This is an article with some PPV (pay-per-view) tips. Some of these tips refer to Trafficvance, which is a relatively high-quality traffic source for pay-per-view traffic. As far as PPV goes, TrafficVance is one of the best, if not the best, for actually delivering you legitimate people to sign-up and buy shit with decent volume.
Before you ask: No, I will not be your TrafficVance referral.
So if you are a PPV marketer and / or TrafficVance user, these tips below may help with your campaigns.
1. Pausing Campaigns Glitch
This is something that made me “Wtf” for a long time, then today I realized why this was happening.
I have a habit of “Pausing” targets that don’t work. Over time it becomes my little collection of targets that might work for another campaign. Rather than deleting them and losing them forever, I pause them in the campaign.
Obviously the smart thing to do would be to keep them in a text file anyway, then delete them from the campaign so this shit below doesn’t happen ….
1) You pause a campaign, spend some time changing shit on your landers THEN you change your tracking link. This triggers a “review” from TrafficVance. If you change your tracking link in any way, shape, or form, it has to be reviewed again.
2) When the campaign passes review and is “Active” again, all of those “Paused” targets are “Active” again too.
Fuck! For quite a while, I’d be looking at stats and thinking to myself, “I swear to god I paused this target many times before…. what the fuck….”
3) Nothing really happens if you just pause and unpause your campaign. I’m not sure what happens when you change the tracking link on a live campaign (nothing as far as I can tell)
So the pro tip: Don’t change the tracking link on a paused campaign if you have a bunch of “Paused” targets in it. They will all go live again. Change the tracking link with live campaigns only, or unpause the campaign first then change the tracking link.
This can obviously become a problem because you’re wasting money on targets that you already know don’t work, and if they are high-volume targets you’ll spend a pretty penny before you realize it. I don’t know if I’m the only one who has run into this problem before, but if this happens to you, now you know why.
Don’t leave paused targets in a campaign. Export them out and delete them.
2) The Power of Multiplication, or Stop Bidding Like a Dumbass
I’m starting to thing that affiliate marketers don’t know basic math.
PPV has been hailed as some miracle traffic source because “A view is only a penny!” and “You can bid by as little as 1/10 of a cent!”
It’s not some miracle traffic source. You have to make the shit work just like any other traffic source. Just because bids are a penny doesn’t mean you can disregard them and throw them in the air like Andrew Wee.
Let’s take a look at PPV pricing in the real world. The minimum bid for most PPV traffic is $.01 and some are $.015. Per 1,000 impressions, that’s a $10.00 – $15.00 CPM. That’s an atrociously high CPM when compared to media banner advertising.
Then let’s say you have a landing page with a 10% CTR (Clickthru rate). Out of that, 1% of people will convert on your offer. For shits and giggles, the offer pays out $20.00.
For every 1,000 people you send to that landing page, 100 people will go to the offer, and 1 will convert into a lead (1,000 x 10% x 1% = 1). So you spent $10 to make $20. Good job bro.
Now let’s see what happens when you’re competing with people. Every 1/10 of a penny increment essentially increases your cost by $1 (when you think of it in terms of 1,000). If you’re both being aggressive, within a few increments the bid might be $.018 or $.021. “Whatever, I’ll keep increasing the bid because it’s only a tenth of a penny!”
Wrong dipshit! A tenth of a penny is a $1 in terms of 1,000, and when you multiply it by hundreds of targets then its many dollars. It’s the power of multiplication and the reason why small changes have a massive effect on your campaign.
There are only two things I think when I see stupidly high bid prices for a target- 1) “This person must have a ridiculously high converting page or offer” or 2) “This person must be a fucking idiot.”
Usually, it’s the latter.
Learn to Share, or be the First Loser
If you get into a bidding war, you can win but most times you’re both better off sharing. It’s basically a game of chicken. Who will give up first?
In order to win, you must know your boundaries. In the example above, $.02 is your break even point. Go any higher than that, and you lose money. Get close to that ($.019), and your margins are slim as shit. Ideally you want the bid to be as low as possible (no shit huh?)
So you win if the other guy gives up and you’re left with 1st place. Half the time this happens (Victory!), but the other half of the time is when it doesn’t….
Managing bids with PPV is a pain in the dick. There are two reasons why you won’t win a bidding war, or don’t even want to win:
1) Managing the bidding takes up far too much time, especially if you’re going back and forth with someone else who apparently has nothing better to do. At some point its just not worth it.
2) You’re playing against automated bidding software.
In these 2 cases, the time spent adjusting bids is better spent working on another campaign, taking a shit, or reading a book. This is especially true if its a low-volume target. Why spend so much time trying to score a 18 more views a day?
Learn to Share – The best resolution in a bidding war is to share. That means matching the bid to the other guy and splitting the 1st place traffic 50 / 50. You’ll get less traffic, but it’s better than increasing the bids to the point where no one makes money (except the ad network.)
Be the First Loser – If you don’t get the joke: Being the first loser means 2nd place.
Sometimes matching the bid of the 1st place guy is impractical, especially if the bid price looks like Exhibit A:
I don’t know what this guy is smoking, but that’s almost a 3 cent difference in bid price. For every 1,000 views, that’s $30. Basically this guy is paying $30 more per 1,000 views when it could only be $1 (lowering his bid to $.013 and still keeping first place)
In these cases you want to be second place. Using the original example, you’re making money in 2nd place with a $.014 bid. The 1st place bid might be $.022, where you’d be losing money. Even though its less traffic, it really doesn’t matter because you’re making money- not losing it because you want to be an aggressive dickhead.
Don’t Hit the “Make My Bid the Highest” Button
Josh Todd at InsideAffiliate wrote about this a while ago.
When I first ventured into PPV, I noticed that someone would always outbid me by $.005. I thought it was a script or software, and I always got pissed because it just meant paying more to match him or go over. And when I went over, low and behold, he’s back in 1st with a $.005 higher bid….
The race to being unprofitable was swift.
It turns out that it wasn’t some script. It was just some tard hitting the “Make My Bid the Highest” button. Since I never used that button before, I didn’t know what it did. I always assumed it’d go a 1/10 of a penny over the next highest guy. Nope, it’s half a penny.
I guess some people like to pay $5 (per 1,000) for their 1st place position instead of $1.
Nobody but the ad network wins when using the “Make My Bid the Highest.”
Reset Your Bids Once in a While
I don’t use any automated bidding tools. Generally I am able to leave my bids alone and not have to give too much of a shit about the bidding. I start a campaign and bid up until my “break-even” point (or what I think it is at that time), then just let it run.
With some targets, you want 1st place and are willing to pay for it. You might get into a bidding war at first, win, and not touch your bids for days or weeks. Over time, the other bidders have lowered their 2nd place position to a bid much lower than yours.
TrafficVance doesn’t tell you the bid price of people lower than you. So you could be paying $.03 for a target when the guy in 2nd is only paying $.011. In this case, you’re over-paying for 1st place. I have a really ghetto way of remedying this, which I like to do every few days. Really it’s just a “bid cleanup” and it helps to lower your overall campaign CPM.
Managing hundreds of targets individually sucks. This method will leave you with a few competitive targets that you can manage by hand.
1) Reset all your bids to $.01 (minimum)
2) Sort by bid position. The most competitive targets show up at the top (for example you’re in 20th place because 20 people are bidding on the target)
3) Select every target that’s 2nd place, 3rd place, and higher. Make their bids $.011.
4) This knocks you into 1st for many targets where its just you and someone else (and the other person is bidding $.01). It increases your bid position for targets that are more competitive than just two people.
5) Keep repeating the process, but each time take a careful look at the bid positions. If you’re 2nd place with a $.012 bid and 1st place is $.021, there’s no point in going any higher (incrementing to $.013) to pay for the same amount of traffic.
Deselect the ones where there is no point to increasing, and increase the bid to $.012.
6) Keep repeating the process until you’re left with a small number of competitive targets where you can manually bid.
This post has gone on a lot longer than what i originally intended it to be. Thanks adderoll!