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1- Decide What to Promote

The first step is figuring out what traffic sources you’ll use and what offers you’ll promote. Facebook and mobile are two of the best for starting out since they are proven sources that will always drive traffic. If you can’t get any clicks on these channels, then it’s you. Don’t forget: “Taking action and failing with a campaign will get you ten times farther than sitting around worrying about making the wrong decision.”

2- Research the Offer

Spy on other affiliates, talk to the affiliate manager, research the landing page and offer and know it thoroughly (who is the target?). Putting yourself in the shoes of the buyer will give you insight on how they think and what their motivations are for purchasing which, in turn, will deliver you the answer to what kind of creatives and copy to design.

3- Plan

Mind map your game plan (or if you don’t have one, this will give you one). Which countries are you going to test? What kind of ads? What landing pages? Are you going to use a paid traffic source? Split testing? Set subgoals to lead you through the whole process and help you determine your goals for success.

4- Creatives Planning

Brainstorm angles, headlines, and ad text. Find pictures to use in ads. Design/create the landing pages. This is the hard work part of the process, but it can also be the most fun part since you are only limited by your imagination. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer again and brainstorm anything that you think might attract their attention. Here are four headline formulas that are proven to convert, use them as models for getting the creative juices going:

How to [desired goal] without [common, painful method]

Everyone wants the benefits without paying for them. In other words, we all want gain without pain.


  • How to Lose Belly Fat Without Dieting or Going to the Gym
  • How to Make $438.99 a Day without Selling
  • How to Look 7 Years Younger without Botox
[Your Offer] is Better than [Known Product]

People make judgements based on something they are familiar with. This is called the anchor effect in psychology.


  • This Game is Better than Angry Birds
  • Our Acne Cream Works 250% Better than Proactive
  • eHarmony Is for Old Guys. Our Website Works!
[Get Desired Result] in a [Time Frame]

We lack patience. That’s why we always crave instant gratification.


  • Get Your Credit Report in 2 Minutes or Less.
  • Single? We’ll Find You a Date by This Weekend.
  • Repair Your Android Battery in 60 Seconds.

The Secret the [Experts] Don’t Want You to Know

What if you implied your product was so good, the experts in that field didn’t want others to know about it?


  • The SEO Tool Matt Cutts Doesn’t Want You to Know
  • The Weight Loss Trick That Personal Trainers Are HIDING
  • Dentists Hate Her. Mom Discovers Teeth Whitening Trick

Start saving ads that catch your eye and use them for inspiration. You can peruse these files when you get stuck to help create new headlines and ideas for other types of creatives.

5- Set up that Campaign

This is where you start putting everything that you need in place to make it all happen. Web hosting, domain name + protection, landing pages, uploading ads, fund your ad account, set up any trackers you need… basically do everything EXCEPT hit ‘Go’. Make sure everything is set up according to your plan then when you are ready…..


Press go! Set up a small test campaign to ensure that all tracking pixels and links are working properly before you go big and start collecting data.

7- Split Test and Optimize … Everything.

More than likely, your campaign will be losing money at this point. That is ok and totally normal. Optimization is the process of turning the campaign profitable by running tests. You will have to consistently run experiments in order to improve your campaigns. Here’s a realistic scenario of a campaign:

  • Launch – You’re at negative 100% ROI and losing money.
  • Test #1 – Test out 3 offers. Run the best one. Now you’re at -50% ROI.
  • Test #2 – Test 10 ads. Run the top 3. Now you’re at -10% ROI.
  • Test #3 – Test 5 landing pages. Run the best one. Now you’re at +25% ROI.

The mistake that most people make is they don’t optimize at all. They launch campaigns and cross their fingers hoping they are profitable. You don’t find winning campaigns. You create them. Ideas for variables you can test: ads, landing pages, bids, day and week, offers

8- Analysis

What worked? What didn’t? Any hypotheses on why something didn’t work? Use the data to make it better. Sometimes it is as simple as forgetting to upload the spanish language ads for an ad set targeting mexico and adjusting accordingly. Make sure everything is set up and running as it should and cut the losing campaigns.

9- Scaling

This is where you hit the revenue gas pedal. Are there more countries you can target? Other traffic sources? Take your optimized data and start feeding it to a bigger audience. More ad networks? More ad sizes? (Don’t forget to monitor the new ads!)

10- Maintenance

Wash, rinse, repeat. Keep checking on your campaigns and monitor that data coming in. How can it be improved? Is a particular test starting to lose its momentum? Keep an eye on everything and adjust resources as necessary. Don’t forget to change out the ad creative occasionally to prevent them from going stale.


Finally- Be Patient. Sometimes it takes several days for a campaign to really get enough data to make a call on its efficacy. Certain days of the week or particular channels may not do well or take some time for viewers to convert. ALways monitor your campaigns, but give it a little room to breath before you make the final call to pull the plug. If there are any particular resources that we can provide to help you, let us know!