POF Case Study: How Day-Parting Can Affect Your Campaigns

March 2, 2014 by Aziz Kamara 2 Comments

How often do you day-part with your campaigns? If you’re not familiar with the term, day-parting is a strategy used by many affiliate marketers which involves pausing campaigns during certain days of the week when traffic is expected to click less or produce fewer conversions.

This strategy can produce great results, but one major concern to many is that pausing campaigns may result in lost opportunities for conversions and profit. The question soon becomes, “What should I do?”

Our Solution: Get the Data

Using POFpro, we decided to conduct our own tests to try to answer this very question with our POF traffic to try to figure out whether or not day-parting could help or hinder our profits. We searched for a campaign that had sufficient data, ultimately choosing one with over 1 million impressions.

With a comprehensive breakdown of our data regarding those impressions (including the impressions, EPC‘s, and ROI) via POFpro’s day-parting scheduler, we first determined if there were any discernible points in the week/day when performance dropped. After that, we initiated the day-parting schedule to observe whether or not overall performance could increase.

Below are our findings:

Targeting and Creatives

As previously mentioned, we took a look at one of our long-running campaigns with a little over 1 million impressions. While the campaign was somewhat stable, the ROI had been slowly dropping. We figured it would be the perfect candidate as to whether or not we could increase performance with day-parting.

While observing the time of the day when conversions happened least (or not at all) we applied a day parting schedule to our testing campaign. To gain sufficient data, we decided to let the campaign run with the day-parting schedule for 3 weeks.

Targeted Demographic

This campaign targeted males ages 21-24 seeking females in Canada with a very low bid. In the interest of allowing this campaign to run a little longer, I won’t divulge every detail, but this should give you a good idea at what kind of traffic we were targeting.

Our Creatives

Lastly, what good is a case study without any creatives?

This is a snapshot of the creatives from the creatives that ran for the first week or so. Some of these creatives images have yet to burn out. Admittedly, the overall performance has slowed, but all in all, the campaign is still doing alright.

Our Results

With the scheduling set up, we resumed our campaign for a total of 3 weeks. So, what were the results?

Breakdown of Campaign Performance

First, let’s take a look at the performance metrics of our campaign before and after day-parting was applied. Keep in mind that this campaign required a little bit of optimization at first. But since this angle had been tested before, it was profitable not too long after it launched.

Performance Without Day-Parting:

As you can see, this campaign isn’t something you could really call “high-volume”. However, it got a decent amount of clicks and ROI. So let’s see what happened after we applied our day-parting schedule.

Performance After Day-Parting (3 weeks):

Fantastic! After applying our day-parting schedule, we managed to increase our CTR and CVR, thus slightly lowering our CPC and gaining a $0.05 EPC increase. We had hoped that the conversion rate would increase since our scheduling was a consequence of only the EPC, but I didn’t expect the CTR to rise as well. Overall, we were able to almost double our ROI! Although our volume was cut down by the day-parting schedule, we were able to increase performance considerably.

Overview of Day-Parting Schedule

With all this day-parting talk, we figure it’s about time we show you exactly we’ve been talking about this whole time. You can take a look at the schedule used for this campaign in the screenshot below:

Final Notes

One thing we wanted to note is that we’re not dealing with a whole lot of data. Sure, this campaign ran for 3 weeks, but due to the targeting, the volume is quite low. With only 11 conversions over 160,000 impressions, it’s impossible to tell whether or not the ROI would remain that high for very long.

What we do know is that with just some minor scheduling, we were able so significantly increase the performance of our campaign even after it had seemed that it had run its course. With that said, this isn’t always going to be the case for all of your campaigns (it certainly hasn’t been the case for us) but you you may be happily surprised at how your campaigns can get a boost of performance with a little bit of scheduling.

5 Rules for Making Clickworthy Display Ads & Tapworthy Mobile Ads

February 23, 2014 by Tom Fang 1 Comment

This is a guest post by Danielle Forget, Marketing Coordinator at WhatRunsWhere.

Online dating has come a very long way over the past two decade. It has gone from being looked at as ‘desperate’ and ‘totally unsafe’, to one of the most common and successful ways to start a romantic relationship.

Now that most people simply don’t have the time (or patience) to go find a date, they have become quite comfortable with the idea of meeting someone online. In fact, 11% of the American adult population has given online dating a go.

Not surprisingly, the industry has ballooned with exception growth, bringing in over a billion dollars in revenue.

As we can see online dating is a popular product, however the industry has become stiff with competition. With over 2500 online dating sites, there is no shortage of sites offering to help find ‘the one’. That means that for affiliate marketers, online dating has become one of the most competitive and difficult niches.

Here are 5 rules to follow that will be sure to make your display and mobile ads stand out from the crowd…

1. Be Specific

Be sure to hint at narrowing search results in your ads, such as how these ads did with age and location. This is one of the best ways to make your ads more attractive to clickers and tappers.

Online daters are looking for quality over quantity, so make sure your ad screams that you have exactly who they are looking for.

2. Say ‘No’ to Stock Photos

Bad Examples:

Stock photos are a big no-no with online dating ads. The women in these ads are professionally photographed and Photoshopped to look flawless. However, online daters are looking for someone who they can actually see themselves with… And not just in their dreams.

Good Examples:

Using amateur photos of regular people is the way to go. This makes your ad look authentic and far more relatable.

3. Play on the Familiar

What do you recognize about these ads? They look pretty familiar to Facebook’s interface, don’t they?

Facebook is a place where most people already feel quite comfortable living out part of their social life. By making your ads resemble a platform that people are already comfortable with, you will make your ads far more eye catching.

4. Give them What they Want

There is a significant chance that the people viewing your ad already have an online dating profile. With this in mind, you need to successfully pitch what is different about this site, and why this one is worth their time.

Focus on appealing to the common issues most online daters face.

The ad about ‘James’ addresses the issue that most women are sick of getting mountains of messages from guys who simply want to hook up. On the other hand, most men seem to have the opposite problem, which is what the second ad looks to tackle.

5. Make Clicking Too Tempting

Warning: be careful with this tip. As we know, clickers and tappers aren’t always buyers, and to keep a healthy conversion always set it as your goal to attract only the most serious clickers.

With that in mind, check out how these ads use a strong call to action to grab your attention!

By making your plain-Jane image ad appear as though they are about to play a movie or even choose their date it make your ad all to tempting to click.

Check out more top display and mobile ads for any niche with WhatRunsWhere display and mobile tools. Be sure to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their mobile and display ads to boost your own marketing strategy.

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!