I'm working in online advertising since 1998 and finally decided to start my own blog.

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GUIDES

Why NEWBIES shouldn’t start in the most competitive TIER-1 GEOs?

You hear it left and right … do not start in TIER-1 GEO’s straight away, learn the basics in developing countries first. But why is that? Or is it true at all? I will summarize the reasons in this article and try to explain why it is so and whether it’s a rule to follow in 100% of cases.

Note: This is a repost from the STM Forum, where I posted the article originally, in November last year. I decided to repost my own articles from STM from time to time, so guys who don’t have membership over there, can benefit from it too.

LET’S DEFINE WHAT TIERS MEAN FIRST.

When talking about GEOs, we often use the so called “TIERS” to define what countries we actually have in mind. 3 tiers are used most of the time : Tier 1 are considered the most competitive, Tier 3 are the least competitive ones.

There is no definitive list of countries per Tier or a fixed set of rules that would define them unfortunately. On top of that, several industries or agencies have their own rules for this. So we gotta come up with our own definition, in relation to internet marketing and affiliate offers.

Basically, the longer it is possible to monetize a certain GEO with online offers, the higher Tier such country belongs to, in terms of affiliate marketing. This is closely tied to the available payment options and the wealth of particular countries.

HOW MANY TIERS DO WE HAVE?

Not so long ago, the only way to pay for something on the internet, was to use a Credit Card. As you can guess, only a limited amount of GEOs were developed enough for this : USA, Canada, founding EU members, The Nordics, Australia, Switzerland … the most developed Asian countries like Japan etc … These were the original TIER 1 Geos.

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How to improve the CVR (Conversion) and CTR (Click Through) of your Landing Pages?

Landing pages are like salespeople, they have dramatic effect on the conversion rates of our campaigns. We all know that a good Landing Page (LP) can mean the difference between a profitable and a losing campaign. In case you’re not familiar with the Landing Page concept, please read my older article that deals with Landing Pages and explains why you have to use them : http://www.matuloo.com/landing-pages-what-they-are-and-why-use-them/

There are two main performance factors, that determine the quality of a Landing Page. One is the CTR (Click Through Rate) and the other one is the CVR (Conversion Rate). In order to profit, we need to reach good numbers for both of them.

This might sound as an easy task, but it’s not 🙂 The fact is, these two usually work AGAINST each other. The higher the CTR, the lower the CVR. And vice versa, LPs with high CVR usually have low CTR. I will get back to why this is the case a bit later on.

Some affiliates would argue that all that matters is a high Conversion Rate, which is true to some extent … but if you have a Landing Page with very low CTR, the high conversion rate will not save you.

Let’s take a look at an example.

The CTR % tells us how many visitors of the LP actually clicked on something on it, usually some Call To Action (CTA) button. CVR means how many of those who clicked on something, and got to the offer, actually converted into a subscriber, member or made a purchase.

LP1 : 20% CTR and 10% CVR

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Maximize your profits with a backbutton redirect – script included.

A clever affiliate marketer always takes every step possible, to increase the ROI of their campaigns. In the competitive world of affiliate marketing, there isn’t any other way to survive anyways. You have to stay on top of your game.

If you don’t squeeze every last drop of revenue from your campaigns, someone else will, which will give them a competitive advantage against yourself. Then it’s just a question of bidding higher than you … and your traffic is gone.

Today, I’m gonna talk about a simple and effective trick, that is very popular, but still overlooked by many. It’s called the Back-Button Redirect.

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When do you have to make separate campaigns at the traffic source?

We, the affiliates, tend to be lazy folks … no need to deny this 🙂 So we all look for any shortcut possible, to make campaign creation easier. However, in an attempt to save some time initially, we can sometimes actually make our lives more complicated in the long run.

An excellent example of such approach would be creating campaigns at Traffic Sources, that contain more targeting elements at once. By targeting elements I mean options like GEO, Device, OS … pretty much everything that has direct influence at the BID level.

While it’s definitely easier to select multiple targeting elements at once in a campaign, instead of setting up a separate campaign for each element, it will be a mega pain in the ass to analyze this mess later on. Not even mentioning how fatal this could be in terms of bidding – you will be overpaying like mad.

Since there are so many targeting option available these days, let me take a closer look at the most important ones and explain why it’s mandatory to make separate campaigns for each of them.

Before I move on with it, let’s set one more thing straight, we have to create campaigns at 2 “levels” : 1st level is at the traffic source, the 2nd level would be in your tracking solution. Modern trackers make it possible to split traffic according to a 1000 different rules so it is

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Do you have to target each GEO (Country) separately or can you mix them?

This is a very classic question, asked by almost every affiliate who starts with paid traffic campaigns.

Usually it goes like this : “Hey Mr.Matuloo, I started this campaign for Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, using a kickass PIN Submit offer that my Affiliate Manager recommended to me … and I’m loosing heavily on it, why is that?

Well, cause you’re a LAZY ASS, that’s why. There is only one reason for mixing several GEOs in one campaign – LAZYNESS – I know it’s faster to create such campaigns and it looks tempting to have one mega campaign that targets 500 Million people. But that’s not the way it works, unless you’re in the game to loose money.

BUT WHY WOULD I SPLIT THE GEOS, IT’S ALL LATIN AMERICA!!!

Oh my, there are so many reasons for this, so let me list & explain the most important ones :

1. Language – Properly translated creatives and landing pages pretty much ALWAYS work better. In some GEOs, you can do well with English langu

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How to get better payouts from your affiliate network?

Affiliate Marketing is a very competitive business, some niches are so crowded that it’s impossible to make any profit without some kind of competitive advantage. But don’t worry, sky isn’t falling and as always, there are several ways of winning the battle with your competitors.

The advantage that can set you apart from your competitors can be a range of things, some obvious, some less so …

– Experience / Knowledge – this alone can make you the winner at times, for example when working in a niche that you are pro at. It might require special language that you know and the competitors don’t. There might be some crucial parts that only pros understand etc …

– Cheaper traffic – maybe you know a traffic source that is not so popular, but their traffic is good. Maybe you can come up with banners that have super high CTR, which translates to cheap traffic…

– Quality Creatives – related to the above point, but it can also mean you can make killer Landing Pages that will convert like a charm.

… there are many more I could mention, but I want to aim your attention at one more factor that can help you a TON : Better Payouts.

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Mobile or Desktop traffic – what should you focus on?

Here is another popular question, asked by affiliate newbies all the time : “Should I focus on desktop or mobile traffic?” Not an easy answer again, but let me try to give you an answer, or at least help you understand the differences, so you can make a qualified decision.

When talking about desktop traffic, we mean surfers who are sitting behind their home computers or using their laptops. Mobile users are surfing from smartphones, feature phones or tablets. Tablets and Smartphones used to be treated as one in the past, but these days, many advertisers look at them differently. The reason is simple, tablet users convert and retain differently from smartphone users.

So instead of 2 basic groups, we are actually looking at 3 : Desktops/Laptops VS Tablets VS Smartphones. To make it more complicated, we also need to consider the connection type, especially when it comes to mobile devices …

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Got a great performing banner? Duplicate it! Let me tell you how.

Hello guys, this is yet another article that was inspired by questions posted on the STM Forum. Coming up with topics to write about on my own, is a surprisingly hard task. So instead of trying to guess what you might be interested in, I thought it would make sense to just write about what people ask for. And since I spend a ton of time over at STM, many of the question will be sourced from there 🙂

So let’s go back to the million dollar question :

GOT A GREAT PERFORMING BANNER? HOW TO MAKE MORE LIKE THAT?

We all know this situation, some banners simply work better than the rest. Doesn’t matter whether you made that banner, ripped it somewhere or your AM gave it to you (some really do this) … as soon as you got a banner like this, you SHOULD IMMEDIATELY duplicate it and make more variations from it.

Affiliate Marketing is a competitive industry, any advantage that you can get is like blessing, but you need to act fast. Having variations of well performing banners at your hands, ready to replace the old ones anytime you need that … this can be your competitive advantage and your ticket to Profitopolis!

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Damn Fallback redirects can get you banned from traffic sources, fight them!

There are many things in affiliate marketing that are getting on my nerves, the so called FALLBACK redirects are one of them. The sad fact is, pretty much all affiliate networks keep on using them, even thou they can get us (affiliates) banned from traffic sources and they (affiliate networks) know this very well.

I keep seeing this topic pop up on the STM Forum all the time over and over again : new affiliates are wondering, why they can’t see the offers they promote, when clicking on the link themselves. Or why they got a campaign rejected by a traffic source, even thou they picked a totally white-hat offer that’s not breaking any rules.

I’ll tell you why, it’s the fucking fallback redirects that’s causing this. You don’t have to ask for them to be activated, they are ON by default … in order to make you more money as the networks claim, when in reality the extra revenue is pretty much non existent in

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Buying traffic? You definitely need a set of proven banners, landing pages and traffic sources.

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest moving and ever changing businesses that you can get into. What works today, might be dead by tomorrow. An offer that you were killing it with just last week, could be paused today. Your well oiled campaigns can die anytime, from a number of reasons …

So how does one fight this? What can you do, in order to be able to restart as fast as possible, in case something goes south? I’m using a simple trick for a long time already, it’s all about one thing : You need a set of BENCHMARK creatives along with a pre-tested traffic source(s) that you know EVERYTHING about!

Note: in case you are new here, you might want to read my definitions of affiliate marketing terms and abbreviations!

SOME THEORY FIRST.

When starting a new campaign from scratch, you always need to go through certain routine.

Pick some offers, prepare banners, prepare Landing Pages, pick a traffic source and launch … wait for data,

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