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CPA networks get a bad rap from many in the affiliate industry, but I have had success with many of them over the years–even on my content sites. In particular, they often have free offers and contests that are legitimate and perfect for my audiences. However, even when you are working with a reputable CPA network, you are at the mercy of the one thing that will kill your campaign dead instantly–the offer caps.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten into the swing of a very successful campaign and started making money only to get that dreaded email from the network that the offer has been paused. Sometimes it can come in as little as a few hours. In fact, I had it happen to me just today with the very successful Movies Anywhere offer. It was a great offer with a super payout and converting at over 30% for me. Of course they ran out of budget in a little over 12 hours!
Luckily, I had a plan in place. Here are 3 steps you should take before you run one of these type of high profit, popular offers that are likely to cap out.
Redirect Your Link
Never, never use the direct affiliate link in your emails. Use Pretty Link or some kind of redirect that you can change on the back end if the campaign ends. Once you send out an email with an affiliate link in it and anyone clicks on that link, you are sending them to a dead page. It’s the same thing for most social media sites. Once the link is out there, it is out there.
By redirecting your link, you have the option on the back end of changing where that link will go later. Speaking of changing the link….
Find an Alternative Link
This is something that will change depending on the situation. If you are a content site that has a loyal audience, you might want to be prepared to change the link to the direct link to the offer (in my case, the actual Movies Anywhere site). Although you won’t be making any money, you are still offering great content to your readers and they will remember that.
Before you give up on making any money, however, investigate your possibilities for linking through another network. It’s possible that you might be able to get the same offer somewhere else. In my case, I went through the same network (ShopHerMedia) but pulled a CPC link instead of the CPA link. I may not be getting that awesome $5 a signup, but at least I am still getting the 5 cents per click while sending my visitors to the offer.
Watch for the Cap
Most networks will send you an email as an offer is approaching its cap. You won’t have a lot of lead time, but if you have already done the above two steps, you won’t need much. In my case, I started looking for it as soon as I got up and checked my email every hour until I received it. Be sure that network emails are not going to your SPAM folder. I was able to immediately shift everything over so as to 1) give my readers a consistent experience, and 2) make some money off of the links that I had already put out through the email and my social media.
If you aren’t working with CPA networks but are now a little interested, read my article 5 Reasons I Work with CPA Networks. You might be surprised at how well it can work out when done properly!