“Todd” was keen to compete in one of most notoriously difficult categories – work-at-home. He was smart, earnest, hard-working and keen to make affiliate marketing more than just a part-time endeavor. He had dreams of living on beach in Mexico and surfing between sessions at computer.
He had put together a sweet little landing site. He had 20 keyword groups running about 10,000 unique visitors a month. He was spending $5,000 per month on pay per click on sales of $6,000. He was collecting email addresses at a rate of 100/day through an opt-in form. He had placed his Google tracking data on confirmation page of his subscription form. He had great data he collected daily over past 4 months. He had calculated his visitor value based on commissions divided by clicks and was bidding accordingly. He was a dream client.
Could I help him?
I was drooling over this one. In this case I was 100% sure I could at least double his profits, and likely triple or quadruple. Why was I so sure?
1) He was tracking sign-ups, not conversions 2) He was selling 22 different items off of one landing page 3) He was calculating his visitor value incorrectly
The first thing I did was turn off his keyword groups one at a time. When I got to his top keyword group, one with highest conversion rate, we prepared for a massive drop in commissions. There was only a slight dip.
He was stunned. He had made a simple assumption – that there would be a correlation between signups and sales. That is, a keyword that produces twice as many signups would likewise produce twice as many sales. But that wasn’t true. We had seen vividly that there were keywords that produced lots of signups but few sales, and visa versa. He was bidding based on wrong data. His finely-tuned Ferrari of a website was, in fact, a peddler’s cart of clanking pots and pans strapped on with little thought to efficiency.
I had him write letters to each of his advertisers, requesting they place his Google tracking code on their Thank You page. That way he could track sales directly. (Important: Place code in an attachment; email programs can scramble code.) For a sample letter, click here.
Most didn’t answer. Normal. After three failed attempts, I advised him to drop that particular advertiser. Others refused, to which I reply, “Are you nuts?” No one stands to profit more from an efficient affiliate than advertiser. I recommended that he drop them, too. He did, all but one, which was a big money-maker.