A couple posts back I wrote about scaling ppv campaigns. One of the ideas was to split test offer across different CPA networks. I wanted to expand on that idea and show an example from one of my campaigns where this made a huge difference.
Affiliates often get blindly loyal to one affiliate network, which can actually really put a damper on their progress. This is pretty normal for most affiliates but
Some of the reasons affiliates stick with one network
– You become friends with your AM and feel loyal to them.
– You go to a party thrown by them at ASW,or get taken out to dinner.
– You just run there because ‘everybody' says it's such a great network, or it's the one you hear about all the time.
Those aren't necessarily bad reasons, but business is business and ultimately it's not going to help you build your business if you don't try an offer at another network because you feel like you're cheating on your AM or something.
Why would an offer convert differently at another network?
I get asked this question a lot, and I can totally understand why. It doesn't seem like an offer should perform any different on another network. I mean, it's the same offer right? Here are a couple reasons that offers can convert better on one network vs. another.
1. Redirect speeds
Redirect speeds are basically how fast the traffic goes from your link, through the CPA networks tracking system to the offer. Redirect speed can be affected by things like hosting, type of tracking platform the network uses, etc.
2. Brokered networks
A ‘brokered' network is one that runs it's offers from another network. Network ‘A' might have a diet offer, and network ‘B' basically brokers that offer and it's publishers run it. If you think about that in terms of the redirect speeds, you can see a potential problem.
When you run an offer from a network that is brokered from another, it has to go through network A, to Network B then to the offer. This can really slow things down and cause the offer page to take longer to load. This is also an opportunity for cookies or tracking to drop off which can result in lower conversions.
Did you also know that there are brokered, brokered networks? These are networks that broker their offers from another network who is already brokering offers.
Ah, the dreaded scrubbing. I want to share something a little different than you may have heard about scrubbing though. What some affiliates don't realize is that the advertiser can scrub the CPA network. Why does this happen? Usually because the network is sending bad quality. Some advertisers have a formula for this like ‘if a CPA network has promoted for x number of days with a conversion rate below y, the scrub rate increases to z. The advertisers aren't necessarily out to screw anyone, sometimes they need to set a scrub rate to remain profitable.
So basically, if a CPA network is sending crap traffic to an offer, there is a chance they could be getting scrubbed. How do you know? Well, you don't really which is why I recommend split testing your offer across networks.
I'll share the results of a test I did recently
This was the exact same offer and offer page on 3 different networks. The traffic source, keywords/targets, etc. did not change during this test. This was set up in CPV Lab to rotate these 3 networks evenly.
Network A – Conversion rate 4.35
Network B – Conversion rate 6.49%
Network C – Conversion rate 3.70%
You can see the conversion rates varied a lot. I see this all the time when I split test offers like this. When I see something like this I'm pretty direct with the network I don't run it on, and tell them exactly why. No reason to hide, or feel guilty…this is just about the bottom line. Some really honest networks have even suggested I run an offer somewhere else if they know a similar offer is doing better.
Those are my ideas about why it's so important to split test networks. I'm curious to hear if you guys have seen similar, or if you haven't split tested this yet?