3 replies
I have been reading many threads here all with good pieces of advice. Here are a few questions that hopefully bring some more concrete ideas out to help newer people get in the mindset of running CPA campaigns. Please refrain from the "there are too many variables" or "work harder" answers.

Lets assume for the time being that everyone here knows they need to work exceptionally hard to succeed in CPA and that there are thousands of variables that can affect there outcome relative to yours. You can also assume that no one wants the details of your super secret campaign or a paint by numbers template. Rather we are looking for answers to the following questions in whatever detail you are comfortable with sharing.

So lets get to it:

When you started out how much money did you invest before you became profitable? I don't mean on a single campaign but overall $$ spent before you broke even and then again how much before you were consistently profitable.

What type of offer were you initially successfull with, zip/email submit, short form, multi-page long form, etc?

Did you initially focus on one vertical or just grab whatever looked good until you found something that worked and how does that compare to what you do now?

Did you intitially focus on one type of traffic or did you test media buying, ppv, ppc, etc. and how does that compare to what you are doing now?

How big is your test budget for a new campaign, $10, $50, $100, $1000?

What is your campaign testing method, what variables do you isolate first and in what order do you change each variable, landing page, traffic, offer, etc.? For example do you setup a landing page and offer and then test different traffic sources until one converts or do you tweak your landing page until it works with a single source of traffic or do you rotate offers first? Maybe you setup a monster campaign and rotate landing pages and offers and send ten sources of traffic all at the same.

How long do you test a traffic source in terms of dollars,days,hours, impressions, clicks, etc. before shutting it down and trying another source of traffic?


Thanks in advance to all that participate!
#cpa #numbers
  • Profile picture of the author IMSkeptic
    I figured I will get this started with my own experiences limited as they are:p

    Originally Posted by IMSkeptic View Post

    When you started out how much money did you invest before you became profitable? I don't mean on a single campaign but overall $$ spent before you broke even and then again how much before you were consistently profitable.
    I thought I could figure it out with $50. This was a big mistake. I have spent $350 and made about $100. So I have not broken even or become profitable yet.

    What type of offer were you initially successfull with, zip/email submit, short form, multi-page long form, etc?
    Up to this point I have focused 99% on zip/email submit offers with direct linking. I tried an insurance offer with search but traffic was to expensive even deep deep in the keyword longtail.

    Did you initially focus on one vertical or just grab whatever looked good until you found something that worked and how does that compare to what you do now?
    I have just basically grabbed whatever caught my interest and seemed like a good offer based on epc, creatives, product, etc.

    Did you intitially focus on one type of traffic or did you test media buying, ppv, ppc, etc. and how does that compare to what you are doing now?
    I have been doing media buying from two networks because it seemed direct and simple to implement. I started doing full page CPV ads without realizing they were something special versus standard banner advertising. Full page CPV is the only place I have gotten conversions. I am starting to branch out with other forms of traffic, cpc,ppc, etc.

    How big is your test budget for a new campaign, $10, $50, $100, $1000?
    I try to stay under $20 but I wonder if I am not giving it enough time to cook. I can run through $20 in a day or two when a better test would be for a couple of weeks so I could test different times of the day and work over a longer period of time. I think to test this time period with decent traffic volume and spread would cost a few hundred dollars.

    What is your campaign testing method, what variables do you isolate first and in what order do you change each variable, landing page, traffic, offer, etc.? For example do you setup a landing page and offer and then test different traffic sources until one converts or do you tweak your landing page until it works with a single source of traffic or do you rotate offers first? Maybe you setup a monster campaign and rotate landing pages and offers and send ten sources of traffic all at the same time.
    I have basically been varying traffic sources and then when that seems to fail I have been changing to new offers and changing traffic again. I recently tried landing pages on a zip submit and rotated and tested a total of seven landing pages. I found a winner based on click thrus but not enough conversions to keep running the campaign.

    How long do you test a traffic source in terms of dollars,days,hours, impressions, clicks, etc. before shutting it down and trying another source of traffic?
    For me it is a balance of impressions/clicks and total dollars spent. If traffic is cheap I will run more impressions before shutting it down based on dollars spent. Like if I spend $10 and get 10,000 impressions and no conversions or clicks I usually shut the campaign down. If I get a few conversions and 2500 impressions and have already spent $10 I let it run a little longer thinking it might pick up. Again I am concerned that I may not be testing long enough to find the converting traffic but this mode is allowing me to test a large variety of campaigns with a smaller overall spend.

    Hopefully this helps someone out and we get some posts from some more experienced CPA marketers here that lend some additional insight into thought process.
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    • Profile picture of the author PPV Guru
      When I started affiliate marketing, I lost a couple hundred in the process. That scared me away for a while. But, when I found out about CPA and CPL stuff, it really only took me about $20 to convert one product (netflix) into $124.50 (my first CPA check).

      The only reason I was able to hit the ground running and in profit, was education. I read a lot, watched a lot, listened to a lot of IM training from experts. That's what helped me.

      As far as offers, I can convert anything now. Back when I first started out? I only converted the leads in the biz opp niche and health niche, and I converted brand name products like Netflix, Blockbuster and eHarmony. I stuck to higher payouts around $20 or more and I still live by the rule today.

      The idea is, it's easier to stay in profit if you have a higher payout to be rewarded from. With a $2 payout, I only have until about $2 before I'm starting to lose money. Problem with this is, if you're running targeted PPC traffic, that's just 1 click...or maybe NO click.

      No offer converts on every click so you're already setting yourself up for a loss (unless you have some sneaky little tricks up your sleeve which most don't first coming into the business).

      Another thing with promoting lower click products is when you're using PPV traffic. Now, you can get more clicks/views to your offer since you're only paying about 4 - 8 cents per click/view, maybe more cents per click/view.

      The thing is, your audience is different and so you REALLY need to know who they are, what they're habits are, so taht you can market to them effectively. Think about this for a minute.

      You're a store clerk at a local chain department store. You see the same type of customer buying the same types of products every day. Young people are buying CD's, movies and games, for example. So you already know that, if you put music, some movie offers or a few game offers in front of their face, they will likely buy it.

      Well, it's the same with internet marketing. My research IS the secret to my success. No, it's not a get rich quick solution or a fix-your-problems-with-online-marketing solution, but it IS the truth.

      I think, once I stopped looking for "secrets" (there are none really) and started focusing on my prospects, THAT'S when I started making money. You don't make money finding and tricks. You make money when you learn your customer and learn what they want, so YOU can GIVE IT to them.

      And, I hate to say it, that takes work. You're not gonna make 5 figures a month just throwing up campaigns and hoping. You've got to know who you're targeting and why.

      Maybe not the answer that was being searched for, but it's certainly the truth.

      Another thing to consider is, you really can't be afraid to throw some money at things. My testing budget alone can range from $250 - $500 per campaign. I hear people saying "I tested so-and-so and lost $30, that offer doesn't convert" and I just shake my head.

      $30 is only a 60 minute test for me. Not because I got it like that (money is money, I hate losing 1 CENT!!) but because I KNOW it's gonna take time for me to figure out what works. I had a campaign making me about $1250 a day on facebook then, I took it over to Google using the same settings and was LOSING about $350 a day.

      The point? Testing. One network has a different audience than another. What makes you a KILLING on one network may not make you a DIME on another...unless you do some tweaking.

      When I test, I'll reserve, say, $250 for the entire campaign. Now. With this money, I'm WILLING to lose it all JUST to figure out how to convert it on a certain PPC, Banner or PPV network. I'll set my daily budget to about $20 a day (for a long test) or $50 a day (for a short test).

      Sidebar alert: I really need to blog about this tonight.

      Back to topic: I'll test for a day, see my stats, then make adjustments. Maybe the page loads to slow, I'll test it on different browsers to see how they function in each one. I look at small things, nothing major just yet. Conversions can be created simply by having the right color scheme, a keyword that was searched for by the user in the headline, a youtube embded video on the niche, or the "As Seen On" banners at the top of the page.

      I'll spend most of my time on the headline, my sub heads (of my landing...if you're direct linking, you're limited yourself) and my call to action. If possible, I try to capture that lead first and let my autoresponders go to work for me (and I can go on).

      The idea here is that, when you test, you don't throw little amounts of money at it and, if you don't convert within $50, the offer must suck. No. Chances are, if they are in good CPA networks, they are converting offers. Especially if the landing pages are top notch and are around month after month.

      You're talking to a guy who puts products IN cpa networks now....I KNOW what I'm talking about. CPA networks generally don't keep bad offers in their network longer than a few months (if that much). You can convert, you just need to learn and then test with enough money.

      I think I'll stop right there because, at some point, I MAY have gotten off point and started rambling. Hope this helps someone though.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSkeptic
    Thanks PPV! I really appreciate your response. Seriously one of the better nuts and bolts replies I have seen from an experienced marketer. I am working on my landing page chops and then will take the plunge on a bigger spend for testing. Again thanks!
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