Warning: This topic is going to require more than one blog post. In order to get you all of the information necessary to implement this successfully, it’s going to take some extra detail. So hang in there, it will be worth it.
Part 1 – The Importance of Margins
Like it or not, affiliate marketing is a competitive space in specific over-emphasized markets. Why? Simply because most of the advertisers and networks emphasize and focus on already existing and proven markets. Bizop, dating, specific financial verticals, diet, skin, etc.
It is of course for good reason that you see an overflow of these types of offers and affiliates that push them…because they are proven to work. This is a good thing but also a bad thing.
It’s a bad thing because this funnels most affiliates down a very difficult and competitive path. If all the “big boys” are promoting mostly the same offers everyone is competing in mostly the same niches. Not of much concern for the big boys, but how does the lonely affiliate out there that doesn’t have a cash pile of working capital compete? As you know, just to get started with some of the best traffic sources can cost tens of thousands of dollars which the typical affiliate just doesn’t have. As a small to medium lone affiliate, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
Believe it or not, it’s actually quite easy to break into most niches and compete these days, and probably will be for some time, even with a small budget. That is until everyone starts to promote their offers with a more long-term mindset which isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, but YOU are going to.
Before I dig into the specifics it’s important to understand that affiliate marketing is ALL about margin. Think about it this way. Here is the typical competitive game the affiliates are playing in these days, competing in or with:
- Same niches
- Same offers
- Same networks and advertisers
- Same payouts approximately
- Same traffic sources
- Same cost per click or impression
- Same landing pages
- Same ads
There are of course variations to all of the above, but for the most part, everybody is playing on the exact same court, with the same ball, with the exact same equipment.
In affiliate marketing, the best way to bring a bazooka to a fist fight is have, by far, the biggest margin in the game. In other words, you HAVE to figure out a way to get better profit margins than the next guy.
Lets break it down in terms of margins then. What does a higher margin allow you to do in the affiliate world?
It’s very simple, if you are making a higher margin on every single conversion, you can afford to pay more for a conversion. In other words, your cost per acquisition can be higher. If Joe Affiliate is only making $25 on every conversion, but you are making $75…there is no possible way he is going to be able to compete with you in the same traffic sources.
Not only that, but you are able to profit significantly more because keywords, targets, and sites that you wouldn’t be profitable with at the standard $25 margin, are now profitable at a $75 margin. So you can not only get more traffic from the sources everyone else is competing in, but you can tap into sources other affiliates can’t touch.
Tiny margin increases aren’t going to be enough to really set yourself apart from the other competing affiliates. You’re going to need to implement something more powerful than: asking for a payout increase, advanced bidding strategies, and higher converting landing pages. Those are all great to have and you should implement them, but those are sticks and stones, not bazookas and rocket launchers.
So how do we really crank up the margins to gain a true competitive advantage? Collect data, and monetize that data properly before passing your traffic off to the offer landing page.
That’s right, collecting data and monetizing it with very specific methods is going to put your earnings per conversion WAY above most typical affiliates (including the “big boys”), and it doesn’t require any massive initial investment.
The typical affiliate runs traffic from an ad, to an offer. Or…best case scenario, they will run an ad, to a landing page, then to the offer.
We will be using DATA INTERCEPTION, as I call it, on our landing page; THEN passing the traffic off to an offer.
The next post in the series will be all about intercepting the data and how to monetize that data to drive your margins through the roof.