The surest way to learn is to learn through errors, but the safest way to learn is through someone else’s errors, not yours. So, if you want to avoid common mistakes that can ruin your entire campaign, we are right here to share some insights.
The Follow Along Contest became a source of inspiration and incredible solutions our smart affiliates used to make. However, success is not the only source of knowledge and paying attention to potential mistakes is even more important. We decided to gather and discuss the problems and failures, as well, so that you will keep them in mind and avoid them.
Oops #1: You forgot to check everything BEFORE the launch
Yes, yes, usually you realize such things retrospectively and feel really sad about potential income you didn’t receive.
One of our participants, Nick, learned that checking every single detail of your campaign is crucial. He forgot two things: to add the offer link to his email CTA and to make sure that the AI code works properly. The first mistake was revealed fast and he fixed it the first day with only $200 spent (still, it’s a pity). He lost some potential conversions, which was pretty frustrating.
As for the script, our affiliate relied on the AI code suggestion from GitHub Copilot without checking it properly. So, after the first revision, his CTA button was fixed and worked the way it should, but the data was inaccurate and users actions were labeled wrong, which caused issues with campaign analysis. Luckily, this mistake didn’t cost money, but still it was impossible to optimize campaigns without accurate stats.
Solution: Obvious, but still! Make sure you check everything before the launch: targeting, links, settings, the way your offer works, etc. Devote your time to a final check and avoid frustrating consequences – that’s much easier than fixing things later.
Oops #2: You don’t know your main aim
It’s important to know where you are sailing before you sit in the boat. The same is true for your campaigns – make sure to decide the main priority before you start. Your aims shape the most optimal strategies to follow.
For example, do you prioritize main offer conversions, or do you want to get extra profit from ProPush in the first place?
If your offer flow is not focused strictly on conversions, you may think about extra monetization and set everything with this aim in mind.
Say, one of our Contest participants Michael was a bit confused about the main priority to choose, which is why he didn’t have a clue about settings, targeting, and retargeting. In his case, if conversions were not a priority, he could gather extra profit from ProPush Tag or even just set the BackButton monetization – this would bring a super-easy lazy profit with no rush.
Solution: Make sure to review the offer carefully and decide on your strategy before you start a campaign. This will free you from superfluous movements and confusion on what to do next.
Oops #3: Google flags your landing page as dangerous and you panic
And yes, this is also something you find out after the campaign is already launched and a couple of days have already passed, just like one of our participants Mysiddharth. His landing was labeled by Google as a deceptive site, and even though his offer was still converting, there were two obvious problems:
- He didn’t know how much of the traffic actually saw his landing;
- Most likely, a lot of users skipped entering the landing after seeing such a message from Google.
The actual mistake of our affiliate was creating about 10 new domains instead of fixing the initial one. Unfortunately, these actions started a chain reaction, and Mysiddharth couldn’t figure out the exact reason for flagging in the end – he was literally drowning in landings and data. So he had to get a new tracker and get rid of all the domains.
All in all, after our affiliate changed the landing page to a more decent one, the issue was solved. Still, the situation cost time, nerves, and potential visits.
Solution: Affiliates face the issue of domain flagging pretty often. Sometimes, the reason is the domain itself (for instance, Mysiddharth had an .xyz domain instead of .com). Sometimes, the problem is the content itself – banners, text, etc. All in all, before you take chaotic actions and get more and more domains, make sure to understand the exact reason for being flagged. This will stop the vicious circle and prevent you from making the same mistake again, thus – getting your next domains flagged, as well.
Oops # 4: Your stats in different platforms don’t match
Another common problem of affiliate marketers is discrepancy. Namely, when your stats from two different platforms are different, say, your tracker and the SSP (self-serve platform) show results that just don’t match. The potential mistake here is that affiliates start thinking they’re getting bot traffic or being tricked, which is not always the case.
The contest participant Velvet faced exactly this issue and got confused. His stats in PropellerAds, Bemob, and Zeydoo were different, so he decided to stop the campaigns. He said,
“Bemob registered a lot of Wi-Fi visitors, but PropellerAds charged me only for the proper carrier visitors. I can see 7 times more visitors and cost in Bemob than in PropellerAds. It’s really annoying, and the statistical data is false.”
Instead of stopping campaigns, our affiliate should have tried to change the settings a bit. For instance, PropellerAds has reporting tools specifically for carriers, which might help in a situation like that.
Solution: Don’t hurry to stop your campaigns immediately if you notice discrepancy. Actually, it’s a common problem for affiliates, and it can be solved without radical moves. Sometimes, it is enough to adjust your tracker settings. Also, Propeller has a native tracker, which simplifies the things of data retrieval, and you can rely on it to avoid too many parties in the tracking process. Fewer parties – fewer uncertainties.
Oops #5: You ignore testing pre-lander VS direct linking
Split-testing is something you cannot underestimate in affiliate marketing. As an example of this common mistake, we have another small case to highlight – this is PaulDawi’s campaign that actually needed careful testing to make conclusions.
He created a campaign with a direct link – no pre-landers were used. Unfortunately, his campaign didn’t roll too much, and we suggest that the absence of careful testing might be the reason.
As one of the forum users, Hadomi, said, pre-landers can make a great difference, which means that you should test them.
What is more, you have to test various versions of the same pre-lander to see which one will bring desired results. Indeed, he is right when he says that even a micro-change can turn a red campaign into a green one.
From his own experience, he had two same-like pre-landers with different headlines, while the rest of the page elements were identical. One pre-lander brought zero conversions, and the other made +30% ROI.
Solution: Indeed, there are offers that convert perfectly without any pre-landers and there are smartlinks. However, in most cases, you have no idea which strategy will work in a particular case. So you should split-test first! Don’t ignore the potential of split-testing because sometimes the performance difference might be as large as a Great Canyon.
So, let’s sum up! According to the real experience of our affiliates, their most common mistakes were:
- No final check before the launch – make sure you check the links, targeting settings, offer requirements, and everything else before you start;
- Uncertain aim – decide your priority and then begin arranging your campaign to make it consistent and increase the chances for better results;
- Domain problems and your chaotic actions – don’t worry if Google labels your website as dangerous and try to find the reason instead of creating 15 more domains;
- You face discrepancy and stop the campaign – discrepancy is also a super-common problem, so instead of stopping a potentially profitable campaign, try to adjust the tracker settings or, even better – use the in-built tracker to minimize the number of parties and data distortion;
- You don’t test your pre-landers and pre-lander VS direct link – testing is everything! Make sure you perform a couple of split tests and see if you need a pre-lander and which pre-lander works best for you.
Let these tips and solutions help you avoid affiliate marketing mistakes and get more money. As always, good with your campaigns!
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