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How to test and choose a CPA offer that converts

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How to test a CPA offer

Affiliate marketing is a highly competitive niche and there are numerous factors that can hinder your success. To outperform competitors and stand out, you have to choose CPA offers carefully. Selecting a wrong offer can become a real setback for your affiliate business. So, how can you make the right choice? Consider the level of competition, the advertiser’s reputation and affiliate program conditions. The most effective way to find good CPA offers is to split test them to see how well they convert in practice.

Why split test CPA offers

In general, split testing is one of the keystone strategies in affiliate marketing. This method helps publishers compare two different options against each other and find out which one converts better. 

In regards to CPA offers, split testing helps you find the best-performing offers by distributing your traffic to different destinations. How exactly can you benefit from these tests?

The internet is swarming with various CPA offers. They differ in industries, deadlines, allowed types of traffic, payouts, etc. Even the same offers from different networks can vary greatly in the conversion rate. Split testing CPA offers can contribute a lot to the success of your online venture because it allows you to: 

  • Calculate the conversion rate and earnings per click of each offer
  • Identify which offer to drive traffic to
  • See how visitors react to this or that offer. (Split testing turns out to be more efficient than online surveys)
  • Get insights on CPA offers in general which can be useful in the future 
  • Reduce the risk of failure

How to test a CPA offer

When testing a CPA offer, you should pay special attention to several factors that determine the performance of any offer: 

  • The traffic costs which should not exceed the revenue you get from the campaign
  • Creatives which should generate clicks and conversions
  • Pre-landers and the landing page
  • Payouts

Traffic costs

The first thing to split test is traffic costs, because the Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics for measuring the performance of your campaigns.

To test this metric, you should prepare creatives for your campaign, choose group-targeted ads and allocate each one with a budget that exceeds the amount of the payout three times. Then you have to run your campaigns until they get sufficient traffic and analyze the results. 

  • You may get negative results if there are no conversions. In this case, you have to think of changing ad zones.
  • If you break even and ROI is close to 0, there may be some potential in the offer if optimized properly.
  • If the campaign is profitable and you earn more than you’ve spent on traffic, the offer may become a lucrative revenue stream for you.

The main aim of this step is to whitelist and blacklist the ad zones you are testing.

Creatives

Once you’ve established offers with the highest ROI index and narrowed down your list of offers, it’s time to test the details of your offers. Even the smallest element can influence the performance of your campaign drastically.

That is why it is essential to test variations on your web page such as: 

  • The colors of key elements like CTA buttons
  • Visuals ( images and videos)
  • The position of elements like signup forms
  • Audience targeting, including gender, age, location, etc.

It may be tempting to split test as many creatives as possible at once. However, it’s a definite no-no because such tests are not informative. To get reliable results, you should test one element of your offer at a time and make sure you test creatives that are completely different to start with.

Keep in mind that to analyze the effectiveness of a creative and evaluate its CTR, you need at least 1,000 impressions on each. After determining what provides a better response, start testing little details that can skyrocket the performance of your CPA marketing campaign.

Pre-landers and landing pages

Pre-landers and landing pages are the cornerstones of any CPA campaign which can boost your revenue. It’s vital to split-test both to find the best-performing variations which will bring more conversions. 

Pre-landers are the pages your visitors are directed to before heading to the landing page and making a purchase or signing up. These pages aim at pre-selling a product or service to customers before they take action. The most important metric for a pre-lander is the number of customers who are redirected to the landing page. You can leverage an ad-tracker to measure the performance of a pre-lander. 

Landing pages are one of the most powerful tools in any CPA marketing toolkit, that is why it’s crucial to split test them to identify the most effective ones, and the relevant metric here is the number of conversions made.

Payouts 

Though traffic costs, CTR and conversion rates are really important metrics, the money you earn on commissions is still the most significant aspect measuring the success of a CPA campaign. That is why it is essential to test payouts before you settle on a certain CPA offer.

The easiest way to test an offer payout is to book a service or buy a product using your affiliate link.

However, sometimes it’s prohibited to make a reservation for yourself, so read the offer terms in advance. If there is such a restriction, you can test payouts with the help of other real customers you know. 

How does Travepayouts protect affiliates

One of the basic principles of Travelpayouts is being crystal clear to their affiliates. We believe that trust is the cornerstone of our affiliate network and that is why we put a lot of time and effort into testing all the offers presented in it.

For this, we make random purchases through test affiliate links and make sure all payments are made according to the rules. If we detect any cases of unjust treatment of affiliates, for example, lead scrubbing (not crediting affiliates with conversions they’ve earned), we contact advertisers and do our best to eradicate the problem.

In case the solution wasn’t found, it may even lead to the termination of the partnership with an advertiser.

Best analytical tools for testing CPA offers

Though testing CPA offers is a complicated process, the internet abounds in split testing tools that can simplify and make it more productive.

However, wading through these tools and finding the best ones can be challenging for a novice in internet marketing, so we’ve done the groundwork for you and selected the best tools to help discover the most profitable CPA offers.

Google Analytics
  • The most obvious go-to option that offers the best testing solutions on the market is Google Analytics. It is a very versatile tool, and you can use many of its functions for free. For instance, with Google Analytics, you can check the bounce rate, average session duration, affiliate link conversion, etc. The only disadvantage of Google Analytics is that it’s technically complex and may be difficult to use first.
VWO
  • VWO is a more straightforward solution for split testing at a reasonable price. The service allows running multiple tests simultaneously without any result interference. And, you can laser-target your tests and check features such as element clicks, time spent on a page, page scroll, exit intent, etc. The tool allows you to design multiple variations of your pages hassle-free and track various conversion goals including signups, revenue and clicks. 
Optimizely
  • Optimizely is another powerful tool that offers out-of-the-box solutions and does not require a steep learning curve. The tool allows you to conduct experiments by device, browser, campaign, etc. as well as run several experiments at the same time.

Other powerful tools you can leverage to find the best CPA offers are AB Tasty, Crazy Egg, Alexa and Statcounter.

How to test CPA offers

To make the most out of testing, remember the basic split-testing rules we’ve mentioned above: test one variable at a time, collect enough data before jumping to conclusions and don’t give up testing after just one try.

If you follow these guidelines and invest enough time and effort in testing to find the most high-converting CPA offer, it can skyrocket the performance of your online business and boost your profits.