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YouTube Ads to CPA Offers - Case Study - THE CHALLENGE

joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
I have been dragging my heals on this Youtube Ads to CPA Offers Case Study because honestly it seems like a big hill to climb - but hills have never stopped me before. The goal with this campaign is to just attempt to get some cheap leads from youtube if possible. There is going to be a lot of testing, and a lot of work - which is great - because most people are too lazy to go this route, which may result in less competition.

I have decided to first layout my plan here on the forum so everyone can see it (and it seems to keep me on track).

I prefer to do videos of me building the campaign from scratch so I will add those on the Case Studies Library starting tomorrow > https://powerhouseaffiliate.com/case-study-library/

I don't know if this will be profitable but here is the plan.

Goal -
Build a List in Solar Power Niche and break even or generate a profit from a CPA lead offer. (payout ranges between $10 - $60 USD Per Lead)

Breaking even while still building a list (or even losing a little) is fine with me since I can monetize the list on autopilot with other home services or financial offers.

There are a few networks I work with directly for solar power leads, but I am going to test this first with Envyus since they gave me my own custom domain setup for this offer.

Why am I building a list rather than just linking directly to the offer?

Google is google - they prefer me to link to content I own that serves their community.

Me linking directly to affiliate offers doesn't do that and it may break their policies. Linking to a landing page then to the offer is also a bit risky since it is sometimes considered a bridge page. I have decided, at least for the first few tests, that I will run ads to a squeeze page. I can at least see how the ads run and how many people are actually interested.

The other reason is the fact that I don't believe it will be easy or even possible to make a profit simply by promoting a low payout CPA offer succh as a solar power lead. The list will be valuable in itself.

The Funnel

I plan to test a few different angles and approaches but the funnel will be pretty straight forward.

Ad >> FREE Guide >> Goes to somewhat aggressive advertorial style quiz >> link to offer after one or 2 questions. (the offer itself is a continuation of the quiz, and requires the user to carry on answering questions about their home and power)

Angles will be "government stimulus, clean energy, save on power, make the world a better place" etc...

stimulus.jpg



So the general idea is here is to get people to start micro commitments...right from clicking the link in my youtube ad or video description to entering a email on the next page, to answering 1 question at a time, till eventually they enter a home address and I get paid.

In the videos I will show the results of a few different tests, but I would love to get some feedback on other ideas you would like to see tested.

The Ads

Here is where I am really putting in the time. I have only ran youtube ads to PowerhouseAffiliate.com or my DayJobHacks youtube channel. The make money online niche seems easy since many people are desperately seeking ways to make money and will enter their email for any free training if the ads are coming from someone who knows what they are talking about. (or at least appears to know).

My challenge with solar is going to be the videos and the angles, coupled with the right targetting which I am still researching.

I have hired a freelancer to build a couple video ads just to get this up and running but the basic concept is like a tv commercial convincing people it is time to really find out how much they can save with solar power.

The next thing I will need to test is between in-stream ads or discovery ads. I will test those options first and compare and share the results.

Targeting

I will likely run 2 different campaigns at first. One will target keywords specific to solar power, and the other campaign will target specific videos and channels.

Testing & Tracking

Like any campaign this is going to require a ton of testing and fairly decent starting budget. ($1000 or more)

Here are things that will eat up budget:

Testing each of these components to find a potential combination that works:
  • The videos
  • The type of video ad (discovery vs in-stream)
  • Squeeze Pages A/B testing
  • Page 2 in Funnel A/B Test
  • The offer
  • Different angles (government, savings, environment etc)
  • Email follow ups
Well thats about it for the gameplan - now it is time to execute. I will record the first video tomorrow and post into the Case Studies section.

If you have any ideas, or comments please share.
 
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getmixy

Premium Member
Awesome @joeybabbs. Been waiting for this to drop! I'm about to start hitting YT ads pretty hard over the next couple of months for CPA ecomm offers. Just a few thoughts/questions:

1. If you have been given a custom domain setup from Envyus why not run direct? Might be a good split test to add to the mix. And this would be pretty low risk.

2. Since you mentioned that you will be capturing emails and aim to make the profit on the backend, I would really like to see how this part of the equation is done. Lot's of the case studies are about showing the front end, the traffic generation. Which is awesome. And it would also be valuable if you could show the other side of things too. Making the profit from email marketing. This could even be a completely different case study in itself. I would love to see how it's done. And I'm sure many people would too as typically most cpa marketers go for the direct sale and don't bother with anything past that.

Your setup looks good. I can't wait to follow along with the results. And thanks again for doing this :)
 

joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
1. If you have been given a custom domain setup from Envyus why not run direct? Might be a good split test to add to the mix. And this would be pretty low risk.
It is something I am considering doing. I am waiting for confirmation that that they have not just set up an A-record or some type of wonky redirect setup that might flag the Google system and nail me for circumventing or Malicious software.
 

joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
It's grey - I wouldn't do it on a brand new account.

As for the confirmation from Envyus regarding directly linking to the custom domain they just confirmed and said:

"we have been through the google "malicous software" ordeal. took us a bit to crack that one but we got the site working so that SHOULD not happen."

Makes me nervous so I am gonna start with the original plan.
 

getmixy

Premium Member
Excited to see where this case study goes!

Quick question: does Google allow ad > optin > redirect to offer?
@joeybabbs just wondering why you wouldn't do this setup on a new account? I know you said it's grey hat but don't you think the risk will be very low? Going from ad --> lander --> aff offer has a lot more risk because of the bridge page issue. And this is easy for the bots to follow and know about, let alone a human review.

But I would think running to an optin page would be one of the lowest risk methods on YT. It's highly unlikely a rep would check out the page and then fill in details to see what's behind the optin.

Going from ad to optin would be the method I would prefer to do. But it doesn't work with all offers. Like for many ecomm offers. Sending people to an optin page wouldn't make much sense.
 

joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
@joeybabbs just wondering why you wouldn't do this setup on a new account? I know you said it's grey hat but don't you think the risk will be very low? Going from ad --> lander --> aff offer has a lot more risk because of the bridge page issue. And this is easy for the bots to follow and know about, let alone a human review.

But I would think running to an optin page would be one of the lowest risk methods on YT. It's highly unlikely a rep would check out the page and then fill in details to see what's behind the optin.

Going from ad to optin would be the method I would prefer to do. But it doesn't work with all offers. Like for many ecomm offers. Sending people to an optin page wouldn't make much sense.
Agree I am being a tad parnoid...I have lost many accounts perhaps thats why. In this case I will begin with the plan of optin >> quick presell >> Offer

If all is approved and running I will definitely try to eliminate the presell once I see if even the opt in is worth proceeding with.
 

getmixy

Premium Member
It is something I am considering doing. I am waiting for confirmation that that they have not just set up an A-record or some type of wonky redirect setup that might flag the Google system and nail me for circumventing or Malicious software.
Do you think this would even be an issue? I know some people running at ridiculous scale using sub-domains set up by the networks. And they haven't had the malicious software issue. But this is only from one network I know about setting things up like this. So not sure what others do.

But I will be starting next week running YT ads using a sub domain set up from a network. I will let you know how it goes. I think there is a lot of untapped potential with YT ads and CPA offers. And I've been meaning to hit them for a while. So excited to be getting them up and running. And really looking forward to this case study!
 
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joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
I agree - youtube looks like it's going to be great, and I have heard of people already doing great numbers with ecom. I am looking forward to seeing results on the financial lead gen side of it.

As for policy, I have already lost 1 account where I was using a cname on my server to point to the offer page. So while my domain was in fact the one in the browser...Google flagged the site as malicious.

On another note I spoke to my rep at envyus who also said they had some people banned from Google due to a Cake iframe in the page even though the page was on the affiliates domain.

So I would just be cautious if you don't have access to more ad accounts.
 

csb521169

Premium Member
+1 @joeybabbs and kudos to you for taking on a BIG job. Like @getmixy I'd want to build something *around* the whole deal. Intuitively, solar is not an impulse purchase, or even high-payouts.....BUT:
  • during lockdown and beyond home improvements are off the charts
  • other improvements and home spends are tied in, I dont think that solar is a one-off for most people. So yes, growing a list of people interested in solar/clean energy/lower bills/home improvements in general sounds like a plan
The quiz idea is awesome -- test interest and get them to "sort themselves out" in terms of what they are interested in, or planning to spend, or how soon they plan on having the work done. 3-5 questions seems to be what works for most lead gen sites, I read a killer article recently and will post here if I can re-find it.

Another possibility: Google loves content-rich sites. You dont have the time or bottomless pockets to build them....so why not put up a directory site? SUPPLIERS could pay a monthly $ to list (they'd rather pay a flat fee -- like the old Yellow pages listings -- than give up a percentage of their sweat-and-blood business. USERS could add value with reviews, tips, photos, whatever. Content. And you could promote whatever your best offer/s are, starting with the one in hand. (Obviously, starting a custom domain is wouldnt work here). Anyway I'll be following this thread with interest. Let me know if you need help, I've got more free time than usual this month. "In bocca al lupo" which means "good luck" in Italian, to which you reply "Crepi il lupo" -- may the wolf bite the dust.
 
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csb521169

Premium Member
PS I dont know if the ad you posted is yours "You may be due for massive savings" , I would want to try the fear angle too, it usually outperforms the positive: "If you are paying more than $99/month than you are missing out on a huge money-saving trick...." or similar
 

getmixy

Premium Member
I agree - youtube looks like it's going to be great, and I have heard of people already doing great numbers with ecom. I am looking forward to seeing results on the financial lead gen side of it.

As for policy, I have already lost 1 account where I was using a cname on my server to point to the offer page. So while my domain was in fact the one in the browser...Google flagged the site as malicious.

On another note I spoke to my rep at envyus who also said they had some people banned from Google due to a Cake iframe in the page even though the page was on the affiliates domain.

So I would just be cautious if you don't have access to more ad accounts.
Thanks Joey. I appreciate that insight. Really helpful :)
 

getmixy

Premium Member
Hey Joey, I just watched the 1st video of the case study. I don't have too much to comment on since there isn't that much data yet.

But a few points:

1. I would consider changing your call to action on the video. With these instream ads the description isn't showing up. But you are telling them to "click the link in the description". This could potentially be hurting your click through rate. I would be more specific with the call to action.
2. With placement targeting have you thought about using a tool such as Tubesift or similar? Might save a lot of time as it will only pull results for videos/channels that have monitization enabled.

Looking forward to video 2 :)
 

passive45

Premium Member
@joeybabbs just wondering why you wouldn't do this setup on a new account? I know you said it's grey hat but don't you think the risk will be very low? Going from ad --> lander --> aff offer has a lot more risk because of the bridge page issue. And this is easy for the bots to follow and know about, let alone a human review.

But I would think running to an optin page would be one of the lowest risk methods on YT. It's highly unlikely a rep would check out the page and then fill in details to see what's behind the optin.

Going from ad to optin would be the method I would prefer to do. But it doesn't work with all offers. Like for many ecomm offers. Sending people to an optin page wouldn't make much sense.
Just to jump in on what google will let you get away with, the coaching program I have been in (6 months or so) was with a very (very) large solo ad vendor. Google ads are a HUGE part of how those lists are built daily.

I learnt that Google wont look beyond 2 levels deep so...
Opt in page (1) -> thank you page with button to offer (2) -> offer (3) is safe. 100%. In fact the button link can even be (and usually is solo ads list building wise) a rotator link - which runs no problem.

Further thoughts on youtube placements (some of which probably contradict themselves...) etc:

1) If you think about some of the people that might be into solar (off grid etc etc) there is a fair chance that channels they watch would be outside of standard inventory (TLDR try switching to expanded inventory)
2) Is chasing people that are already into solar the right approach? Chances are they will already have looked into schemes etc.

Maybe it is better to target channels that qualify people as homeowners but don't necessarily know about solar or its benefits (such as general DIY channels) - which there are going to be a lot more of anyway, which will expand your potential reach. You're trying to hit the 'oh I didn't even know that was possible' people, reckon this idea is worth an ad group

Re the video itself maybe just keep the imagery solar focused - I think the (for example) woman fanning a wad of cash makes it seem less legit (and therefore off putting).

Also maybe try split testing the CTA text/voice - you mention 'filling in a quiz/survey' (or words to that effect) - but that could sound like a lot of work to someone lazily flicking through youtube. Maybe a simple 'just enter your email to get started and see if you qualify' (which sounds like less work) would yield a higher CTR.

Important: For the skippable - just to check (as I missed this myself when running youtube ads in the past) - you did add a CTA to the video in the ad settings? You don't need to say link in the description - you actually get to overlay a CTA with the text that you choose 'start now' etc in the ad set up
 
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joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
Hey Joey, I just watched the 1st video of the case study. I don't have too much to comment on since there isn't that much data yet.

But a few points:

1. I would consider changing your call to action on the video. With these instream ads the description isn't showing up. But you are telling them to "click the link in the description". This could potentially be hurting your click through rate. I would be more specific with the call to action.
2. With placement targeting have you thought about using a tool such as Tubesift or similar? Might save a lot of time as it will only pull results for videos/channels that have monitization enabled.

Looking forward to video 2 :)
hey thanks! I am currently working on another video where I'll be using am arrow to point to the actual link they see in the video and.going to specifically say in the video to click right there.

Also I have not heard of the tool but if/when I can get to a point of scaling I'll definitely look for a scraper to find multiple placements. I'll check it out thanks.
 

joeybabbs

LIFETIME MEMBER
Staff member
Just to jump in on what google will let you get away with, the coaching program I have been in (6 months or so) was with a very (very) large solo ad vendor. Google ads are a HUGE part of how those lists are built daily.

I learnt that Google wont look beyond 2 levels deep so...
Opt in page (1) -> thank you page with button to offer (2) -> offer (3) is safe. 100%. In fact the button link can even be (and usually is solo ads list building wise) a rotator link - which runs no problem.

Further thoughts on youtube placements (some of which probably contradict themselves...) etc:

1) If you think about some of the people that might be into solar (off grid etc etc) there is a fair chance that channels they watch would be outside of standard inventory (TLDR try switching to expanded inventory)
2) Is chasing people that are already into solar the right approach? Chances are they will already have looked into schemes etc.

Maybe it is better to target channels that qualify people as homeowners but don't necessarily know about solar or its benefits (such as general DIY channels) - which there are going to be a lot more of anyway, which will expand your potential reach. You're trying to hit the 'oh I didn't even know that was possible' people, reckon this idea is worth an ad group

Re the video itself maybe just keep the imagery solar focused - I think the (for example) woman fanning a wad of cash makes it seem less legit (and therefore off putting).

Also maybe try split testing the CTA text/voice - you mention 'filling in a quiz/survey' (or words to that effect) - but that could sound like a lot of work to someone lazily flicking through youtube. Maybe a simple 'just enter your email to get started and see if you qualify' (which sounds like less work) would yield a higher CTR.

Important: For the skippable - just to check (as I missed this myself when running youtube ads in the past) - you did add a CTA to the video in the ad settings? You don't need to say link in the description - you actually get to overlay a CTA with the text that you choose 'start now' etc in the ad set up
Awesome points.

Yes this first attempt was exactly that - aiming for people on the edge of getting solar or thinking about it...but you are right I should try also a more broad DYI audience and maybe the video can be more informative of the actual program.

I like the CTA idea and will try that in the next tests to try and get higher CTR.

Once I get the actual traffic I am sure I'll need to then adjust my actual funnel....
 
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