Erik Gyepes – well known solo affiliate marketer with many years of experience and also a part-time moderator of the STM forum.

In this interview, he shares his personal insights and approaches to work, forecasts for 2021. Also his experience of testing Vimmy, the first of which was very unsuccessful.

We had a completely remarkable case, which I would like to share with other affiliates.

Not so long ago you signed up in Vimmy and launched your first tests. What was your first impression and were you satisfied with the result?

A: Hey! My first impressions of the network when it comes to my early results were not that good as you may know. 

I was testing a couple of new traffic sources at the time and I topped up smaller amounts for quick tests. I had no results, so I moved on. 

Q: What was your testing budget? Do you think it was enough for your vertical?

A: My testing budget was only around $100 and I divided it across maybe 3-4 geos I think. It wasn’t really that much per campaign/geo combination and of course I got no results, so I moved on and forgot about Vimmy for a while.

Q:  Yes, there was a long pause. What prompted you to launch a retest?

A: This is actually an interesting story. I was preparing my paperwork for the accountant and while I went through my bank statements I noticed that I spent only $100 with Vimmy. I then checked my tracker and I decided to top up again, but now at least double the amount from last time and do another test round.

Q: And what were the results? What did you do to make the campaigns profitable?

A: This time I started to get results and I started adding more funds. The problem wasn’t really the traffic, because traffic is overall good. 

This just shows how important it is to spend money and do proper testing. Many people, including me sometimes, just do quick & dirty tests, get no results and call it a day.

There are many traffic sources and each of them can work. Maybe not all verticals or all geos will work, but if you keep testing you will find a winner.

The main reasons I got profitable were:

  • I run more tests with more budget allocated to each campaign
  • As I get more data I started to cut bad placements
  • I started playing more with targeting, for example user age and OS and also with bids

Q: What advice would you give to other affiliates based on your experience with Vimmy?

A: Don’t make quick decisions and give it some time 🙂

Q: What do you need to adapt to when working with push notifications in 2020? Meaning the presence of high competition and an easy opportunity to see competitors’ creatives in spy services.

A: Yes, the competition got much bigger, the users aren’t engaging with ads as much as 2 years ago, so the CTR’s are lower. 

To be competitive you must keep testing, come up with new and fresh creatives. Those can give you some initial boost to your campaigns and make them stick. 

But I think you should do this anyway. A Lot of people depend on spy tools these days, and they will rip your creatives, so the saturation will come much faster.

Q: Bot traffic. Has it started to increase in push notifications? What services do you use to identify bots?

A: Yes, there are some bots, but it’s not that bad as for example on pops or even the new in-page push ad format. 

Usually there are some bad actors (publishers) who try to game the system. They keep creating new placements and suck out money from our campaigns. You have to watch for those and keep blocking them and reporting to traffic sources.

Q: What keeps you one step ahead of your competitors?

A: As a solo affiliate a can’t compete with huge media buying teams, but what keeps me ahead is automating as many processes as possible. Also, I try to keep my eyes open on the industry and be up to date with all the things happening. 

Good sources are forums like STM, various Facebook groups or email newsletters that monitor the space. 

And then also conferences are probably one of the best ways to help you stay in the game for long term, though in these COVID-19 times it’s more difficult.

Q: Good push network. What does it look like?

A: 

  • has a good targeting and blacklisting options
  • you have someone who you can always talk to (AM)
  • has big volumes (half of success, sometimes beats first 2 points)

Q: Prospects for push traffic in 2021?

A: It’s hard to say as it’s all in the hands of Google and it’s Chrome browser, that’s where the majority of the volume comes from. 

Push was supposed to be “dead” by this year already and it’s still around. 

However, there are always new updates and changes coming out. I think this format is not going away that soon, but it will be more regulated and limited over the time. It might also get harder to collect new and fresh subscribers and keep the existing ones engaged.

Q: Top 3 mistakes when working with push notifications?

A: 

  1. Going too broad with user age targeting. I recommend targeting fresh users at the beginning and go from there.
  2. Making conclusions too early, push ads are delivered fast, but take time for the clicks to come as it depends from the individuals who received them. Sometimes they can open them with a longer delay. This can also cause over spends (late clicks), so count it in.
  3. Not testing enough a good creative can make or break a campaign.

Q: And at the end of our interview, a portion of motivation for those who are still reading, but do not dare to start working with push traffic. Can you tell me what ROI you can do in push notifications now?

A: The ROI I think highly depends on many factors such as verticals, geos, bidding etc. You can get a high ROI campaign, but the volume might be low. But on average you can expect something 20-50%. Which I think is a not bad return on your investment as it’s on a daily basis 🙂

Erik, thank you for agreeing to share your experience with the readers. This is very useful information! Good luck and have a nice day.

You are welcome, wish you all the best and as it’s holidays time I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!