5 Things You Should Know About Performance Metrics in POF (Part 2)

February 9, 2014 by Aziz Kamara 1 Comment

In Part 1 of this two-part post, I gave you some examples of performance metrics you should look for when determining whether or not a campaign can become profitable. Part 2 will discuss what you can do with that data and how you can optimize your campaigns to their fullest.

Key #4: Rule-Based Optimization is Essential

POF Campaign Hurdles

Rule-based optimization, or “Hurdles” as referred in POFpro, is a way of setting up automated tests for creatives based on the amount of data collected.

On the right is an example of Hurdles applied we applied to our campaign featured in a previous POF Gamer Case Study. Once you’ve setup a system of Hurdles, you’ve got an automated system that allows you to grow many more campaigns simultaneously while accurately cutting what’s not working.

Since hurdles can sometimes get complicated, I’d like to share how I set my hurdles to give you an idea of how I find winning creatives and profitable campaigns.

1st Hurdle – Ad Click

First, I set up 5 basic hurdles for each campaign. Allowing for a significant amount of data, I set a hurdle with a rule which says that if a creative does not receive a click within a certain number of impressions, it gets cut. While I mentioned in part 1 that CTR is not a reflection of a successful creative, it most certainly is an indicator.

Large Banner Hurdles

2nd Hurdle – Ad CTR and ROI

With that in mind, I then create a hurdle which takes into consideration whether or not a creative has maintained a certain CTR (typically at least above .100%, depending on the ad size) or if it has generated a conversion. If neither is true, I cut that ad. At a certain point, however, I begin to look mostly at the ROI of that creative.

Large Banner Hurdles

3rd and 4th Hurdles – ROI

Then, I create another hurdle like the one above which will cut unless the creative has a high CTR (at least above .275%, depending on the creative size) or a conversion. Following that hurdle, I focus solely on ROI. Eventually, it becomes apparent that the creative has the potential to produce a profit. However, that doesn’t mean that the creative will perform forever.

Large Banner Hurdles

5th Hurdle – Legacy Loss-Prevention

At a certain point, every creative loses its effectiveness. The final hurdle I then impose is one that forces the creative to maintain a certain ROI over a set period of impressions for an indefinite amount of time. I take into account the campaign’s bid and set a hurdle to cut any creative that’s lost a set amount of money. This way, I can cut any legacy ad before it loses money right from under my nose.

Large Banner Hurdles

No Such Thing As A Universal Hurdle

Of course, not every campaign has the same performance indicators or metrics. Below are a set of 4 hurdles I apply to some of my 300×250 IAB campaigns:

Large Banner Hurdles

An example of the above hurdles in action can be seen in Part 1 where even though one creative has a CTR of .748%, it is cut because it has been delivered over 5,000 times and hasn’t seen a single conversion.

Notes About Automated Hurdles

While the cut creative just barely missed the cut-off point, it’s important to remember that at a certain bar must be set and adhered to as much as possible. Otherwise, performance can be compromised.

I could let this creative continue to run since the payout for the offer it leads to is over $6.00, but there are so many other creatives with so much better performance, I’ll just hold off on resuming this creative for now.

The same type of parameters can also be applied to landing pages and offers. However, different metrics are used to as hurdles; such as the number of clicks to a landing page and the number of click-throughs which result from it as well as the number of clicks that lead to an offer. With that in mind, I cut an offer that has not yielded a conversion within 100 clicks for example.

With Hurdles in place, and with a campaign that’s profitable or near profitable, I then move to the last optimization step which is day-parting.

Key #5: Day-Parting For Optimal Results

Once I’ve finally got enough data, I’m ready to day-part. This requires proper tracking and automation. Without those two things, day-parting on a large scale becomes impractical. Luckily, I’m able to select which times during the day when I don’t want my campaign to run with POFpro. Take the below image, for example:

Network Offer EPC

Day parting is considered to be a more intermediate-level strategy employed by performance marketers. It requires some knowledge of traffic trends, statistical significance, and keen observation.

Day-Part Targeting

With an automated system, you’ve ruled out a part of the day/week where you won’t bid on certain traffic. Some individuals deploy account-wide day-parting while others (including myself) feel more comfortable with group-wide day-parting and in some cases, day-parting on an individual campaign-by-campaign basis.

Haste Makes Waste

When creating a day-parting schedule, you run the risk of pausing campaigns when a potential conversion could occur; and nobody likes the idea of missed opportunities. I like to use a combination of my account-wide day-parting table along with my campaign’s day-parting table to determine which times of the day to run each campaign.

I hope that 2 part overview of metrics was a helpful endeavor. If any of you guys have any questions on setting up automation on POFpro, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

5 Things You Should Know About Performance Metrics in POF (Part 1)

February 2, 2014 by Aziz Kamara 1 Comment

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.

Skyrocket ROI with Top Performing Ads

January 26, 2014 by Tom Fang No Comments

The best strategy for making any marketing campaign is to only use what works. Sounds great, but how do you figure out what works?

In performance marketing, it is incredibly important to split-test creatives, even different elements of your creatives in order to optimize CTR. The only problem is that split-testing ads takes time and costs money.

Wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate at least some of the trial and error portion of your campaign process? That’s where the WhatRunsWhere platform comes into play.

What is WhatRunsWhere?

WhatRunsWhere is a powerful competitive intelligence tool that helps marketers see exactly who’s advertising what and where.

With just a simple search you can easily see what display, text or mobile ads that any specific domain is advertising. More importantly you can see exactly where all of these ads are being placed. This information is vital for eliminating some of the guesswork while creating your campaigns.

WhatRunsWhere is commonly used to:

  • See where specific advertisers are placing their ads
  • View exactly which banners these advertisers are using
  • Uncover the landing pages linked to the ads
  • Know exactly how long each advertiser has been running each specific ad

Now you can save time and money by picking up the insights that cost your competition the big bucks to figure out.

Data for Days

Between the hundreds of thousands of places to run ads, how do you find the optimal places to run each ad?

WhatRunsWhere tracks data on over 90 display networks, over 100 mobile networks, AND covers over 150 thousand unique publishers in each of the 15 countries it covers.

There is over three years of collected data within the platform, which enables you to see how long specific campaigns have carried on for, which can provide great insight on profit longevity.

This plethora of data makes it simple to pinpoint exactly where you should be running your ads for optimal results.

How to Find What You Need

For those of you who get intimated by the thought of sorting and sifting though endless data, you’ll absolutely love how easy it is to find and read the results WhatRunsWhere generates.

For these examples I will pretend that I am targeting the dating niche and am looking to figure out where top performing dating ads are being placed and what they look like. There are two ways I can search for this information, search by the advertiser or by conducting a keyword search.

Search by Advertiser

This search option is perfect if you are looking to figure out where a specific site is advertising.

Simply run a search for the site you are looking for and voila!

 
From here you can view all the ads that they have been running (both display and text), what ad networks they used, traffic sources, placement suggestions and much more.


 

 
All the information you need to get a leg up on your competition’s online advertising campaigns.

Search by Keyword

The search by keyword feature is great if you are simply looking to get a general idea of all of the top performing ads and where they are running.

By simply entering a keyword such as “dating” and choosing ad type, the platform will load all of the relevant top performing ads. This feature is great for uncovering more competition or gaining inspiration from highly optimized ads.


 

Making Online Advertising Uncomplicated

Sometimes having too many options just makes things more complicated. WhatRunsWhere allows you to instantaneously view all top performing, where they are running, and take advantage of competitor campaign insights.

Ready to spy on your competition? Click here to receive a 7-day risk-free trial to WhatRunsWhere for only a $1!