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Old 10-10-2008, 03:47 PM
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Hi Guys,

I have a question about conversions. In an earlier post Harry said that in ppv "Campaigns have a much shorter shelf life". I have a follow up to that statement and am trying to figure out why the campaign just died.


Here is the situation:

I found a free trial offer that has a $22.50 payout. I get steady traffic to it and it was converting at about 1 in every 200 impressions.

I received four conversions and then the conversions just stopped, But the traffic is still there. So someone is still going to the URLs that I was bidding on but they are not converting any more.

Also I have alot of 1 conversion wonders. Meaning that a campaign will get one conversion and then just stop?

Any ideas or advice?

Much thanks in advance.

-Mike
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:47 AM
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Hey Mike,

That sounds pretty much normal. Right now, I just launched a new campaign. Spent $1.40 about, and made about $21. Does that mean it's a winner? Nope. I wouldn't be surprised if I spent $100 more, and got 0 conversions.

All affiliate marketing is, is testing. I mean, of course there's more to it. But in a nutshell - you're just testing. Everyone will have a different opinion, and a different process on how things should go, but here's my $0.02:

Spend at least 3x the payout for the offer. So, if you have a $21 payout - spend at least $63. Don't spend $21 and then call it quits. Some people will most likely disagree, but I've had many occasions in which I've spent maybe $50 over the payout with 0 conversions, and then it kicked in for me.

There are A LOT of one hit wonders. You'll launch something new - converts right away, and that's the last you'll see of the conversions. It's normal. Just follow rule #1, and if you end up spending 3x the payout, and has only 1 conversion, drop it. Or, at least, drop the traffic source (URLs, keywords, etc) and move onto something new.

If it's converting good, but doesn't turn a profit, or just breaks even - you obviously need to see if you can tweak your bids, etc to make it into a profit. And/or, get a payout bump. And, maybe try making or tweaking an LP to see if you can get it to convert just a little better. (testing )

I look for 3+ conversions, with a positive ROI. And, that's per URL/Keyword. But with PPV - it's a little harder to get that data since keywords and URL traffic will be slower. It would take a lot longer to burn through 3x the payout on one keyword or URL on PPV than it would for PPC. And, each PPV network is different. So, I'm assuming exporting a campaign from Zango to TrafficVance, or ViceVersa - will produce different results. While as with AdWords - exporting campaign to Yahoo! or MSN should produce generally the same results - in a nutshell.

So to recap:

For each keyword or URL - spend 3x the payout. If the URL/Keyword gets little traffic, decrease it to 2x the payout maybe.

Look for a positive ROI, obviously - but the real winners will be proven converters, which should be roughly 3+ conversions for each URL/keyword.

Drop keywords/urls that have a negative ROI after spending 2x the payout.

Hope this helps, and anyone else can feel free to disagree with me and offer their input - that's just my process! - I'm still learning, too...
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:21 AM
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Hi Mcmoney,

Thanks for the tips and the detailed reply. I appreciate your input and will give it a try.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:49 AM
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Hey mcmoney,

Are you finding the longer test period helps you pin down times of day or days of the week that a campaign is converting on that you would otherwise miss with a smaller test budget?
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by slaughter View Post
Hey mcmoney,

Are you finding the longer test period helps you pin down times of day or days of the week that a campaign is converting on that you would otherwise miss with a smaller test budget?
Hey Slaughter,

Not sure what you mean by that. I have my campaigns running 24/7. Ideally, you want that as well. If you're burning through your budget before the days end, I would just trim down your URL list so you can run everything 24/7.

Of course, there will be a pattern for which times of the day convert better, etc. But, I don't think it's predictable or holds any value. I mean, coach, Harry, everyone else that's making money probably has their campaigns running 24/7 -even if they knew that on 3pm on Wednesdays their offers convert 10x better - they wouldn't pause for Mondays and Tuesdays at that time... Make sense?

The only thing that would prompt me to pause a campaign at certain times/days, is if I ran it for 6 months, with 10+ conversions a day, and have never gotten a sale from 11pm - 3am, but I still spend $10 during that period. But, I doubt I'd even look into that, lol.

But yeah - you want everything running 24/7. So again, if you're burning through your budget quickly, and it's not converting - chop down your list.

Obviously, if you have a huge budget you can test hundreds or thousands of URLs from the get-go, on multiple networks. That's probably the fastest way to get the data you need to find the winners.

Hope that helps
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:36 PM
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Hey mcmoney,

It seems strange that a campaign wouldn't convert profitably at first and then it will after awhile. I was taking a stab at a possible reason because I'm very ruthless at cutting out the non-performers ... but in doing that, the campaign will never see certain days of the week and theoreticlly those could be the best conversion days.

Example: I start a campaign on Tues and shut it down Fri because it's not profitable. But maybe the weekend is when users are in the zone to buy/act for that niche.

Just thought you might have some data to support that.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:20 PM
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Hi Slaughter,

Originally Posted by slaughter View Post
It seems strange that a campaign wouldn't convert profitably at first and then it will after awhile.
That statement depends on a few factors. Most importantly, how much traffic you're driving. And, campaigns and keywords/URLs are two totally different things.

So, here's the first analogy:

Case 1. You have a keyword/url that drives 1,000 visitors per day, for 5 days, with 0 conversions.

Case 2. You have a keyword/url that drives 10 visitors per day, for 5 days, with 0 conversions.

I would be very surprised if case 1 suddenly started converting at 20% after 5 days, at 1,000 visitors per day. Yes, that would be strange.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if case 2 started converting at 20% after 5 days, at 10 visitors per day. So no, that wouldn't be strange.

And again, this is on a keyword/URL level - not a campaign level. Campaigns can be tweaked & optimized, while a keyword/URL is unique. (Eg. amazon.com is amazon.com and always will be)


Originally Posted by slaughter View Post
I was taking a stab at a possible reason because I'm very ruthless at cutting out the non-performers ... but in doing that, the campaign will never see certain days of the week and theoreticlly those could be the best conversion days.
Cutting out the non-performers is obviously part of the process, but again it would depend on what you consider non-performers. Are you talking about campaigns, or keywords/urls? If you launch 5 campaigns, each with an average of 40 - 50 urls, and no campaigns are profiting, then you drop all the campaigns - that's not how you should be doing it.

Originally Posted by slaughter View Post
Example: I start a campaign on Tues and shut it down Fri because it's not profitable. But maybe the weekend is when users are in the zone to buy/act for that niche.
Again, it comes down to the keyword/url level. If you have one campaign with 500 URLs, and one URL is driving 95% of the traffic, then that's an issue with that particular URL - not the campaign it self. You could have a dozen profitable URLs waiting to trigger, but by shutting down your campaign based on overall profitability, you're not giving all the keywords/urls a chance.

But to answer your question about days of the week being more profitable than others... I wouldn't even pay attention to that data until far into a profitable campaign. In my personal opinion, you should be going by traffic/ROI/invested rather than days of the week. Not saying you're not paying attention to those things, but days of the week don't really matter. If something happened to convert better on a certain day, or on the weekends, I wouldn't really conclude I got a conversion because of the time of day or week. But if you're asking yourself: "Is shutting down the campaign before the weekend a good idea, as it might be profitable compared to the weekdays?" - you also would need to ask yourself "Have I spent enough $ for each URL/keyword?. Have I sent enough traffic per keyword/URL to the offer?/"

If the campaign you had running, then shut down after 5 days looked like this:

URL1: spent $3.00
URL2: spent $0.17
URL3: spent $11.22
URL4: spent $0.00
URL5: spend $1.01
URL6: spent $0.78
URL7: spent $0.10
URL8: spent $21.26

Which comes to a total of: $37.54

If your payout was $35 - and you have 0 conversions. Does that mean that the campaign isn't profitable? Well yes, but, it would be more like "The campaign isn't profitable "yet"

So, you see that URL3 and URL8 are eating up your budget more than the other URLS. URL8 doesn't look that great because you've spent over half the payout with 0 conversions for that one itself. But, you still have to look at how much traffic you're getting for that price.


If the CPV for URL8 is $0.40 - that's only about 53 views. Which for PPV, isn't that many. On the other hand, if you were spending $0.04 per view, that's 531 views - which obviously is a lot more data. Now that you've had that many visitors with 0 conversions, the chances of that particular URL converting for you is getting pretty slim.

With my budget, I would personally keep going with that URL until it hits about $45 - at $0.04 per view, and the payout is $35. By then, I'd know for sure it's not converting and I have enough data to assume that trend would continue.


But, if I was spending $0.40 per view, which is A LOT more - I would see that it's most likely converting for other people (Which is why the bid is so damn high), and I'd probably drop about $85 - $100 on that particular URL.


But, would I shut the campaign down? No, I wouldn't. There's still other URLs that I'm either not getting much traffic on (That still can convert and produce a positive ROI), or I'm not bidding high enough.

If you burn through your budget with 0 conversions, clean up what you're bidding on. Get rid of URLs or keywords that have a lot of impressions, that you've spent a lot on. But, leave the keywords/urls that haven't drove enough traffic

So again, if you find that you launch a campaign that's not profitable, don't shut the entire campaign down. If you don't have particular URLs that are eating up your budget, and they all are roughly the same for amount spent - then pause enough of them where you can continue testing.

For example, if you have a weekly budget of $500, and you have a URL list of 250 urls, and you hit your budget after 5 days with a negative ROI, and you don't have the funding to continue - I wouild chop down your URL list so that you can efficiently test a smaller handful of urls to their full potential.

Just a small analogy of this would be like launching a new campaign with 100,000 URLs, and burning through $1,000 the first day some time. Most likely, 80% of those urls never got a single impression, and a few of them probably ate up most of your budget.

One last "real" example:

I launched a campaign on Zango maybe 2 - 3 weeks ago. I think after the first week and a half I had 0 conversions. But, I was spending only like $1 a day or something. Anyways - after 2 weeks, I've had 3 conversions, with a payout of around $30. So that's $90 - and at $1 a day for 2 weeks... you do the math. THat's what I mean about something not converting for a period of time, then all of sudden you can get a few conversions that boost your ROI up enough to continue everything.

And again - I'm still learning, too. That's just my opinion on what I've picked up, and general rules of thumb for "testing" with affiliate marketing, in general.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:49 PM
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Great post!

Thank you for that my friend.

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:09 AM
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I launched a campaign on Zango maybe 2 - 3 weeks ago. I think after the first week and a half I had 0 conversions. But, I was spending only like $1 a day or something. Anyways - after 2 weeks, I've had 3 conversions, with a payout of around $30. So that's $90 - and at $1 a day for 2 weeks... you do the math. THat's what I mean about something not converting for a period of time, then all of sudden you can get a few conversions that boost your ROI up enough to continue everything.
Nice post. I've found this too on an offer I've been promoting. I spent $15 before I saw 2 conversions @ $24 each. One reason I think it worked out like this for me is that this particular offer involves signing up with your name and email before you can enter the sales letter. Those that sign up are then in the email marketing funnel and I needed to give it time for that to work. It will be interesting to see now that a couple hundred people have opted into their email system whether sales continue at a more frequent rate.

- Jill
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:03 PM
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McMoney - Just read your response, what a brilliant post! Thanks for taking the time to explain this.
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