Duplicating campaigns and running those campaigns side by side is the lazy man’s way of scaling.  A lot of new comers to POF find their first profitable campaign and wonder if they can just duplicate that campaign a thousand times to “scale” their profits.  Nope.

Let’s breakdown what happens when you run duplicate campaigns side by side.

1. You are increasing your campaign burnout probability.  Let’s just assume first that your duplicates are bidding at the same CPM.  In this case, you simply doubled the exposure of the exact same ads to the same users and showing them those ads side by side since you are bidding for the same session depth.  You are doubling the exposure of your ads to the same group of users, which will increase your ad burnout rate.

You don’t want this to happen to your campaign in POF:

2. The user can only click on one of the ads; the other spots that you’re sticking the same ads will be wasted in a sense.  For example, if there are 3 ad spots and your ad appears on 2 of them, the best you can possibly do is the user clicks on 1 out of2.  The only reason that I can think of why you would do that is if you are afraid that the other ads on the page that do not belong to you will outperform your ads a majority of the time.  Therefore, you want to take your competitors’ spots away.  I can understand this logic, but the optimal thing to do here is to just TEST NEW ADS.

If you do that, you do not accelerate burnout of the campaign you were going to duplicate, and you actually have a chance of finding even better ads (possibly better than your existing campaign and your competitors).  You already know how this targeting along with this offer works.  You just have to find the right ads just as you have done already with your first campaign.
3. Even duplicating campaigns to split-test CPM price points is a bad idea.  If you are running duplicate campaigns at different price points thinking you are split-testing CPM prices, you are not actually running a controlled experiment.  Since you are aiming at different session depths with your two campaigns, a user might see the same ads again in the same login session.

Therefore, your higher priced duplicate will appear first, so the data for that campaign will be controlled.  However, the second duplicate is not since the user has already seen some of the same ads from earlier in his or her session.  The second campaign that’s testing at a lower CPM is being unfairly penalized having had the user already be exposed to the same ads earlier in his or her session.

The only real logical reason to duplicate campaigns, in my opinion, is if an offer is wildly profitable, and even with the acceleration of burnout, you still end up with more dollars (probably less ROI, but more overall profit) at the end of the day.Since creating new ads requires time, you might conclude that your time is best spent else where and duplicating is the lazy man’s way of creating a “new” campaign.  But remember, you always risk the chance of turning a profitable campaign into an unprofitable one.

  • Good stuff here. When the “duplicating your ads” POF blog post happened, I did what I’m sure a ton of other affiliates did: I started spending more money by duplicated my ads. I had a vague understanding at the time as to why they were performing worse, but this put it into perspective for me. Don’t compete against yourself! It’s a waste of money. Make new ads.

  • Thank you Tom! I like the way your writing gets to the point with no fluff or filler. The sign of a person who really knows what he’s talking about. I did the same duplication as a test and couldn’t figure out bidding against yourself was supposedly such a good strategy. Thanks for clearly articulating why trying to block another advertiser is also robbing yourself.

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  • Prateek

    Thanks You Tom!! One Question: What will happen if i test three different angles with same demographics targeting and CPM ?