We frequently get asked by newer performance marketers on how we determine whether or not an ad/angle/campaign is going to perform well on POF. The short answer is, we never know–not until we test it anyway.

That’s why we wanted to share with you some key tips on performance metrics in POF to give you an idea as to what we look for when testing a campaign to get the most out of it as quickly as possible.

Key #1: EPC > Payout

One thing you must always remember when selecting an offer to run is that a higher payout does not always mean higher profits. Rather than selecting an offer by its payout, you’ll want to select the offer by its EPC. Keeping this in mind, when choosing an offer, I decided to test it against another offer while (for the most part) ignoring the payout amount. Below are my results.

Network Offer EPC

As you can see, while both offers paid out the same amount, one outperformed the other by a long shot. The discrepancy in clicks was a result of not running both offers at the same time. But after both offers received at least 70 clicks, it was apparent which one was the winner with an EPC that was $0.40 higher than the other.

Key #2: CTR ≠ Winning Ad

This may come as a surprise to some, but just because an ad has a high CTR and will have a lower CPC, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to do well in the long run. This is especially true for large IABs. Clicks alone in POF do not indicate success.

First you have to take into consideration the possibility that 1 or more clicks may have been completely accidental in small sample sizes. You may find that newer ads get a high CTR right away but then fizzle out quickly–this is partly to blame.

Additionally, someone may click on your ad thinking it was one thing only to be a victim of bait-and-switch. Not having message congruence and can make an ad appear successful when in reality, it just mislead the user and would never lead to a conversion.

IAB CTR Performance in POF

The above creatives had identical landing pages, ad copy, and targeting. The only difference then is the image used within the creatives. Yet the one with the higher CTR did not seem to convert well. It’s senseless to speculate why this happens, but you must be aware that it will happen. That’s why you can’t look at clicks alone.

Key #3: Landing Pages Count, A Lot

Without proper tracking, one can easily get lost in figuring out whether or not one landing page is performing better than another, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that clicks alone do not determine a landing page’s performance either. You must also measure a landing page by its EPC. Below is an example of two landing pages I split-test with very similar CTRs, but differing performance:

Landing Page Performance

Admittedly, I didn’t know which one to go with for a while. But as more click-throughs came in, I began to notice a difference in the conversion rate. One landing page was just barely getting 1% more conversions than the other when I finally decided to call a winner. This made up for a $.07 difference in EPC! Granted, this didn’t mean the difference between profitability and loss, but it certainly meant a higher ROI.

Quick Recap

If there’s one takeaway from the first half of this series, it’s that your campaign is a sum of it’s parts. You need to factor in not only how many clicks your campaign is getting, but how much you’re spending for each click and how much you’re earning for each click–not just from your creatives, but from your landing pages, too. Making sense of that data can get confusing and hectic, so a proper tracking system is key.

If you haven’t already, it’s finally time to install POFpro and take it for a free 30-day trial.