Everything about buying traffic feels and is exciting in the beginning. You open your account on PlugRush, you receive your verification email, you choose a payment method, you add funds to your account. You start your first few campaigns and then the traffic kicks in and you are actually doing something: branding, promoting, selling. The dopamine sets in and you are one useful human being. It’s beginners luck if you just randomly set up your campaigns and they start generating that sweet ROI and you see your first profits. Then it all comes tumbling down. And in affiliate marketing, this happens often.
The truth is your goal was crystal clear: be profitable, thus your attention wasn’t pointed toward the right stuff. Constant testing is obligatory and knowing how to properly test your campaigns can come at a great cost - time and money wise. We’ve accumulated 10+ years in the business and here’s our view on necessary steps you need to take.
Disclaimer: We’re talking here about testing campaigns on our traffic network. Tests can be applied to various parts of the media buying process that include: offers, creatives (banners, landing pages) and traffic.
Step 1: Set goals and create your strategy
The biggest mistake is just throwing yourself into advertising without any plan. Slightly lower level than that is to do things randomly. The next level is to have a vague idea like: I wanna make money and all I have to do is start a few campaigns with such and such traffic.
When we say set your goals, we mean it. Write them down, one by one, prioritize them. Strategy goes along with having clear goals on paper. It’s nothing more then having an angle you wanna pursue. And having more angles as a backup.
Testing is the way to figure out what goals are reached and which strategies do work and which don’t.
By setting vague goals, your strategies will be vague as well and you’ll end up frustrated!
Vague goal examples:
“Test all the traffic available on PlugRush for all the offers I have!”
“Make all my offers profitable!”
Can you reach these goals? Yes!
Are you gonna be satisfied? Oh, hell no!
Let’s think on expanding the answers to these questions:
Testing all the traffic available on PlugRush can be done. Depending on your speed of creating new campaigns and on the number of offers you have and if you’re split testing various traffic types, you can end up easily with 100 campaigns to create. Let’s say you create them all in 2 business days. And then the weekend comes and you don’t work.
Monday rolls around and the results are there but not quite what you’ve expected. Because you didn’t expect an outcome. You just wanted to test all the traffic for all your offers! Too bad it took you xy of hours glued to your chair to do so.
Some campaigns are profitable, others are not. Handling all those campaigns you’ve started, optimizing, pausing inactive offers, etc.You optimize. It takes you 6 months of work to become profitable but not on all your offers. Did you reach the goal of making all your offers profitable?
So yes, you can test all the traffic available and you can make all your offers profitable. But no, you won’t be happy since you didn’t set up a clear mark to reach nor a tight time frame. You’ve ended up not knowing what to do exactly nor when to do it.
“Reach positive ROI on offer X by Dec 20th”
“Increase profits by 3% by Jan 31st”
When you want to reach or increase some defined amount in a period of time that is limited, this sets you up mentally to figure out how you’re gonna do that. Clear goals initiate a treasure hunt!
What campaigns can you start / optimize / pause in order to reach your goals?
How many split tests can you start with each offer in order to reach the goal?
And the list of questions just goes on till you have a clear set of the number of campaigns you need to start in order to perform your tests so you can take the results of each and be closer to reaching your goals every day.
Step 2: Plan your campaigns
Everything and we mean everything that PlugRush has to offer is to be used to your advantage.
But the one thing you should most certainly do is to test one thing at a time!
Let’s say you want to buy traffic that your offer can run on. You must know upfront these 3 things: the GEOs, the type of traffic and the devices the offer can go on.
Your general goal is test all the traffic available on PlugRush. Your clear goal is: “Reach positive ROI on offer X by Dec 20th”. Your strategy is to start with Push Notification traffic.
Now, scale each down to smaller goals aka tests that you can run. We’re assuming here that you have to test also your creatives and landing pages. To split test only one thing at a time means your results that you’ll see in the statistics will be crystal clear.
Example: You have 4 creatives with the same text but different pictures; you have 2 landing pages with the same design but different call to actions; and then you have the traffic to be tested. You can start a number of campaigns with those creatives / landing pages on Push Notification traffic. The important thing to remember is to have 1 and only 1 variable different in your 2 campaigns that you’re using for split testing.
When we’ve said use PlugRush to your advantage, we mean it! We have so many options for you in our campaign editor. Use them to figure out how detailed your test will be.
If you want to go broad and say simply test desktop and mobile so you’ll have these 2 campaigns:
- PushNotification_Desktop: Only desktop traffic, all OSs, all browsers, 1 GEO, all languages
- PushNotification_Mobile: Mobile traffic, all connections, all OSs, all browsers, 1 GEO, all languages
But you can take just one part of the mobile traffic and test just on that:
- PushNotification_Mobile_Carrier_1: Mobile traffic, Carriers only, 1 GEO, all languages
- PushNotification_Mobile_Carrier_2: Mobile traffic, Wi-Fi only, 1 GEO, all languages
And even be more specific:
- PushNotification_Mobile_Carrier_OS_1: Mobile traffic, Carriers only, Android only, 1 GEO, all languages
- PushNotification_Mobile_Carrier_OS_2: Mobile traffic, Carriers only, iOS only, 1 GEO, all languages
The combos that you can use are only limited by what you want to test and exactly pick up a single part of our traffic. Put your tests to the test - set up your campaigns and get going!
Step 3: Think ahead
You’ve now reached a part where your testing is set up to be intentional and you’ve built a framework. Your goals are clear, your strategy is kicking in, you’re setting up your campaigns and the traffic is about to start. Once you’ve hit that save button and you’re waiting for approval, you can relax for a moment. Now it’s out of your hands till the results start coming in.
Well… not quite. Your work is not done yet. When your campaigns are all set, the final step isn’t to hit that save button. The final step is for you to create preliminary Automated Rules and apply them to your campaigns accordingly!
It all comes back to your campaign goal. In order to reach it, you need to look at the negative side of things. The negative side is not bad, it’s just negative. The most popular thing among media buyers is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
In order for PlugRush to help you out with that, you have to think ahead. Think in positive and negative terms simultaneously.
Answer the following - Would you be closer to your goal if you had just
- set a higher bid in time?
- unlimited Sources that bring conversions?
- blacklisted a Subsource that spent X amount?
- paused a carrier that didn’t spend X with 0 conversions?
- had a higher average position than your competition?
Set up a few Automated Rules that you’ll have for the positive and negative aspects for each campaign. Use this free tool to reach your goals faster! By setting them up, you’re also reducing your FOMO, you don’t have to check your stats every 15min and you can actually step away from your computer and use your free time as you please.
Step 4: Results are to be obeyed
When you’re performing your tests, you need a good statistical system in order to be able to read your results.
Data is king and the results must be obeyed. And this part is tricky. If you check your test results and act too soon or too late, your next action won’t produce the outcome you were aiming at. The results must be obeyed at the right time!
By using conversion tracking, PlugRush offers you the best statistics layout and information enabling you to have a clear picture of any campaign’s performance.
Not only is it easy to search for your campaigns by ID or name, it's also recommended that you use and set custom filters and display particular columns that interest you. Since you did your due diligence, you can now read statistically significant results.
This means with PlugRush you’ll have all the information in regards to your campaigns that will allow your next set of actions to start, your new strategy to be applied and your new tests to begin.
Thank you for reading!