The traditional high risk, low reward marketing model doesn’t work anymore. It’s outdated — wasting your time and budget on tactics that don’t produce results. We all know this, which is why you’re here, looking at an article on choosing a performance marketing agency.
A good agency will make the most of your budget, help you stand out in a competitive marketplace, and consider your brand’s reputation in all they do. Working with the right agency flips the script, transforming the process of leads and new customers to low risk and high reward.
But to reap the benefits of performance marketing, you’ve got to have the right partner. So here are the six things you should look for:
1. Stacking Up Those *Qualified* Leads
What if you only paid for actions, leads, and results that actually made sense specifically for your business? As an advertiser, you want to have an attribution model that allows you to spend your marketing budget on the qualified actions that you determine.
So how do you know your budget is spent on results? Look for these key points from your performance marketing partner:
- Pricing that’s correctly set by the traffic channel it’s coming from — because we know that not all traffic is created equal
- The right conversion points: filters and real-time customer qualification that fits your business
- No upfront costs — this is performance marketing after all
- Flexibility in payout structures to choose from including CPL, CPS, CPM, and CPC
We should also mention that a performance marketing agency is more than a “lead seller.” Look to work with a team and agency that drives traffic to your site — allowing you to control the customer journey and to only pay on the qualified actions and leads.
2. Mmmm, Just Smell that Advertising ROI
When you work on a performance model, your advertising ROI should be pretty sweet and very predictable. You get all the free traffic and awareness for your brand while only paying for customers who convert to a lead.
When working with a great partner, you should expect to get an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent through email marketing and an average ROI of $11.50 for display, and $7.50 for affiliate.
We think that covers the high reward part pretty well but what about low risk?
3. Go For The Brand-First Compliance
Too many agencies go for the short-term gain and don’t consider the ramifications that shoddy marketing can have on your business’s ability to get customers long-term. The customer experience is crucial and every touchpoint with your brand is important, whether someone converts as a lead or not.
Compiling percentages from a variety of marketing studies, we’ve found that nearly 31% of all online activity is fraudulent. When looking for a performance marketing partner to help your brand gain leads, take care of your customers, and grow revenue, look for a company that refuses to be part of the 31%.
Your performance marketing partner should have a separate compliance team reviewing content that is going out on behalf of your brand and they should know their fraud percentage like the back of their hand (ours is less than 1%, by the way).
4. Where’s the Exclusive and Qualified Traffic?
Another way to know if an agency is a right fit for you is if they have access to exclusive, qualified traffic. Many agencies are vendors of vendors, meaning they don’t own or have exclusive rights to the source of traffic — leaving it up to the marketing gods to offer good leads.
Don’t leave it to fate, instead, work with an original vendor with exclusive access to some of the world’s top proven publishers. What will this mean for you? Qualified leads and top-quality traffic.
5. A Dedicated Team with 24/7 Service
Additionally, there are three key things you need in a performance marketing partner:
- Dedication and Experience: Not your average, “we have an experienced team” spiel, you actually need a team and point of contact who are dedicated to your business and have experience helping Fortune 500 companies scale their new consumer acquisition. And not just during the traditional nine to five but every day of the week, 24-hours a day.
- An Unbiased Compliance Team: You wouldn’t hand the keys to your LaFerrari to a 16-year old student driver. So why are you handing the keys to your million-dollar business to an agency that doesn’t utilize compliance best practices? Look for an agency that has a dedicated legal team with licensed attorneys reviewing every single subject line, tagline, landing page, and marketing strategy to ensure everything is legitimate, in compliance, and the best representation of your brand.
- Transparent Analytics: In conjunction with a dedicated, experienced, and compliant team, you also need to know that the data, the leads, and the quality you’re paying for is accurate. You need robust and transparent reporting on what’s happening with your campaigns and a good agency partner should provide that weekly.
6. Results and examples to back up claims
Tired of the dime-a-dozen agencies without results or campaign examples to back their claims? Make sure that when you’re looking for a performance marketing partner, they can quickly and easily share the results they’ve gotten for large brands like yours.
Ask for examples of campaigns that worked (and even campaigns that didn’t work) and ask why. If they know their stuff, they’ll be able to share how they’ve adapted to marketing trends and how they’ve helped major brands pivot and earn qualified leads.
Your Next Steps
After reading this, you should have a good idea of what to look for and what questions to ask when you interview a performance marketing partner. Most performance agencies have services that offer email, social, search, native, display, and mobile. Make sure you look for the 6 traits mentioned regardless of the channel/medium to ensure you have the best agency partner possible.
Wondering if we hit the mark? Can we deliver on all the above? Ask our expert team yourself. Click this link to schedule a 45-minute call.