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Plenty Of Fish Affiliate Marketing Tutorial For Beginners

Welcome to this tutorial on how to market on Plenty Of Fish.

You may have already heard of Plenty Of Fish or POF. It is a very popular online dating site that, according to Alexa, is the 394th most popular site globally and the 122nd most popular site in the U.S.

POF attracts on average over 5 million visitors per month. This translate to a ton of traffic to us marketers.

What You Will Discover

  • Why marketing on Plenty of Fish is so profitable
  • Proven niches that converts on POF
  • How to create your first campaign
  • How to use POF’s targeting option to maximize profits
  • How to test, optimize and scale your campaigns

If you enjoy the video training, please share some love!

 

I have only promoted CPA dating offers on POF and that’s exactly what I’ll be covering in this tutorial.

So in case you’ve somehow managed to find this post and confuse what CPA marketing is about. I highly recommend you read ” CPA Affiliate Marketing – Step By Step guide for beginners“.

It will give you a good foundation when promoting CPA offers. Moving on…

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Marketing On Plenty Of Fish Blueprint

Now let’s talk about what you need to do in order to make money on POF.

I have summarized this process in the diagram below…

pof blueprint

Basically, you will be creating banner ads on POF. These ads are linked to your CPA offer and will be shown to millions of active users on POF daily.

When someone clicks on your banners, they will either go to your landing page or your CPA offer. If your prospects click through and signs up to the CPA offer, you will be paid a commission.

That’s the gist of it!

Before you jump the gun and ask me whether you should use landing pages or Direct Linking, let me just get it out of the way.

There are both pros and cons to both. Your decision to use a landing page will depend on the type of offer you are going to promote and whether you need to pre-sell your traffic or whether you want to build a list.

If you are just testing the offer and want to gain data quickly, you may opt to do direct linking instead.

I recommend you read this post on Direct Link VS Landing Pages

The Five Crucial Steps

Next we need to have a look at the steps you need to take in order to make money on POF.

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Choose an offer
  3. Testing A Offer
  4. Creating A Campaign
  5. Scale profitable campaigns

Step 1: Choose a Niche

My personal preference when advertising on POF is to go with the dating niche, because this is working very well for me.

On top of that, it just makes sense that you’re promoting a dating offer on a dating site.

You can actually break it down quite a bit by tapping into micro-niches like single parents, BBW (big beautiful women), Christian dating, senior dating and so on.

 

I must warn you that there are some dating offers that are not allowed on POF.

These are usually sites that are related to adult dating sites or compete direct with POF.

An example of a dating offer you cannot promote is OKCupid.

If ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact your POF’s affiliate manager. They are extremely helpful and will answer your query promptly.

Step 2: Choose An Offer

Before you can choose an offer to promote, you have to apply to a few CPA networks. Basically, a CPA network is equivalent to a middleman between the affiliates (i.e. you) and the advertisers.

The most newbie friendly CPA networks are Peerfly, MaxBounty and NeverBlue. For tips and strategies on getting accepted into CPA network.

Please read this post “Tips On How To Get Accepted Into CPA Networks

Once you have successfully joined a CPA network, I highly recommend you make an effort to reach out to your affiliate manager via Skype, email or phone.

This is the go-to person and first point of contact if you have any problems or questions relating to CPA marketing.

The affiliate manager has access to data from other affiliate marketers and so they can tell you what offers have been converting well. Ask them for some dating offers to promote on Plenty of Fish.

They should give you a list where you can then decide for yourself what you want to promote.

micro dating niches

I highly recommend you start of promoting micro-niche offers.

A few examples are Jewish dating offers, Gay dating offers, Asian dating offers, Single Senior dating offers and so on.

The reason for this is because it’s a lot easier to target a segment of the market that is congruent to a specific offer. I mean, you wouldn’t promote a Senior Dating offer to someone who is 28 right?

Step 3: Testing An Offer

Okay, so now you have joined a CPA network and you have picked a few offers to promote. What next?

Well, next you have to test whether your offer converts.

If you have been doing some online marketing yourself , you can appreciate just how important it is to track everything.

If you want to know more about tracking, please read this post here “How To Use Voluum To Track Your Affiliate Campaigns

Simply put, tracking allows you to know exactly, which of your ads are doing well and which are not.

Clearly, this is important so that you can get rid of ads, which aren’t converting, and scale the ones that are doing well (especially if you have a tight budget to work with initially).

We don’t want to set up ads blindly and simply hope for the best! That’s suicide!

Now to the fun part of this guide!

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Step #4: Creating A Campaign[

If you don’t already have an advertiser account with POF, you can register by simply heading over to https://ads.pof.com/.

create a pof ad account

Just like how you have affiliate managers for your CPA networks, there are two POF managers who will be looking after you.

Ben and Cydni are very approachable and extremely helpful! I also highly recommend you check out their blog at http://blog.ads.pof.com for more tips and advice on advertising on POF.

Once you log into your POF advertiser account, you will see a big green button that says “Create Campaign”. Click on this button to continue.

create button pof

The next screen you should see will look something like this:

create a new campaign pof

Filling out this “Create a New Campaign” page is straightforward.

  • The maximum bid is the amount you are willing to pay for 1000 impressions. The higher your bid, the more likely that your ad will be shown ahead of someone else’s ad with a lower bid from the same targeting parameters.How much you should bid will vary depending on your target audience.
    It is recommended that you start lower and then increase the bid in increments of $0.05 depending on how much traffic you get. A great tip is to end your bids in 1 or 6.
    This is because most people will bid in increments of $0.05. Doing so will place you a step ahead of your competitors!
    You can set the start and end date for your campaign, but I generally leave the end date blank. This means that my ads will be running forever until I pause them or run out of money.
  • Under the Delivery heading you can set your Max Daily Spent, which is the maximum amount you want to spend for this campaign per day. Once this amount is reached, your campaign will be paused until the following day.
  • For Distribution you can choose between distribute ASAP or distribute evenly. This just means do you want to spread out your budget throughout the day and spend it as soon as possible.
  • The Frequency Cap is how many times a person will see your ad. It is important that you set a frequency cap so that your ad is shown to a variety of people.
    The minimum cap you can set is 3 per visit. This means that a single user can only see your ads 3 times per visit or whatever settings you choose.

I mentioned in the very beginning of this guide that POF allows you to target a vast variety of people. To know which parameters to target, you need to do some research on your market and your product.

I recommend you read this post on “Importance Of Market Research

targeting options

The essential targeting parameters include country, gender, age and marital status for dating CPA offers. The more targeted your audience is, the higher the return of investment (ROI).

However, there is a catch!

But for now just understand that you can pretty much target anything you want. Just make sure that you have done your market research and know who exactly your target audience is.

Ads on POF are also called Creatives.

pof creatives

Before I go further into the various components of a creative, let’s discuss some general concepts first.

For the Creative Name you can give it any name you want but make sure you understand what your naming it.

I usually just name my ads as Banner1, Banner2, Banner3 etc. This is because I just need to know which banner is converting and which is not.

You can choose between two types of creatives. The first one is a Small Ad (110×80) and the second is a Small Banner (310×110). Here is an example of what both ads would look like:

examples of pof adsThe 110×80 ad is basically a picture with an ad copy, which you enter in the Description box while the 310×110 is just one image that you upload.

You are probably wondering which type of creative you should go with. Let’s briefly have a look at their respective pros and cons.

From personal experience, the 110×80 ads have always converted best for me due to the fact that I can use dynamic tags to my ads.

Examples of dynamic inserts are: {age:} and {state:}. This gives you the ability to personalize the ads for the target user by specifically addressing their age and state, if the information is available from their POF profiles.

If not, you could use something like {age: over 30yo}, which means if the information (age) is not available for some reason, ‘over 30yo’ will be substituted into your ad instead.

Let’s break down each of the ad component so you can have a better understanding when creating your ads.

Ad component #1 – Title

The ad title has the second biggest impact on the CTR. (The most important factor determining CTR is the image)

Although there are many ways to approach this, you could start out by posing a rhetorical question to engage the user.

For Example:

  • “Want to date a fireman?”
  • “Looking for an Asian girl friend?”
  • “Want to date smart women?”
  • “Would you date a 28 year old?”
  • “Tired of just chatting?”
  • “Tired of being single?”).

Try using colons, hyphens, ampersands, symbols, plus signs, dollar signs, percentage, and pound signs to your advantage. They all grab attention and stand out.

Use attention grabbing words such as ‘Beware’, ‘Warning’, ‘Stop!’, ‘Alert’. Use numbers (e.g. ‘View Over 450+ Car Tires!’ or ‘4,567 Car Tires In Stock!’ or ‘Buy 4 Tires For $299’).

Whatever you decide to write in your headline, don’t forget to split test calling out to your target audience by using Dynamic Tags.

pof tutorial

For example, ‘Divorced and {age: over 43}?’

In this case, the brackets will be replaced by the user’s age.

If this information is not available for some reason or if the information contains too many characters and so would exceed the character limit, the default text ‘over 43’ will appear in your ad.

Remember, such dynamic insertions are only possible with the 110×80 ads.

Ad Component #2 – Body

The ad body has a much smaller impact on the ad’s CTR, but definitely affects the quality of your clicks. This translates into how well the clicks will convert (or whatever your desired action is) on your page.

  1. End lines with ellipses (…) or exclamation marks. Use active verbs like ‘join’, ‘watch’, ‘see’, ‘view’ and ‘read’ to direct your prospects on what action to take next.
  2. Implement some scarcity (e.g. ‘First 50 people only!’, ‘For 24 Hours Only’) and exclusivity (e.g. {state:} and {age:} tags) to encourage fast action.
  3. The word ‘free’ is very powerful and can increase your CTR. However, at the same time, this will lower the quality of your leads.
  4. Last but not least, do not forget to include a call to action even if there is a character limit. This can be short and simple like ‘Join Now’, ‘Sign up now’ or ‘Register Today’.

Ad Component #3 – Landing Page

Ideally, you would do directly linking to test conversions of the offer and then use landing pages to optimize your campaign. That being said, there is really no “Right or Wrong” way to creating your campaigns.

cpa landers

Just understand that a landing page will give you more room to apply “Angles” in your marketing.

Once you are done entering everything discussed above, click Create Campaign.

Your campaign will now show up in the campaign home and the status will be “pending approval”.

When you click on the campaign you have just created, you can add more creatives to it. I recommend you test around 15-20 different images per campaign.

 

Very Important – Image Guidelines

Finding images is the most important process for me and I really take my time to find good ones.

The worst mistake you can make is probably judging an image ‘by its cover’ so to speak, because you really don’t know what will convert best for you without split testing.

However, having that said, there are some general guidelines that many people (including myself) have spent thousands and thousands of dollars testing.

In general, amateur looking images perform better than professional or stock photos. Images that look like they were taken with a phone or webcam work especially well.

Weird and shocking images work well.

Funny girl pic

If you are targeting men, the obvious would be women with curves, glasses, sleepwear and so on.

However, the guidelines have been refined, such that images showing excessive skin, cleavage or provocative poses may be declined.

If you are targeting women, it will be generally a lot easier for your images to be approved. Men with tattoos, muscles, uniforms or shirtless perform well.

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I suggest you read POF ad guidelines before you submit your ads.

Things that are not allowed include nudity, sexual poses, excessive cleavage, lingerie, pictures of actual POF users and elements that can be mistaken for a POF feature (e.g. ‘online’ dot).

These guidelines and further tips can be found at their advertising blog (www.blog.ads.pof.com), where Ben and Cyndi post a lot of insider tips from time to time.

If your ad does get disapproved for some reason, you can modify it and submit it again. I recommend you do this 2-3 times. If it is still not approved after that, forget it and move on!

A lot of people don’t realize it, but the image is so important that it is responsible for 90% of your click through rate and the rest is made up of headline and ad copy.

Once you have found a good image, you can scale it to other demographics, ad types and even offers.

I will expand more on this in the following chapter.

Optimizing means you keep the profitable ads, while deactivating those that don’t convert so well. The higher the CTR, the higher the conversions generally, but not always!

For example, if you have an ad that aroused a lot of curiosity, you will be getting a very high CTR, but hardly any conversions because the users weren’t really interested in your offer.

That’s why it is important that you look at conversions as well, not just CTR.

What I do is wait until the amount spent on advertising is at least double my payout.

So for example if the payout for a dating offer is $4 per lead, I will let the ads run until they spend at least $8. Again, this is an arbitrary way of doing things, so even $10 is actually fine.

Step 4: Scaling Profitable Campaigns

Before we talk about how to scale your profitable campaigns, I want to take the time to talk about obstacles inherent in CPA marketing on POF.

The biggest obstacle of all is banner blindness, which refers to ads losing their effectiveness over time because the users have been exposed to them too much. While this can happen with other types of banner ads, the burnout rate on POF is much higher.

Banner blindness

How to avoid banner blindness.

The first one involves running more than one ad at any one time. I like to run 3-5 ads per campaign. Track your results frequently and when you notice their performance dropping, you should pause them and run your next batch of ads.

Alternating between at least two batches of ads will help ensure that your campaign will remain effective for longer.

So, when you notice a drop in the performance of your ad, simply change the targeting options and to revitalize them and spike your profits again.

 

When you have found a profitable campaign and want to scale it you can do some of the following:

Create additional campaigns with the same login count and same targeting but with completely new ads. I suggest you change your bid by a few cents so that you are not in direct contact with yourself.

You can also duplicate your campaign and keep the same ads and bid 1-3 cents lower on your duplicated campaigns to avoid direct competition with yourself.

Scale to other login counts. Like I mentioned before, most marketers will bid on lower login counts (under 50) because those users are new to POF and so CTR and conversions are generally higher.However, this does not mean that you cannot create a profitable campaign with no login counts.

Further, if you want to scale by login counts, I suggest you do this in smaller intervals (e.g. <50, 50-100, 100-150 and so on). Since higher login counts are cheaper, you should bid 5 cents less for each tier ($0.86 for LC<50, $0.81 for LC 50-100, $0.76 for LC 100-150 and so on).

Create campaigns with additional targeting options. For example, if you are targeting men over 30 at the moment and this campaign has been doing well for you, try duplicating the campaign but this time targeting men 20-30 years old. Of course, your ad headline and copy needs to reflect this.POF allows you to choose from a wide range of targeting options such as drinking, smoking, height, pets, kids, car owners, and so on. In doing so, your campaigns will be highly targeted. Like I mentioned before, narrow targeting means higher ROI, but possibly less traffic.

Scale to different countries if the offer allows this. For example, switch from targeting U.S. users only to Canadian users only.

Scale to different ad types, which means you take the winning 110×80 ad and turn it into a 310×110 ad. However, keep in mind that 310×110 ads tend to burn out faster, even though can be very effective and generate high conversions.

Increase Your Budget, this goes without saying but by increasing your budget, you’re increasing the volume of traffic. One important thing to keep in mind is that this will also lead to quicker burn out

Scale Checklist

So there you have it! My complete step-by-step mini tutorial on how to make money on POF.

I hope you have gained some valuable information from reading this article. Remember, that you need to do a lot of split testing and optimizing before you find your winning campaign.

You have to be patient and collect all the data you need before scaling, especially when you are starting out with a smaller budget.

That’s it for me and feel free to leave a comment and share your own experience or ask any questions you want.

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