One of the easiest ways to increase your revenue per campaign is by implementing smart links to monetize remnant traffic. It’s a technique most affiliates do, yet I have been receiving questions about it lately via email and through the forum, so I thought I could write an article about it and how it works.
Basically, smart links are a way to monetize the traffic that doesn’t convert for your current offer(s) and if you are running volume it could net you some additional dollars and up to dozens or hundreds of dollars per day in your affiliate campaigns.
Here’s a smart link (or rotator) from YTZ I’ve been running recently adding $20-40 per day in one of my campaigns:
Overall, smart links are just an easy way to increase your profit margins to otherwise wasted traffic.
But why do I mean by wasted traffic? Here’s an illustration to explain it better:
Basically, when you run traffic to an offer, this traffic has to meet a set of filters to be monetized. For example, if you’re promoting a download for Google Chrome users in France, you need to make sure all of your traffic applies to it using your tracker.
But sometimes when you’re buying traffic, you might get also some visits from Spain, Italy, and Germany, and also some of them come from Firefox, Opera, or Safari. The percentage could be small and lower than 1%, but sometimes it’s more and we don’t like to spend our hard-earned money on traffic that is not supposed to be sent to the offer we’re running.
The traffic that doesn’t meet the requirements sometimes gets redirected to other offers or in many cases it just goes to a blank page or a broken URL, which is the same as throwing away your money.
Some networks automatically redirect that traffic to another offer, or to their own smart link, if they have one, but it’s usually better to redirect it yourself in your tracker to a good performing smart link from a network which focuses on those.
YTZ is one of the networks I’ve been using for years, and they’ve gone from just having a “mainstream ” and “adult” smartlink to creating link rotators for all kinds of traffic and verticals.
If you check out their offer lists, they’ll have smart links for:
- email traffic
Pretty much any vertical you’re able to run as a CPA affiliate can be found on YTZ as a rotator:
Besides that, they have some solid standalone offers sometimes so make sure you check all of their verticals and see if they have something that fits your need, but in general, they are well known for being a smart link network with tons of rotators.
Another technique affiliates use when they’re testing a vertical or geo, in general, is to direct link to a smart link rotator to see if there’s any potential before pinning up to a certain offer.
In this case, you choose a smart link from a desired vertical you want to test and send all of the traffic directly to it and see if there are conversions. These conversions will probably have random payout numbers but you’ll notice a pattern with enough ad spend and data.
If you find the performance decent enough you could either optimize the campaign with the smart link or simply ask your manager if it’s possible to run the converting offers from it as standalone links and focus on them for maximum performance.
YTZ, for example, has good casino offers for many top geos, so sometimes it’s easier to test the casino rotator first and then see if there are good offers to test alone from YTZ or other networks:
Since you should always be testing different offers, landers, or angles, sometimes I just find it easy to set up a rotator against a couple of other recommended top offers from other networks and see which one performs better.
While most of the times the recommended stand-alone offer performs better, sometimes you get surprises and find the rotator doing better numbers 😉
Now, this isn’t really super common, to be honest. It really depends on the network and its smart links. After all, smart links are made from their own internal or public available offers, so they can only be as strong as the offers they have in the inventory.
YTZ in general has worked well for me in the casino and sweepstakes verticals for the last couple of years. So give them a test and start monetizing your remnant traffic or testing new campaigns with a rotator to increase your affiliate revenue.
In conclusion, you should use your smart links on 2 different situations:
- to monetize that remnant traffic you can’t block from the traffic source
- to test a vertical or geo in a new campaign, or when you don’t want to set up a whole funnel to test something yet
I hope this quick article helps you understand how smart links work and when to use them properly. If not, leave your questions in the comments 🙂