How to Choose Your First Vertical and Offer to Promote
Ok, welcome back to my “2019/2020 Adult traffic tutorial“, let’s move on with another lesson.
By now, you already know what the situation in Adult looks like in 2019/2020 and you also know what kind of tools you need in order to start running adult traffic. The next step would be to decide on what you are going to promote.
There are several options, some are better suited for newbies than others, so let’s go over the basic ones right now.
Note: For this lesson, I asked Diana from Unitegap.com (an adult dating affiliate network that gladly works with newbies!) to share some insights with me. Especially about what GEOs perform well now in general and what offer types deliver the most revenue. I always love to get these figures from a network, since they see the data of other affiliates, which I don’t have access to… and that helps to paint the full picture.
THE MAIN VERTICALS
Adult as an industry offers a lot of ways to make money with, but not all of them are suitable for paid traffic promotions (at least not the general stuff you can buy from networks), so let’s focus on just those verticals that have been proven to convert general tube traffic decently.
This leaves us with a bit limited options:
Dating: the biggest vertical for paid traffic campaigns, period.
LiveCams: these can work like a charm, but you need to focus on RevShare, which is not exactly newbie-friendly.
Paid Membership Sites: in some cases, these can work, but you would have to go full NICHE and explore the really dark areas of human minds.
Male Enhancement: solid option, especially in some GEOs where dating doesn’t kill it that much. Higher payouts make it a bit harder to start with for new affiliates.
Mobile Content Billing: these used to totally kill it not so long ago, but the regulations of the carrier billing ecosystem pretty much ended the gold rush. But still, several networks make decent numbers with it even today, so it’s still an option.
There are several more verticals in adult, but they are either too complicated for new affiliates or do not perform well enough with standard tube traffic, so let’s leave them out for now as we are not here to experiment with something that MIGHT stand a chance. All of the 5 listed above work with paid traffic and I have made $$$ with all of them.
So which one to choose when starting out? My suggestion would be DATING by far.
Dating offers are the easiest to convert, they are available at pretty much any affiliate network, they support a lot of GEOs, and it’s what I’m promoting in adult all the time too. For what it’s worth, I would definitely start with this vertical.
WHAT CONVERSION MODEL TO CHOOSE?
Dating offers come in several “variations”, based on the conversion point. This has been discussed a lot, so I won’t go into details much, but let me just list the available ones really quickly.
- SOI: Single Opt-In: a conversion happens upon a simple email submit, no confirmation needed. These are the easiest to convert, usually pay the least and also suffer from lead quality problems the most often.
- DOI: Double Opt-In: an additional confirmation is needed in order for the conversion to count. Usually, a click on the confirmation link in the “welcome email” is required. These are a bit harder to convert, offer a bit higher payout and also the lead quality problems are less frequent.
- REVSHARE: you get paid a revenue share % from the actual fee that the user has paid. These range from 25% all the way up to even 100% in some cases. The power of RevShare lies in the rebills. If the users keep on paying for months, you keep on collecting your %, month after month.
- PPT/PPS: Pay Per Trial or Pay Per Sale: you get paid a fixed amount for either a trial or full membership to a dating site. The sum is usually higher in case of a full sale. These are hard to convert, as the user has to actually pay with real $$$ (same with RevShare). But the payout per conversion is also the highest, often as much as $100 per sale or more. Quality problems are very rare here unless you engage in some kind of CC fraud.
These are the most common models in adult dating. I have also seen some hybrids that combine low initial per lead payouts followed with a lower RevShare %, but the above listed 4 are what you will be working with the most.
So, which one to choose as a new adult affiliate? I would suggest to go with PPL (pay per lead), so either the SOI or DOI model. With a limited budget, SOI is a better option since it converts easier and the payouts are lower than with DOI which translates to lower testing budget.
However, due to the quality problems that you are pretty much guaranteed to run into, it would be a good idea to switch to DOI later on. DOIs pay more, so it requires a higher testing budget, so keep that in mind.
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NEXT COMES THE GEO, HOW TO CHOOSE ONE?
Ok, so, by now you know that you should start with Dating offers and preferably with the SOI model. The next question is, what country (GEO) to target. Obviously, not all of them are equal and not all of them are the right choice for a newbie.
As a newbie, you have to stay away from certain GEOs because they are simply too competitive. Even though it might be tempting to start there, you stand little chance against guys with years of experience and “bumped” payouts. USA is a great example: the volumes are HUGE, many affiliates are making great money there, but it’s so competitive that you are pretty much guaranteed to lose money there.
On the other hand, big guys tend to overlook smaller and lower TIER GEOs, simply because it’s not worth their time. But for a newbie, this can actually be an advantage. Go for the low hanging fruit, so to speak.
The next thing to consider is the payout per conversion. In order to properly optimize a campaign, you need to spend a certain amount of $ on traffic. Usually, we use multiples of the offer payout. So the higher the payout per conversion, the more $ you have to spend on the initial tests.
A good example would be Sweden or the other Nordics. All of these GEOs can perform great, but the payouts often reach $20 per lead, which makes the optimization quite costly. On the other hand, if you can “take it”, there is a lot of opportunity in these countries.
For a newbie with a limited budget, the choice is quite obvious. You should start with the lower-paying offers. And since we are speaking about GEOs now: the more overlooked and lower TIER GEOs usually have offers with lower payouts.
In case you’re worried about the profit potential with low payout offers, don’t be. The payout per conversion is just one of the metrics, the final EPC and ROI is what matters. I’ve seen it times and times again during my AM “career”, in many cases I was able to bring home bigger profits with lower payout offers.
Remember when I mentioned Diana from UnitedGap? I really wanted to get a “network’s view” on the GEOs and where the action takes place now, so most of my questions for her were GEO related.
Let me paste the Q&A here now:
Question 1: If you look at the year 2019/2020, are there any GEOs that stand out in terms of performance? Both in terms of EPC and volumes?
Diana: We’ve seen amazing performances in NL, CA, and UK on dating offers. Especially with NL since we felt that lately there weren’t any solid offers on the market, but there are a few advertisers that are still very strong. CA and UK are also pretty big and solid GEOs, the performance we’ve seen have been very good.
Question 2: Speaking about lower TIER GEOs, which ones do you see some solid activity in right now? Do you see some overlooked ones that could provide a solid opportunity for new affiliates?
Diana: GR and PT have been very solid in performance. A lot of affiliates have been skeptical because they are not standard GEOs to begin with, but we’ve seen solid activity and also good values for the advertisers. These two GEOs are highly recommended as starting GEOs. CZ is also a solid GEO we’ve been working with and we’re trying to expand in TR which we feel a lot of affiliates would be interested in.
Question 3: How about GEOs that simply do not work well with dating and affiliates should stay away from, at least for now. Do you see some like that?
Diana: The US is probably one of those GEOs that everybody likes to start in but is extremely competitive. It’s easy to start because you can use English landers and it has a lot of volume, but it’s very tough to find good quality traffic in US. What seems to not really work for advertisers is LATAM and Asia. While there is a lot of interest due to the availability of cheap traffic and big volumes, but sadly we do not see a lot dating advertisers that offer CPL deals there.
Question 4: Lead quality is a frequent problem in adult dating. Based on your data, are these quality problems more frequent with SOI or DOI offers?
Diana: DOI helps out a bit more with the quality compared to SOI. It’s still possible to have really bad quality on DOI depending on the sources and angles, but with SOI it can be even worse.
Question 5: Low-payout offers VS higher-payout offers… do you guys see more revenue with either of them or is it evenly distributed?
Diana: It’s really evenly distributed on our end. Our top 10 offers consist of low & high payout offers. I think the experienced affiliates know that the payout doesn’t really matter, it’s the EPC that counts. Some of our best offers have an extremely low payout yet very high conversion rate. The main point is to always test to find the hidden gems.
So, how do we conclude the GEO selection?
As I mentioned, stay away from the most competitive ones. US, for sure, UK is a bit easier but tough too, Germany has been a nightmare for me for years and I know it’s the same for many others too. If you really want to go for a TIER 1 GEO, try UK or one of the Nordics, some people do well with AT or CH too, NL and BE can be a good combo as well due to the language overlap.
If you’re on a budget, definitely consider some of the lower TIERs. You can either try GR and PT as Diana suggested or go for the Eastern European countries such as CZ, SK, PL, HU. All of these countries are doing pretty well lately, so the payouts are a bit higher now too.
WHERE TO GET YOUR FIRST OFFER?
So let’s sum it up now a bit, in case you’re about to follow my suggestions, you need a lower-paying SOI/DOI dating offer in a lower TIER GEO where competition isn’t through the roof. Where to get them?
You have 2 choices again: Affiliate Networks or Direct Advertisers.
Direct advertisers own their offers, which means they CAN offer higher payouts. BUT, their offerings are limited to a bunch of offers, usually. As soon as your quality doesn’t prove to be the best, they will likely ask you to stop traffic and you will need to find a different advertiser.
As such, going with an affiliate network is a better choice for a new affiliate. In case your traffic doesn’t work for one of their advertisers, they can still let you test offers from someone else. So, unless you do something fishy, you will get access to a lot of different offers in a wide range of GEOs.
There is a ton of affiliate networks on the market and these days, pretty much all of them have dating offers, though some are more into dating than others. I will list a few networks for you, most of them I have worked with but the choice is yours. I do not endorse any networks, nor am I affiliated with any of them so please do not take the list as a list of some networks approved by me.
You can check out UnitedGap, which is the network that answered my questions for this lesson. Diana assured me that they are very willing to accept newbies, which was one of the reasons I chose them to get insights from.
Another great one is Advidi, a solid network with tons of dating offers. They are not that keen on accepting fresh newbies though, so you might have a problem to get approved.
ClickDealer is another long-running network with a heavy selection of dating offers. Аs far as I know, they are not that picky when it comes to newbies.
There is TopOffers, kind of a hybrid between a direct advertiser and an affiliate network. As far as I know, they own part of the offers but they also list offers from other advertisers.
XCash is a direct advertiser with their in-house affiliate program. They also offer RevShare and other models (based on agreement) and they have a solid presence in EU markets.
imaXcash is another direct advertiser with a nice selection of EU offers with some Eastern European countries too.
DateProfits is a direct advertiser for USA and UK, not many offers to choose from but they’ve been running for years too.
I could go on and on, but that’s kinda pointless. It’s always a good idea to follow who attends the big affiliate conferences such as Affiliate World Europe and Asia. In case you see some networks attending one conference after another, that means they are probably in the game for real.
Whoever you choose to work with, do your due diligence and screen them online a bit! After all, it’s your money so be careful with it.
And one piece of advice: do not register with too many networks at once, choose 2 or 3 maybe. Each of the networks has some payout threshold that you need to cross in order to get paid. The last thing you need to happen is to have smaller amounts of $ locked at a big number of networks, especially when on a tight budget.
It’s also better to drive volume with a limited number of networks, instead of spreading it out too much. The more you make with a single network, the more responsive your AM will be and the more attention you will earn for yourself, not even mentioning the possible payout bumps. This is a business, after all, it has to make sense for all sites involved.
Let’s wrap it up here, shall we?
In case you’ve made it this far, you know what vertical and offer type I recommend for the newbies to start with. You also have some tips on networks to check out, so make sure to take a look at some of them.
Don’t forget about tools like OfferVault and oDigger, these aggregate the offer listings from a large number of affiliate networks, so you can use them to find more affiliate networks to sign up with.
In the next lesson, I will talk about where to get traffic and how to structure a funnel for adult dating campaigns, so stay tuned.
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