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14 Factors That Affect Affiliate Conversion Rate

what affects Conversion Rate

Don’t mean to discourage you, but facts are facts: there are dozens of things that can go wrong when you set up a campaign. That’s because there are many factors that have an impact on conversions.

Starting from the offer/vertical, creatives, multiple targeting combinations to sources of traffic — all this can either make your campaign a huge success or a total money waster.

In this post, I want to revise the most important of those factors and share tips on how you can incorporate them into your strategy.

Factor #1: Preparation and strategy

One of the key factors that impact the number of conversions is how well you prepare for the campaign. This includes how much you know about your offer, your target region, and your audience.

We always recommend studying the offer before buying out traffic. It works best if you know the product that is being advertised, the offer’s conversion type, and how to work with offers of this kind.

Also, the general recommendation is to start with broader targeting settings, narrowing it down based on the test results, rather than starting with narrow targeting right away. In this case, you might miss your “conversion window” and spend your money in vain.

Very often, affiliates get no conversions simply because they haven’t done their homework. Study your offer, study your traffic source, run tests and the results will come. Hard work always pays off.

How to Know When You’re Overdoing It with Narrow Targeting

Factor #2: Budget

This is definitely an important factor, as your budget defines what kind of offers you can work with. Based on this, the money you need for a start can differ drastically. 

For example, with a budget of $100, there’s no point in trying to work with crypto offers — your initial funding should be way above that number.

All in all, your experience with offers of a certain type plays a great role.

Anastasia Loseva, Head of Sales at Zeydoo

“If you’re new to this business and don’t plan to spend several hundreds of dollars on testing complicated offers with a high payout, start from something simpler, e.g. sweepstakes, push subscription, mobile content or dating offers.”

You can always follow the advice of our managers and the recommendations in your account.

Factor #3: Offer / vertical 

When choosing an offer, it’s better to think twice. Before starting a campaign, you need to assess your financial resources, traffic source potential, optimization skills, etc.

The best offer to start with is the one with a simple flow and conversion. This will help you grow your operational funds and kinda pump up your skills enough to work with more complicated offers and expensive conversions.

Affiliate Marketing 101: The Easiest Verticals to Start With

Factor #4: Conversion flow

There are many campaign settings that depend on the conversion flow — for instance, campaign budget, frequency, time targeting, etc.

The general rule is this: the simpler the conversion, the broader will be the campaign settings. Consequently, the more complicated the conversion, the more precise share of traffic you’ll need to find. That requires more money for testing and better optimization skills.

Simple conversions usually cost less, and complicated conversions are expensive, that is, more attractive to affiliates. However, such conversions also require more resources, so don’t rush into it, especially if you’re studying a new vertical or traffic source.

Factor #5: GEO and its GEOpolitical situation

The GEO and its geopolitical situation in the region are two very important factors. Sounds like a geography class, but trust me, it’s better if you know what you’re dealing with.

The better you know the country and its cultural specifics, the easier it will be for you to convert the users there.

Advertising Basics: What is a Tier of Traffic and What Tier Should You Choose?

If the GEO is new to you, read about it. It will help you choose the appropriate creatives if you know what are the country’s yays and nays. Also, you should know what language is spoken there, if there are any “dead hours” when nobody is using the internet, how to be politically correct, not speculate on religion, public mourning, etc. You can easily get a few “Abuse” warnings if the users find your ads insensitive.

Factor #6: Language

As I’ve mentioned before, language is an important factor closely associated with the GEO.

In PropellerAds, there is a special language targeting that allows you to target users speaking a certain language in a particular country. It will help you if you want to only focus on a certain share of users, say, only the French speakers of Canada.

propellerads - language targeting

This instrument is broadly used to get rid of the audiences that don’t perform that well and laser-targeting the ones that do.

Factor #7: Platform and OS

This targeting setting mainly depends on the offer, however, it’s necessary to mention that you need a different approach to work with each platform. Users behave differently on Desktop and Mobile, so the way you’re addressing them should be different as well.

propellerads - platform targeting

Also, users of iOS and Android devices most probably won’t act alike, just as users on Windows and macOS.

To get the most conversions out of your traffic, you need to study the behavior of users of each particular platform. To analyze their ability to pay, level of trust to offers of your kind, representation in a certain country, etc. you need to run tests and gather statistics.

Anastasia Loseva, Head of Sales at Zeydoo:

Less than 4% of the population in India use iOS devices. The other 96% use Android, yet, this 4% represent those who can actually afford an iPhone and belong to the richest people in the country. So, making a decision on the right target by the operating system, think about the user profile that you are actually trying to reach.

Factor #8: Browser

Even though this factor seems to belong to the previous group — together with platform and OS — I think that it can be a good tool for audience diversification.

In PropellerAds, we often see that offers don’t perform similarly with different browsers. For example, an offer can work well on Google Chrome but show no results on Firefox or Opera. So, targeting users by browser can help you exclude the underperforming traffic and spend your money more efficiently.

propellerads - browser targeting

You can consult the offer owner on what browsers it performs best, or run tests of your own and make conclusions based on your results.

Factor #9: Traffic source

When it comes to choosing the traffic source, look at it as choosing a life partner: it should be the one that you can trust.

The traffic market is full of bots and fraud, and it’s important to be sure that the quality of your traffic has been verified. Also, it’s crucial that you spot traffic like this right away and stop buying it as soon as possible.

Remember this: if something looks too good to be true in terms of statistics, it’s better to check twice in order not to lose the offer.

Factor #10: Ad format

The choice of the ad format definitely impacts the number of conversions that you get.

propellerads - ad formats

A mix of formats at the start is what helps you test the offer and find the best combination of targetings. It will allow you to get the most profit and keep the offer owner happy with the quality of their conversions.

Pay attention to any format recommendations specified in the offer and work with these formats first.

Formats & Verticals: Find Your Perfect Match

Factor #11: Creatives

Any affiliate will tell you that for offers that require creatives, that’s one of the most important factors of the campaign’s success.

All creatives including landing pages design and push notifications get old really fast, so you need to constantly come up with new stuff. Also, the spy tools aren’t actually making your life any easier as everything becomes as transparent as it gets. Once an affiliate comes up with an effective creative, it gets picked up and hijacked by others.

The golden standard of working with creatives is to have a steady flow of the new ones and optimize the ones that you already have. This way, your campaigns won’t get worked out on certain traffic and will keep on bringing you those sweet conversions.

Anastasia Loseva, Head of Sales at ZeyDoo: 

There is no single rule for how often to update your creatives. It depends on such factors as the ad format, traffic source, and the GEO in general. The trick is simple — the more approaches/angles you test, the less damage you face if one good-working funnel burns out or gets stolen. On the other hand, the wider you go with traffic volumes, the slower users get tired of your creatives compared to the narrow targeting where it happens much faster.

Factor #12: Frequency

Frequency is another factor that impacts how many conversions you will get at the end of the day.

Here, you need to decide on what your goals are. If you want to attract as many users as possible and increase brand awareness and visibility, you may consider not capping the frequency. And if you need to find a specific audience, then it might be a good idea to limit it and only get unique users. In this case, it should be set to 1 per a certain period of time.

How to Manage Your Ad Frequency and Ad Schedule?

Factor #13: Time target 

If important, this factor is usually mentioned in the offer. For example, it can say that the traffic is not accepted during certain hours on certain days.

However, it can also help you get the best-performing traffic after an initial test. For example, if you see that your audience is most active during certain hours, you can narrow down your time targeting window and remove the hours when it’s being bought for no good reason.

We recommend using this tool during optimization rather than anything else.

propellerads - day parting

Factor #14: Testing period duration

Testing period is crucial to understand your offer, traffic performance, and campaign optimization, which, in turn, is crucial for conversions.

Of course, it depends on the testing budget that you have at hand. But we recommend taking 3-4 days for testing to collect the data. Otherwise, it might be misleading or not representative enough.

Is there something else? 

No, that’s it!

Congrats on your perseverance! You’ve reached the end of my wordy post. Have you found what you were looking for?

If your previous experience is screaming right now that there are more factors that matter for your campaigns’ success, please, speak up in the comments down below. I’d be happy to hear from you as much as update the post with new ideas. 

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