Testing is a cornerstone of running a successful affiliate marketing campaigns because it helps you determine what works and what doesn’t. Through testing affiliates can isolate specific components of a campaign and assess both their specific and overall effectiveness, and then make strategic decisions based on what they learn. By using the data gleaned from a test run, an affiliate can improve things such as budget efficiency, campaign ROI, as well as increase baseline revenue and set themselves up for long term success.
Elements You Should Test
There are two main campaign elements that need to be tested:
- Ad Copy – This includes headlines, body copy and calls-to-action in your banner ads, PPC ads, landing pages and website pages.
- Graphic Design – Testing colour schemes, page layout, photography versus illustration, hero-shots, logo treatments, call-to-action format, placement, type faces will all give affiliates the ability to create and deploy highly effective ads and landing pages that are optimized for conversions.
How to Track and Measure Results
- Set Baseline Metrics – Before starting a campaign, set baseline metrics to measure results against. These metrics should include:
- Traffic volume
- Conversion rate
- Start with Standard A/B Testing – Once campaign targets have been identified, run the first iteration of whatever campaign element is being tested (for example landing page body copy, version A vs. version B).
- Establish a Testing Period – Try to give results a minimum of 1 week to accrue, and ideally 2 weeks to a month to play out for more substantial data yields. Due to the ease of forgetting the specific details, it helps to jot down the required changes on a piece of paper so they can be referenced when it’s time to implement them. Then, when the allotted test period has run its course, take the performance results from each version and compare it to the targets established at the outset. The version that measures up best against those targets will be the one to keep.
Implement One Change at a Time
- Aim for a Quick Turnaround – Changes to campaigns should be made quickly after performance results have been recorded. Whether it’s using a bolder call-to-action button, simplifying the headline on a landing page, or swapping out a colour scheme. The faster an affiliate can implement proven modifications, the better.
- It’s an Ongoing Process – Keep in mind, testing is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end when one version outperforms another. There’s always the next test to run––for example pitting that winning banner ad against a second B version banner to see how the A version can be improved even further.
Affiliates can also run inter-offer testing to see which are most profitable at the campaign level. Remember that the goal of testing is to continually hone performance results and increase profits over time.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize – Never get discouraged. Testing requires patience, attention to detail, and commitment in order to maximize sales.