Often times scaling a campaign isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be. The first route is usually adding more traffic sources into the mix, or by duplicating your efforts over more campaigns, with different targeting, different angles, or by running your campaign over more than one traffic account on the same traffic-source.
What are the common roadblocks here?
Well, every source that say, may have the same format of ads (for example, native), won’t always perform as well as another source for a multitude of reasons, such as the available demographics, placements or overall traffic quality (some sources are really bad at vetting their publishers and are subject to a lot of fraud). It may just be that the source in question requires more testing of variations to your winning ads and landing pages in order to ‘crack’ that source. An example is landing page sizes on pop sources. Try tweaking the viewable size of the page and see how each variation performs on said traffic. It’s wise to find out what the pop dimensions are too, as many sources vary. If the source is break-even to slight loss, I’ll continue testing tweaks, so long as I don’t go into the red too far, until I’m in the land of the green, where the tree’s sway, the daffodils flourish, and I can frolic in the meadows of profitability.
Add More Countries?
Scaling into other geo’s (geographical regions) also tends to come with a new set of issues. A lot of people purporting scaling to other geo’s should be as easy as 1-2-3 are pulling your leg, I’m afraid. Some of the common problems I’ve faced are typically incorrect or poor translations (even from expensive translators on onehourtranslation.com), traffic sources that perform better than other’s with certain geo’s (for example, one source worked great for me in the US, but sucked royally in France and Japan).
Why would this be? Different publishers, different placements & different audience come to mind. To note, it’s also potentially easier for these publishers to utilise bot traffic to increase their RPMs.
I have a solution for traffic sources that would help filter out a lot of the bullshit – pretty surprised they don’t do it already (greedy bastards) – block colocation & hosting companies and only allow valid ISPs through. That’ll minimize the problem a bucket-load.
Death by CAP
Looking to scale infinitely? Yeah, calm down soldier. Caps are a ceiling, imposed by the advertiser on the network, of how many leads they are able to handle on a daily/monthly basis, and they can stifle your ability to scale a lot. I absolutely LOATHE caps. I always seem to get surprised by them whenever I start scaling up, depositing a lot of money into traffic sources etc… Complete nightmare. I’ll go from 50 to 100 sales a day, and no one bats an eye. I go from 100 to 250 sales a day and all of the sudden the alarm bells start ringing and a soft-cap which I never knew about is imposed on me, at 150 leads a day (for example), which, if you blow over, can cause the advertiser to hard-cap the network. The difference between a hard and soft cap, from my understanding, is in the case of a soft-cap, any minimal spill-over, will still get paid out, but in the case of a hard-cap, any accidental spill-over will be on the network or affiliate and they’ll eat a loss. Obviously it’s in the best interest of the network to avoid a hard-cap, as it ultimately means less revenue for the network. The advertiser will either stop firing conversion pixels after xx leads a day, or they will only pay what they set the maximum cap at, if the specified cap is reached and exceeded.
My only tips here is to have backups in place, if you can find any, that still convert (normally not as well) and can keep your campaigns above water. Else, just pause traffic and resume when the clock strikes 12 (check with your network which time-zone they abide by) or when the month restarts.
As a one man show, still, I only ever outsource bits and pieces when I need the extra grunt work, but don’t (at this current point in time) have any full-time employees. This creates a drastic issue, and that is, scaling over to 5 different sources, means 5 x the workload for optimizing, which can be a daily chore and take FOREVER. I had a situation last year, where I ran a campaign over 13-14 countries on 4-5 sources and had to optimize every 1-2 days to keep it profitable. Looking back, it would have been really convenient to have a full-time employee optimizing for me all day so I could focus on other, more important things, like finding more traffic sources.
Let’s have a conversation…
What are the main issues and roadblocks you run into when trying to scale your campaigns? Leave a comment below and if it’s something I’ve dealt with and found a way to handle it, I’ll try my best to provide some tips.
– Andrew, aka Andy D
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