Testing a Hands-Free Campaign Launch

For new online marketers, massive campaign failure is very common for one simple reason: They’re touching it too much.

In my marketing forum, MadSociety.net we have members ranging from veteran super affiliates to newbies who are curious and ready to learn.

Right now I am doing some free personal coaching for many of our newbies. So I talk to a lot of people. Their common thread?

They’re stressed out.

The Stress

They tell me how they’re frantically dropping bids, pausing widgets, staying up all night, removing placements and changing daily budgets.

They’re confused because in their minds, they’re doing all the work but not getting any results.

Here is the advice I’ve given the most: Tomorrow, when you’re ready to relaunch your campaign, press GO and then go outside for an hour.

Some refuse, because it seems too dangerous.
Others do it.

Many of those who refuse, die a slow death and eventually give up.
Many of those who do it see almost immediate improvements.

A recent post by a Madsociety member

So why does this work?

Because they’re letting the machines do the work.

The Game

If you’re like most new people in this industry you may think that the game we’re playing is extremely technical and scientific.

While parts of the game (research, spying, launching, bidding, etc) can be very technical and scientific, the launch process is not.

Launching a campaign is like sacrificing an animal to the Gods. You place the animal on a rock, set it on fire and then step back and let the Gods take it.

Think about it like this…

The Machine’s Job

The ad network and it’s algorithm are “The Machine”.

The machine looks at your bids and budget and makes a decision on where to place your ads.

Normally the machine will give you top spots to give your ads a quick test.

After the initial rush of traffic, the Machine looks at the results and decides where to place your ads for the long term.

  • If your bid and ad ctr meet their criteria for making them money, they will place your ads on the top spots and you’ll immediately start getting traffic.
  • If your bid and ad ctr do not meet their criteria for making them money, they will put you on the lower spots, and traffic will trickle in.

^^ This is the Machine’s job.

Your Job

Your job is to leave the Machine alone and allow it to do it’s job.

If you allow it to do it’s job it will do it’s job perfectly.

So let’s look at what happens when you don’t do your job.

You launch the campaign and the Machine is humming along perfectly doing it’s job. It places your ads high at first to test how they’ll perform.

You’re getting traffic and things are humming along smoothly.

You see that you’re losing 10%, and you panic and drop your bid.

Here’s a mental image of what happens:

  1. You change things.
  2. The machine is confused.
  3. The machine stops.
  4. The machine has to start all over again.
  5. The machine looks at your new, lower bids
  6. The machine places you on the cheapest (i.e. worst) placements they have.

Now, you’re losing 60%, so you panic and put your bid back where it was before.

The Machine decides you’re a jerk.
The Machine puts your ads in the gutter.

Your campaign is dead.

Sound familiar?

Dopamine Soldiers

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

The adrenaline and dopamine rush that comes with new and exciting campaigns can make us a little irrational.

Pushing buttons and refreshing stats is fun, right?

But if you can pull yourself off of that merry-go-round and Let The Machines Do The Work, you can refresh your bank account and watch those numbers go up instead.

Because in the end, isn’t the bank account the only metric that really matters? (yes)

If you’re like me, and refreshing stats is your heroin, I have a bit of advice for you that might help.

I want you to practice running a Hands-Free Campaign Launch.

How to Practice A Hands Free Campaign Launch

The next time you launch a new campaign try this.

  1. Spy/Launch campaign. See what other people are doing out there, take notes and launch the same stuff.
  2. Set daily budget you are willing to lose. Day one of campaign will rarely make a profit. Set your daily budget that you can withstand losing.
  3. Launch campaign. Set things up on the ad network and get the ads in the approval process.
  4. Verify links working. Click one of your ads and go through the entire funnel. Make sure customers can get from the ad > to your landing page > to the product your promoting.
  5. Walk away for an hour (or until budget is spent). Have fun, feel the breeze and eat an ice cream cone.
  6. Come back and look at the data pile. When you get home, the data will be there waiting for you.
  7. Wait until you have a significant amount of data. Don’t make any adjustments until the data is significant. A rule I use is to not pause an ad or placement if 1-2 conversions could change the results. Let it go a bit longer.
  8. Review/Optimize. When the data has piled up enough, you’ll start to see patterns. Pause what’s not working and keep what is working.
  9. Repeat from Step 2. Go back to Step 2 and run through the process again.

Doing it this way will Let The Machines Do Their Job and give you a good shot at a winning campaign.

F5 Addiction

But what if you’re a true Dopamine addict and can’t leave things alone?

No problem.

Just stick to playing with everything but the ad network.

  • Setup landing page split tests
  • Refresh Voluum stats
  • Try secondary offers
  • Setup a retargeting pixel
  • Refresh affiliate network stats

If you stick to playing with these kinds of things, you can have a little fun and excitement without breaking anything.

But the best advice is to go outside and enjoy the day.

Caveats

This Hands-Free Campaign Launch can work very well. But there are a few things to prepare for to limit mistakes that could cost you cash while you’re gone.

  • Make 100% sure all of your links are working. This is a basic rule that a lot of people miss. Before you go live, click one of the ads in the traffic source and click all the way through your funnel. Make sure everything works.
  • Make 100% sure your bids are where you want them to be. Many traffic sources will not warn you if you accidentally set your bid to $30.00 instead of .30 cents. Make sure your bid is right. Double check.
  • Make 100% sure clicks are coming to your tracking system. I like to see a few clicks come in before I leave it. Not totally necessary, just an extra layer of protection from mistakes.
  • Make sure the traffic source isn’t going to insanely overspend. Some traffic sources will overspend your budget. For example, on Revcontent, if you make a new Blacklist campaign with a $100/day budget, high bids and a lot of topics, they will blast you with a $150 – $300 mix of real and bot traffic. So if you’re budget is tight and the ad network is known to overspend, you may want to keep an eye on it. (pause when it hits $50 or so)
  • Some traffic sources don’t mind you changing things. There is never a rule that applies to all traffic sources. In fact, some ad networks allow you to keep your bids high at first, then drop them and get a swarm of good traffic. Best way to check your traffic source is to test two campaigns. Leave one alone and tweak the other to your heart’s content. Then let the net profit decide.

That’s It

If you’re not finding success in affiliate marketing yet, try a Hand-Free Campaign Launch.

  1. Do your research.
  2. Decide an amount you’re willing to spend per day.
  3. Launch the campaign (and verify it’s all working)
  4. Then go out for an hour.
  5. Come back and review the data pile.
  6. Optimize
  7. Repeat

While you’re out on your walk, feel good knowing the money you’re spending is buying you a goldmine of data. It’s piling up in the background and will be ready for you when you get home.

This hands-free approach is helping the members of MadSociety.net make progress. And I hope it can do the same for you.

All you have to do is remember.

The next time you launch a campaign, press Go…

And then enjoy your free time.