Mobile is the future, and you better damn well believe it. Mobile internet use is expected to surpass desktop use by 2014/2015. It’s a huge space with a ridiculously large market share. If you aren’t catching on to this trend now, you’ll be behind the times and left in the dust when mobile affiliate marketing becomes a force to reckon with. So for you new to the market, lets talk about how you can get started in this relatively new advertising source.
The biggest problem with mobile affiliate marketing at this time is the lack of any good analytics. With desktop online advertising we’ve got great systems like Prosper202 or CPVLab. With mobile, there isn’t any widely available tracking tool that will give us all the information we need to succeed. This is why I suggest starting with very narrow targeting options. Pick one handset on one carrier. Start with older, non-smartphone models, as these tend to be owned by less educated consumers. Less education = better conversion rates for you and me. Keep your budget low and do this process over a couple different handsets. If you aren’t getting clicks on a relatively clear ad, but no conversions, you are probably running with a poor performing offer.
Understanding your offer means knowing how it converts. It also means knowing what the competition is doing with it and understanding its top performing target market. Finding your competitors might be a difficult job because as far as I know there are no public mobile ad scraping tools or intelligence tools that grab this. Someone comment below if there is! However, there are always multiple ways to find out your best target market. You’ve got Quantcast, Compete, Alexa and the Google Ad Planner, all which give you great and free information about most populated sites on the Internet. Use them!
Also, attempt to sign up for any new offers you are planning to run yourself. You don’t have to finish the final conversion sale part, but understand how much information the user is filling out. Is it a complex landing page with little to zero information, meaning you might need a landing page, or is it a simple pin submit? How are the advertisers making money?
And, make sure the offer works on your targeted mobile handset. How? Simple! Use the OfferMobi preview tool.
Like most advertising platforms, mobile marketing reinforces the fact that you must test, and test a lot to ever be successful. Because of the sheer amount of things you will have to test, from handset to carriers, and overall ad design, this can be a task those with small pockets might not want to take on right away.
I suggest coming up with 5 different yet very clear and concise ad copies to test. Don’t worry too much about the design – just make it ugly (ugly always works best)! Then pick 3 different handsets, something newer, something a couple years old, and something like the old Nokia bricks (you know what I’m talking about). This should give you some good data that helps you make decisions on where you want to take your ads and where you want to scale from there.
I think the biggest thing about mobile is to be financially prepared to start up on mobile. I spent several thousand dollars on it before I was able to get consistent conversions and start breaking even. However, it still isn’t easy due to all the variables and lack of tracking. Hopefully, we’ll see that change soon when more mobile tracking platforms are released in the near future.