’ll never be losing money on testing, because what you’re buying is key information. If the test results in making a profit, that’s ideal, but if not you’ll still be gaining valuable data. Also because of this, setting a budget that allows you to collect actionable data is crucial!
Keep an eye on the billing flow
The conversion flow is one of the most important to look at when you’re researching offers. High payout offers may seem attractive, but you can actually make more money and smaller payouts with higher volumes.
Tier 1 offers usually have more complicated billing flows and will require a more significant budget for testing to reach actionable data. Tier 3 countries, on the other hand, will sometimes have have single-click flows offers. Under these flows a user sees a particular offer and clicks “I agree” or “Subscribe” and that’s it. This is why countries in lower tiers can yield significant profits once you start to master them.
Just remember, the payout is not always an indicator of the best offer. The most important part is the conversion. If the clicks are cheap and the offer converts well, the money will roll in once you learn to work it.
When you’re first starting out remember; test often, look for good conversion over high payouts and keep on tracking. 😉