Offer Selection: 3 Rules You Better Obey

If there is a secret sauce to the online ad game, it’s offer selection. So today, let’s go over it and I’ll explain why.

Let’s say you’re ready to launch an affiliate marketing campaign but you’re not sure what to focus on first.

You could focus on one of a hundred things. You could focus on landing pages, scripts, pop up boxes, writing copy, angles, images, learning php, etc. etc.

But which of these should you start with?

None of them.

Your first area of focus should be – offer selection.

Because if you get that wrong, nothing else can save you.

My Offer Selection Story/Failure

You may not know this, but between 2000 – 2007 I dabbled in affiliate marketing with almost zero success.

After years of trying things I finally found a free 30-day course that taught the basics of SEO AKA “Article Marketing”, AKA “Bum Marketing”, AKA search engine spam. (the course no longer exists, so don’t ask).

The course showed me how to blast out hundreds of articles and get picked up by search engines.

After months of testing 20–30 different products I finally started making some sales.

  • In the beginning it was one $30 sale every few days
  • Then I got it to $30 a day
  • At it’s height, it was making about $3000 a month.

I spent six years working online and ended up with a $3000/month campaign.

Looking back at it now, those were lost years.

The Lost Years

During those “lost years” I was working alone, blindly trying things out and failing over and over.

And this wasn’t the “important failure” that you hear marketing gurus blabbering about. These failures led nowhere… they were just failures. And a total waste of time.

During these lost years, I wasn’t working on it all the time. I would take little shots here and there. I’d fail, get frustrated and quit for months. Then I’d try again.

My offer selection process was awful.

  • I randomly picked an offer from an affiliate network
  • Spent 1–2 weeks testing them
  • Realize it wouldn’t work
  • Start over from scratch

Half the time the offers didn’t even function!

I had no one helping me. So I had no idea what to do, which offer to pick or what the rest of the industry was doing.

It was all totally random.

Luckily, about six years into itI was contacted by an affiliate manager out of the blue. He commented on what I was doing (SEO sites for dating offers) and said he could help.

He showed me what was hot, what was working for other people and what I should promote if I wanted to make a lot of money.

Using his insider information I went from newbie to super affiliate in about six weeks. Having access to someone in the industry skyrocketed my progress. I accomplished more in six weeks then I did in six years.

When I look back at the whole process of selecting that offer it was something like this:

  • Affiliate manager recommended it
  • I verified it was running on Adwords via manual spying
  • I verified it was working with a few friends in the industry

So if you’re new – I recommend that you do exactly the same thing.

Why Offer Selection Is Important

Offer selection is the most important part of the campaign launch process.

Why? Because even if you do everything else right, a bad offer will still fail.

Let’s take a look.

  • The best traffic source + a bad offer = FAIL
  • The best ad + a bad offer = FAIL
  • The best LP + a bad offer = FAIL

No matter what you do on the front end, if the offer you are ultimately sending people to sucks, you will not make money.

But flip the scenario above on it’s head and it becomes an entirely different game.

  • The best offer + average traffic source = GOOD
  • The best offer + average ad copy = GOOD
  • The best offer + average landing page = GOOD

With a great offer, you can make every mistake in the book and still come out ahead.

All you have to do is get the user to the offer and there’s a good chance they’ll buy.

We’ve all seen these kinds of offers over the years, the echo chamber called them ‘Unicorns’… I just call them good offers.

And good offers are the secret ingredient that takes people from a $25k/year job to a $250k/month campaign.

How To Choose An Offer

Don’t run an offer unless you’ve done this. I’m serious.

If you do what I’m about to tell you, you’ll make money.
If you don’t, you’ll go broke.

Here you go.

Do not run an offer unless you can check the following three boxes.

  1. The offer is recommended/confirmed working by an Aff Manager
  2. The offer is currently being run on the traffic source you’re going to launch on. (spy or manual)
  3. The offer has been verified by other people in the industry as currently making money.

^^ That’s it.

The third option is “the only one that is ”kind of” optional… because you may not have a circle of industry friends to ask. If this is your situation, consider joining a premium forum full of friends like MadSociety.

But but the other two are not optional at all.

If a good affiliate manager tells you it’s working, then you see it running on a live traffic source, and you get confirmation from a few friends that it makes money, it will be almost impossible to lose.

So do it.

Of course – you can run an offer without checking off those 3 bullet points if you want to..

But it will be a total and complete waste of your time and money.



*P.S. Don’t have contacts in the industry to ask about offers? Come hang out with me a few hundred other affiliate marketers in MadSociety. This private/premium forum is a great place to meet people, get offer recommendations and step-by-step advice on your campaigns. Check it out at

  • Giampaolo D’Andrea

    Awesome Malan!
    I was totally missing Point #2, thanks bro!

    • Malan Darras

      get on it.

  • fastow2012

    Can’t we get confirmation for #2 from the am?

    • Malan Darras

      no. well you can, if you want to lose money (some aff managers don’t really know)

  • Carlit000

    So you mean you never actually was the first to make money with a new offer ?
    How do you evaluate the risks you are willing to take ?

    • Malan Darras

      I’d say out of 500 campaigns, 5 of them were original. Original ideas make more money, but they aren’t as easy to launch as taking an existing one and innovating it.

  • Sbarbara

    Do you run your an offers? I would be curious to see how this checklist would differ if you’re running your own office. One idea that I have is maybe looking to see if there are similar offers on the traffic source you are using. Controlling the offer gives one more power over testing variables you control. I have two questions one related to this the other related to med society. Number one is: if you controlled the offer which say top 3 to 5 variables would you test in order of importance? Second thing is I’m just curious to know if you have any gals in the mass society? Some of these private forums have the “models and bottles” vibe which is understandable (I have brothers :p) but sometimes doesn’t feel like the best fit. What are interests and values of the community’s members?