How to Run A Profitable Affiliate Campaign

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Affiliate Marketing is by and large considered the fastest, easiest and best way to start creating an online income, especially if you have never made money online before! However, with so many “must do” marketing tricks to include, and hundreds, if not thousands of digital products to choose from.. where an earth do you start?

Well the aim of this post is to solve that question so you can set up and create your very own affiliate campaign without the worry of it being a complete cock-up!

See contrary to popular belief, setting up your first affiliate campaign is actually fairly simple, it just requires a proven strategy. See affiliate marketing is often misunderstood and this is purely because people feel they need to overcomplicate things for it to work.

The first and best piece of advice to keep in mind, is to “always keep things simple”.

The reality is, you can set up a profitable affiliate campaign in 2 different ways and this depends wether you have a list or not. 

In this blog post we will cover the best practices for both situation(s).

If you do NOT have a list and are new to internet marketing then the easiest way to start your journey to becoming a top level affiliate is by promoting digital and physical products for larger companies and successful independent sellers.

Remember affiliate marketing is a way of making money online whereby you as an affiliate are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their products, services or sites. There are different ways to do affiliate marketing which means various ways you can earn commissions but at its very core, it is about relationships… 

A relationship between three parties:

 

  • 1

    The Advertiser

    In the world of affiliate marketing, an advertiser can range from being a company selling products like electronics, airline tickets, clothing or car parts, to an individual advertiser who sells digital products and services

  • 2

    The Affiliate

    An affiliate is an individual or company that promotes an advertiser’s product or service in exchange for earning a commission (You). Affiliates contractually agree to work with advertisers (via programmes and sites which we will talk about soon) and once approved, the Advertiser will usually provide various marketing material to help with the sales of their products.

  • 3

    The Customer

    The final component that completes the affiliate relationship triangle is the customer.
    
The customer is the one who actually sees the marketing campaign and then makes an action (either by clicking a link or submitting their information via a form) that takes them from the affiliates website to the advertiser’s - to complete the original transaction, which more often than not will be buying a product or service

 

So know you know what affiliate marketing is, how the heck do you create a campaign?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

It’s simple really. In fact you can create your own by the end of today with these 4 simple steps…

– Step #1 – Pick a niche and break it down, then find an irresistible offer that solves a burning pain or passion within the sub niche.

– Step #2 – Build an online campaign and setup your autoresponder follow ups.

– Step #3 – Set up analytics and retargeting.

– Step #4 – Test, Traffic, Scale

Lets break each of these steps down in to more detail below..

 

Step 1. Pick a niche and break it down, then find an irresistible offer that solves a burning pain or passion within the sub niche.

 

There are loads of online niches to choose from and plenty of them are highly profitable, so it would be completely wrong for us to discredit certain markets and credit others. Instead heres our favourite 5 online niches that we like to run affiliate campaigns in.

Remember to narrow down your niche selection in to sub niches and do some research to find a burning “pain”, “problem” or “passion” within that sub niche that needs solving.

1. Dating
2. IM & MMO
3. Education
4. Self Development / Spirituality
5. Health & Fitness

REMEMBER : The role of a business (or in this case the products / services you will be promoting) is to solve needs, build bridges of convenience, help people solve problems and ultimately live happier, healthier, wealthier and more comfortable lives.

The focus of an affiliate campaign needs to be on the consumer and what they want..
..Go into it with the sole focus of helping people in that sub niche to solve the problem in question.

If there isn’t a burning need that you can adequately solve, you’ll find it extremely difficult to make any money.

For example, check out this offer:

This offer highlights the key problems directly in the “close” of the copy. By doing this it is putting the fears and the problems of the customer right in front of them… with the solution to the problem right before the buy button!

In this case, anti-aging, fat loss and “cancer fighting” are used to emphasise the health benefits this product will bring, if you make the purchase.

This offer would be targeted towards the “Health” niche, then if you wanted to get really targeted (which you always should) you would find a sub niche that this offer fits in to within the health market, so for this example it could be in the:

- Natural medicines sub niche,
- Fat loss sub niche,
- Elderly health sub niche

This is just one of hundreds of great offers in a variety of profitable niches that you can find on ClickBank

If you want more information about niche selection and breaking down sub niches; then make sure to check out our “top 5 niches for maximum ROI” cheat-sheet here..

So, once you've picked a niche and found an offer its time for:

 

Step 2. Build an online campaign and setup your autoresponder follow ups.

 

Once you’ve done your research on your sub niche, your offer and your customer profile it’s time to start building your campaign.. literally!

An affiliate campaign will consist of 3 parts:

- A Squeeze page (including a lead magnet)

- A Thank You Page

- An Affiliate Offer.

You send targeted traffic to your squeeze page where the lead will opt in (to your email list) in order to receive the lead magnet (incentive for signing up). Once the lead has entered their email address they will be sent to the “ThankYou Page” where they can download/watch/read your lead magnet (containing your affiliate offer) as well as pitched on your affiliate offer (from within the thank you page). You would then follow up with all of the leads via email through an autoresponder sequence which would sell them the affiliate offer constantly over a set amount of time (e.g.. 7 days)

This way you build a list of subscribers that you can promote to in the future and make even more money from as well as the initial commissions you make from your campaign and the follow up emails.

Now, a lot of people have asked us about building a campaign with “direct linking”…

A direct linking campaign would be built slightly differently to the above as instead of the lead opting in to your subscribers list, the call to action you put on the squeeze page (or in this case, the “bridge page”) would directly link them to your affiliate offer.

A lot of marketers who direct link employ “meta refresh” pages to act as a thank you page in order to track their conversions.

Now this part can get really complicated really fast so to keep that from happening we suggest instead of trying to create your squeeze, bridge or thank you page(s) you use a third party software(s) such as LeadPages or ClickFunnels.

Both of these platforms are brilliant for affiliate marketing and offer a wide range of high converting, great looking pages, pre designed and fully optimised to give you the best results from your campaign. ClickFunnels also gives you the ability to build entire sales funnels and auto responder sequences in minutes with a few clicks. You can make your funnels and email sequences as simple or complex as you like and track all the stats from within your dashboard.

Alternatively both platforms will integrate with your autoresponder so if you are not direct linking you can follow them up with a “follow up” series selling the affiliate offer over a week or a month depending on the price of the offer.

Both of these options will cut your costs in the future hiring web designers, developers and copy writers to create your pages and, will also remove the headache of having to install each page and link everything correctly through WordPress.

Finally both of these programs make it a lot easier to carry out :

 

Step #3 - Setting up analytics and retargeting.

 

The main difference between people who make the ridiculous affiliate commissions you see plastered about online compared to a struggling online marketer will usually come down to the tracking and retargeting set up.

If you are not tracking your numbers it’s almost impossible to optimise whats working and ultimately scale a winning campaign. Hell, if you don’t know your numbers it’s very difficult to make money online in general!

So, you will need to keep track of how much you will be spending on adverts for your affiliate campaign, monitor the performance of the campaign once it’s gone live and finally track your revenue so you can work out your profits (once all the costs have been subtracted).

Now if your anything like us, numbers and complex terminology can leave your brain feeling slightly numb after figuring our what everything your seeing actually means.

But don’t worry because there are only a handful that you really need to keep your eye on… These are:

Cost Per Click [CPC] – Search ads where you are charged every time somebody clicks on your ad.

Cost Per Mille [CPM] – Display ads where you are charged for every 1000 views generated.

Click Through Rate [CTR] - Self explanatory. The higher your CTR, the cheaper your clicks will cost you and the more likely you are of achieving the desired result (opt in, sale, like, etc..)

The example below has been taken from a fan page ad that we are testing.

So now we know the numbers we can see that; for £34.08 (over 1 month Aug 28 - Sep 28) we reached 17,282 potential prospects out of high we received 1,853 page likes which works out at 0.02 CPC. This specific advert also had an 8.71% CTR so all in all, this isn’t too bad for a test.

#LaVieTips: If your CTR is below 3%, then you know something is wrong!  You will need to go and change the advert... maybe make the headline more specific to the audience or the image more appealing, etc…

See, the general rule is, if your CPC is low and your CTR is high your looking at a winning advert..

Again this was used to grow a fan page in a specific sub niche so we could build a list and promote them offers but this would work exactly the same if you were shooting adverts to the squeeze page of your affiliate offer instead of a FB fan page.

So what’s re-targetting?



Again good question… See re-targeting allows you to specifically target people who have already shown an interest in you, your products or services. 

This is done by adding a “pixel” to your web pages.

First, you would add a “tracking pixel” to your squeeze or bridge page and once a lead has landed on it, they will be tracked. If that lead signs up and lands on the thank you page, the conversion will be noted down so you can see how much a conversion is costing you. You will also be able to run specific ads to these people later.

Now there are plenty of third party softwares that offer incredible tracking and re-targeting options such as Improvely, Voluum, Google Analytics etc…

But our personal recommendation is to use Facebook. See we love using FB Ads (in step 4) as it’s arguably the highest quality traffic available right now. So it makes sense to do all our tracking and re-targetting with Facebook as well.

So, once you have added a “tracking pixel” to your squeeze/bridge page and a “conversion pixel” to your thank you page, you will be able to check the stats from within the Adverts Manager settings.

Everybody the pixel has tracked will be classed as an “audience” and you can build up your audiences just like you would an email subscriber list.

Here’s what it looks like inside your audience tab…

And the conversion pixel will track the cost per conversion? Here’s what that looks like inside your conversion tracking tab…

You will now be able to set up specific adverts to these lists of subscribers.

As you can see in the example above we can target 2 sets of established and engaged leads (that in this case have checked out the sales page to our offer(s)) and 1 set of established buyers (so we can run other adverts and make more money from each individual customer).

You will then need to test, test and test until you find a winning formula and we are going to discuss that in :

 

Step #4 - Test, Traffic, Scale

 

So your nearly done… But do NOT under-estimate the final hurdle.

In fact, this is the number #1 reason why newbie marketers are NOT making money with their campaigns.

See the chances of setting up a highly profitable campaign that gives you that dream 6-figure pay check, completely from scratch… the first time you try it is about as likely as walking in to a shop, picking up the cheapest scratch card and winning the jackpot the first time around… If it happens its completely pot luck!

A profitable affiliate campaign that pays hundreds of dollars a day is not just created over night.
Every element of the campaign needs to be carefully tweaked and tested in order to “optimise” the results from it.

Are you not getting the amount of leads you were expecting? Check your advert. If your advert is performing well then check your squeeze or bridge page… How could you make the sign up or CTA more appealing?

Maybe your getting the leads but just cant seem to make any sales. Then check the offer? If the offer is proven to convert, then check the angle you are using in your sales copy… Are you hitting the pains, problems and even the passions the potential customer has? Maybe your follow up series could be re-organised, extended, improved?

Testing and tweaking as many factors as you can will increase your chances of running a profitable affiliate campaign thats going to consistently pay you big over and over again.

Heres a little shortcut to “split testing” the simple way…

Create your first affiliate campaign with the above three steps. Then replicate it.

Go through the copy and change the elements you wish to test within the page(s) i.e.. the headline, the CTA, the copy, the image, the colour scheme, etc….

You would then test each page separately against the “optimised” version and see if it out performs what you are currently using.

Check out an example of one of our split tests below:

Once all your tests have been carried out then its time to send traffic through your preferred source, e.g.. google ad words, Facebook ads, twitter ads etc…

We recommend that if you have a preferred traffic source to stick with it. If on the other hand your still on the fence, then we recommend using Facebook ads.

Now I understand that after all the web building, outsourcing and testing you may be feeling a bit strapped for cash but don’t worry you can start running your campaign for as little as £10 a day. And this is how we would split that up…

- £6 Targeted traffic to your squeeze page,
- £3 Re-targeting advert to people who have landed on your thank you page but did not check out the affiliate offer,
- £1 Re-targeting to people who landed on your affiliate offer but didn't purchase

Remember that every lead that opts in will also be added to your autoresponder sequence which will also help to push the sales further. Add incentives, scarcity tactics and all the sales tricks you know in your emails to increase the chances of making the sale.

And BOOM! You have set up your first affiliate campaign!

No need for a list…
No need to spend all your money in “product creation” mode…
No need to invest in bullshit gurus that will send you in circles…

Now before we end this blog post, we said that we would cover affiliate campaigns for marketers with and without a list.

As we have covered setting up a campaign without a list, it would now be a good time to mention another way to you can run affiliate campaigns if you DO have a subscribers list already…

Now before we get in to it, we have found that mixing up the campaign above with the campaign we are about to discuss and running them simultaneously on a monthly or bi-weekly basis to maximise your earnings from running affiliate campaigns works incredibly well.

So here’s the other method we wanted to show you…

If you are an internet marketer and have a subscriber list in the IM or MMO niche then you can make a lot of money promoting information product launches to your list.

The reason we have limited this to the IM and MMO niche is because although information products come in every niche, for the IM and MMO niches there are specialist platforms to use that specialise in all areas of internet marketing and how to convert that in to money online. 

These platforms include sites like JVZoo & Warrior+

There are information product launches happening on almost a daily basis in the IM niche and capitalising from this can make you a really nice passive income from your subscribers list.

The key however is to establish quality and not just promote any rubbish that comes out.

Segment your list and get to know what they really want. For example within the IM niche you could build lists in traffic, lead generation, affiliate marketing, email marketing, e-commerce, and thats to name a few.

Doing this will allow you to promote more offers more often without just spamming your entire list daily with crappy info products.

 Running this type of campaign is simple to do but requires care, time and personality to master… you will see what we mean in a minute.

So here’s a peak inside some of our lists:

As you can see we have segmented these 1000 subs in to various lists based on their interests and spending value.

This allows us to promote the best offers from around the IM universe (after testing them thoroughly by running the strategy being sold for ourselves to analyse the effectiveness, ease and profitability of it) to the exact customers that will benefit the most from it.

This is how to establish quality.

If you can recommend a product that is actually going to help your subscriber with their long term goal then they will come back to you for more.

You start establishing an authority and in turn your passive income rises as your lists grow and more and more people follow and buy from you. This type of campaign is simple to do and you can have one set up in your autoresponder within 5-10 minutes.

Here’s a small campaign we ran recently for an E-Commerce launch,

First we sent a pre promotional email to warm up the list and make them aware of upcoming promotion:

Inside this email you will see we have made our subscribers aware of the upcoming offer and posted a link to build anticipation.
This is to a review video showing our subscribers inside the product so they can see exactly what they are getting and how it can help them, before choosing to make the investment.

To push the sale, we included a screenshot of our earnings from testing this method out for ourselves.

Then we sent the “Live” promotional email to tell our subscribers that the product is on sale and available to buy so they can purchase it at the cheapest price possible.

 

Inside this email you will see we have been much more direct with the purpose of the email being to draw the click.
To push the sale, we included a variety of proof as well as another screenshot of our earnings from testing this method for ourselves.

Once this gets mailed out, the leads that click the link will be taken to the sales page of the product (so in this example E-Com Experts Academy) via our affiliate link so if they decide to purchase, we get credited for a percentage of the sale(s).

And thats it!

Two easy to set up affiliate campaigns that you can go off and set up right now!

If you would like to learn more about making money with email marketing; Make sure you read our “How to DOUBLE Your Sales With a Follow-Up Series” blog post here..

Do you have a question? Comment below and start a conversation.. 🙂

2 Comments

  • Xantara

    Reply Reply May 13, 2016

    Now I feel stupiud. That’s cleared it up for me. Thanks Rav.

    • laviemarketing

      Reply Reply November 9, 2016

      Your welcome Xantara, I’m glad I could help =)

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