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CPA Network TriFoxMedia to close doors at end of Feb

CPA network TriFoxMedia, which has been around for less than a year, has just announced that they will be closing down the network at the end of Feb.

Founded by affiliate and affiliate manager Josh Todd, the network is closing down due to “circumstances beyond its control”.

Separately, Josh told me “i’m sick of all the stress and paperwork of running a network and I’m looking forward to doing affiliate campaigns again”

We hung out quite a bit at this past Affiliate Summit West and Josh is a cool guy. I guess he’ll be blogging more regularly at his InsideAffiliate blog and have more time to try out some of the PPV and social network advertising we’d been talking about in recent months.

All the best, Josh!

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In the meantime, if you’re looking for CPA networks to join, be sure to check out my affiliate network review page.

PPV Case Study Day 7 – Tracking and Bid Management

It’s been about 7 days since my PPV (pay per view) campaign on Direct CPV has gone live and I’ve some analytics data which will help me refine the campaign.

Note: If this is the first time you’re reading about this series, you might like to start at the first post “PPV Case Study kicks off

I’ve got about 6,900 URL targets in the campaign and have received about 300 impressions. Thanks to the offer rotation in prosper202, the impressions are being fairly evenly rotated between 2 dating offers – one at a $4 payout and another at about $7.50 – both are direct linked campaigns.

With PPV, marketing costs are relatively cheap – total damage has been about $3.50 for 300+ impressions. On the downside, I don’t have a single conversion yet, however, the purpose of this case study is intended to be instructional first and profit-driven second.

At $0.01 an impression, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that $3 and up offers would do well. You need to gradually dump the losing URLs out over time (once you’ve achievied statistically significant impressions, else they’d drag down your bottomline.

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Bid Management

Although the minimum bid is $0.01 and they go up in half cent increments (eg: $0.005), it’s clear that some URLs are involved in bidding wars, eg: $0.15 per impression or higher in some cases.

So you can either go in with a higher bid and test that traffic, or you can bid on the same URL on another network. I’d go for the second option, but since this is a small scale case study, I’ll harvest the URL and place it in my spreadsheet for now (You are tracking your campaign, right?).

The major pet peeve I have with most of the PPV network interfaces is that (more…)

PPV Case Study – Analyzing Stats, Expanding Campaign + Interview with PPV Playbook’s David Ford

Update: to get a discount code for PPV Playbook, click here: PPV Playbook discount code (Limited quantities).

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It might not have been a good idea to go with 50 URL targets for a newer PPV network like Direct CPV (use code BR25 to get a free $25 ad credit). Still it’s worth a test, especially since I hadn’t bought traffic from there before.

[Note: check out the first post in this PPV case study series at: PPV case study kicks off]

So the next step was to scrape more related URL targets and load them into my PPV campaign. My URL targets were in pending status when I submitted them and were approved a couple of hours later. That’s one change you need to get used to, especially if you’re used to the algorithmic review with campaigns going live within 15 minutes that you’d experience with Google AdWords.

Now we’re at 6,090 URL targets and impressions have started clocking. I’m leaving everything at the default $0.01 bid for a day, and likely moving bids up to the $0.02 or $0.03 range if it looks like a decent URL. At this point, I haven’t reviewed every URL I’ve submitted, because I’ll let the system do the testing for me.

Besides Google’s organic results for the keywords and the keyword research tools, analytics sites (Compete, Quantcast), reading FAQs or Wiki entries related to your niche will trigger off more keyword ideas.

Also, take note that the style I’m running this campaign, it doesn’t make sense to login every couple of hours. I’d rather let the campaign build it’s data and check every 12 or 24 hours, especially on the sales conversions.

If you’re not already pass sub ID data to your tracker (ie Prosper202), you’re going to be at a loss if you get a conversion.

Next stage in the process, bid management, URL expansion.

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I also dropped PPV Playbook‘s David Ford a list of questions which he answered in the midst of launching his new PPV123 training series together with co-creator Corey Bornmann.

Question: I’ve known you to be a PPC marketer and you’ve branched into PPV/CPV. Was
there a signficant reason for this? (google slap? diversification? etc?)

David Ford: My Google account has never been slapped actually. I still do PPC but I see it getting more and more difficult with slaps, merchants outbidding affiliates, and odd quality score issues.

Over the last year I have seen Bing trying to become more and more like Google. Not just in the market share sense, but in slapping affiliate campaigns. I think there is still a lot of money to be made with PPC but it is going to continue to get a lot more strict.

Question: What’s the biggest difference with PPV vs PPC, SEO? (in terms of marketing strategy, lead quality, conversion ratios, marketing costs, etc)?

David: PPV is going to have a pretty low conversion rate compared to PPC. That doesn’t mean anything bad really because you have to take into account how little you are paying (hopefully) for your views.

The strategy is a little differen’t also; PPV campaigns require a lot more babysitting (until a few tools I know of are completed) and bid adjusting than PPC campaigns. They can also be a lot shorter lived unless you set your frequency caps correctly and have a solid strategy for expansion in place.

PPV traffic is obviously (more…)

PPV Case Study – Campaign Set Up And Launch

Going through the resources listed in the kickoff post in this series “PPV Case Study Kicks Off“, I logged into one of a several CPA offer databases (take your pick of Offers202, Offer Vault or AffSpy), and looked for dating offers. As I was repeatedly reminded by numerous affiliate managers, with Valentine’s Day at the end of this week, it would be the big bang for dating offers (it’s not just flowers and chocolate campaigns, friends). As luck would have it, one of the offers hit their cap in the last couple of days and has been redirected to another offer.

Having got the offer links, and checking that I had the correct structure to embed Sub IDs in my links, I loaded them into my installation of Prosper202 (you can also use Tracking202, T202 pro, the Magic Bullet System, or any other conversion tracking system of your choosing). I loaded 3 similar dating offers into the link rotation, so they could compete against each other, then went about harvesting PPV targets.

With PPV and specifically Direct CPV, you can create 4 types of campaigns:

  • URL-based (triggered via a string appearing in the users address bar)
  • Keyword targeted
  • Category-based
  • RoN (Run of network – ie: you’re buying traffic on every user that Direct CPV has a reach into)

Starting small, I set up a URL-based campaign and loaded in the list of 50 URLs I had researched.

These were medium to high traffic URLs that I had harvested from (more…)

PPV-To-CPA Case Study Kicks Off

Update: to get a discount code for PPV Playbook, click here: PPV Playbook discount code (Limited quantities).

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This is the first in a series of posts for a PPV/CPV (pay per view/cost per view) case study that I’m doing. You’re welcome to follow along and launch your own campaigns too.

With PPC networks increasingly bringing the hammer down on affiliate marketers marketing offers with thin affiliate sites, the past couple of months have seen affiliates jump from PPC to PPV and media buy campaigns. Particularly for newbie affiliates, it could be a case of jumping out of the pan and into the fire. Here’s a tip: it’s not the new traffic source that sucks, it’s probably your marketing strategy.

Compared to running ads on a search engine results (which can be considered a form of “permission marketing” because the user is specifically looking for information or products), ppv is considered a form of interruptive marketing. Unless your ad is a heckuva lot more interesting than whatever site or keyword they were headed to, they’re likely to skip or close down your window and go to wherever they were headed to.

PPV: Pathway to the Golden Land?

Do a search for “PPV Marketing” and you’ll find that PPV is discussed at newbie internet marketing forum, the Warrior Forum. Sounds like a mixed bag of results, with some of the forum members spending $100 and not seeing a single conversion, while other newbies have spent $10 and got some conversions. Still others have posted that they have spent $200 and are convinced that PPV “doesn’t work”.

Just because someone said that PPV is “easier” than PPC doesn’t mean everyone can expect a commission bonanza. Just like everything else, it’s the guys who’re running tests, tracking results, optimizing that are getting good results from this form of traffic. I know of marketers who’re using the TrafficVance network, which is considered by many to provide among the highest quality of leads totally bomb with their campaigns, so sometimes it’s the human, not the network that’s at fault.

What’s PPV?

Pay-Per-View (also known as Cost-Per-View) is advertising delivered primarily via pop-up (pops over the target website), interstitial pages (which appear in between the user’s original page and their destination/intended webpage), or pop-under (which are similar to pop-ups, except they appear under the intended webpage).

The ad pricing is based on a “per view” basis, meaning each time the ad is displayed (or “popped”), you’re charged the amount you bid, which can range from $0.005 to upwards of a dollar or more. The destination URL typically doesn’t appear in the popped window, so the user doesn’t know which website he’s seeing the ad from. Also, if you use low grade webhosting, and the server can’t serve up the ad fast enough (particularly if it’s a high traffic website you’re popping traffic over), the user might see a blank white page also known as a “white screen of death”, or even worse, an error message saying that your cheap webhosting account has exceeded it’s quota of server resources.

Which is the “best” form of pop-up to use?

Newbie PPV marketers should consider pop-ups if they’re getting into the game, as the best balance of marketing effectiveness and pricing. Interstitials may be more expensive, while pop-unders being cheaper will give poorer results unless you know what you’re doing.

Direct link or landing page?

If you’re starting out, you might like to go for low hanging fruit, and direct link to offer with landing pages that convert well. Go ask your affiliate manager (if they’re experienced) for tips, or check with other affiliates.

Even though direct linking might be arbitrage-based and not be as good as collecting an opt-in and building a long term asset, I feel that it’s a good starting point for new PPVers.

Direct linking works best with simple lead gen (CPA) offers. If you’ve a pay-per-sale product, using PPV will likely fail, particularly if you’re using a long form sales letter (as I’ve seen some merchants try to do with PPV traffic…) unless it’s something the lead is very interested in. Hosting your own landing pages are necessary to pre-sell some types of CPA offers, but we’ll kick off the study with direct linking.

Campaign Budgeting

Even though the minimum cost per view might be $0.005 at some networks, assuming you’re going to be rich beyond your wildest dreams on a budget of $10 is unrealistic. I’d suggest a budget of at least $100, so you can get your feet wet (be mentally ready to burn it all away while testing the system and getting used to campaigns).

A number of PPV marketers who’re generating 4- to 5-figure net profit days now burned through thousands of dollars when they were learning the ropes.

I’ll show a couple of techniques so you can control your cash outflow/expenditure and last a little longer in the game.

Offer Selection:

Although some would suggest starting with zip/email submit offers as a first campaign, I’d suggest you do your due diligence. Some of these regpath offers have a requirement to fill in page 4 or page 5, so don’t make the noob assumption you will automatically get paid on the page 1 completion. Some advertisers are known to scrub their submit leads pretty brutally, so if you know your affiliate manager pretty well, you can check with them.

I’m planning to go with the dating niche with this case study and use direct linking.

What do I need?

If you want to get started, here’s a list of resources I’ll be using:

  • PPV network: Direct CPV (use code BR25 to get a free $25 ad credit) – Direct CPV is a newer CPV/PPV network and I met affiliate manager Brett Rothenberg at the Affiliate Summit West 2010. He’s knowledgeable about affiliate marketing and traffic, and is available via IM to advise you as you’re setting up your campaigns. Direct CPV has CPV rates starting as low as $0.004 per impression.
  • PPV training material: PPV Playbook – David Ford is an experienced PPC/CPA marketer who’s branched into PPV. He’s also author of the popular PPV Playbook blog. What I liked about his PPV Playbook course is how he’s incorporated both a manual and a video tutorial series that I went through in an hour and gave me a number of ideas to position my campaign differently from the majority of affiliates out there.
  • PPV landing page templates: LP Designer Jan 2010 PPV template pack – Designer/affiliate Thien comes out with attractive and high converting landing page templates. At $20 for 16 PPV templates, complete with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, these will be useful in the second phase of the case study.
  • Demographic targeting techniques: Internet Marketing Cookbook Feb 2010 update (link valid till 28th Feb 2010)- This is a report series that I author and this month’s topic is focused on demographic and behavioral targeting which will be useful in enhancing your campaigns whether you’re a PPC, PPV, social media or media buying affiliate/product owner.
  • PPV tracking script: Prosper 202 – open source and free. This is a winner.
  • CPA offer networks: Affiliate Network recommendations – Since I already work closely with these networks and have existing relationships with the affiliate managers, it makes sense to promote their offers.

I’ll continue to publish updates as the case study proceeds (one update, possibly two per week).

UPDATE: Check out the next post in the series – CPA Offer/PPV campaign setup and launch

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Update: to get a discount code for PPV Playbook, click here: PPV Playbook discount code (Limited quantities).

Why Demographic and Behavioral Targeting Matters

In the early days of the WWW (ie: 1990-2000) what mattered was your ability to stuff your webpages with keyword rich text, in the hopes that the unsophisticated search engine bots would index common and obscure phrases and direct users to your pages when a user typed in an obscure Yoda-like “nano cheap”.

While search engines and high authority sites (ie media buy bait) still contribute the bulk of search engine traffic, the days of keyword-driven traffic will increasingly have to compete with the likes of demographically-driven and behavioral-targeted traffic.

What’s the difference between these types of traffic? Using the one and only jargon-ish phrase, imagine keyword-driven traffic as the “lose 10 pounds in a week”, “acai weight loss” and “tivo tcd649080 coupon code” queries that you might already be bidding on via PPC, PPV or other forms of contextual advertising.

But here’s the kicker, if you know that the primary characteristics of 73% of these buyers are:

  • white males
  • aged 30-45
  • living in metropolitan areas with a 2 million of higher population
  • college education or higher
  • average income of $60,000 and up

(ie demographic data), wouldn’t it make your marketing much easier (and more profitable?).

Behavioral targeting takes it one step further by correlating specific behavior patterns and groups it together. For example, if said Tivo buyers were likely to own a Ford or Honda sedan, and 1 in 3 of them were likely to drive a hybrid Prius (even with dodgy accelerator pedal), wouldn’t that open up more source of traffic?

I have no idea how many CSIs (crime scene investigators) are there in the affiliate community, but if you see how their work involves taking micro bits of evidence and piecing it into a cohesive whole, isn’t that the same type of reverse engineering process affiliates are following, taking keywords, or demographic profiles and piecing them into a Tivo, e-cig or grants consumer?

Oh yeah, be sure to check out this month’s InternetMarketingCookbook.com demographic targeting update for more sniper-like marketing goodies.