Before we get into this article and how you can make money using affiliate marketing with paid advertising, if you haven’t already read my article on affiliate marketing using free traffic generation methods, I’d suggest you read that first, as I discussed definitions and basic concepts which I won’t cover again here.
With that said and done, this article is for you if affiliate marketing interests you, but you don’t want to sit around, waiting for results and you have some money to pay that you are willing to invest.
Affiliate marketing using paid advertising is an effective way to accelerate your earnings with affiliate marketing. By following the steps in this article, you could be seeing profits in days, instead of the weeks or months, it takes to begin ranking in search engines and to begin seeing results with free traffic generation methods.
The Benefits of Using Paid Ads in Affiliate Marketing
First of all, we should discuss the benefits of affiliate marketing. Unlike other methods of making money online, such as dropshipping or e-commerce, you do not have to worry about order fulfillment. You don’t even need to worry about sales, in the fullest sense of the word. You essentially only need to be able to drive targeted traffic to a sales page, and the rest is done by the vendor/merchant. They deal with the selling, they take payment and fulfill the order, and they deal with any returns or customer service issues.
Now, why should you do affiliate marketing with paid advertising, instead of using free traffic generation methods, such as SEO or social media? Well, one of the major benefits of doing affiliate marketing with paid advertising is, as mentioned previously, that it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to begin seeing affiliate commissions and revenue coming in. Whereas, with creating an affiliate website or doing affiliate marketing with social media platforms, it will often take 6-12 months to begin seeing any returns, paid ads can reduce this to days.
In addition to this, you are easily able to scale up successful campaigns, by reinvesting your commissions for more profit.
If you had a vending machine in front of you that, when you insert a dollar bill into, it spits out $2, how many times will you feed those dollar bills into the machine? I’d be there all night!
The same is true for affiliate marketing campaigns with paid ads. First, you set it at a low daily amount, such as $5-10 a day. Then you optimize and split test (more about this later), ensuring that increase your conversions as much as possible, and therefore your profit. Then you can scale up to as much as you can afford, knowing that you are likely to continue making that same return on your investment.
Things to Note Before Using Paid Ads
Before we get into the five simple steps to set up these affiliate campaigns, I first make a couple of disclaimers. First, your money will be at risk. You are not going to win every time. In some affiliate campaigns, you will lose money. It’s just the name of the game. So, don’t invest everything you have, thinking that it’s a sure thing. It’s not. Only invest what you are comfortable losing. At the end of the day, business is often a gamble … an educated gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.
Secondly, I cannot guarantee you will be successful at this. If you follow the guidance in this article, you may not make any money. I am also not a financial advisor or any type of expert, so discuss this with accountants and/or legal professionals before implementation, to ensure you are compliant and it is likely to support you in your financial goals.
With that said, let’s get into it!
The Simple 5 Steps to Running Successful Paid Ad Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
Before we get into the specific steps, let me first tell you the general premise and show you how it’s going to work.
You’re going to be setting up affiliate funnels. Similar to any other sales funnel, this is the journey that people take from the time they first come into contact with your ad or piece of content, to the end of their professional relationship with you.
This funnel is going to look a little like this:
So, first, someone comes across your ad.
If they click the ad, they are taken to an opt-in page. This can either be a promise to learn something on the next page, that will help them or solve a problem of theirs, or it can be in return for a free gift, such as a report, book, or video course of some kind (this is known as a lead magnet).
If the person puts in their email address and submits, they become a part of your email list, allowing you to send them emails through an autoresponder until they unsubscribe. At the same time, they are taken to a bridge/thank you page. On here, you deliver your lead magnet/video explaining the solution. You then link to the affiliate offer (which can be an essential tool for your solution, or a course explaining more).
You also set up automated emails to direct them back to that initial offer. Later on, you can also direct them to other additional offers, which they would find useful.
What Do I Need?
To run a campaign like this, you are going to need a few tools.
Funnel Builder – This is a tool that will build you the web pages throughout the funnel.
ClickFunnels is by far my favorite, although alternatives include Kartra and Builderall. If you are looking for something free to start with, then you would be able to build the webpages with any web page builder, but a dedicated funnel builder, such as ClickFunnels, will make things much much easier.
Autoresponder – This is the tool that is going to allow you to take people’s email addresses and automatically send out emails to them.
My favorite is GetResponse, but you can also use Aweber or MailChimp. This is a tool that I do not recommend you cheap out on, as it is essential that your emails get sent and are not filtered (many free autoresponders are automatically filtered by email providers).
An offer to promote – More on that in Step 1.
An account with an ad network (and of course, money to spend on ads). Ad networks include Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Native Ad platforms, Youtube Ads, and many more. The best network will depend on your offer and the type of funnel you are running, so more about that in a bit.
Step 1 – Find the right offer
First things first, you need to find an offer to promote.
If you don’t already have an affiliate offer in mind, think about the tools, products, or services you have paid for and enjoyed. Chances are, they have an affiliate program (just scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and look for a link titled something like ‘affiliate program’ or ‘partner program’, or just google [product name] affiliate program).
If you are unable to find an offer this way, look at affiliate networks. Common networks include ClickBank, ShareASale, CommissionJunction, and Amazon Associates.
Ideally, for a funnel such as this, the offer should be high ticket (large price tags) and/or recurring. Not everyone that enters your funnel will convert, so you don’t want something with low commissions. Good examples include tools that cost around $100 a month and pay around 20-30% commissions (e.g. ClickFunnels, SEMRush, Kartra, or high ticket courses on Clickbank).
Step 2 – Build a landing page and funnel
Now you have an offer, you need to build out your funnel.
This is the time to be as creative as possible. Perhaps you can target a tool to an audience that it isn’t primarily designed for. A good example of this is targeting a funnel builder to a small business. A funnel collects leads, so having sales funnels will be great for independent businesses or freelancers.
You will need to create an opt-in page designed to pique interest and get people to give you their email addresses, and then a bridge page with a powerful video or piece of content that encourages people to click your affiliate link and buy that product.
Now not everyone is going to buy, especially the first time they see the offer, so your emails are where you build the relationship with them, provide value and present the offer more times. You don’t want to spam, but you also don’t want to lose out on commissions either. Strike the right balance.
Step 3 – Create Your Ads
You then need to create your ads to run to your opt-in/landing page.
Consider the offer you are running to before choosing an ad network and setting up your ads. Some networks, such as Facebook, are very selective over the ads they will allow on their website. For example, you cannot show before or after pictures on the ad or landing page, so for many health/fitness-related offers, you’ll struggle to get approval. You’ll also struggle with most make money online offers as well.
Facebook can also get very expensive, similar to Google Ads. Ad networks run a bidding system per click or thousand impressions. This means that the more people competing for the same keywords, the more expensive it will be. It’s not uncommon to spend several dollars per click on a platform such as Facebook Ads.
Your main goal when creating your ads is to draw attention and get people to click. Make sure you are targeting your ads to the people that will be interested in your offer firstly. Also, look at other ads on the platform and see what others are doing (especially long-running ads, as no one continues to put money into an ad that isn’t working).
You want to create at least 3-4 different ads (this way, you know which ones work better and can use only them going forward).
Step 4 – Let It Run For A Few Days
Once you’ve set up your ad and it’s approved, let it run for 4-7 days without looking or touching it.
These first few days are unlikely to be very profitable, but that’s not the point. You want data so that you can then optimize your ads and your funnels.
Step 5 – Optimise and Scale
Now you’ve let it run for a few days, you should have a better idea of what ads work best, keywords to target, people to target, and you will be beginning to test and optimize your landing and thank you pages.
Optimize what you can and run it again for another few days. If it’s not making any money, consider killing the campaign.
If it is making money, you want to be continually testing different things and increasing your conversion rates. This means testing different images/videos on the ad, different ad text, different headings/images/colors… on your landing and bridge pages… as much as you possibly can.
This is called A/B Split Testing and is possible with most funnel builders and ad platforms. It’s essentially where half the traffic you get goes to one page, the rest to another. After some time, the one with the most conversions wins. You then rinse and repeat this process and much as you can.
A Word Of Warning!
And that’s that!
This truly can be a great way to make money, but like I said before, you cannot expect this to made money straight off the bat. It takes time to find the right offers and optimize your funnel. For that reason, you should not invest anything you are not willing to lose completely.
However, one way to reduce risk is to know as much as you can about what to do and what not to do. I recommend joining ‘The Funnel Challenge“, which teaches you how to create and launch your first funnel in 30 days or less and start making commissions.
With that said, try this out and see how it works for you. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve found success with this.