Today I’m going to talk about CPA affiliate campaigns and, more specifically, a question that I get often: “Why is my CPA affiliate campaign not converting?”. If you run any amount of CPA affiliate campaigns, then settle in because this is going to be of great importance to you. And even if you’re not currently running any CPA affiliate campaigns, this might spark some interest in you to give it a try.
I am a huge lover of CPA affiliate campaigns! I’ve been running them for several years now. I’ve trained hundreds of thousands of people and I’ve done several million in revenue from CPA affiliate campaigns.
I want to talk about a question that I received recently from one of the students inside PowerhouseAffiliate.com. This question has come up over and over again from different students, so I feel it’s important that I spend some time and cover this for the benefit of all.
His email asked the following:
“So, I’ve been wanting to start out on something easy and offers that convert easily. I started promoting a few single opt-ins, sweepstakes and survey offers. They were all for either the USA or Canada. I’m getting loads of traffic and clicks, but seemingly no conversions. Like actually none. Not one. Like I said, these offers are ones that should convert rather easily, but they don’t. What do you think I’m doing wrong or what’s wrong with my campaign and do you think my network started shaving?”
This is a great question! It can be incredibly frustrating when you are just starting out, if you are putting in the work and not seeing the results you are hoping for.
I want to go through several things that I think are important in analyzing your campaign and determining where people are dropping off.
The first issue I want to discuss is network shaving. If you’re not familiar with this term, you should check out both my article and YouTube video dedicated to CPA network shaving. I’m not going to go into great detail in this blog post, but essentially network shaving is when a CPA network will intentionally throttle the number of conversions reported, which will ultimately skew your results.
It’s highly unlikely that shaving is the issue in this case. Trust me. The last thing a CPA network wants to do is start shaving affiliates, especially when they’re just starting out. That is the worst thing that a CPA network could do.
Looking for more detail on CPA network affiliate shaping? Check out my article CPA Network Shaving and Throttling – Is There Really a Place for It? Or visit my YouTube channel and watch my video explanation.
So, let’s assume that your CPA network is not doing any crazy stuff with shaving. Now it’s time to look at your sales funnel directly, to see if there might be something causing your users to drop off before converting. Let’s start right at the source – the offer!
Take a close look at the offer. Make sure the offer is tracking, look at the CPA network EPC and see if there are actual conversions. If it’s zero EPC, it means that it is not converting. It could be an old offer. And let’s just be honest here – some CPA networks are sloppy. There are offers on their networks that have been there for years. They haven’t paused them and they’re probably outdated. Make sure the offer works. Make sure you’re on a network that is up to date. Talk to your affiliate manager first before you start buying traffic to an offer. Check out the offer page. Switch your IP. If you have to use a tool like Hide My Ass or Private Internet Access then do that. These are virtual private network (VPN) services that you can use to appear as though you are accessing the internet from a different country.
I can’t stress this enough. Test the offer to make sure it actually works.
So let’s recap:
- Is the offer tracking?
- Is the offer converting on the CPA network? Check EPC!
- Talk to your affiliate manager.
- Check the offer page.
- Use VPN to test offer from another country location.
Patience is Your Friend
When it comes to testing your sales funnel, it is important to realize that this process does take time. Don’t expect a quick fix solution here.
A lot of people, especially the people that have come into the network that I run, come in and they just haven’t run enough traffic.
They blast traffic for an hour or two, maybe even one day. They see 50 clicks through the offer and they think that there must be some shaving going on.
Their first thought is “It can’t be my fault. It has to be shaving!”
There’s something wrong here, but what’s really happening is that they’re not giving it enough time. They’re not testing it throughout the week or throughout multiple times during the day.
It’s important that you perform your test over a long period of time. So if you can spread your budget out across 5 – 7 days, that’s better than just running all of your traffic on one day. This becomes even more critical if you’re just starting out and you have a small budget.
Consider the Source
The next thing you need to consider is the traffic source itself. Are you on a traffic source that is catered to having high quality visitors? I’m talking Facebook, Google, Bing. These places have really high-quality traffic. There’s Twitter, there’s Pinterest where you can buy traffic directly from those users.
Now if you’re going into places like push ads and native ads, you’re relying on private publishers and those ad networks will accept anybody as private publishers. If a website has a lot of traffic, they can become a publisher on one of these ad platforms and now you are relying on that publisher to send quality traffic to your landing pages or your ads.
If you’re not running traffic from a major platform like Facebook where they have full control of their visitors, then you need to really consider what type of traffic you’re running and consider whether or not the source might be the real problem, and not the offer itself.
Dissect the Funnel
Now, let’s assume you have great tracking on the offer. It’s running, and it’s converting for others. You have solid traffic. What else could it be?
Now we have to look at the funnel itself.
Start with the advertisement. Look at your ads. Make sure you’re testing more than one single ad. You should have at least 3-5 ads when you’re first starting out. Some people test as many as 25-50 ads depending on what their budget is on this traffic source.
Now look at different images, different headlines, and different calls to action. Test them and tweak them to see if your ads are working. Look at the ad and click-through rates. If people are seeing your ads and they’re clicking on them, this indicates that people are interested in your ads. Wherever your placements are, it seems to be attracting visitors.
Now we have to look at the next part of your campaign, which is probably your landing page assuming you are not direct linking. Usually I use landing pages first because this gives me the opportunity to really determine if people are dropping off after the ads.
If you use your own landing page, or what we sometimes call a presale page, this works extremely well to see where people are dropping off. You can split test multiple different landing pages. If you are using a third-party tracking system like CPV Lab Pro, Voluum, or BeMob, you can monitor and track the click-through rates on all your landing pages. You can use these tools to measure how long a visitor stays on your page, whether they click the offer, and where they drop off if they do not click the offer.
It’s not enough to simply create your landing page and expect it to convert right away. You need to test and tweak your pages for best results. I guarantee you that your competitors are doing this.
What’s Your Angle?
Additionally, you need to make sure that the ad and your landing page match each other perfectly. They need to coincide with each other.
Assuming now you know your ads are working and you know people are clicking through to your landing page, at this point they are going through to the offer. Is the angle you’re using and the ad combination working to promote the offer itself? If it’s converting for other people, then you need to maybe find out what they’re actually using for an angle. If it’s not converting for other people or you don’t know, then you need to test multiple angles.
TIP – For more information about choosing an angle for your offer, check out my YouTube video 5 Ways to Find Profitable Affiliate Marketing Angles.
At this point it gets really difficult for anyone, even seasoned professionals, to figure out exactly where the problem is.
Assuming you’ve run the offer for a long enough test, you know that the offer is working, you know people are clicking on your ads, you know people are clicking through your landing page and people are looking at the offer. And it’s still not converting.
Are you sure it’s a single opt in? Many offers that say single opt in are, in fact, not single opt-ins. They’re actually converting after three or four pages of a person entering in data. A single opt in does not always mean they enter their email and it immediately converts. You need to make sure first before you start switching and testing offers.
If you can find a similar offer on a different network, it doesn’t hurt to test it. Or test a completely new offer that is in the same category, especially if you’re an affiliate. This works well because you can start doing things and switching offers and you have the flexibility to do whatever you want.
As you can see, trying to diagnose why you’re not converting is almost never a simple answer. There are just so many different variables to consider and 99% of the time it’s not your network shaving. The problem is usually something to do with one or more of the facets of your campaign. By going through this step-by-step trouble-shooting process, you can identify the issue and correct it.
So hopefully this has answered your question with regards to “why am I not converting”.
I have a lot more great content about CPA affiliate marketing. You can visit my free training at PowerhouseAffiliate.com or subscribe to my YouTube channel, DayJobHacks. Please like and share the videos. Also, be sure to click the little bell icon so that you get updated every time I post more videos related to affiliate marketing, especially in CPA affiliate marketing where I’ve spent most of my career online.
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