Why Are My Affiliate Marketing Campaigns Failing? Here Are the Top 5 Beginner Mistakes.

Why Are My Affiliate Marketing Campaigns Failing? Here Are the Top 5 Beginner Mistakes.

If you’ve ever read an exciting follow along that at some point just stopped getting updates you must have wondered what happened to the affiliate and their campaigns. Depending on how the thread was going there are two possible options.

One, the affiliate became so successful they decided to channel 100% of their energy towards scaling the campaigns and making the most of it.
Two, they decided to give up, stopped the campaign and changed their niche… or profession.

Either way, the forum is full of questions from beginners who are only just starting their journeys. Sooner or later a thread gets started: Why are my campaigns failing? Why did my campaign stop converting? I’ve spent $XX and got no conversions. Why?

Let me go over the top 5 reasons why your campaigns fail and how to fix it.


1. Not testing enough

Undoubtedly, the biggest mistake made by beginner affiliates is not testing enough. Getting discouraged within days after starting your first campaign is very common but it’s definitely not a good reason to quit affiliate marketing.

Here is the bad news for beginners with low budgets. Spending $10 and getting no conversions is more common than you think. Depending on what you are trying to promote your ‘test’ budget might vary.

If you’re promoting sweepstakes with a single opt in conversion process, then $10 should most of the time bring you at least a couple of conversions.

If you’re promoting a double opt-in offer with a higher payout and higher requirements, then $10 might hardly be enough to test a portion of the traffic.

Depending on the volumes available in the traffic source of your choice, the ‘testing phase’ might eat up a significant chunk of your budget. The higher the traffic volume the higher the earning potential but also the longer the testing phase.

If you’re not sure what a testing phase is then let me explain. Once you choose your offer, lander (or landers) and creatives, you need to choose and test a traffic source. Even when you already have an optimized funnel, the traffic will behave differently in each network, source, target and country.

While testing the traffic you should let your campaign run uninterrupted for 3-4 days before analyzing the data and making first optimization decisions. In Zeropark, the minimum daily budget for all types of traffic is $20 which totals $60-$80 for gathering data. The recommended daily budget, however, is $100.

After that period, well-performing sources and targets should be clearly identifiable but throughout that time it’s highly likely that your campaign would be running at a loss.

It’s hard to watch your budget go without seeing any green, but without gathering data and optimizing traffic based specifically on that data, your chances of success are slim. It’s best to focus on learning one particular skill (vertical/ad format/GEO) rather than move erratically between different ideas.

Do not jump from campaign to campaign if you don’t become profitable overnight. It doesn’t mean that you chose the wrong offer/ad format/GEO targeting – it means you just haven’t tested enough.

If your first campaign doesn’t get profitable (even if you did your best to properly test the data and optimize the traffic) that’s still not a good enough reason to quit. Some campaigns just won’t become profitable no matter what you do. Sometimes you won’t know why. What’s important is to learn from them anyway.

Were there any sources that showed potential? Save them in a spreadsheet and test with a different offer. Don’t let the valuable data go to waste. Don’t get discouraged. Test more offers, landers and GEOs.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The super affiliates that you know and admire, most likely didn’t make millions of off their first campaign. Not even the second or the third one. They kept on testing until they found a working combination and that’s exactly what you should do too.

Don’t forget that you can always ask your traffic source’s / ad network’s representatives for the latest top performers. They know exactly what sort of offers perform well in what GEOs and they might even give you some ideas for what angles and creatives work best.


2. Optimizing too quickly

The second biggest mistake is connected rather closely with the first one. Beginner affiliates tend to get very enthusiastic about making their first optimizations. When they see that their campaign hasn’t been converting well within 24 hours from its launch, they pull the optimization trigger too early.

Cutting sources or placements is a good optimization strategy but only when you have sufficient data to be able to judge their potential accurately.

One or two conversions in one source vs. zero conversions in another is not a significant amount of data. Wait until the difference in conversions is clearly visible. That’s why we recommend letting your campaign gather data for 3-4 days before you start narrowing things down.

How much should you spend before optimizing?

It’s also highly recommended to have a spend of minimum $100 before proceeding to optimization. The recommended amount of conversions is not as easy to determine. When it comes to sweepstakes offers, the tests budget might be lower but it’s best to wait until you have about 50 conversions. In case of higher payout offers, a budget of $300-$500 is recommended for the initial testing phase but the minimum number of conversions amounts to about 20.

Please remember that these numbers are general recommendations and shouldn’t strictly determine how you run your campaigns. If you are a complete beginner they should give you a good idea of what a campaign testing phase looks like. There are many different strategies out there but the one thing that they all have in common is that you need significant data in order to start optimizing.

Also, cutting sources and targets should not be the first optimization that you do. Initially, you should focus on observing the performance of mobile vs. desktop traffic. Sometimes the difference in performance between platforms should be easily visible and therefore the first logical optimization step.

Sometimes it might be a good idea to split the campaign into two separate ones for mobile and desktop traffic as the platforms usually have different average bids.

In what order you should optimize campaign variables?

In general, the recommended order of optimization is: platform, devices, browsers, OS, and OS versions.

Once you get to optimizing on source level you should make sure that your bid has been competitive enough to win high quality traffic. It’s recommended that you cut sources only after they are still not converting upon reaching 70-90% win ratio.

Always remember that cutting anything will lower the volume of traffic coming to your campaign. If you’re targeting a low volume GEO or a very specific region then it might be best to focus on adjusting bids of sources and targets before making cuts.

If you over-optimize your traffic you might accidentally limit your volume so much that even if you do become profitable these profits will never go above a single digit number.


3. Giving up too soon

If you are a beginner affiliate hoping to invest $100 and become profitable within a week then you might feel seriously discouraged once that week passes and you’ve barely made a couple of conversions.

You really can’t have high expectations while starting affiliate marketing. As much as studying or doing courses is advised, you can only truly learn by testing. And testing takes time and money.

What would be an estimated budget to try affiliate marketing in practice? About $500 in the case of PPV or PPC traffic. This, of course, doesn’t mean that if you have a lot less you will never become profitable. It just simply means that in the majority of cases the smaller the budget the harder it is to find find a working campaign

If you spend $20 on a campaign with one lander and one creative and decide to give up because of poor results then you will most likely never be successful.

Affiliate marketing is all about testing. What verticals work where and with what type of traffic. Do your research and stick to your choices. You shouldn’t switch a niche when your first or second campaign doesn’t work out. Don’t be afraid to ask the community for help.

Test the campaign for 3-4 days and then use another 3-4 days on optimization. If the ROI is still very low then you might consider killing the campaign.

When considering switching the vertical altogether make sure to ask your affiliate network and traffic source representatives what’s performing best at a given moment.

Most expert affiliates have their favourite verticals or GEOs. Sometimes they specialize in a particular combo. That’s usually because they took time and effort to test all kinds of traffic and finally, they found a set up and a strategy that worked.

You should not give up after a couple of failed campaigns. Sometimes campaigns, landers or creatives need to be killed or stopped but it’s crucial that you always learn something from each attempt.

Keep a notebook or a google doc with your thoughts. Campaigns are made of many components so it’s good to analyse each and every one of them in order to draw conclusions about why they might have failed.

Affiliate marketing is not a quick profit scheme. It requires learning and testing and sometimes it might take a long while to start making profits after investing in the learning phase.


4. Poor landers

Majority of the time campaigns perform significantly better when using a lander. So, the first mistake you can make when it comes to landers is not using them. If you feel like the offer landing page is well made and should be enough to make a user convert then what we’d recommend is A/B testing – pre-lander vs. direct. That way you can really check whether your offer is in the 10% that will perform better without a lander but you will test the other option too, just to be safe.

Don’t be the lazy affiliate that expects quick profits without putting in the effort. Cases in which the offer converts better without a pre-lander are rather rare so it’s quite unlikely that one of your first campaigns will be like that.

Why should you use your own landing page?

Landing pages are the pre-selling point. They help to warm up the user and introduce whatever you want to sell them. They are inarguably a crucial factor influencing the performance of your campaigns.

That’s why direct linking or using the wrong pre-landers might be the reason your campaigns are failing.

Not everyone can afford spy tools at the beginning and that’s okay. But there are other ways of finding out what landing pages are performing best. Once again, asking the reps of a traffic source or affiliate network will be your best shot at getting reliable information about the kind of landers that work.

Simple offers with simple flows don’t require much thinking when it comes to landers but you should always watch out for the traffic network guidelines. Usually it’s easy to check what sort of landers are allowed and how aggressive they can be.

If you’re creating landers by yourself then you should pay close attention to the style of your offer page. Nothing says professionalism more than perfectly matched pre-lander and offer landing page.

Complete beginners sometimes make the mistake of using landers so different from the offer page that they don’t even advertise the same product.

Make sure your lander clearly states the instructions for how to convert. Whether you need the users to share their credit card numbers or download an app, use precise directions and explain the benefits of your product. Be as convincing as possible and use a simple CTA.

Still, you can never truly predict user preferences. Also, they might vary for different GEOs. It’s always recommended to test more than one landing page at once. Sometimes it’s enough to make cosmetic changes but sometimes using an entirely different angle might turn the tables on the potential of your campaign.

The appearance as well as the text on the lander can make a huge difference. Always make sure that creatives, lander and offer pages have no significant discrepancies or contradictions. They should be similar in style, angles and content. Watch out for grammar mistakes and typos.

You should also remember that while running campaigns in non-english speaking GEOs it’s best to translate landers and creatives or at least split test them against their english versions.


5. Bad offers

Lastly, your campaigns might sometimes fail simply because of a bad offer. No amount of traffic filter optimization or creative pre-landers can make a user convert if the offer just isn’t interesting enough.

Sometimes it might be quite impossible to accurately judge which offer has potential. That’s why it’s always best to ask for recommendations. I can’t stress this enough – as a newbie, reaching out for help to network representatives and experts from the community is your best chance at making the right choices.

Also, you can’t get attached to the offers that you run. Even when you personally think they make sense it’s highly likely that if they don’t convert well it’s because the users aren’t interested in them.

Offers can be badly paired with GEOs, e.g. first time deposit (FTD) offers shouldn’t be run in Tier 3 countries where the population is much poorer than in, for example, Tier 1 countries.

Another mistake you might make is choosing the wrong offer for the wrong budget. Beginners should start with sweepstakes as it’s the easiest and the cheapest vertical to run. What they definitely shouldn’t start with are high payout offers which might seem enticing because of potential profits but they need a much more polished set up and higher testing budgets.

Make sure to research offers before you start running your campaigns. Again, you might use spy tools or ask around. Make sure you have a good combination of offers, landers, (optionally creatives) with GEOs and ad formats. Some offers might work significantly better with mobile traffic only so it would be a shame to mistakenly pair those up with desktop traffic.

Offer restrictions are crucial here as well. Your conversion will not be counted if it’s coming from the wrong GEO or platform so make sure you pay close attention to the offer description. You wouldn’t want to advertise a voucher to a shop that doesn’t exist in that particular location.

Are the products you advertise up to date? Sweepstakes with the newest iPhone model will surely perform much better than those with an outdated model.

Sometimes the offer might not convert because the market for it is just too saturated. Choosing the highest converting offer from the affiliate network can either work really well or really poorly. If everyone is running the same offer at the same time (using the same creatives) users will stop noticing it altogether. Sometimes a less popular offer might be a jackpot.

Overall, there is one thing that will help you determine why your campaigns are failing – it’s a tracker. Yes, it’s possible to start affiliate marketing without a tracking solution but it’s not possible to scale or truly know what works. Campaigns can fail on many levels and only using a tracker will allow you to know at which point of the funnel people are dropping out.

So, to summarize, what are the top 5 beginner mistakes?

  1. Not putting enough time and effort to test the traffic before expecting results.
  2. Not allowing your campaigns to gather enough significant data before beginning optimization.
  3. Stopping campaigns or offers and changing the whole strategy too soon or too often.
  4. Underestimating the power of good, quality pre-landers.
  5. Choosing the wrong offer and sticking with it for too long.

Hopefully, if you’ve made any of the mistakes described above, you will know now how to avoid or fix them.

If you have any questions or any problems you need help solving, know that the community is here for you.

5 Video Advertising Mistakes Every Marketer Must Avoid

5 Video Advertising Mistakes Every Marketer Must Avoid

When it comes to video advertising, the creators are always under pressure to compile engaging and informative messages to win over new clients. These communications should have a clear call to action and must stand out against competitors’ ads.

As to err is human, it is quite natural to commit common errors while creating video ads. Unfortunately, careless advertising mistakes counteract all the hard work and devastate a company’s credibility and miss out getting newer clients. Hence, to avoid such common blunders and to give viewers a negative first impression, it is essential to know about specific things.

One of the initial steps is to double-check all ads before posting to be sure you’re not committing the clichéd video advertising mistakes.

Let’s take a look at what is video advertising:

Advertising through video is the latest and newest trend in the marketing industry for effective brand promotion. This strategy benefits every type of business immensely.

Video ads are the ideal way of communicating with prospective clienteles; these promotional materials enable a company to convey one’s message efficiently to a wider audience.  Hence, video advertising allows a marketer to get more exposure in the market. Research says that videos have a more compelling power compared to written advertisements.

Nowadays, every consumer seeks instant information about their choicest product or service. Undoubtedly, video marketing works wonder. Advertising through video is the only channel that can adequately satisfy such clientele needs.  Video ads deliver the message at a lesser time compared to any blog or article or any advertised text.

As video advertising holds a crucial position in an organization’s brand promotion, any mistake can destroy the image of a company. One must have detailed knowledge about the many pitfalls of video advertising and never commit these blunders.


Mentioned below are 5 common yet shocking video advertising mistakes that you should avoid now:

Mistake 1: Professionalism is taken for granted

While marketing with video, a businessperson needs to present his brand’s competence level. Here, professionalism is the final word. Your consumers must trust your trade name. So, it is necessary to show a video professionally.

Before creating a video one should understand the essential company culture and its image. Lack of professionalism can be detrimental to the success of the organization. Every conveyed promotional message has a theme. This theme should be presented efficiently.

Although B2C and B2B companies have different company image and specific advertisement requirement, yet, all should portray competence of the brand whether in a fun manner or severe corporate attitude.

Mistake 2:  Not giving enough importance to voice-over tone

Voice over is the crucial part of any video marketing. Hence, a marketer must understand the necessity of the usage of a proper tone.  If the video tone is not engaging, consumers won’t view the video and all your efforts will go in vain.  Make sure to synchronize the voice-over tone with the main theme of your video.

But, one should also keep in mind, if the video has similar kind of tonal aspect throughout then, it will become monotonous and consumers would not find it interesting.

Hence, it is necessary to understand the primary purpose of your video. You can implement some fun elements also simultaneously with a serious business approach. Whatever the tone is, not to confuse the audience, it should be consistent.


Mistake 3: Not doing a proper survey with competitor video ads

It is essential to perform a survey before creating a video advert. Mostly, one should see how competitors in the industry portray themselves.  Then one can compare one’s own company and dramatically modify itself based on the industry standards.

Consumers have different expectations from different industries. An entrepreneur should follow them within reason or it could cost the company in the long run.

Mistake 4: Presenting a video ad in strange, ambiguous, or indirect approach

Your video is an attention-grabbing tool; it’s perfectly fine to try something different with your video. But people should not create any promotional video material in strange, ambiguous, or indirect manner.

It is not surprising that a creator would want to spawn a video that goes viral. But there are steps to follow. Incorporating unnecessary artistic and abstract details would hamper the inner essence of video advertising.  The fundamental purpose of marketing through video would fail and it won’t fulfill your purpose.

Mistake 5: Not considering video ads post timing:

Timing plays a significant role in video advertisements, but many promoters don’t realize that. Just like other projects or product launches, video adverts should also follow a specific schedule.

Scheduling your video ads would take you to a wider client base. This way a publisher would convey his message at the same the time efficiently to a large mass of target audience.

Scheduling enables you to perform proper ads distributions.  Adequate ad post timing can be aligned with the audience(s). Throwing up video ads at any time of day may be appropriate for specific brands but for the most part – there should be some strategy for the distribution.

For instance, watching an advertisement of a fruit juice in the morning would be more useful and boost sales at that time versus at night. Aren’t you shocked to learn about these advert errors? Yes, all these mistakes are common to hindsight, yet, they are shocking. If not taken care, these faults can tarnish the reputation of an organization.


Bottom line

If you’re planning to create a cutting-edge video advertising, then follow the above steps. Although common, yet all such missteps would piecemeal land your business in danger. Whether you are tech start-up or a big firm, committing errors won’t justify your position.  It is necessary to be alert and conscious while posting any video materials for promotion.


HR for Small Business: 4 Tips to Avoid Expensive HR Mistakes

HR for Small Business: 4 Tips to Avoid Expensive HR Mistakes

Making the leap from a self-employed or sole business owner to a multi-person company is a huge jump. When you first start tossing around the idea in your mind, it might seem like a great idea. However, there are definitely going to be many obstacles and challenges along the way — many of which you may not have even thought about.

When going from a single to a multi-person company, you will start to notice things like hiring, insurance, time-off, in-office politics and much more start to come into play. Many of these issues would be handled through an HR department within the company.

With that being said, if you aren’t sure how to run HR for small business, we have some nice tips to follow, while also avoiding some costly errors in the process.

There are approximately 5.6 million people who work in the Human Resources (HR) department. This department is broken down into recruitment, training, benefits and compensation, and other roles.

Although you may not work for a large company, small businesses need this department just as much. Whether you work for a well-known, large company or a small business, there are certain mistakes every HR employee should avoid.

Not sure what they are or how to avoid them? We’ve got your HR for small business covered. Check out these four tips to avoid expensive HR mistakes.

1. Watch Employee Overtime

When you own or work for a small business, you do much of the work in-house – unlike larger companies and corporations that outsource certain tasks.

While doing most if not all the work in-house gives an HR employee many hats to wear and future experience, it’s also hard to keep track of everything.

One of the biggest and most expensive mistakes many small businesses and HR reps make is not managing employee overtime correctly. If your human resources employee doesn’t know how overtime works, your business will suffer.

Not only your HR team has to understand the meaning of overtime, but it needs to know how it coincides with state laws. Make sure you classify employees correctly and ensure they get paid for all their working hours. Track each employee’s hours to avoid costly mistakes.

While it seems like a lot of information for just one aspect of the job, it’s one of the most important ones to follow. The Department of Labor will perform routine investigations, and any violation of these laws can cost your company a ton of money.

The best way to avoid violating these laws is to make sure that your HR team knows the state laws and keeps track of all employee hours, including any overtime worked.

Keep in mind, these laws apply to all employees – hourly or salaried. Using payroll services can make this process easy and stress-free.

2. Employee Handbook

Do you remember going through orientation for your first job? Even though it’s not the most exciting task, it’s extremely necessary.

One of the biggest yet most common mistakes businesses of all sizes make is having an incomplete employee handbook. Some don’t have one at all.

Think of it as your company’s bible. Without it, there are no rules set in place for employees to follow. This can not only cause safety hazards but result in legal action as well.

For example, something that you would definitely want to include within your booklet is workers comp insurance–if your company offers it, how much coverage it provides and what your staff or employees need to know.

Take the time to create an employee handbook listing the rules each employee must follow. Some of these can include an attendance policy and vacation time. These policies should be consistent and easy to understand.

Do you have a business in need of services? Try these resources out:

3. Anti-Harassment Policies

Speaking of employee policies, make sure you include an anti-harassment policy in your employee handbook. This could help your small business avoid a sexual harassment case. Plus, it keeps your employees feeling safe and secure in the workplace.

In this policy, make clear what makes up sexual harassment and how to report a violation if one occurs. While open-door policies are nice, it’s smart to have a plan B in place. This can include a violation hotline or a third-party HR resource.

If someone does report a violation, you should follow through with the policy and take action promptly. Having this document in place could save you thousands if not millions of dollars in the courtroom.

4. Employee Feedback

Okay, you’ve started your small business, wrote an employee handbook, and hired some great employees. Now what?

Although your business may have started off small, expect it to grow, especially if you’re doing a good job. As your company grows, make sure you’re not only retaining employees but also keeping them happy.

The best way to do that is to set up a feedback process. This is extremely important not only for your company’s growth but also for each individual employee.

Be open-minded and listen to the feedback you’re employees are giving you. It will help you better understand the work environment and correct any mistakes you may have made. This can improve work productivity and overall employee happiness.

HR for Small Business: Mistakes to Avoid

HR for small business can be challenging. There are many tasks to take care of and employees to consider. At the same time, you must focus on growing your company and solving everyday problems.

These four tips will ensure you avoid expensive mistakes that could cost you big bucks and affect your company’s reputation. For more tips on business and marketing, check out our website or contact us with questions!