If you’re an affiliate marketer chances are you’ve promoted a low paying offer or two. You know, the email/zip/short form submits that pay less than $2 for a successful action. While most of the time these offers are geared towards lead generation, the advertisers on the back-end are passing visitors through a conversion funnel in order to cover the cost paid out to the affiliate and accomplish the overall goal of the offer – to make money. Advertisers are able to pay affiliates a set amount per lead based on how aggressive the conversion funnel is and how well the traffic backs out overall. Given many of these offers only pay a dollar or two (if you’re lucky) how can you get them to be profitable?
Far to often I see affiliates make the mistake of going right to the paid traffic sources with these offers and hoping for an instant miracle direct linking. While I don’t want to say it’s impossible, it’s going to be difficult throwing traffic at the campaign and returning a profit. If the traffic is un-targeted and doesn’t flow smoothly with the landing page you’ll likely be sending a lot of “junk” traffic that bounce off the landing page quickly and drives all of your performance metrics down. Being an affiliate marketer is more than just direct-linking to a website and getting conversions. Successful affiliates are actual marketers that utilize creativity to guide traffic through the conversion process and are able to successfully monetize leads.
If you engage in lead generation arbitrage you’re able to retain leads as an asset (ie: name, email, phone number, address, etc.) and are able to have some data that can be used for further monetization. That’s good and all but if you’re not using your creativity to give visitors a good reason to enter through your path, you’re setting yourself up for failure especially if you’re buying traffic. Mobile, search engine, social media, are just some places you can buy traffic but the clicks need to be cheap. Even if your landing page has a very creative approach that engages visitors, it’s not going to work if the traffic is too expensive. Don’t go for the traffic sources where you have to pay $1+ for a click. Sure, buying traffic you have to bid high at the beginning to test creatives and see the ones that are going to yield you the highest click through rate, but it needs to be within reason. For instance you wouldn’t want to pay $2 for a click if the offer(s) you’re trying to promote pay less than that for a successful conversion.
Another option to consider when looking for traffic is organically. Use some of that same creativity that you used when developing your landing pages to look for sources of traffic. Facebook groups, bulletin boards, blogs, YouTube, article directories, etc. are all areas you can link out to your offer and get traffic from. DON’T be spammy though. If you’re creative and actually add value then link out to your offer, you’re able to not only drive free traffic but send quality conversions. You have to think outside of the box though and go the extra mile to get this traffic. Just the other day Ruck and I were talking about how so many opportunities are missed on these gigantic Facebook fan pages. Even some of the large brands could benefit from this traffic by engaging visitors with surveys to capture data and further monetize it with promotions.
Offers with low payouts can be very lucrative because of scalability (if the offer converts on the back-end more traffic that retains assets will only build business). However to get them to convert you have to consider how you’re going to drive your traffic and engage visitors to turn them into conversions. Before you enter into any of these campaigns consider your acquisition costs and make reasonable judgments with traffic. Consider the source of traffic and run different scenarios in your head. If you’re going to run with an ad network that has a minimum CPC (cost per click) then take that number and see if the percentages make sense – will $0.50 minimum bid work for an offer that pays $1.30 for an email submit if you have 35% of the visitors click through from your landing page? Too many affiliates go into campaigns without a clean plan of action to traffic generation and understanding where exactly the return on investment lies. Consider this advice and keep in mind some of the scenarios when building out your next campaign.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.