Optimization is a art form, I like to use the analogy that if you give 3 accountants the same exact information for taxes you will inevitably get 3 separate numbers in the end with the same laws and them all being CPAs, it's like that for optimization it not an exact science,  you will have to develop you own skills and style that works for you - Brian

Now we begin with the fun stuff.

The secret sauce to making money is optimization.

Optimization separates the professionals from the amateurs in terms of making a profit.

You can have the best ads and landing pages globally, and you will find that people like to "swipe" them.

But what makes you unique is how you optimize and run traffic.

People can't spy on how you performance media buy.

These tactics are typically revealed only for paying students.

There have been times along the way when I've lost money out of the gate and was unsure what to do next.

With practice, you will find ways to make that campaign profitable through optimization.

You will develop this skill and take a losing campaign to one that is making money.

The majority of your campaigns will start unprofitable.

When you first launch a campaign, you will use all your knowledge and spy tactics to get something close to working, hopefully.

The truth is that if you don't get the data to back up your theories, you don't know what the customer wants.
  1. The first thing you need to do is launch a campaign.
  2. Then you're most likely going to lose money while you're "buying data"
  3. Analyze the data
  4. Split tests or run experiments to get your campaign profitable

Which one looks like it's more profitable?

In your campaign, you will want to look at many different parts and compare what makes the campaign make money or lose money.

Let's imagine you're an appliance salesman, and you are not getting outstanding results when you're first starting.

  • You can test different ways of closing the sale.
  • You can test different approaches when you walk up to people.
  • You can even test your clothing you wear to see if that makes a difference.

There's an aggressive approach or laidback approach, for example.

You're doing your testing to see what works and what doesn't; that's the key, and in Affiliate Marketing, you must keep testing.

The name of the game is to test and get profitable before you run out of money.

A big newbie mistake is to think you will be profitable from the get-go, and you typically run out of money before buying enough data to know what works.

Losing money is not something that you need to worry about. It would be best if you considered that it's a tool to buy data.

We mentioned earlier; you need to put a budget aside for testing and not become attached to that money.

You will find over time that you build campaigns, not discover them.

Throwing stuff against the wall and hoping it sticks, it's not the way to approach Affiliate Marketing.

  1. You're not really learning anything. If you happen to hit a profitable campaign, it was sheer luck, and most likely, competitors will be doing the same thing.
  2. You're not mastering a niche. You will want to master a niche and become one of the top affiliates in that niche.
  3. The top affiliate in every niche makes the most money.
  4. Don't overlook potential gems. We've had campaigns that started off negative and turned into a 100k months.

Optimization is where you just test out certain parts of the campaign until you figure out what the audience really wants and slowly over time it will become more profitable.

Here's an example:

My top 3 Optimization Rules

  1. Test one variable at a time as a newbie

Think of your high school science class.

I can remember a pretty simple test A vs. B. If you test too many things, you don't know what's causing the change.

Let's not overthink this. Remember earlier we said to test the offer on the Landing page headline, for example, while keeping everything else the same.

More advanced affiliates can do things with different software, like multivariate testing. We talk more about this in advanced training.

   2. Make sure your data is valid statistically.

If you roll the dice 2 times and you land on 1 both times, does that mean it's going to hit on one every time? The answer is obviously no.

If you roll the dice enough times, you'll see a 6, 5, 4 etc., and likely average one 16% of the time. (1 divided by 6)

This is what we call statistical significance. With enough rolls you will start to get an accurate data sample.

We need to make sure when we run that we are getting accurate data and a large enough sample.

   3. You need to focus on what is having the most significant impact.

Companies like Amazon test things like call to action buttons on a grand scale.

For Affiliate Marketing purposes, something like the call-to-action button could make a difference, but more than likely, something like a good headline or hook will make a greater difference.

You are focusing on making the most significant difference from the beginning to narrow down your split test.

 You want to create systematic lists over time, starting with the offer, headline, image, and Landing page. Not necessarily in that order but over time to develop this skill set.
Generally, when you have a larger budget you can run more tests

Let's look let's look an example of a $1,000 a month budget. Landing page builders are $100 a month.

That leaves you $900 for a testing budget. If you're running on expensive Traffic like Facebook, you could be paying $2 per click, and that's only about 450 clicks.

It will be tough to pull a significant split test and optimization with only 450 clicks.

Some options are lower paying offers with lower cost per click, or increase your budget.

Let me give you some examples of split test in affiliate marketing.

   1. I like to start with age groups when I advertise.

 When I'm promoting a New Year's Event or Halloween event, I start with age groups to figure out which one's the most profitable.

The above example is a super basic split test, ages 25 to 30 versus 31 to 35.

The control variable = I would keep the same, or the controlled variable are the images and ad copy.

The independent variable = are the ages on testing (what I changed).

The dependent variable = is the value that changes when you get the new data. For example, you will want to look at the click-through rates, the cost per click, and the profit.

In My New Year's example event sample, I'm testing:

  • 21-25
  • 26-30
  • 31-35

That pretty much covers my age demographic for the event. Of course, some youngsters might try to sneak in with a fake ID, or some couples who are older than 35, but the bulk of my attendees will be in that age range. (I know from past experience)

So far in my recent campaign, the 26 to 30 range is winning the race.

One important thing to remember here is if you're not making money at this stage that is okay.

You are trying to find which segment is the most profitable. Once you determine a profitable segment, you can test other variables such as ad copy, angles, offers, landing pages, etc.

All this in an effort to get the campaign profitable.

In the above example I may spend the majority of my money on conversion traffic in the 26 to 30 age range. (Conversion Traffic is the most expensive traffic typically, these are potential people that are the most likely to convert)

See it's really not that complicated.

   2. Testing mobile campaigns operating systems

I've launched many mobile campaigns depending on the offer; typically, Apple or Android will perform better.

I can remember running a mobile antivirus campaign that performed very well on Android, but did not perform well on Apple iOS.

I recently ran a direct link campaign that performed very well on Apple and lost money on Android.

Something you should split test on mobile only affiliate campaigns:

There are hundreds of optimization tests you can do.

As a beginner focus on these three:

  • Split test the offers
  • Test out different landing pages
  • Try different ads and angles

These are typically your most important elements for all your new campaigns.

It's going to come down to how much budget you have versus how many tests you can run.

We have a large budget team. I have spent upwards of $20,000 to find out if a campaign can be profitable.

The more offers you test, the more chances you have of getting a profitable campaign.

Is this all making sense?

If you have a limited budget your plan has to be strategic.

List of Optimization Variables

Variables are one section that gets a little bit more complicated.

We launched campaigns before that I've lost a hundred percent out the gate, but we saw some conversions. So, at the point, we know that the offer is valid.

Let's look at the list of some things we can test.

  1. Offers
  2. Ads
  3. Angles
  4. Site IDs / Site placements
  5. Landing pages
  6. Countries
  7. Week-parting
  8. Day parting
  9. Mobile elements
  10. Bidding Prices

Work on the elements of the most important and that should be the order for your split test.

Depending on the traffic source, your testing priority may change. Facebook is much different than a lot of Mobile Traffic sources.

For example, you can test males vs. females on Facebook, but you can't on a mobile network.

My mindset when I optimize campaigns

We had a recent example that I want to share with you. One of my media buyers was testing offers on ClickBank with Facebook Traffic. He found an offer that was about minus 100% ROI out of the gate. He stuck with it for about four days until he had it breaking even. In one week, it was making $2,000 a day, and now we have it in multiple business managers making around $5000 a day.

He did minimal split testing, and we are improving on that every day.

The first day like I mentioned before, we were testing the offer.

We had some conversions, so we knew the offer had potential.

We changed some things with the images and the ad copy.

We started with some test directly linking to the Video Sales Letter(VSL) and then ran some tests with Landing pages. (You really can't direct link to a VSL anymore. You will need a pre-sale page, also called a bridge page). All the direct links were working, but over time we found the Landing page more effective.

Once we figured out the best option, we started split testing components of a Landing page.

The result at the time of this writing, we crushed the 300K month!!

I love this image

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