How To Get Those Low CPA Paying Offers To Convert

If you’re an affiliate marketer chances are you’ve promoted a low paying offer or two.  You know, the email/zip/short form submits that pay less than $2 for a successful action.  While most of the time these offers are geared towards lead generation, the advertisers on the back-end are passing visitors through a conversion funnel in order to cover the cost paid out to the affiliate and accomplish the overall goal of the offer – to make money.  Advertisers are able to pay affiliates a set amount per lead based on how aggressive the conversion funnel is and how well the traffic backs out overall.  Given many of these offers only pay a dollar or two (if you’re lucky) how can you get them to be profitable?

Far to often I see affiliates make the mistake of going right to the paid traffic sources with these offers and hoping for an instant miracle direct linking.  While I don’t want to say it’s impossible, it’s going to be difficult throwing traffic at the campaign and returning a profit.  If the traffic is un-targeted and doesn’t flow smoothly with the landing page you’ll likely be sending a lot of “junk” traffic that bounce off the landing page quickly and drives all of your performance metrics down.  Being an affiliate marketer is more than just direct-linking to a website and getting conversions.  Successful affiliates are actual marketers that utilize creativity to guide traffic through the conversion process and are able to successfully monetize leads.

If you engage in lead generation arbitrage you’re able to retain leads as an asset (ie: name, email, phone number, address, etc.) and are able to have some data that can be used for further monetization.  That’s good and all but if you’re not using your creativity to give visitors a good reason to enter through your path, you’re setting yourself up for failure especially if you’re buying traffic.  Mobile, search engine, social media, are just some places you can buy traffic but the clicks need to be cheap.  Even if your landing page has a very creative approach that engages visitors, it’s not going to work if the traffic is too expensive.  Don’t go for the traffic sources where you have to pay $1+ for a click.  Sure, buying traffic you have to bid high at the beginning to test creatives and see the ones that are going to yield you the highest click through rate, but it needs to be within reason.  For instance you wouldn’t want to pay $2 for a click if the offer(s) you’re trying to promote pay less than that for a successful conversion.

Another option to consider when looking for traffic is organically.  Use some of that same creativity that you used when developing your landing pages to look for sources of traffic.  Facebook groups, bulletin boards, blogs, YouTube, article directories, etc. are all areas you can link out to your offer and get traffic from.  DON’T be spammy though.  If you’re creative and actually add value then link out to your offer, you’re able to not only drive free traffic but send quality conversions.  You have to think outside of the box though and go the extra mile to get this traffic.  Just the other day Ruck and I were talking about how so many opportunities are missed on these gigantic Facebook fan pages.  Even some of the large brands could benefit from this traffic by engaging visitors with surveys to capture data and further monetize it with promotions.

Offers with low payouts can be very lucrative because of scalability (if the offer converts on the back-end more traffic that retains assets will only build business).  However to get them to convert you have to consider how you’re going to drive your traffic and engage visitors to turn them into conversions.  Before you enter into any of these campaigns consider your acquisition costs and make reasonable judgments with traffic.  Consider the source of traffic and run different scenarios in your head.  If you’re going to run with an ad network that has a minimum CPC (cost per click) then take that number and see if the percentages make sense – will $0.50 minimum bid work for an offer that pays $1.30 for an email submit if you have 35% of the visitors click through from your landing page?  Too many affiliates go into campaigns without a clean plan of action to traffic generation and understanding where exactly the return on investment lies.  Consider this advice and keep in mind some of the scenarios when building out your next campaign.


  1. says

    Would you ever consider taking a loss on the front end (paying more than what a conversion pays) if you're confident that you'll make it up on the backend between mailing lists and (micro) continuity programs? Maybe a better question would be — even with all of your experience, are you (ever) confident enough to take a loss up front with the intention of making it up later?

    I realize it's probably not ideal, but I'm curious nonetheless.

    If you guys are up for writing about it, I'd be interested in seeing some articles about driving traffic to these offers organically, especially Facebook groups/pages and YouTube.

  2. says

    a good place to buy media is a privately owned website network. you can take advantage of their naivety in calculating cpm costs. you should only approach people who have been using adsense and average less than $2.50 cpm, although most of them have 17k uv per month, 25k+ views per month and average less than $0.75 cpm because they suck at monetizing. now in terms of targeting, and therefore increasing your conversions, all you really need to know are the demographics of that website.
    My recent post 52

  3. says

    Good article, those are questions I get asked all the time as well and the same advice I give almost to a T. For advanced affiliates who want to monetize your OWN path theres silverpath and a couple others like it but keep in mind you are on a straight revshare so to speak on this and only ADVANCED marketers should even attempt it.

    Many affiliates also think all the email submits shave. The truth is in my opinion atleast that shaving is wrong, however what they are doing in reality is live real time quality control scrubbing. They look at everything from initial click, time on page, submit ratio (unique click to unique email), how far the users gets in the path (3 pages, 5 pages etc) and how many offers through the path the user actually filled out then the advertiser automatically adjusts the conversions for their level of profit based on how your traffic performs.

    Advertisers also that have a hard time inboxing on certain ISPs many times will not credit submits that come from these ISPs so testing a few advertisers and asking about this upfront is important.

    Mixing traffic sources and even creatives can be detrimental for this reason and it makes it near impossible to ever attempt to scale. Most affiliates/marketers do not realize this and some find it unfair but its either the advertiser does that (which is pretty fair in my opinion – "right-pricing" the traffic in real time) or they cut you off from it within 24-48hrs which makes the entire setup time and initial investment a loss. Get creative and go in with a plan like Ralph and Ryan have mentioned and know what you are getting into and you will have much better success!

    Bit long but hope this was informative

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