Money, money, money. You can never really have enough, and sometimes you really don’t have enough. If you’re just getting your feet wet with PPC ads, you’re probably somewhere in the later group. There’s no problem with this, but a lot of monetary problems can be taken care of with budget management. And even if you only have $100 to your name to spend on ads, you can turn that cash into 10 campaigns worth of testing.
With ten campaigns and $100, you’ve got $10 to each campaign. It’s time to pick some offers. We’re not going to shoot for the sky with $100 payout offers, CPS offers, or any kind of offer requiring too much personal information. Stick to tiny lead gens, email submits, downloads, games, or any other small and unique offer. Lower payouts might seem like something bad, but you’re looking at it the wrong way if you really think that. They’re easier to test and easier to convert.
I hope you’ve got your offers picked out, because now you’ve got a lot of research. Quantcast, Alexa, and Compete are great demographic research tools. Affportal has a selection of tools to help you figure demographics out. You’ll want to scrape meta data, keywords, and anything else you can get from the offer. See if there are similar websites with forums and check out to see what users are posting about. These are all interests/keywords you can use to target depending on what advertising platform you are using.
Be specific with your research. This is going to be very important for moving on to testing. You want the smallest most laser targeted demographic/keywords/whatever for your campaigns.
And then, we pick our traffic source. I use Facebook to test offers. It’s got demographic and keyword (Likes and Interests) targeting. The best of both worlds really, which is what I want and need. Another thing Facebook allows me to do is to target based off of geographical location, and now, since I only have $10 to spend on this campaign, I want to cut down my target as much as I can. If you couldn’t get geographical data from your research, take a good guess at where there will be a lot of converters. (One tip: Dating and gaming do great during cold winters).
So I set up my campaign targeting as far down as I can, with a very small market. But this very small market should give me the highest possible conversion rate. What I’ve done here is basically optimize my targeting, as optimizing my ad copy and images would be pretty difficult unless I already had information on that from the niche. This allows me to run even the crappiest of ads with minimal loss. Once I can split test a few more ads, I should be increasing my CTR at this stage. If I’m still losing money, I pause the campaign and work on another.
Can I do this with $10? I sure damn can. I created a dating campaign yesterday that was very targeted. I submitted 50 ads. Facebook being the silly fools (great Thai band, btw) that they are, only approved 1 of them. I set my ad budget at $10 and let the ad run. $10 and 23 clicks later, I’ve generated 2 leads worth $9 together. Now without more testing, it will be impossible to tell at this stage whether or not the CVR will stay this stable, but it’s looking good. I can resubmit my ads and split test more to bring up my CTR and drop my bid costs. At this rate, I won’t have to drop my CPC too far to get profitable.