This case study has been written exclusively for ZorbasMedia.
By way of introduction
The crucial thing when using any upcoming ad format is hopping on the trend when it’s on the upswing.
I had ample opportunity to start running push traffic when it was trending. Back then, however, I was more interested in crypto trading, much to my own detriment.
So, I first started running push traffic in late 2019 when the push notification trend was on the decline. However, it turned out that push traffic campaigns could be lucrative even then. Believe it or not, it is possible to climb into the green with push traffic even today.
Here is where the case study begins
When it comes to any traffic source or offer vertical, I always start advertising products either in my favorite GEOs or in the regions recommended by my affiliate manager.
If the first results are positive, I immediately launch a few other campaigns. I promote offers predominantly in English-speaking Tier-1 GEOs or solvent European countries.
Today, I would like to break down my campaigns on the example of one GEO. Other regions perform similarly. I always use similar creatives that show different results, and our goal is to find the one that will help us score a winning campaign and generate huge traffic volumes, as well as a lot of profit.
Here are the overall results:
Campaign time period: December 2019 — January 2020
For those of you who have no idea what’s going on in the screenshot above, here’s the explanation:
- FR — GEO. France.
- Dating — an offer vertical (online dating services).
- PropellerAds — the name of a push notification ad network.
- HA, MA, LA — user activity level: H — High, M — Medium, L — Low. This is one of the key settings within an ad campaign that determines traffic quality.
- CPC/CPM — cost per click/cost per thousand impressions.
- WL — white list campaigns.
How to launch a campaign on PropellerAds
Here’s a short step-by-step guide on how to launch a successful campaign on Propeller Ads.
When launching your first campaign, choose push notifications and the CPC pricing model.
Why not CPM? The CPM business model is only profitable when you know your CTR (the clickability of your ads) and can be sure that you won’t waste your ad budget.
Let’s say that a cost per click of 2 cents brings you enough traffic volumes and a satisfactory ROI.
In this case, if you launch a CPM campaign and set a bid of 10 cents for 1000 impressions, you will get a 1% CTR. This means that you will generate 10 clicks per 1000 impressions and spend 10 cents on it. If you run on CPC, the same 10 clicks will cost you 20 cents (2×10).
From what’s been laid out so far it may seem that the choice is clear, but it’s not as simple as that. It is impossible to predict the clickability of your ads. Besides, even under equal conditions, the same creatives perform differently in different campaigns (or even in the same one) in terms of clickability, not to mention different GEOs and creatives. Here are some examples.
One of my Spanish ad campaigns with low user activity and a white list generated 153 conversions and a 0.08% CTR. I paid $105 for this traffic, or for about 16,000 clicks. A click cost me $0.006.
I would have to pay $370 for 18.5 impressions with a CPM of $0.02 (18 500 000 / 1000 × 0.02 = $370).
Here’s another campaign. This time it’s Chili. I used the same Spanish-language ad copy and creatives, but the GEO was different, as was user activity (high), and so the CTR amounted to 3.4%.
Let’s move on to other settings.
The In-Page Push ad format had been introduced only a short while ago when I launched my campaigns on PropellerAds. The format was specifically designed to target iOS users. Back then, there was not so much traffic, but the volumes have increased considerably since that time, and so I definitely recommend testing out this ad format.
Enter your tracker link into the Target URL field and be sure to specify all the necessary parameters. I recommend using Binom Tracker (if you follow the link, you will get your first month for free and a 40% discount on the second month).
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, reach out to the network’s support team. I am sure they will help you.
So, let’s go on:
You can upload up to 8 creatives in 1 advertising campaign. I always add as many creatives as possible and then pick up the 1-3 most effective ads.
I have never changed traffic options and always left the default settings.
User activity stands for user lifetime. Users with low activity have been seeing push ads for quite a while. Those who have recently subscribed to push notifications belong to the high user activity group.
Note that low user activity doesn’t equal low-quality traffic. Actually, low user activity campaigns can generate a higher ROI due to low traffic costs.
Over time, I came up with a strategy to opt for high activity on a separate basis and combine low and medium activity levels in a single campaign. However, sometimes it is more beneficial to launch three different campaigns depending on different user activity levels.
Then, choose the country you would like to advertise in but don’t mention any particular cities. As for the bid, I either opt for the recommended bid or set a lower price depending on the clickability of specific ads and the estimated conversion rate. I get this data from the network’s real-time traffic estimator.
Auto-optimization is undoubtedly a great tool, but I would say that this solution will be more beneficial for beginner affiliates. The smart algorithm sometimes disables promising platforms that could bring lots of quality traffic.
Everything can happen.
For instance, you have 5 creatives, and one of the platforms converts well only with one of them and generates a high ROI, unlike others. You can disable either the platform or 4 poorly converting creatives and get a profit.
Also, don’t forget that we set the expected payout per lead manually when creating a campaign. However, you can also drive traffic to a Smartlink, which makes it difficult to predict the average cost per conversion, and so the auto-optimization algorithm won’t be able to account for all possible combinations.
The next steps:
Set up your marketing budget. I chose the following targeting parameters: mobile traffic, Android users, the Chrome browser, and the language of the corresponding GEO.
Zone limitation — black and white lists I have already mentioned. If you don’t have a relevant database, just leave the default settings before you collect enough data.
“Include” — enter zone IDs you would like to receive traffic from (whitelist). “Exclude” — enter zone IDs you would like to block (blacklist).
Analytics and creatives
Let’s break down one of my High Active CPM campaigns.
If we check out the analytics on creatives, we will see that creative №4586691 performed the best:
This is the creative:
There is nothing outstanding about it. This is not adult content, although the creative itself is actually quite dubious and won’t easily get approved. You will need to experiment a lot to strike the right balance.
The text is also not particularly remarkable. Some 18-year old French girl called Lucy has allegedly sent the user her video and wants to meet in the evening. You will find a lot of similar creatives in any spy service database. I also added some graphical elements resembling online status and a fake play button.
Here’s creative №4586788 that brought 29 leads:
This is by far not the only possible creative angle, but as far as this campaign is concerned, it performed the best.
Another crucial aspect is WebID analytics. These are sites (zones) that send push notifications to visitors.
Here are the most effective zones profit-wise for this campaign:
And here are the least effective:
As you can see, France demonstrates consistently high traffic quality if you opt for the high user activity level. I spent about $232 on traffic and didn’t come across any zone that could be added to a blacklist.
Below is the screenshot showing the stats for a low user activity campaign that was also run in France:
Here, we have a number of potential candidates for a blacklist, such as all WebIDs with a 1-2% LP CTR (the click-through-rate of a landing page).
As for those platforms that brought 13 leads, I usually run ads on them as long as possible if they don’t generate a more than -10% ROI.
Although smart auto-optimization is a great solution, sometimes you have to exclude certain zones manually. You can disable zones in the Statistics section:
Just tick off those platforms that perform poorly. In the same section, you can also find important creative metrics, such as impressions, clicks, leads, CTR, and CR:
It is good when the highest converting creative also shows the highest CTR, because, in this case, it will receive most of the traffic.
By the way, if you look at the screenshot above, you will notice that the actual costs by specific zones are not accurately mirrored by the tracker data.
This is often linked to the fact that a certain amount of traffic is not sent from a network to your tracking solution. This is normal for any traffic source out there, including push notifications. Moreover, I regularly refresh campaign costs manually on Binom because the tracker averages your CPC.
In such cases, you need to focus first and foremost on campaign data provided by the network.
Here are the overall results by offer:
Alongside this, I was also running a Facebook traffic campaign in France, and so I picked up only those offers I felt sure of. Revolution Force offers weren’t profitable from the very onset (and the situation only exacerbated once quarantine measures were imposed).
If you would like to sign up on Adverten, here’s the link.
I don’t run traffic to TopOffers anymore. I have completely switched to ProfitSocial. This network also grants exclusive terms to its partners and has a Smartlink from direct advertisers rather than just offers.
I also found a couple of spy tool landing pages that showed a relatively high conversion rate. I don’t see any point in demonstrating these landing pages because they are pretty standard. So, you can test out pretty much everything.
Don’t forget that spying on your competitors has long become the new normal in affiliate marketing, but simply ripping off someone else’s campaigns isn’t a viable strategy. It is worth taking a look at your competitors’ ads and then flex your creative muscles.
I started running push traffic in December 2019, and my first campaigns were in the red. Also, before scaling up into other GEOs, I tested out at least 10 different regions.
Managing multiple campaigns is not an easy task, but launching a slew of ads on Facebook that get banned in an instant is no less difficult and labor-intensive.
Note that, unlike some other networks, PropellerAds rigorously follows its policy that strictly prohibits adult content, among other things. So, if you promote dating offers, avoid using nudity in any of your campaign elements.
I also drove push traffic from other networks, but not so successfully.
So, why did I stop running push traffic?
First and foremost, because I have been driving traffic from Facebook for a very long time, and this is still my preferred traffic source.
This case study has been written exclusively for ZorbasMedia. Author: Demiurg