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When to Pull the Plug

Sometimes, you just have to let a campaign go. Affiliate marketing can become a lot like gambling: You’re sure that one more change and one more day will make all the difference. Well, you’re wrong. Some campaigns will always be failures, and nothing more than a complete re-design will ever make them profitable again.

I decided to kill a campaign today. I was getting a lot of clicks off of the landing page, but only a handful converted (somewhere around 5%), and I think I know why: My landing page had to lead to their landing page (which then lead to their sales page). From now on, I’m only going to promote offers that allow direct linking to their order form. When 95% of the traffic you’re sending to them disappears, something is wrong. My guess is that they were too lazy or apathetic to click on the ‘order now!’ button that led them to the order form. Whatever the reason, that middle page ruined my conversion rate, so I dumped the campaign.

One thing though - Always try to get them to let you direct link to the landing page. I emailed the advertiser’s affiliate director and asked him if it would be possible for me to do so, and he said that it was ‘under development’. Ok, that’s fine. They won’t be getting any traffic from me until they’re done.

Another reason I dumped the campaign was that I was unhappy with the click through rate. My page’s CTR was dancing between 30% and 50% daily, and I found that unacceptable. If I ever start up the campaign again, I’m going to completely rewrite the content of the page, add some images, change the layout, and make up a few testimonies from people who were ‘incredibly satisfied with the product’. That last bit may be a little shady, but hey, if I wasn’t broke I’d buy the product too.

Operating at a loss is no fun.  If you don’t do something drastic, you’ll continue to lose money, so pull the plug before you get yourself into trouble.  Don’t let it get you down though:  Learn from your mistakes and find another campaign to run.  Eventually, you’ll get it right.

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