Test Offer Prep 101


affiliate11.jpgADOTAS — We all know how important it is to test new offers.

For one, it provides a comparison between what you are currently promoting and a new offer, to see which will convert better for your traffic. It can also benefit by finding you a new profitable niche. At one point, the hottest offers in the industry were brand new with no statistics to prove how well they could convert.

It took just one savvy affiliate to properly test it and realize that it was a killer offer. However, if not tested properly, you may miss out on your next gold mine. Here are a few factors that I would suggest keeping in mind when preparing to test that new campaign to give it a fair shot at demonstrating how it can actually perform.

Timing: There is a classic saying that goes “What’s the most important rule in comedy?…timing”. While it is not the only important factor, I would say it is the first aspect to consider when getting ready to test an offer. The time of day and week can greatly affect the quality and volume of Internet traffic for any particular vertical. Think about where your target audience is during the time in which you are conducting the test.

For example, if you wanted to test a dating campaign, you would be better off testing it on a weekend (when people are home and lonely) then in the middle of the work week. Along the same line, testing mid-day when traffic volume is higher, would yield better results than late evening when most people are in bed or watching late night TV. A good rule of thumb is to test during the best performing time for your current offer. Do not test a similar offer during your lowest traffic time and be surprised when it fails to perform as well as you would like.

Size: Sending enough traffic for a solid test is imperative. The exact amount for an adequate test will vary depending on what you are promoting and how it is being offered. By sending enough traffic, you allow for the offer’s statistics to balance out and account for any spikes or dips in traffic. The more volume you send, the more accurate the statistics will be in predicting how an offer will perform over the long term.

Communication: Always be in contact with your affiliate manager when you are preparing to test out new offers. By letting them know ahead of time about which offers you are preparing to test, they may have tips or other suggestions as to offers you may not have considered. They also may be able to provide you with a baseline for how the offer should convert on average.

Ad Copy: This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it is one that is extremely important to consider. I have often seen a test not perform as well as hoped because the ad copy did not match the offer being promoted. If you were a consumer being pre-sold on a review site talking about how great Pepsi is and when you clicked the link, it took you to a Coke landing page, would that not greatly deter you from filling out the offer? Make sure if you are testing offer “XYZ”, that your pre-sell landing page talks about offer “XYZ” and not about offer “ABC”.

A True Split-Test: When doing a side-by-side comparison of offers, be sure to perform a true split-test. Rather then testing one offer in the beginning of the day and another one later on, set up a rotator script so that they display one after another with each click. This will allow for a much more accurate comparison as to how they stack up against each other and compensate for any fluctuation in traffic throughout the day.

So when you are getting ready to test an offer be sure and check the scenario in which the testing is going to occur so you can give it the best possible chance to truly show how it can convert with your traffic. You never know, you may just find the hottest new campaign with the next test you conduct.

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