This is a strategy and conversion funnel post. In this post I want to talk about a campaign I saw from back in the day before I knew what internet marketing was. I think the conversion strategy this guy employed was genius. Was it a “new” strategy? Nope! Not at all, but I hope that reading the story makes it easy for you to grasp.
This is something that I do pretty frequently since it’s so easy. I won’t bore you with the intro, what you do is write review pages for the newest products/services out there that affiliates are pushing. If you’re familiar with CPA, you know first hand how often products drop-off and new ones pop up. A high converter will last 6 months-ish and then change their name or die. Since affiliates are pushing these high converting offers via paid traffic, LOTS of people are seeing their landing pages daily and debating whether they should sign up. Like most people, they immediately search for reviews. There is zero SEO competition for these keywords due to the simple fact that when a product is NEW it doesn’t have SEO competition yet. These keywords won’t show up in a keyword tool until it’s too late. As soon as 1 product drops off, affiliates update their landing pages with the “new one”. If you can spot and write review pages quick enough, you can get some super easy money rolling in.
Back in the day there was an offer called Swipe Auctions. I noticed the exact day they changed their name to Swipe Bids. Immediately I knew every paid traffic affiliate out there was gonna update their landing pages with the new name. I made a review page, spammed some links at it and made like $15,000 in 2-3 months from it. Was literally less than a day of work!
Sounds crazy, huh? I know what you’re probably thinking… Google has publicly stated that buying Adwords Ads has no effect on a website’s organic rankings.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The simple reality is this: Buying lots of advertising not only helps generate direct sales, it also builds your brand at the exact same time. The more you advertise, the more well-known your company/product becomes. And the more well known you become, the more links you get.
Everybody in America has seen the commercials with the Fox that says “Show me the CARFAX!“. If you live outside of America, let me assure you that people literally will not buy a used car without seeing the Carfax report first.
With Carfax being the biggest player in the ‘vehicle history report’ business, is it any surprise that they rank on the first page for keywords such as ‘vin report’ and ‘vehicle history report’? Of course not, people link to Carfax all the time because their name is synonymous with the service they provide.
It’s true that this is really hard to pull off if you’re an affiliate with no business/company/product of your own. What are you gonna do, create TV ads with huge marketing budgets for an offer you are promoting? No way, you would be missing the point. The point is, that advertising aggressively will inevitably lead to more links. This post is my way of trying to help you see the big picture.
Have you seen the ads for InstantCheckmate all over the net for the past 2 years or so? They are pretty brilliant media buyers. Now check Google for one of my dream keywords to rank for: background check. Just my reminder that SEO and paid marketing go hand in hand.
As much as we all hate taxes, tax season in the USA is pretty nice for affiliates. Why you ask? Because at this time of year TWO extremely solid offers pop up: TurboTax and TaxAct (among others). These are not your average CPA offers – they’re actually good and they provide a real service that adults need.
Where do you find these offers? They will probably pop up on a few networks in the coming weeks, but I noticed that W4 has them already! I’ve written about W4 previously in my post about what I think are the best CPA networks, but the bottom line is that they really do have the best assortment of offers of any CPA network. I highly suggest joining if you haven’t. CJ.com also has them too, but their payment terms are pretty long.
Why Tax Offers are Good
Scale and how easy they are to convert! Every adult in the US needs to file by the April 15 deadline. Of course not all do, but the responsible portion of the USA does, which is a massive number of people. With a tax offer, you don’t have to ‘sell’ them all that much. It’s mandatory they file, so it’s pretty awesome for us 😀 Even the crappiest landing page ever will probably still convert.
When I think of the size of a market, I envision a line of 100 people and try to estimate the percentage of people that would say ‘yes’ when asked if they are interested in [niche]. Take eCigs for example. Not all people are smokers, probably only 10-20%. So in a line of 100 people, you’d get 10% or so of people that would like to try an eCig. 10% sounds small, but a market that big is absolutely HUGE. It’s common knowledge that cigarette companies make billions of dollars. But taxes? It’s gotta be a lot higher. It’s a HUGE HUGE market.
Another example of the ‘100 people in a line’ test is fitness. Most people would probably respond with a ‘yes’ when asked if they’re concerned with their health and would like to become more fit/attractive. This is why health/fitness/beauty is the single biggest market for affiliates to play in. You can run ads on a general news website (high volume websites) and still, a significant portion of the people are interested. Running an ad on a general news site for something super niche like Adobe After Effects tutorials? Probably way less than 1% of the population is into that, so it wouldn’t work. I find the ‘100 people in a line’ test pretty helpful for my own personal purposes.
As far as these tax offers go, I’d run these on Facebook, especially as the deadline approaches! And sign up to W4 if you haven’t, they are excellent!
A few months ago I made myself 2 helper files which help me quickly locate the correct subcategories for both the Google Keyword Tool and the Google Insights for Search Tool … and I figured I’d let you guys use them.
In order to quickly grab a list of top keywords in any market/niche, you simply need to find the correct subcategory that represents the niche/market you wants keywords for, select it and search with a blank keyword. Doing this returns a nice list of top keywords without you having to do any mental thinking whatsoever.
The part that is an absolute bitch is finding the correct subcategory to begin with, without stumbling around within the tool itself, so I made 2 helper files to help you with this part…
- Category Map: Google Keyword Tool
- Category Map: Google Insights for Search
- ( both tools have different category structures unfortunately )
Using these helper files, you can use CTRL+F to search the page for keywords and hop from section to section easily. Once you find subcategory you are interested in, take a mental note and then go to the keyword tool and waste no time navigating to that subcategory. As soon as you get the category selected, you got niche specific keywords!
The Google Keyword Tool does allow you to search by keywords in the interface, which is awesome, but I made a category map for it anyways. It’s nice to be able to casually scroll around and look at the entire category structure without clicking anything.
…is writing adcopy off the top of their head when they come to the ad creation screen in their traffic source. In other words, totally wingin’ it!
Adcopy is the most part of your campaign and should be your #1 priority in getting right. If you just make something up with no real thought behind it, chances are you won’t produce something powerful and compelling enough that will actually perform. Once you have a good control ad you can start testing more spur-of-the-moment ideas.
I suggest getting organized and writing as much copy as you can before you even launch a campaign. It will make split testing easier (and more fun) since you know what you are going to test next and will keep you from spinning your tires!
Here’s a list of keyword modifiers (ie trigger words) that I’ve been collecting for awhile that you can apply to your keyword-based campaigns (I’ve uploaded it in .txt format here). If you have any to add, please leave a comment!
Looking to Buy a Product
Classic Buy Words
___ vs ___ (product a vs product b)
After reading Mike Geary’s Super Affiliate newsletter, I thought he put the topic of writing effective adcopy into really simple English so I figured I’d cite it here for everyone!
Why Ad Wording is so Important
To explain why the wording of your ad is so important to whether you’ll make any money as an affiliate, let’s look at the psychology of the web surfer who is clicking on your ad…
First, let’s look at a generic type of ad for the Truth about Abs product.
Ok, here’s the main problem with this ad, and why it won’t result in as many sales as a more strategically worded ad…
For one, it looks too much like an ad, and many surfers will click on it out of curiosity, but are already on the defensive of being “sold” something. Another problem is that it simply looks exactly like what everybody else is saying.
Now let’s look at a type of ad wording that will get a much higher response rate, possibly even tripling the amount of sales you get from it.
So why in the world does this type of ad wording result in me tripling my money, whereas the other ad hardly gets any sales at all even for the exact same keywords?
The reason is that this type of ad wording has piqued the readers curiosity by mentioning something about 1 specific secret. Do you see what this is going to do when they click-through?
They’re going to hit the sales letter and be searching the page for this one specific secret that the ad mentioned, so they have a much higher chance of actually getting into reading the sales letter, and letting the sales letter do it’s work in converting them to a sale!
Full article here.
Truth About Abs is a monster offer – you should definitely test it out. Mike also did a really awesome interview on Tim Ferris’ blog awhile back that is definitely worth reading. Good stuff!
This is a campaign that I’m not going to pursue because I’m trying to focus on my main projects at the moment. The idea occurred to me when I was actually using the product. The offer is called Lumosity, which is a website that allows you to play brain games that improve your memory and focus.
When I was using it, I couldn’t believe how much it woke me up! A few minutes of doing the brain exercises seriously works better than coffee does. The next time you wake up in the morning and you’re slogging, play a few of the games and see how awake you feel afterwards. The games really turn your brain on.
After realizing this, I thought to myself “Hey, this is a great solution to a problem.” The problem, of course, is feeling mentally tired. There is a huge market for this because we all know how well those “5 hour energy” and other energy drinks sell 😀
So that’s the campaign. Your audience is people who feel tired all the time, and you pitch them Lumosity. You frame it as a solution to feeling tired.
No doubt you will have to split test a number of ads and landing pages, but I’m confident this campaign could work great once dialed in. The offer can be found on CJ.com ($12/trial) and at W4 ($1.25 per free registration).
If you aren’t signed up to W4 yet, you definitely should by signing up here. Tons of CPA networks these days just broker all their offers from other networks. W4 on the other hand has a ton of quality offers that you can’t find on other networks. They also credit you with leads that were undertracked at the end of the month which helps the bottom-line of your campaigns.
Hopefully one of you can blast this one out of the park.
In my affiliate career, I can only count a couple campaigns that were “near perfect” out of the gate. I ALWAYS ALWAYS have to tweak things around before a campaign starts performing.
I usually have to split test a few different offers (even same offer, different network).
I usually have to re-write my landing page copy a few times.
I always have to test a bunch of ads when I’m buying traffic.
Ya know, it’s pretty disappointing when you put a ton of research into your campaigns and they don’t perform well initially. But that’s the thing… people just aren’t willing to tweak things around until they work. They scrap campaigns when they don’t immediately deliver a 100% ROI.
Here’s a quick example of how dramatic the difference can be. I had a site that was getting a lot of organic traffic, and was getting 1 or 2 conversions per month on my “first try”. I had to split test FOUR different offers before I found the right one, and I had to rewrite the opening paragraph on my lander a few times before the thing finally started converting. That dumbass site went from $100/month to $40 per day. A pretty substantial improvement indeed.
I wish campaigns would work on the first try, but they rarely do. It would definitely make our lives easier. But on the other hand, that’s where you have a huge competitive advantage. Most people simply are too lazy to split test their way to profitability. Like Diorex says, testing is for the rich!