Probably one of the most common questions that students ask me is:
- when to stop testing a campaign and
- when to pivot to another campaign.
The importance of volume of testing
In business—especially in an affiliate marketing—testing is probably the one thing that is the most crucial to your success. The amount of ideas that you test is going to directly affect your results, whether you are an internet marketer or in any business.
If you are the type of person that only likes to test a couple of ad campaigns a year, you are not going to be able to compete with somebody who is testing a brand new ad campaign every single week of the year.
Fast-track your way to profitability
The strategy is to launch a new test every single week.
We are going to be using the affiliate marketing industry as an example.
Right before the week is going to start, a Saturday or Sunday, you should already be brainstorming what ad campaign you are going to be testing for that following week. What you should be doing is rapid-fire testing:
Every single week, come up with a completely new concept for an ad campaign and test it throughout the week. It doesn’t need to be perfect whatsoever; you just need to get something together to put out there to the marketplace, just to see how people respond. You can also come up with ideas by looking at what your competitors are doing.
Come up with a new idea for an ad campaign on Saturday or Sunday, and then spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday preparing your assets: your landing page, images, ad creatives, angles—whatever you are actually going to be running in your ads.
Then spend the rest of the week actually launching and testing that ad. You shouldn’t spend an enormous amount of money on the test; a good amount would be somewhere in the range of $300-400 over the course of the remainder of that week.
Have a benchmark
Then come up with a benchmark for whether or not this is something that is worth continuing. The benchmark that you should consider is whether your loss is greater than 50%.
You came up with the ad campaign, launched all your ads, and at the end of the week, let’s say you are at a 75% loss, meaning, for every $100 that you spend on ads, you are only making back $25. In that case, I would completely ditch that ad campaign and restart the entire process of brainstorming on that Saturday or Sunday what the next campaign is going to be for the following week.
However, if the ad campaign was less than a 50% loss, let’s say that you’re spending $100, and making back $75, you’re only at 25% loss, then that would tell me that this is something that’s extremely promising, and by just putting a little bit more work and polishing everything up, you could probably turn that campaign into profitability.
Be comfortable with letting go of ideas
Apart from volume of testing, another crucial component to having success in business is knowing when to pivot to a new thing.
You can implement a specific strategy in your business, especially if you are in affiliate marketing. You have the ability to pivot very quickly between ad campaigns because you are not specifically tied to one product.
A very common mistake that a lot of people make in business is when a concept or an idea isn’t working out that they just desperately grasp to that idea, and they get married to it. Months and even years can go by where they are just still trying to make this thing work that never really even showed promise, to begin with.
Something that Peter and I do all the time— is just always rapidly testing things. Fortunately, now we have such a great team that allows us to quickly and rapidly implement testing, not just one ad campaign a week, but we can test 6-10 ad campaigns per week. This is really something that you need to consider in your business.
If you have been working on something that never really showed promise to begin with and you are still sticking with that thing, it may be time to consider pivoting to something else. Now, sometimes pivots do not need to be as drastic as throwing out the entire idea. Making just one or some subtle adjustments to it that would make it different enough to bring in some different results. This is something that I made a really big mistake with when I was first getting started.
A personal mistake
I will tell you a little background story. In 2012, when I first got into affiliate marketing, I got my start promoting somebody else’s course that taught you how to do blogging. It was a pretty expensive course, it was like $3,000, and the commission to the affiliate was $1,500 or so.
I started to get some traction on this, but after a little while it just really died off, and all the money that I was spending on ads just stopped working. For probably a whole year after that, I was still trying to make this thing come back to life.
If I had known back then what I know now, as soon as I saw everything die, I would have probably immediately pivoted to a new idea, or a new plan, or a new strategy, or just something else. It didn’t mean that I had to get into a completely different business idea; it could have just been something as simple as instead of promoting this person’s course as an affiliate, promote another person’s course as an affiliate. For the whole period—this was back probably around 2013—that I was really struggling and failing, I probably could have easily been able to find success just doing something else. But I was so married to this one single campaign that I was running that I just didn’t want to let it go, I didn’t want to accept the failure and move on to a new campaign. This is something that many people struggle with, and it is probably one of the most common issues in this industry and just in business in general.
Change your mindset; there is no such thing as failure
When you are in the business of being an internet marketer or even business in general, sure, you can fail at things, but you really shouldn’t consider it as a failure.
Every single ad campaign that you launch, every single business project that you start, even if it becomes a failure, you have still acquired skills and knowledge along the way that you can implement into your next idea.
So even for all of the ad campaigns of mine that completely bombed, it helped me build up a framework in my mind that helped me become successful later on. I can look back on things that didn’t work out and dissect it, and say, “okay, here’s why it didn’t work out“.
Maybe just the market wasn’t responding to it, maybe there was an actual issue with lack of creativity in my ad, or just wrong language on my landing page—it wasn’t resonating with anyone. Every time that something turns into a failure, you can usually take key lessons from that to move forward into a new idea and start on a higher platform with a higher level of knowledge.