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10- steps to running your first profitable affiliate campaign

Published on October 5 2018

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You want to launch a campaign and you wished there was an affiliate marketing for dummies guide to tell you what you should do exactly? We’ve broken the process in ten easy steps and if you follow our instructions we can guarantee, you’ll have profitable campaigns.

1. Decide what to promote

Before acting, you have to figure out what offers you will want to promote. In order to do that, research the competition, check out the latest buzz at the conferences and talk with affiliate managers you know.

After this pick one source of traffic that is proven to convert and check what offers work best there. Make a research to see what’s performing well on your niche at this moment and start with the easiest sources of traffic, like Facebook.

The important thing is to take action, not to lose months trying to decide to take a chance on a source of traffic. Somebody wise said that “taking action and failing will get you ten times farther than sitting around worrying about making the wrong decision.”

2. Research the offer

If you want to have an advantage before you launch as campaign, just as top affiliates do, make a research to see if there are others running this campaign.

You can use spying tools to research other affiliate marketers but also look at all the influencers in your niche. Ask your affiliate managers because they are not only very knowledgeable but also have an overall view of the industry. Ask about the audience, learn more about your niche and track your ads to see how they monetize through the funnel, split test different affiliate networks to see if they convert differently.

3. Plan

It’s always good to plan before entering the battle. Setting some goals and deadlines for each step of your affiliate journey and always reevaluate your efforts, on the base of data, will be helpful.

4. Creatives brainstorming & creation

If you start a campaign, make sure you are having original landing pages, new angles, creative headlines and winning ad visuals. Try to be several steps ahead your competition, don’t use their creatives, design your own promotional materials.

Brainstorm with your creative marketing team and find new angles to present your product, get inspired from the internet and after a while you will develop the sixth sense, knowing already what is going to work and what’s not.

5. Back end/Campaign setup

There is also a technical part you’ll have to take care of while launching a campaign. It is always important to track so you’ll discover the most profitable users. If you want a fully customizable solution that provides multi levels in depth stats about your campaign, you can always use BitteStrawberry’s Performance Tracker. Not only is a revolutionary FREE tool but you will be able to make an overall picture about your campaign performance and turn raw data into winning decisions.

You also need a webhost, you’ll have to get a domain (use instadomain or namecheap) and don’t forget it’s important to keep your landing pages on another server from the tracking one, for speed purposes.

After you settled all these backend part, you’ll have to take care also of the front part of your campaign, uploading your ads and setting up the tracker, funding the account and so on.

6. Launch and data collection

Before launching your campaign, make sure your tracking links are working properly. Set up a small test with a small amount of money, so you’ll know everything works before investing thousands of dollars. Collect all data and make educated decisions.

7. Split-testing

If your campaign started to lose money is time to optimize by running tests and improve until it will become profitable again. Let’s try to explain this with a real example:

Launch – You’re at negative 100% ROI and losing money.

  • Test #1 – Test at least three offers. Try to run the best one. Now you’re at -50% ROI.
  • Test #2 – Test 10 of your ads. Run the first three. Now you’re at -10% ROI.
  • Test #3 – Test 5 of your landing pages. Run the best one. Now you’re at +25% ROI.

What people usually do is they launch campaigns and wait to become profitable. Nobody has winning campaigns. You have to all the time optimize them until you create a profitable campaign. Don’t get scared because you started to lose money, it is a part of the process. Just rethink the whole process and check out all the time what works. There are always variables you can optimize:

  • Ads – Track your ads, even if it has an amazing CTR, you can still lose money with it. If the ad features make people click on it but they are not interested in what you’re selling, it will not convert.
  • Landing pages – always make landing pages and prelanders approaching different angles, styles, headline formulas. Test them and use the ones that convert better.
  • Bids – you have to experiment when it comes to bid. There isn’t an exact protocol about how high or low you should go.
  • Day & week parting – try to run your ads only in the period they are profitable (hours and days)
  • Offers – test more offers and continue to push traffic to the profitable ones and optimize each source of traffic all the time

8. Analysis

With real data you can start improving your campaign. Analyze each day your stats, your profits, make a report with your spends, clicks, revenue, analyze the patterns and turn data into profit. Decide what campaigns you need to keep or trash, check out the future potential of your campaigns and go along just with ones that worth your time. 

9. Scaling

Scaling your campaigns can turn your profit from $100 to $10.000+. All you have to to is to wide your audience, expanding your traffic sources, accepting multiple geos for your offer, getting your promotional materials translated and tested in all these countries.

Sometimes, the same campaign can be profitable in one country and in another it won’t make money. But how do you get more traffic sources on the platform you advertise? Try more placements on different sites, test more ad sizes and increase your bidding if you want more volume. Basically, the higher your profit margins, the higher bids you can afford.

10. Maintenance

Maintenance separates the winners from losers. Don’t get distracted or lazy when you start making money. They might launch campaigns in other niches for diversity but they lose focus on the results. Affiliate campaigns don’t work after the rule set it and forget it. You’ll have to work for each dollar, constantly testing and optimizing, you have to do your best to take winning campaigns.

Time for action

Now you have all the data you need to launch a successful campaign. Leave excuses aside and start making money!


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