Welcome to part #2 of my Affiliate Networks series. The first one was a rather general Interview, but based on the feedback I got from you guys, it was received pretty well.
Today, I decided to take it one step further and include more specific tips and actionable advice on a specific Vertical, to make it more interesting and worthwhile for you guys. That’s why I reached out to a more Niche/Vertical focused network called Adcombo.Com. These guys put a lot of focus on one vertical : NUTRA offers. They are also active in Bizzop, Sweepstakes and Pin Submits, but I picked them for their Nutra dedication, so that’s will be the focus of this article.
Nutra has been killing it lately, I know several affiliates who are making $X.XXX per day profits by pushing Nutra offers. It may not be the easiest vertical of them all, but those who have what it takes to master it, can reach awesome numbers.
There was one thing that was holding many affiliates back from trying it : small selection of GEOs that there were offers available for. The main reason was the Credit Card payment model, that works well in the western world, but not so much anywhere else.
But this has changed lately, thanks to the COD (Cash On Delivery) payment method that is extremely popular across the globe right now. I mean, COD was around for like forever, but from some reason, affiliate networks started to use it heavily just lately. Due to this, I’ve seen NUTRA offers popping up left and right, for GEOs that were previously unusable : think of Eastern Europe, Latam or even Asia with huge markets like India.
This opens a huge opportunity for anyone who’s willing to work with these GEOs!
This was also the reason why I picked Adcombo.Com as a consultant for this article – I’m pretty sure they have the biggest selection of offers in these emerging GEOs.
Meet Holly Naz from Adcombo.Com 🙂
As I mentioned already, I invited an affiliate expert and manager from Adcombo to help me with this topic.
Her name is Holly Naz and she will be answering some of my questions – I will always quote her answers, so they are easy to identify in the text.
NUTRA VERTICAL? WHAT IS IT ACTUALLY?
Before we can move on with the topic and get to the more specific things, we need to define what Nutra means actually, I know many of you do know … but let’s make sure we are all on the same ship.
NUTRA is an abbreviation from Nutraceutical or Nutritional Supplements.
Here is a nice definition for you : “Nutraceuticals is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.” Source : http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Nutraceuticals.aspx
Simply put, Nutra products are all those vitamins, diet pills, skin care pills, testosterone boosters … the stuff you see sold all over the Internet, on TV or even in Pharmacies. Want to look like a CELEBRITY? You gotta take these supplements, right? 🙂
The current trend requires these products to be Organic, Bio, Natural Ingredients only … so even if their effects can be questionable at times, they can’t pose any harm too.
Holly Naz from Adcombo.Com confirms this : “Products with 100% natural ingredients are extremely popular today. We focus on these Nutra offers, because they are all natural products, and consumers buy them with more “desire”. A healthy lifestyle is a huge trend nowadays. That’s why we tried to catch this trend and the general direction of our development is now mostly associated with this vertical.”
We can define a couple of basic niches within the Nutra Vertical :
– Skin Care / Beauty
– Weightloss – Diet
– Vitamins / Healthy Lifestyle
– Performance Boosters / Muscle
– Testosterone Boosters / Penile Fitness
– Male enhancement supplements / Enlargement
– Brain support / Memory enhancement
Whatever niche you choose to promote, there is always some TOP ingredient dominating the market at any moment, that you will see products popping up for left and right – Nutra producers adapt really quickly 🙂 For example the Goji Berry or Acai Berry were both huge and I’m sure you’ve heard both names already. Whenever some ingredient becomes so popular as these two, it’s good to jump on the trend and ride the wave until it’s hot.
There are also seasonal Nutra products that work better during certain periods of the year and it’s always worth it to focus your efforts on them, when the time is right.
Holly, do you see this seasonal behavior in your network too, is there some product that it would make sense to start with RIGHT NOW?
Holly Naz : “Indeed, the seasonal effect is big. We have several products like that, but if I have to pick one and recommend it : I would pick our exclusive offer “Eco Slim”. Soon enough, we will have the summer season and weight loss products sales always increase massively during this period.
It is made of natural ingredients which gives it the much needed health safety and high customer trust rate. Target audience of this product is quite wide: men and women, age – 21-50 years old. We cover 5 geos with low competition with this product: Spain, France, Romania, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria. Payout is quite high too: 14$ – 21$ per lead. Approve rate is up to 69%.”
WHAT IS THE CASH-ON-DELIVERY METHOD AGAIN, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR US?
I explained the basic principle of the COD MODEL already, but let me ask Holly about it once more, I’m sure she can give us a better understanding of the process.
Holly, large part of your offers are COD – Cash On Delivery. Can you explain the readers what this means for them? Please provide some details about the Pros and Cons of this payment method. Also mention the specifics like “confirmation/approval rates, time needed from order to delivery, cancel rates, how the orders are verified …”. Tell us why it’s a good idea to work with these type of offers instead of standard Credit Card payment offers.
Holly Naz: “Sure, this is a very simple model for traffic monetization. This is how it works in more detail :
1. We have very easy-to-use landing pages in our network, there are only 2 fields for the customer to fill out basically. When a customer visits our page he/she needs to fill in only the name and telephone number. He/she don’t need to make a payment online or fill in any credit card details.
2. Advertiser call-center makes a call to the customer, using the provided number. Usually, the call is made within an hour, or even faster.
3. If the customer confirms the order that he/she made, we accept this order and approve the lead. Our affiliates get paid for this lead after the call confirmation. In case of wrong or incorrect telephone number (impossible to make the call), or when affiliates send bad quality traffic (bots, for example) we can decline this lead and won’t pay for it.
The % of confirmed orders defines the approval rate and we can provide this to affiliates on request. Standard approval rates range from 60% in Vietnam up to about 70% in Germany, for example.
The advantages of this model for the affiliates are:
– Publishers/Affiliates don’t need to wait until delivery is made and get money fast for confirmed leads.
– Owing to the first point, it’s still quite easy to optimize these campaigns – the leads are confirmed quickly. This also means faster turnover, – the better cash-flow.
– Main advantage is the range of GEOs where the COD model is popular.
Disadvantages for publishers:
– In some cases. approval rate can be a bit lower vs online CC payment, because customer can change their mind until a call-center makes the confirmation call. This can influence impulse buyers.
WHAT GEO’S SHOULD WE FOCUS ON, DOES IT MATTER AT ALL?
There is one thing I usually recommend to affiliates, who are starting out in AM or switching verticals : “Start with GEOs that are not the most competitive!” Asia, Latam, Eastern Europe … these GEO’s are still booming in terms of Ecommerce or Online Advertising in general. I’d say many of these countries are yet to experience their Online Goldrush Eras 🙂
So Holly, let me ask you the following: A quick look at the offers, that you guys have available at Adcombo.Com, reveals that you put a HEAVY focus on these GEOs. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen any other network with so many NUTRA offers in Asian and Eastern Europe GEOs. Why do you focus so much on these markets? Was this the initial plan or you just spotted the opportunity and decided to ride the wave? And would you agree that it’s a better idea to focus on these GEOs initially, instead of trying to make it USA or UK straight away?
Holly Naz : “About these GEOs – you are right, we chose them because there is lower competition. For beginners, this is still a solid advantage. Anybody who has not so big amount of money for his start may try these GEOs and make a profit. The traffic is simply cheaper there. For experienced marketers, it’s even better, these GEOs are very easy to make money, if you know what you are doing.
Newbies trying to compete in geo as US or UK probably won’t win the fight for the spots. Traffic in these regions is quite expensive and competition is high either. But this is not just NUTRA, it’s in any established vertical, as you know.
The situation in Asia, LATAM and Eastern Europe is very different. Traffic there is two, three and sometimes even 10 times cheaper than in Western Europe and US regions. Also, you can see that the economical growth in these GEOs has been pretty good lately.
For example, countries as Indonesia, Brazil, India have positive prognosis of economic development and are predicted to keep their presence in the top ten until 2030. The purchasing power of these GEOs is really high. So, we didn’t choose these GEOs just by chance, this is our strategic decision. We are leaders in many of these GEOs and have exclusive offers available there.
Ok, no surprise here, NUTRA is just another vertical where the general AM principles for newbies apply once again. Focus on emerging markets, pick lower paying offers (though it’s pretty hard in this case) and stay focused on a limited amount of GEOs and offers.
WHERE TO GET TRAFFIC FOR THESE NUTRA OFFERS ?
It’s a known fact that there are 2 traffic sources that work best with Nutra offers : Facebook and Google Adwords. It’s also a known fact, that NUTRA works the best with AGGRESSIVE Landing Pages full of BOLD claims, Celebrity pictures, All kinds of guarantees and promises … which is not exactly a whitehat method of promotion and obviously, both FB and Google do NOT want this and ban such campaigns.
You guys know, that I’m not a fan of cloaking, but we all heard the claims that you simply have to cloak Facebook in order to run profitable NUTRA campaigns over there. So let me ask Holly about their experience with this problem over at Adcombo.Com.
Holly, you must know a lot about the promo methods your affiliates are using. So tell me, is it possible to become profitable in the NUTRA vertical and use whitehat promotional methods only? Is it possible to push NUTRA on Facebook without cloaking or are those days gone?
Holly Naz: Yes, Facebook traffic is almost perfect for sales, but it has one of the strictest regulations. But Facebook is not the only traffic source that works with Nutra offers, you can also get traffic from Native networks like Taboola, Outbrain … We see many of our affiliates having good results with Instagram traffic, so that’s not to be missed too.
We have ready-to-work white-hat landing pages in our network. Of course, they have lower conversion rates than LPs with celebs, for example, but it works too. Especially, if you have enough budget for your campaign.
But it is not a secret that a lot of people use different tricks to use more aggressive creative materials when they work with Facebook ads and cloak it. You can find tips on how to do this in the Internet. This variant of working with Facebook is more profitable for sure but also RISKY. Publishers who choose this way should be ready to get banned on a regular basis.
Holly, you mentioned LPs that you have pre-made in your network, can you tell me more about this? Maybe some numbers, how often you add new ones. Whether they are good enough to get profit with by direct linking to them. Are all your LPs Facebook compliant, or part of them or none?
Holly Naz: We have about 2-4 landing pages per offer. We refresh it based on the general stats of offer conversion rate. When we understand that a LP needs improvement because conversion rate become much lower than it was, our designers create a new one.
As for Facebook compliance : We have some adult offers which can’t be promoted on Facebook, so these LP are not suitable. But for nutra offers which can be promoted on Facebook we have also white hat LP. To put it simple, we have some landing pages for everyone.
We understand that Landing Pages improve the conversion rates, so we want to make it easier for our affiliates. But it’s always better to check with your traffic sources, to see if the Landing Pages you want to use are acceptable.
OK, LET’S SUM IT UP A BIT NOW.
For those who didn’t make it through the whole article, and also for the rest of use, let me summarize what we went over with Holly so far.
1. Like with any other vertical, Nutra is easier to start with in less competitive GEOs, for example, in Eastern Europe or Asia. Adcombo.Com is kinda focused on these GEOs, so they are certainly a good network to start testing with. I didn’t hear anything negative about them so far, so I’d say it’s safe to work with these guys.
2. I personally like 2 things about Adcombo the most : the COD model that works with Call Center verification and the availability of their in-house Landing Pages. The payment model allows them to target way more GEOs than they could with Credit Card payments and the Call verification dramatically improves the approval time.
The in-house LPs that you can simply direct link to, are an extra bonus for people who are just starting with Nutra, since they don’t have to wrap their brains around LP creation. Simply use the ones they have, get benchmark data and then try to improve them on your own. This can speed up the campaign creation time a lot.
Obviously, custom LPs should yield better results, due to lower level of saturation. But using one of their proven LPs is certainly better than shooting blindly and trying to come up with your own LPs straight away.
3. Facebook, Google Adwords, Native ad networks and Instagram are the best traffic sources for Nutra offers. You can use them either in a black or white hat way. According to Holly, white-hat can work just fine in the less competitive GEOs, which is good.
Anyone who is thinking about cloaking should keep one thing in mind : cloakers are expensive tools and there is quite a lot of extra expenses associated with these methods. So even though the conversion rates are usually higher, it doesn’t necessarily mean higher profits too. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what path you are gonna take 🙂
A SMALL BONUS AT THE END 🙂
Holly, when starting this series of articles, I promised to ask for a small bonus from every network that I write about. Affiliates usually want fast approvals and access to offers, can you please guarantee this for my readers? 🙂
Holly Naz : Sure, be my guest. We know that your readers understand the principles of AM very well, so we will be happy to work with them. Whoever mentions your nick (Matuloo), url of your blog and this article … will get prompt approval into Adcombo.Com.
That’s it for today, hope you liked what me and Holly have put together for you. In case you have more questions about Nutra and how to work with the vertical, I would suggest to signup with Adcombo and chat with one of their managers … they seem to be a helpful bunch of people 🙂
Oh, and a little bit of eye candy at the end 🙂 Adcombo has a Ferrari contest running right now, and they made a rather teasing video to promote it, check it out :
Thanks for reading!
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I have followed your blog for some time and found this to be one of the most worthwhile blogs in the industry. Articles are always rich in information and are very valuable. Please continue on the path you have chosen and continue to contribute to community the great things.
Wish you and your family the most wonderful things!
Thanks for your kind words Emily! I’m really glad that you like the articles I’m writing 🙂 This kind of feedback makes me want to write more, thanks for that!