Discussing the practice of keeping a campaign log

Today I want to talk about one tool that is incredibly important for an affiliate. This tool is rarely recommended, not often talked about, and is not paid enough attention to.
And yet, having bought and successfully monetized 400 million views, my team and I think that this tool is vitally important both for newbies and experienced teams.
I’m talking about a campaign log. A simple data spreadsheet, in which you can put information.

Let’s be honest - success in affiliate marketing is achieved via information. We earn money by possessing certain information, and we know it. We know where to get traffic, how to target it, which offers to use (and how to choose them). We know which networks’ offer converts better, we know whose traffic is more qualitative, how to buy it cheaper. All in all, we know a lot of things, and that’s how we earn money. Newbies often wait for a case where everything is already known, but there are no such cases. Only after conducting your own research and checking a few dozen assumptions you can make the case work. And the key factor here is knowledge, information.
Without information and it’s proper processing, there is no affiliate marketing.

We get information from tests. We treat all tests as buying data. A test can fail, but the data will always remain with us and will help us become smarter and more experienced.
The most important thing is to not lose an ounce of that data. Every action, every test, every theory - has its value.
Most affiliates rely on a tracker, assuming it stores all necessary information. Whereas in reality, the amount of useful data is much bigger than the tracker can record, and most of the time you just throw it away.

For example, you’re trying to start a vertical that you’re new to. You know for sure it has both the money and the potential. You start thinking of approaches, coming up with theories, looking for creatives. You start testing. Nothing works. There is no profit. You test another traffic source, other creatives, other titles, pictures - you experiment. You experiment till you find what you need - this routine is familiar to every affiliate. And not recording your every move means using the data ineffectively and making the tests more expensive.

Ley’s say we decide to test the pop under traffic. We choose the dating vertical. We come up with a list of offers, look for suitable creatives.
We come up with an offer regarding every action, and it gets either confirmed or refuted. And the tracker is not always the answer here.
For example, we propose an assumption that with a certain approach, 1 of 10 offers will definitely show a result. We find a creative, only one for now, and create an advertisement campaign in some network - also just one, for now. We cast traffic, but get no conversions. Our assumption gets refuted. But we’re not going to stop, are we! We propose another assumption: what if I increase the bid, pay more, and thus get more qualitative traffic that will simply convert better? We choose to continue working with the campaign. And this is exactly the moment in which a necessity to record our assumptions and results of testing them arises.

If we don’t record how testing of increasing the bid went, we’re just throwing that data away. But if we do record the results, we will always be able to refer to that information and know that, for example, increasing the bid leads not only to increase in traffic quantity but in quality as well. Or that it doesn’t.
By recording every assumption and the result of testing that assumption - you save up a database you can always use later. Just think about how useful it is for a team working with traffic. Imagine that your colleague decided to test the very same theory regarding the bid and traffic quality. And you have already tested that, you know the result, but your colleague simply has no access to it. In the end of the day, you’re just testing the same assumption twice and, accordingly, pay for it twice. Could’ve used that money to buy some beer instead.

Imagine this turn of events - you’re torturing yourself as described above: pop under traffic, dating offers, and in that very moment one of your other cases succeeds, starts bringing money, and you shift all the attention towards it. Then, after some time, you decide to come back to dating and earn some money there. But you simply can’t remember where you left off. What you’ve already tested and what didn’t, which patterns you’ve noticed. You have to start everything from scratch, and that means wasting more money and decreasing your own effectiveness.

We strongly recommend to everyone: both newbies and experienced teams, to keep a campaign log. It can be done with a simple spreadsheet. This is how we do it: for every traffic’s course we create a separate excel file, and inside, for every GEO, we create a separate page. Then it’s easy: the campaign title in the header and three columns - data, assumption, result.

The screenshot below shows it better:



Remember: we pay a lot for the information, and we can’t afford to waste it!

Profitable campaigns to everyone!