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Ask Propeller: The Traffic Doesn’t Convert. What Do I Do? [Checklist]


Your ad campaign didn’t take off, and conversion numbers are indistinguishable from zero. Although the situation sounds like a legit reason for panic, take a moment to reflect on what can be done better.

Think there’s nothing to improve? We had a lunch-long discussion with our Head of Sales, Irina Razvodova (thanks, Irina!), about the multiple reasons why traffic might not convert and the ways to fix these issues.

Here’s your checklist:

1. Your product / offer is too niche

Let’s say you are looking for new students to join your figure skating class. You launched a campaign; creatives seem great…but there are no leads. Why?

The problem is that your offer is very niche, and your potential audience is extremely narrow from the very beginning. Most likely your campaign is not only limited geographically, but the target audience is also age specific with narrow interest targeting: parents or kids in a particular location, fond of figure skating.

And now think about how many websites in your area can cater this audience? How big is their reach? No wonder the system has a hard time detecting those leads.

Solution? Try our 2-step retargeting strategy or test a more mainstream offer.

2. You are doing it wrong with ad formats

Really, we don’t mean to hurt your feelings or self-esteem, but you might be making mistakes with ad formats: wrong settings and wrong strategies.

Here’s an example. You are a super pro when it comes to banner ads. You’ve mastered the strategies, creatives – everything works smoothly till the very moment you decide to try something new.

Then you have this idea to test your signature banner ad strategy with Popunder campaign, and as a result, you get nothing, zero, nada. Why?

When working with banner ads, the user journey usually has two major stages:

  • Banner – only people who are genuinely interested in the offer will click.
  • Landing page – more targeted information for people who have clicked the banner.

What happens if you apply a similar approach to Popunder campaign where a user is taken straight to a landing page, omitting the banner step? In essence, you lose a “filter” (=banner) and show a landing page, tailored to provide additional information, to ALL users.

Obviously, if you consulted with one of our ad strategists before launching a campaign, you would be recommended adding pre-landers to your funnel, and the problem would be solved.

Solution? If you are unfamiliar with a certain instrument or ad format, make sure to consult your account manager or someone from support (it’s FREE).

Very often the problems occur when you don’t correctly align your business goals with the tools you use. Every case is unique, so you have to combine ad formats and fix settings correctly.

3. Your creatives are not optimized

Icons, banners, images, ad copy – there can be so many weak spots in your creatives.

To sum up all the things that can go wrong, here are the most common issues:

  • Your creative is not attractive enough or doesn’t resonate with your target audience.
  • The creative is “burnt-out” (probably you haven’t changed your creatives for a while).
  • The concept does not fit the format (for example, you use banner ad copy for Push Notifications, so the message is not concise and contains irrelevant or too many details).

Solution? Change your creatives regularly, check spy tools for inspiration and ask your account manager for advice.

4. Your bid is too low

While the intention to save some money is very understandable, you should know that the cheapest traffic might cause some, let’s say, issues:

  • You don’t get the “first” views so a user might have already seen this offer before (=CR drop).
  • The tests aren’t accurate if you are running test campaigns with the cheapest traffic.
  • You are constantly overbidded; your competitors get the best traffic.

Also, there’s a possibility that you are going for a wrong bidding model. Read more about bidding models here.

Solution? Always test offers and new campaigns with the best traffic and then scale with cheaper options. If you are not particularly sure about the rates or prefer a hands-off approach to testing – run auto-optimized campaigns (SmartCPA or SmartCPM).

By the way, you can also check available traffic volumes, maximum and optimal rates for specific targeting in our “Traffic Chart” tab.

5. Your offer is “burnt-out”

Even though we have a constant inflow of new users (about 20-30% “fresh” users monthly); nothing can help if your offer has been on the market for a few years already and almost every internet user has seen it at least once. Green coffee, anyone?

Another problem you can face – is getting “second-hand” offers. What’s that?

Let’s say an affiliate network “A” has an offer with a payout $10. Then network “B” takes this offer from network “A,” but obviously, the payout drops to $8. Then network “C” and “D” (or even more) join the fun. In the end, an affiliate can have a $1-2 payout, making it simply unprofitable to run this offer.

Solution? Simple – do your homework: check the forums, make sure the offer is fresh and search other affiliate networks for higher payouts. Read more: A Complete Guide to Finding High-Converting CPA Offers

6. Something is wrong with your tracking

No conversions coming your way? Check the tracking!

For example, you are actually receiving conversions, but there’s nothing in PropellerAds’s statistics. Probably, you have connected the tracking after the campaign was launched. Yet, our system considers that the campaign is not converting – stops it, trying to save your money.

Solution? Always check if the tracking works from both sides: PropellerAds’s stats and inside your tracker.

7. Lack of transparency from your side

We fully respect your desire to keep the data private, it’s especially important when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Yet overdoing and hiding important stats may hurt the final results: we won’t be able to help you and offer the best solution. If we can’t see what went wrong and thoroughly analyze the situation, we wouldn’t be able to fix it.

Solution? Discuss the data security policies with our team. After all, a dialog is always the best solution. We can provide a range of technical and legal solutions to secure your data.

As you can see, the reasons why traffic doesn’t convert can be varied. To determine what’s wrong in your exact case, it’s best to go over our checklist and exclude possible reasons one by one.

If that doesn’t help, you are always welcome to talk to our specialists. We have seen gazillion ad campaigns. Literally. And what you might think is a unique issue no one has ever seen before, can be a typical problem or mistake hundreds of affiliates and advertisers are facing – meaning, it’ll take us only a few minutes to fix.

What mistakes have you made and how did you fix them?


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