The affiliate marketing industry is rife with opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs. The market is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2020.
Although there are lots of great opportunities for aspiring affiliate marketers, the industry is also very competitive. You can find tons of resources on affiliate marketing, but most of them don’t focus on the most important part of the process – finding the right offers to promote.
There are probably tens of thousands of affiliates offer on major networks like Maxbounty, ClickDealer and GlobalWide Media. There are literally millions of offers listed on Amazon, Walmart, AliExpress, Best Buy and other major retailers that offer affiliate programs.
If you want to succeed as an affiliate, then you need to know how to choose the right offer. We interviewed three affiliate marketers that shared some insights on finding the right offer. Here are some of the biggest tips that they shared.
Conversion rates between affiliate offers in the same niche can vary tremendously
Most new affiliate marketers test offers indiscriminately. They might start off testing an offer in the weight loss niche. After that offer fails, they might test an auto insurance offer. Then they might try a couple of gaming offers, before trying a dating or paid survey offer.
This isn’t the best approach to take. Affiliate marketing expert Charles Ngo says that it is better to find a traffic source that converts well for a particular niche and then test multiple offers until you find a winner. Conversion rate between offers very significantly and the only way to know which offer will work best is by testing.
One of the affiliates that we interviewed shared a case study with us after testing some keto weight loss offers.
“Finding the right offer is at the very least half the battle. Generally, 9 out of 10 campaigns you start will fail. If you get signs of life that shows that either your offer might convert well or that you have good targeting. From there you need to test other offers to find the best on. On a Keto supplement campaign that I ran last year, I had solid signs of life but it was nowhere near profitable. It showed that the people I was targeting were interested in Keto products and were buying them, but the conversion rate was not enough to create a profitable long-term campaign. I started split testing different Keto offers and even some of the same offers on different networks until I found one that really converted well. The difference in conversion rates between the lowest converting and best converting was a 500%. In other words, for every one sale on the lower converting offer, I averaged 5 sales on the higher converting offer. What was nice was that since I already split tested several offers, I also had a backup offer if my good one went down. I could simple swap the other one in and be good to go while I split tested again to find a replacement that converted even better,” he said.
You can find lists of good offers to promote, which will make it easier to split-test them.
Your affiliate revenue will be more sustainable if you have niches with lots of offers to choose from
Another affiliate that we spoke with talked about the importance of choosing a vertical that has a lot of different offers to choose from. He learned this from experience after being an affiliate for the virtual world gaming site, IMVU.com.
He successfully promoted this offer through Maxbounty for six months. Unfortunately, the offer eventually got pulled from the network. This is a common occurrence with CPA networks. You can never control when an offer will go down.
The bad news is that there were so few offers in the virtual world gaming niche to choose from. He was not able to find a new offer to send his traffic to instead.
You will have an easier time creating a sustainable income as an affiliate if you run traffic in niches with lots of different offers. Personal loans, dating, weight loss, auto insurance and make money at home guides are examples of niches where are you will find tons of offers to choose from. You will want to consider running traffic in niches like these, because you will be able to replace your offer if it goes down. You should also follow the steps that the keto affiliate mentioned above and test new offers even after you found a profitable one. This will make it easier to choose another if it goes down.
Pay per sale (PPS) offers tend to be more stable than pay per lead (PPL)
Different affiliate offers convert on different conversion points. Some offers pay affiliates after a visitor clicks a link, requests a quote or creates a free account. These types of offers are called pay per lead (PPL). Other offers only pay conversions after a sale is generated. These are referred to as pay per sale (PPS) offers.
PPS offers tend to be harder to test. You need to find users that have a strong desire to make a purchase, which often requires some form of search engine marketing for offers with a higher price point.
However, the effort it takes to get a PPS offer working is worth it. These offers tend to last a lot longer. PPL offers often pull affiliates if they are not satisfied with the quality of the traffic. They also get taken down from networks more often, because they have a harder time generating a profitable business model when they are paying for leads that may not translate into sales.
The third affiliate that we spoke with shared his own experience promoting the PPS affiliate program for the popular hotel booking site, Booking.com. This affiliate ran contextual ads through RTX (formerly known as 50 on Red). He was able to average $40 a day for three years without having to do any maintenance at all on his campaigns. This is almost unheard of with affiliates that promote PPL offers.
PPS offers can last for years if you can get them working. Affiliates that want to generate a stable income without having to keep hustling should consider focusing on them.
Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb.