Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

17 August 2020
Reading: 12 min

Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

Definition of mobile content offers

Mobile content, also known as wapclick, is one of those evergreen affiliate marketing verticals where the billing is made directly from the cell phone’s balance. 

Mobile content services were first introduced back in the mid-nineties. Initially, these were provided by mobile carriers, but as the smartphone technology became available to more and more users globally, mobile subscriptions received a powerful boost. The vertical reached its peak of popularity in 2010-2013 when the market was overheated and aggressive marketing techniques were on the rise. 

Things have changed considerably since then, and the mobile content landscape is getting increasingly whitehat, which opens up new development opportunities and allows for running successful long-term campaigns.

Mobile subscriptions are available all over the world. However, the payouts per subscription vary across regions: from $15 in Western Europe to a mere $0.3 in Iran.

One huge advantage of mobile content is that most people throughout the globe use mobile phones in their everyday life. Relatively low subscription costs are also a major factor behind the popularity of mobile content among both end-users and affiliate marketers.

As the entry threshold to the mobile content market is lower as compared to other verticals, you can get enough data even if you run ads on a shoestring budget. Users are often willing to subscribe to mobile services, which allows affiliates to score a winning campaign in a short period of time, reap the first profits, and then start optimizing and scaling up their marketing efforts.

This vertical offers lots of opportunities to both seasoned and beginner affiliate marketers. Mobile content offers convert best with Facebook and Google traffic due to a number of factors, such as a huge audience, simple flow, and a wide variety of offers. 

To put it simply, it is much easier to encourage the user to send an SMS rather than put in their credit card information.

Types of mobile content offers

Mobile content offers fall into several categories based on the target action the user has to perform in order to subscribe to a service:

  • Clickflow,
  • PIN submit,
  • Click-to-SMS flow.

Mobile subscription offers can also be subdivided into groups depending on the type of content, but let us first describe various target actions.

  1. Clickflow — users only have to click on the confirmation button on the landing page once or twice to be subscribed and get billed.

    Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing    Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

  2. PIN submit — users can subscribe by requesting a PIN code on the offer page and then receiving an activation code via the SMS, which they need to enter on the offer page as a means of confirmation.

    Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

  3. Click-to-SMS flow — to subscribe, the user is required to click on the offer page and then send a message to a specific number (in some countries, local authorities require the user to enter their mobile phone on the page).

    Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing    Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

Pre-landers for mobile content offers

As far as mobile subscriptions are concerned, most affiliates use pre-landers designed predominantly to warm up the user and encourage them to perform a target action.

Affiliate networks usually help their partners in building and translating pre-landers or provide ready-made solutions. All this enables publishers to test their sales funnel in the shortest possible time and avoid wasting their time on making creatives and promo materials all by themselves.

At the same time, a lot of webmasters use spy tool landing pages and pre-landers adapted to a specific campaign.

Here are some examples:

Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing  Mobile Content in Affiliate MarketingMobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

Mobile content business models

When choosing a pricing model, you should first and foremost weigh all pros and cons and carefully calculate all the risks to get the most out of your traffic. Let’s break down the most widespread business models, CPA and RevShare, in more detail. How are they different and which model is right for you?

First of all, we need to point out that only a handful of affiliates run on RevShare. The lion’s share of the turnover accounts for CPA. However, any beginner affiliate should be aware of different pricing models when picking up a mobile content offer.

CPA (cost per action) is a mobile advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays a fixed price for each specified action.

For example, you have subscribed the user to a video content service that will cost them $4 per week. You will receive a one-time fixed payment for this subscription. Note that most affiliates run on CPA when it comes to mobile content because this model is more stable and reliable and, most importantly, it allows you to calculate ad metrics more accurately and then optimize your campaign.

By definition, RevShare is the sharing of the revenue made from a sale between an advertiser and an affiliate. 

For example, you have subscribed the user to the same video content service that costs the same $4 per week. If you run on RevShare, you will get a predefined percent of each weekly sale. Let’s say it’s 30%.

In this case, you will receive $1.2 every week until the user unsubscribes. At first glance, it may seem that the RevShare model is more profitable. The reality is, however, that the unsubscribe rate is higher than you think and billing is not always correct.

Mobile content verticals

Mobile content offers are present in a variety of verticals, such as mobile gaming, antivirus software, video content, articles, sweepstakes, horoscopes, recipes, sports content, and adult content.

Mobile gaming The user gets access to mobile games or premium gaming content. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Video Video content refers to various streaming services and access to paid TV shows. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Sweepstakes Users can win a smartphone, various devices, and vouchers if they pay a fixed fee and join a giveaway. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Horoscopes Users receive daily horoscopes. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Recipes Users get access to recipes of various cuisines around the world. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Adult offers Paid access to adult content. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing
Sports Sports content implies that users get access to sports TV shows or training apps. Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing


So, it is safe to say that any affiliate will find a mobile content offer that will perform best with their traffic. You can test out different verticals and sales funnels and at the same time encourage users to perform the same target action.

Mobile content geography

Mobile content offers cover a wide range of GEOs from Switzerland and the Nordics to Malaysia, Iraq, and Iran where the payout per subscription accounts for only $0.3. At the same time, thanks to low traffic costs and weaker marketing regulations, you get a high CR and a great ROI when advertising in these GEOs because mobile content is very popular there. The only thing you need to do is to find the right traffic sources.

 All geographic areas where mobile content is promoted fall into the following groups:

  • Tier 1 countries: Western Europe where the payouts reach up to $15;
  • CIS countries;
  • Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman, where the payouts reach up to $8. These are solvent regions with the high-intent audience;
  • Eastern European countries with a high purchasing power: Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Romania; 
  • Tier 3 GEOs, such as Africa, Latin America, and Asia, as well as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Iran. You can find a lot of multi-GEO offers with low payouts for these regions, which is compensated for by low traffic costs and huge traffic volumes. All this allows affiliates to generate a 100% ROI or even higher.

Geographically, mobile subscriptions can also be divided into different groups based on mobile carrier requirements, such as MENA, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the CIS. User behavior patterns and mobile content regulation can vary significantly across these regions. So, be sure to run market research and reach out to your affiliate manager for advice before launching your ad campaigns.

As far as operating systems are concerned, the main categories are Android and iOS devices. Don’t forget to take this into account when optimizing your campaigns because the CR varies considerably across different OSs.

How to promote mobile content

Mobile subscriptions can perform well with a wide variety of traffic sources. The most widely used traffic sources with a low entry threshold for beginners are pop and push traffic.

However, the most promising traffic sources are Facebook and Google. We’ll start with them.

Facebook is the most promising traffic source, but you will need to use a cloaker to promote mobile content on this platform. If you set up the right target audience, your ads will perform great conversion-wise. 

Google Display Network is another great traffic source, but you will need to find the right target audience to launch successful ads.

There are several ways to drive traffic from Google:

  • The easiest way is to run direct link campaigns and use whitehat marketing techniques.
  • You can also cloak your campaigns and show the platform’s ad review system website A and then drive the end-user to website B once they click on your ad.
  • Private funnels.
  • You can also drive traffic through a transit website.

Push traffic still performs well with mobile content offers. This traffic source enables affiliates to secure stable results, as well as to quickly test a campaign out and identify the best performing creatives and landing pages. Moreover, most push traffic networks are mobile content friendly and will approve your campaigns if you follow the content policy.

If you run pop traffic, you need to pay particular attention to filtering out poorly converting zones. Having a whitelist will allow you to quickly score a winning campaign.

Targeting settings for mobile content offers

If you promote mobile content offers, you need to pay special attention to carrier targeting. Some mobile carriers don’t allow you to subscribe their users due to governmental regulations in their respective countries.

In Europe, the mobile content vertical is subject to stricter rules: for instance, you can’t use certain words and graphic elements in your ad copy and creatives, as well as to mislead users and force them into subscribing to a service.

On the positive side, advertisers usually provide webmasters with IP addresses for better targeting and to enhance your CR.

However, there is one thing you need to bear in mind: it often happens that you get an outdated pool of IPs, so we strongly recommend you reach out to your manager for up-to-date information before launching your campaign. 

Summing up, if you promote mobile subscriptions, you need to be aware of different carrier requirements in the GEOs you advertise in and secure approval from your manager before starting to run traffic. This will allow you to ensure high traffic quality and successful campaign performance.

Case study

Below is the case study showing how to drive Facebook traffic to mobile content offers.

Affiliate network: Affshark
Traffic type: Facebook
Campaign time period: 07.07.2020 – 20.07.2020
Costs: $7354
Revenue: $11400
Profit: $4046
ROI: 55.01%

In this case study, you will find a step-by-step instruction on launching mobile content campaigns.

We picked up an offer from the Affshark affiliate network.

  • GEO: Sweden,
  • offer category: sweepstakes,
  • traffic type: Facebook.

Here’s our conversion funnel:

banner ad -> pre-lander -> landing page

We should note that when driving traffic from Facebook to PIN submits, we drew heavily on our experience with CC Submit sweepstakes that are not favored by Facebook. This basically means that you need to cloak your affiliate links, that is, show the platform’s moderators a white page and then drive users to your landing where they’ll need to submit their phone number and send an SMS to a short number.

You’ll have to pick up an offer to promote. The Affshark affiliate network provides affiliates with a wide range of landing pages for sweepstake offers, both with iPhones and Samsung phones and with video game consoles. Our choice fell on consoles because brand new Sony PlayStation 5 was introduced to the market only recently.

Here’s the landing page we decided to test out.

Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

To join the giveaway, the user needs to subscribe to a service and send an SMS to a specified number.

Then, we had to pick up a pre-lander. Our affiliate manager helped us make the right choice. Here’s what a sweepstake pre-lander designed to warm the user up looks like. Pre-landers of this type often encourage the user to spin the wheel, complete a survey, or play the lottery.


Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

For our tests, we used survey pre-landers.

Another step involves making creatives. Just like with CC Submit sweepstakes, creatives featuring happy people and brand new gadgets perform best.

Examples of creatives:

Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing   Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

We also mentioned that users have a chance to win a console if they complete a survey.

Then, you’ll need to upload your ad campaigns to Facebook. We opted for the following targeting parameters: 25+, giveaway fans, and those who are keen on brand new gaming devices.

The first tests showed promising results, and so we started scaling our campaigns up. However, Facebook interfered with our plans, and all our accounts were banned. 

We urgently launched new accounts and streamlined the whole process to maintain traffic volumes.

It is worth noting that our CR remained stable throughout the entire campaign time period.

Here’s a screenshot of our affiliate network account showing the results for 15 days. Taking into account the tests, we earned $11400 and realized that this campaign could be modified to drive traffic to other gadgets in a similar way.

In general, mobile subscriptions performed great.

Mobile Content in Affiliate Marketing

This case study has been written jointly with the Affshark team.

Follow the link to sign up on the platform, the network’s managers will help you pick up the right offer and conversion funnel, as well as provide you with ready-made promotional materials.  

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