One of the biggest problems a small business or mid-sized affiliate is likely to have is a bottleneck in their ad buying abilities. Say for example that you have fine tuned your landing pages to a point – knowing exactly how well they will convert. You have tested them and retested them and can get a solid 40% conversion to your email list and 10% conversion from there to buyers.
So, your net conversion is 4% of total traffic and that tells you exactly how much money you can spend on traffic. The problem, of course, is that don’t necessarily have the money in your account to go out and get 100,000 clicks in the first month. You need to scale up to it – and preferably in a way that won’t put your funds at risk. Here are some tips to do just that for one or more sites in an ongoing media buy campaign.
Segmenting Your Buys
The first step is to segment the sites on which you purchase space. While you can measure and manage, tweak and adjust your landing pages to your heart’s content, the clicks generated by a banner ad will always be different depending on where they are being generated.
At the same time, most media buys are CPM – meaning you don’t control how many clicks you receive. Few websites will guarantee anything and some won’t even tell you the click averages. So you need to hedge your bets by segmenting. To do this, start with smaller buys on large sites. Get a smaller ad space on a site where you can scale up your ad over time. Find sites with at least 30,000 hits per month or more and choose an ad space on the sidebar or in context, but for less than $50 per month if possible (you can increase or decrease total hits if needed to reach this goal). It won’t be big and it won’t be pretty, but it will probably drive some traffic.
The goal is to make a profit. At the same time, by starting small you can purchase space on more than one site. Ideally you’re generating just enough traffic organically and through newsletters that you can afford to spend some money on ads each month. Aim to purchase at least 5 slots on different sites in this first month.
Measuring and Scaling
Because you’ve diversified the spend in month one, you can now look at the data and see where your “best clicks” came from. If one site is the clear and away favorite, consolidate your spend in month two to that one site. If two or three sites perform well, consolidate to those two or three sites.
When you do this, in month two your click through and profits will likely jump a LOT without any additional spend. But because of the increase you can now spend more in month three. If you keep split testing with a budget that is larger every month, you can have up to a million impressions on your ads by the end of the third or fourth month.
There’s no guarantee this will work for your site or your niche. You need a good offer. You need a good creative. You need good page views. It’s up to you to ensure these things, but if you are smart about how you spend your money early, the rest will come together relatively fast.