In this guide, you’ll learn seven simple but effective ways to increase your earnings from affiliate marketing. Although most of these tips are aimed at marketers using a paid traffic source like Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, the principles apply to any source of traffic, from organic SEO to viral marketing.
Just getting started? Join 300 other students in Affiliate Marketing for Noobs to learn the fundamentals of affiliate marketing – from getting approved at affiliate networks to writing and split testing new ads – in over 19 detailed lectures.
Test a variety of different traffic sources
Regardless of what offer you’re promoting, you’ll need to test a variety of different traffic sources before you can find a winner. Some offers convert well on Facebook, while others might be better suited for Adwords or a private media buy.
When you find a new offer that looks interesting, consider the type of buyer that’s most likely to respond to it. You can use tools like Alexa to view the offer’s biggest traffic sources – if one is Facebook, it’s bound to convert well on social media.
Test a variety of traffic sources to see which one offers the best return on your ad spending. The difference between two traffic sources can often be huge; a fantastic offer for Facebook, for example, might be a failure on the Adwords Search Network.
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Use a landing page to increase conversions
Sending traffic directly to your offer is often enough to achieve profitability. If you’d like to increase your ROI, however, you should consider building your own landing page to act as a bridge between your ad and the offer you’re sending traffic to.
Landing pages don’t need to be complicated – in fact, sometimes a simple headline and a list of bullet points is enough to double your conversion rate. With the right design and content, a landing page can massively increase your affiliate ROI.
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Ask your affiliate manager for a new payout
Did you know that your affiliate manager can raise your payout? Most CPA networks operate on 20-30% margins. This means that if you’re being paid $30 per lead, your affiliate network is earning anywhere from $7.5 to $10 for itself.
Most affiliate networks prefer large volumes of conversions to small campaigns that achieve a high return on investment, since they’re earning a fixed commission for all of your sales. If you’re generating a high volume of leads, ask your affiliate manager for a higher payout to improve your ROI and make scaling your campaign easier.
Use tracking software like Prosper202 or CPV Lab
If you aren’t tracking your campaigns, you’ll rarely achieve profitability. A variety of tracking applications are available for affiliates, and the two most popular and user-friendly choices on the market are Prosper202 and CPV Lab.
Each offers a variety of benefits and disadvantages. Prosper202 is widely used and easy to customize, making it a great choice for newbie affiliates. It’s also available in a self-hosted installer, letting you keep your campaign data on your own server.
CPV Lab – short for ‘Cost Per View’ – is a more powerful piece of tracking software with a wider range of features. Unlike Prosper 202, CPV Lab has a built-in landing page rotator, making it easy for you to test several landing pages for each offer.
Finally, you can track certain affiliate campaigns using free applications like Google Analytics. Learn how to track your leads, sales, and conversions in Google Analytics by enrolling in our Google Analytics Mastery course.
Design your own advertising creatives
Does your affiliate network offer ready-made banners? Avoid using network images for anything other than testing, since they’re often designed to look good instead of achieve a high CTR and conversion rate.
When it comes to advertising creatives, the simplest images are generally the most effective. Ugly banners with large, eye-catching titles are often more effective than professionally designed banners provided by the advertiser.
To run a profitable campaign, you’ll need to test anywhere from five to 500 different banners. Enroll in our Website Ad Design to learn the fundamentals of designing ad creatives that achieve the highest clickthrough and conversion rates.
Test similar offers to find the top converter
Popular affiliate marketing niches like dating and social gaming have thousands of different offers available to promote. Some offers are so similar that an effective ad for one campaign could work just as well with an entirely different CPA offer.
If you’re running a generic campaign that could work for any offer in your niche, test several different CPA offer to see which offer the best return on investment. A lot of the time, two seemingly identical offers will deliver very different conversion rates.
Scale profitable campaigns to new traffic sources
Do you have a profitable Adwords Search Network campaign? Start scaling it to the Display Network, as well as new traffic sources like Bing and Facebook, to increase your earnings and maximize you return on investment.
Affiliate campaigns don’t last forever, and your most profitable campaigns are often spotted by other affiliates before they’ve fully penetrated their target market. Make the most of a winning campaign by rapidly scaling it to new sources of traffic.
Would you like to learn how to use different traffic sources? Our Google Adwords for Beginners and Facebook Advertising for Beginners courses will help you learn the fundamentals of advertising using the Internet’s two biggest ad networks.
Learn more about affiliate marketing
Do you want more affiliate marketing tips? Affiliate marketing is highly competitive, and finding actionable information can be a challenge. Learn more about becoming a successful affiliate in our blog post on online marketing tools for affiliates.