Marketing is THE crucial element for any affiliate business. Let’s face it, without marketing, we wouldn’t be able to make any money. (Simply, no one would ever come to our website just by entering our URL randomly in their browser’s address bar.)

That’s why all sorts of performance measurement models have sprouted up to “help” us in our everyday work. The unfortunate thing, however, is that not all of them are that important in the long run.


1. Not Defining Goals Correctly

Every marketing campaign should have a precise goal. Without it, you won’t be able to know whether the campaign is a success or not.

This does sound basic, but there really are too many people trying out, for example, AdWords without setting any sort of expectations. So they only end up with some data, some sales, some clicks, some click through rate, but no conclusions.

The main rule is this: If you don’t set specific goals, you have no way of doing any budget performance measures.

2. Viral Doesn’t Always Mean Money

If you’re working with some marketing agencies then they might try convincing you that “going viral” is all that matters in today’s marketing. Even though getting massively popular in a short period of time is always good for publicity, it doesn’t always translate into money.

Rather than focusing on the number of eyeballs looking at your site/offering, focus on conversion rates.

For example, if a million people saw your offer, but still only 10 took any real action then the campaign was still a failure.

3. Neglecting Customer’s Lifetime Value

Sometimes, depending on how you’ve constructed your marketing funnel, you can actually afford to spend a lot of money (marketing-wise) to acquire a customer because you know what their lifetime value is.

This, however, is often neglected during the initial analysis phase in various marketing campaigns. Those who realize this are often ready to pay even $5 on a single AdWords click without complaining that it’s expensive.

4. Not Knowing What Statistical Significance Is

Not all marketing tests are created equal. For example, even when doing simple split testing we can get easily tricked by seemingly interesting results.

For example, if test page #1 got 100 clicks and 3 conversions, and test page #2 got 98 clicks and 2 conversions, which is the better page? Are those results even significant and should be taken seriously?

Learning what statistical significance is can solve this problem right away.

5. Treating Every Website Equally

If you run more than one affiliate site then you’ll naturally compare their results against each other. The thing is, however, that if the sites are in different niches, there’s virtually no way of comparing them.

For instance, the fact that site #1 manages to reach 5% conversion rates, while the other makes only 0.5% doesn’t necessarily make site #2 a less successful project. In other words, scraping a seemingly poorly performing site isn’t always the right thing to do.

In the end, if you want to be successful, you have to invest in long-term performance tracking, instead of introducing “improvements” every week.

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