So, you have a service to promote or a product to sell and look for a “Santa’s helper”, preferably specializing in performance marketing, to create a performing ad campaign that converts into good leads or customers for you. It already sounds extremely serious and as something that requires time and efforts. But how can you be sure that this performance agency you have found on Crunchbase or LinkedIn will match your expectations? Of course, you can’t! This is why you may only start cooperating with a performance agency once you’ve asked them all 5 questions described below!
1. What are your expectations for the campaign?
Before beginning a collaboration with a performance agency, take the following into consideration: if the agency knows what they are doing, they will definitely have their own predictions of the way the market will react to the campaign. This may be based on previous experience with similar campaigns or the industry knowledge. Whatever the reason, it is vital to be aware of such kind of expectations, as you will have to identify the extent to which they are sensible and reachable. To be sure you and your performance agency are moving in the same direction, ask them for information about the traffic they will use to promote your product/service; find out about the types of GEO´s that will perform best with this type of campaign and the payout you should try in all of them. All in all, try to understand whether your agency knows their partners well and if they are completely certain about what they can offer. Starting cooperation with this question will help you understand their way of thinking and decide on further actions to be taken.
2. What will be your strategy to achieve our goals?
Once you are convinced by your agency that the market will react to your campaign positively, there is no need to beat around the bush. Ask them directly: what’s the plan? You have your goals and the right to know what they will do to achieve them. Which means of promotion will they use? Will it be banners, links, pop-ups or maybe email? Will the agency work with direct traffic or traffic from external sources?
What model of payment should they focus on? CPA, CPM, CPC, etc.? Why so? Whatever the suggestions are, the agency will still need to run different A/B tests to evaluate what type of creatives, copies or landing pages perform best.
3. Do you use any security system to track conversions?
Some agencies use many different checkpoints to analyze the quality of the traffic, whereas some don’t have any system to detect such activities. This is something you should definitely know beforehand. You need to be sure that those conversions which come from suspicious or fraud sources are analyzed and discounted if necessary.This is why you should not be afraid to ask direct questions! Will the leads be validated? If so, how is it being done? What is the timeframe for validation? This determines if your goals will be reached properly or not.
4. Will I pay just for results?
Soo, payments! We all feel a bit uncomfortable asking someone about money but this question is the one you can’t avoid (and why would you?). You want to know what you are paying for, whether it is the conversions/sales/leads generated by the agency. Moreover, don’t forget to find out if there are any extra costs you will need to cover and what it is connected with. Apart from this, you want to be sure everything is calculated thoroughly by your counterpart, so ask them what kind of panel they use to count results. How is this panel counting conversions? What is the attribution model? Be precise and curious! If you wish so, ask your agency if they could report daily/weekly or monthly. You want to find out as much as you can here! After all, it is all wrapped around profit, right?
5. What do you need from me to start?
You have asked your performance agency questions that helped you understand whether you want to proceed with the collaboration or look for some other guys to work with. What’s now? Show engagement from your side and find out what is needed to be done by you. In fact, some agencies provide the landing pages and the creatives (banners) themselves, whereas others request these materials from the advertiser. There may be issues about payments and the agency will most likely want to know what is the payout they should offer so the ROI remains positive. What is most important here, is a two-way communication and deciding on what should be done in order to begin. With everything being discussed, you may as well start working together.
Communication is a cornerstone of any relationships, even between you and your agency. It’s not about putting the blame — it’s about trying to figure out what you need. Do not be afraid to ask questions if they will provide you with necessary information and you will get incredible results!
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