Understanding Data Is An Affiliates Priority

“So you have traffic? Great, I have campaigns I am looking to run and need the right type of audience. Can you tell me a little bit about your traffic? Where is it from, what do they like? What works and what doesn’t?”

This is a conversation my team and I have on a regular basis and do you know the most common response??

“What offers do you have?”

Ok, so you have just turned my question into a question which is really annoying. And let me guess why you have done that…Because you don’t have a clue what your data likes, where it came from or whether its even opted in. We can go round in circles all day with this and before long I grow tired and end the conversation. Losing all faith that the traffic would actually be worth while anyway.

Why does this happen?

C7 is approached all the time by people claiming to have huge data pools, ready to maximise our campaigns.

“Great!” I hear you say. “You have people approaching you with huge volumes of data, you lucky things.”

Before you get too excited, out of 100 people saying they have huge data, less than 20% will own it and less than 10% of them will actually know anything about it.

Of the 80% that are data brokers buying in lists, almost all of them have no proof of opt ins. They also have no idea of the interests running through the list. It is just a large csv of numbers, ripe for spamming, with the affiliate playing the age old ‘Numbers Game’. Throwing a serious amount of mud and seeing what little amount sticks. Personally, if I get wind that an affiliates data is not there own and its a bought list, I will stay well clear!

“But there is lots of it so why does it matter?”

Understanding your data is the difference between monitizing 10% and 80% of the people on that list. It’s the difference between engaging with them for a day or a month, 2 months or a year. So why oh why is it not a priority for more publishers looking to monitise their inventory?

One of the reasons is cost. To create a centralized database costs money and in the affiliate space, greed is the number one factor when running any campaign.

The next reason is time. To really understand your data means you need to step back, drop down a gear and take the time to plan a strategy. This is what will ultimately reward you but not straight away. Words like plan, strategy, patience, and pull back are alien to the average affiliate that only ever travels in one direction…Forward!

The demand for high quality traffic is higher than ever in 2016. Yet far too many affiliates are taking the short cuts that lead to a quick turnover of campaigns. This ultimately means increased costs. With a greater understanding of what people want to see comes a higher EPM, increased engagement and a higher percentage of returning traffic.

If you are an emailer, I’m sure I don’t have to educate you on the basics of email best practice? Not understanding the relevance of what you are sending means you are on borrowed time with your ESP and the IP’s you have been allocated. This means more cost switching ESP’s or accepting you are going to run on IP’s from the bottom of the list. Basically the ones left for the spammers!

None of these things contribute to ever making you a success. Sure, you will have some wins, but you will have to work twice as hard to see half the returns of a smart affiliate that knows their data. If you take the time in the beginning to set your self up correctly, making money becomes so much easier down the line…

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