Dating Monetization Guide: Running dating offers is... forever!

When it comes to affiliate marketing, there will always be a place for the evergreen vertical that is dating. Discover how to make money by promoting dating offers.

Since its intro decades ago, dating is by far the most evergreen vertical in the online industry. Be it newbies or ‘affiliate marketing gurus’, people will never stop promoting dating offers.

Dating is the only vertical that will never go away.

monetization-of-the-dating-situation

The reason: people constantly change their status all over the globe and seek new adventures.

There’s a lot of quality traffic on PlugRush that you can run your dating offer campaigns on. Let's see what kind of money we're talking about.

According to Statista.com, 2019 revenue in online dating amounts to $232m in Europe, $581m in USA, China $243m. Well over $1 billion worldwide!

We bet you want a piece of that, right? Keep reading, we’ll show you how.

dating-revenue-worldwide

It all begins with an offer...

There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to promoting dating offers.

First thing’s first - know your product, know your niche. There are many business models when it comes to online dating. It could be a free signup or a CC submit for your customers. Do your homework and figure out how the product works before you start your campaigns. The easiest way is to join the site! Base your creatives on that.

Misconception #2 is that good offers are hard to find due to a lot of resellers. It can be good to go directly to the source. But from our decades of experience, having a middle man as a reliable partner is a good thing. You don’t need to reach out to xyz dating sites in every GEO, every payout type.. you have somebody doing that for you. And, since they have a relationship with their advertisers, they can negotiate better prices for you or even give you an exclusive offer (without competition).

Offers from an affiliate network work better than ones taken from the source! Offers coming from the owner of the dating sites work better than the ones resold to an affiliate network.

Confused? You shouldn’t be. This is how affiliate marketing works.

Whatever you say can be proven true for you and false for the guy next to you. You need to diversify and test it all!

Over the years we have tested out various dating offers - from direct sources, resellers, whitelabels; payout models CPA, CPS, RevShare. Constantly looking for great offers in order to test our traffic and features, we had success with many.

We have some great recommendations on how to start running, monetizing and become profitable with your dating offers on PlugRush.

We recommend: ProfitSocial, MastersInCash, iMonetizeIt

For whitelabels we recommend: MastersInCash & DatingFactory

affiliate-networks-we-recommend-for-dating-offers

From many programs, we’ve chosen these to show you how a journey starts and where it ends. Some of our campaigns have been running for months, some have been recently added. Some have been paused.

The point is to show you that there is no formula in the world where you can have just one offer/affiliate network/payout type, niche and GEO and run on one type of traffic and become profitable. You have to diversify and keep testing. All the time.

The crucial part here is to have a plan:

Do you want to go with CPA offers? Do you want to have a revshare offer in the mix? Do you want to use a whitelabel?

We're a traffic network and not an affiliate marketer. Our main goal with media buying is to test out different features that we have, our internal anti fraud system, publishers traffic quality, etc. All of that is an ongoing project with the goal of not losing money but preferably having a status quo or, ideally, being profitable. Our plan was to have different offers, preferably in Tier 1 GEOs where we have the most traffic, and to have different payout types so we can remain on a positive side.

Let us briefly walk you through the different affiliate networks listed.

ProfitSocial owns the exclusive rights to a number of top dating products, but they can also provide external offers if you have a decent amount of traffic for it. You can choose to run a single offer in a certain GEO and niche or you can simply use their smartlink and let them optimize for you. We opted for option 2, CPA payout.

ImonetizeIt started with dating offers and expanded their reach to more verticals. Thus, the dating offers remain (for us!) the go-to vertical for traffic monetization. You can choose an individual offer or you can create your own smartlink in various verticals such as: dating - adult and mainstream, mobile content (adult), sweeps, gay dating, pills etc. We opted for a smartlink, CPA payout.

MastersInCash is one of the best business models in dating we’ve ever seen. Developed in the Netherlands and spread across EU and abroad, this RevShare program will give you a high % for years to come. You can also do your own whitelabel with them. They do offer smartlinks, have multiple niches, banners and landers ready to be used. The Masters have prepared a sweet bonus for you (€1000 Bonus!). Simply sign up with them, let them know you’re a PlugRush advertiser and they’ll provide you with great service and all the details in regards to the bonus! As for the offers that we’ve used, we opted to use individual site offers for multiple GEOs.

DatingFactory has been (and still is) one of the giants in the industry for decades, they provide an excellent whitelabel solution for multiple GEOs and niches. You can go with one or more of your own dating websites.

Act 1

Time to get creative

It is a known fact that when it comes to dating offers, display traffic is king. There are many different types on PlugRush and much traffic to go around. But, you should not exclude pop traffic. Some interesting GEOs convert dating offers on pops!

When it comes to creatives, there are some rules you should follow: mind the pictures and mind the texts/CTAs. Important: be prepared! Prepare as many different types as you can based on angles you want to pursue and test.

Split testing is essential and there are many variables to test: photos, videos, texts, call to action, colors etc. Ready your texts (headlines, text, call to action) and pictures / videos to start testing. You’ll be prepared when the time comes for scaling. Reach out to your account manager or affiliate networks and have the correct URLs ready and postbacks set up. The time you’ll need to start a campaign on PlugRush will be halved, just by being prepared. The process is super easy and fast due to our great interface and our average approval time being under an hour!

Creatives you should prepare to run on PlugRush:

  • Landing pages
  • Banner ads
  • Native ads
  • Push notification ads

The landing page is the first creative and we emphasize it for two reasons: it’s your own domain and you can add or change the landers when you want; and second, more importantly - it’s your source of passive income.

Changing the content on landing pages is done for obvious reasons (testing, testing and more testing). In some cases, having a prelander to an offer improves conversion rates.

Having your own landing pages collecting push subscribers while you’re running your offers - now that’s a nice bonus for you.

You should use all your landers to collect push subscribers and then monetize those with PlugRush! It's free, takes 2 minutes to set it up, and can become your new extra source of income!

Learn how to do that here. Interested in CPC rates for various traffic types? Look here!

If you don’t want to go with your own landing page, that doesn't mean you’ll be unsuccessful! Having a smartlink comes in handy here! All of the affiliate networks mentioned offer their own landing pages that you can use free of charge and stress. Whether it’s for one offer or mixed offers with a smartlink, affiliate networks take care of them. They set them up to be super speedy, they worry about the domain (not being flagged!), they have them translated in various languages, they have the copy on pictures and videos. The point: it’s an awesome service.

Banner ads come in many sizes, but media buyers tend to focus on two: 300x250 and 300x100. PlugRush offers more, but here we’ll stick to those two.

We talked about how you should do your homework and learn about the offers you want to run. This is the time when that part pays off. If you don’t want to use your own creatives, you can also ask your affiliate network to help! They have banners to use that have been tested already! One less worry.

Have a good banner pool. Using the ones from the affiliate network and your own creates a good mix for testing.

Knowing your product means knowing the difference when promoting a mature niche and a gay niche. This is obvious: Your banners should be congruent with your offer. But also keep in mind the GEO and the language. The pictures/videos should reflect the niche and the majority of people in the GEO.

When it comes to banners - each has to contain at least two elements: text and picture. Under text falls: The headline, body and call to action. Under picture falls: Animated or static photo, aka .jpg or .gif format.

Mind PlugRush's rules when it comes to banners! No misleading, no fake buttons or characters that don’t do anything, no flashy/speedy banners, etc. You’ll find the guidelines in our interface when uploading banners.

Your message should reflect:

...what is the main thing that you are offering?!

Is it: Hookup? Mainstream dating? Casual dating? Kinky dating?

...what niche are you promoting?

General? Mature? Tranny? Latino? Couples?

...to whom are you speaking?

Men? Women?

Knowing this, you will know the angle to pursue with your call to action. Like: “Oh, I’m in!” or “Let’s chat!” instead of the usual “Click here”

Your picture should be clear and catchy. You should own the pictures you use. Also mind the positioning of the picture in regards to the text. Do you want to have the picture on the right or on the left of the text? Do you want to have a video with text on top of it?

There are many variations when it comes to creating banners, so take the time to ‘study’ your offers and come up with a few different angles that you want to test.

Keep in mind that people need to get the message clearly and you want them to want to click on your banner and actually use the products that you are selling!

Now you have your banner pool ready to upload! Naming banners is important, so have a system to easily search for them while creating campaigns.

Native ads need no intro - simple picture and text underneath it linked to your offer.

That’s what we invented! Back in the day these were called plugs (hence PlugRush).

Same principle applies today, the native ads are easy to create and upload. There are limits to the size of the pictures and the title/description is also limited by the number of characters you can use.

real-native-ads

Our native ads are different. We call them Real Native Ads and for good reason. Their purpose is to blend in with the content of a website. They are incorporated into the content of sites so the picture that you choose is crucial to catch the attention of potential customers. Tests that we performed show that the CTR is higher since they stand out. The CR is also higher than the ‘regular’ native ads since your ad is not right next to your competitor's ad.

For pictures and copy, the same principles apply to native ads as they do for banners. Crop a picture, upload it and add headline and body, and you’re good to go.

Push notification ads came in swinging last year.

Users subscribe to receive notifications, making this the first real ‘pull-push’ type of advertisement. Users want to receive your message. This premise alone is good enough to expect the traffic to be of the highest quality.

The principles are similar to native ads, when it comes to creating them. The main difference is the effect that the ad has on the user. Since this is a new format, we’ll go more into details with it.

The picture is smaller (192x192) and this is important when creating a push ad. The picture you’re uploading can be larger than that, but you’ll need to crop it.

Also, there are some limitations when it comes to the explicitness of the image itself. You wouldn’t want somebody to notice an explicit image popping up on your phone, right? So doesn’t your potential customer. No explicit nudity in the ad image is allowed. However, push ads used for adult offers can send to landing pages containing nudity.

The next thing is the title - max of 30 characters; and the description - max of 250 characters.

Your message should be short and on point. Use the description to follow up the title.

We’ve tested various approaches and wanted to share with you a few guidelines for the text and call to action on push. Since you're dealing with dating, delivering value, providing a solution for a need and provoking emotions should be on your mind when writing your copy.

Here is an example of the two angles that we took when creating push notification ads:

example-dating-ads

The way to go is set. You can take as many angles as you’d like, but we recommend you start with two and test. One approach can take off on desktop while another is better with mobile. Once you start your campaigns and test, you will have enough info to create more ads in a certain direction.

Having prepared more angles can be beneficial. If an ad does not perform well, you should cut it and add more. Subscribers tend to react fast, so you need to optimize and act fast. You want to provide the audience with good content and be profitable.

This is the end of our first act!

Having a PlugRush account as an advertiser, excited to run dating offers and preparing various creatives is your first act too! You’re now good to start running and grinding on PlugRush!

Don’t miss the other two acts where we’ll break down the campaigns we’ve started and the results we had right out of the gate! Bookmark this page and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram @plugrush, Twitter @plugrush and LinkedIn!

Act 2

The start and state of campaigns

Starting campaigns on PlugRush is super easy. The campaign creator page walks you through step by step. For detailed info, please read this guide.

Our goal here is to give you examples of strategies before you set up advertising campaigns, the initial premises for each traffic type and the initial results that each produced - this part dictated our future actions (in Act 3).

Apart from preparing creatives and having a sheet containing your offers: URLs, restrictions, do/donts - our main thing is to prepare a list of all campaigns that need to be created and their corresponding breakdown. It’s a simple sheet that will turn into a to-do list. Time saving is what media buying is all about, so knowing where your creatives are and uploading them asap comes in handy. You can’t start your campaigns before you do this part. The only thing missing - the campaignID; that one will be updated once the campaigns start. Here’s an example:

media-buying-campaign-cheatsheet

The campaigns we’re listing here are divided by type of traffic - banner, native, push and pops. All campaigns are promoting dating with different affiliate networks: ProfitSocial, ImonetizeIT, MastersInCash and DatingFactory. Depending on what the affiliate network has in terms of offers per GEO, traffic type, etc., we’re using either smartlinks or offer links.

Before we get to the juicy stuff, here are some points that are useful and applicable to your strategy!

Campaign takeaways:

  • Use all the features PlugRush offers! Conversion tracking (postback) and Automated Rules for all your campaigns - they are there to make your life easier and are free. No brainer.
  • Do not start with the minimum bid, you’ll get the ‘crumbs’ from other bidders.
  • Do not start your campaigns with the minimum budget (5$). The budget should be set at least to 10$ per day (in Tier1 GEOs especially!). Your traffic could stop and so will conversions due to your traffic being limited.
  • Do not start ALL your campaigns at once for ALL the offers available! There are so many options and traffic, you should limit the number of new campaigns to 30 per day. You’ll get overwhelmed by the amount of data and optimization to do.
  • Consult your affiliate account manager and your PlugRush account manager and figure out the first 5 to 10 GEOs to run. How do you select a GEO? Start with what you know aka your own country first and group of GEOs that are similar cultures to yours! If you are in the US - start that and CA, AU, UK... If you are in Norway - start that and SE, FI, DK.

Banner traffic is first up. It’s historically the best traffic for dating offers in our opinion.

Campaign group 1 - GEO Italy, banners 300x250 and 300x100

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: MastersInCash, ImonetizeIT, later ProfitSocial

PreLanders: 2 different angles

Automated Rules set: unlimit sources if we have

Started with offers MastersInCash mature niche and ImonetizeIT smartlink.

The desktop campaign with a higher bid had a very high avg position (over 3!). In the first week the desktop campaign was paused due to really high top bidder, I was left with ‘crumbs’ of traffic and there were no conversions. Didn’t want to waste my time and efforts. I will certainly go back later.

The mobile campaign had a conversion the first day! A sweet payout for one conversion came from ImonetizeIt 3.42$ - that’s a high payout per conversion for this GEO. Sweet green spot. The very next day blew my mind! The revenue from MastersInCash revshare was 96€ ($109.37)! No optimization, no nothing.

masters-in-cash-revenue

By the end of the month, and a few optimisation cycles later, new landers and offers - ProfitSocial, the results looked like this: the ROI is -93.49%! But is it really? You see, the revshare is not shown here.

negative-roi-shown

This is a prime example what happens when quality traffic meets a great offer! The final results (Yes, there’s more!) will be shown in our 3rd act, here’s just a sneak peak.

nice-revshare-earnings

Campaign group 2 - GEO Spain, banners 300x250 and 300x100

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: MastersInCash, ImonetizeIT

PreLanders: 3 different angles

Automated Rules: same as the ones for Italy

Right out of the gate, the bidding is a bit off, since we’re avg position 2. But with no optimization other than the one done automatically with the Rules, the results showed that there’s work to be done.

spain-starting-numbers

The desktop campaign is really close to hitting a positive ROI while the mobile campaign clearly needed some work - 39.49$ spent and 9.72$ earned. Unfortunately, the MastersInCash side is 0$. After reviewing the data, the next logical step was to separate the mobile campaign into: WiFi and carrier

Few sources out, few unlimited, cutting of some bad banners and still mobile campaigns are not performing. Especially the carrier one. 10 conversions with a payout of only 2.25$? Something is off!

spain-desktop-traffic-going-positive

On the other hand, the desktop traffic is now in the green with a whopping ROI of 84.75%! After all the optimization is done, there’s only one thing that you can do at this point. Talk to your account manager! In this case, we used ImonetizeIT smartlink for adult but I’m seeing a lot of carrier billing offers in the ES. Can they provide a smartlink for carrier billing only? Or point me in the right direction when it comes to best performing offers?

Native traffic has always been one of my favorites on PlugRush. The network started with them way back when there was little competition in the adult world and offers converted like crazy. What’s the situation in 2019 and how do you tackle this traffic? In my opinion, it’s easier than banner traffic since the creatives tend to last longer. However, the competition is fierce! Especially in the ‘smaller’ GEOs.

Let us show you examples for 3 different GEOs: US, France, Norway

Campaign group 1 - GEO United States

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: ImonetizeIT, DatingFactory and later ProfitSocial

PreLanders: 2 different angles

Automated Rules set: unlimit sources if we have

When it comes to the most competitive market in the world, you should brace yourself. Especially if you’re a newbie affiliate marketer. The competition is relentless and the numbers can change in a matter of hours. You’re not only competing against others that promote dating offers, but against a whole spectrum of different kinds of media buyers (the ones who work as agencies, the ones that work for the owners of the offers, the ones that are buying traffic for branding purposes etc). Creatives and landers tend to die out quickly. The offers can stay steady for a while but you need to optimize your creatives often.

united-states-native-ad-campaign-starting-off

The campaign started off ok, needed optimization but as you can see by the avg position - especially for the desktop campaign it's really high (7.0). Our bidding is not right. For the mobile campaigns it's 3.2. That’s kinda ok for starters but we need more data in order to go further.

After a few weeks, the results looked like this:

us-native-ads-after-a-few-weeks

The CPA payout from the ImonetizeIT smartlink range was from 2$ to 3.52$ and the total was 60.24$

imonetizeit-stats

dating-factory-stats

And the total earned amount from DatingFactory (revshare) was 152.21$ but for the US it was 112.93$.

In total the ROI was 5.37%. That’s not bad!

Can it stay like that? The answer will be given in Act 3!

Campaign group 2 - GEO Norway

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: ImonetizeIT, MastersInCash

PreLanders: 2 different angles

Automated Rules set: unlimit sources if we have

The opposite of the US in terms of the amount of traffic that you would expect. But the north EU countries have always been in high demand due to the quality of the traffic. Make no mistake, experienced media buyers will always bid higher from the get go so having a lower bid here will not go a long way.

norway-native-ads

As you can see, even with a higher bid (50% on top of the min bid) our avg position is still pretty low, especially for the desktop traffic. The ROI on the mobile is -46% and for the desktop is -100%.

First, the bid needs to go higher. As soon as we did that, the clicks were coming in and so did the conversions. We kept bidding higher in order to get more clicks since the quality is obviously there and the ROIs can be altered with optimization.

Did this technique work? How much more traffic did we get? How did we check the quality of it? What was the revenue at the end? Find out in Act 3.

Push notification traffic came in like a great remedy for Google's regulations at the beginning of last year. This format is high in demand these days at PlugRush, so we needed to run some tests to check the quality of the traffic / subscribers.

Campaign group 1 - GEO France

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: ImonetizeIT, ProfitSocial

PreLanders: 2 different angles

The tricky thing about push notification traffic is its bid. This tends to scare media buyers because we tend to be cautious based on experience and do not go all out from the get go. But, when it comes to push notification traffic, this behaviour does not benefit you.

france-mobile-push-traffic-initial-results

As you can see, the amount of clicks is on the lower side; there are conversions, so we’re on the right path but mind the avg position. That’s really a high number when it comes to push. This is actually a new lesson for me as a media buyer. If this was the avg position for pops, that would be somewhat ok, but for push it's bad. The good news: It’s really easy to up your bid. The bad news: Everybody else is doing the same thing that you’re doing. But that’s media buying!

We upped the bid but we wanted to test it out on mobile first. So we went from 0.015$ to 0.018$ and 2 days later boom!

france-mobile-push-traffic-positive-results

The ROI for mobile went from -47.99% to 108.59%! The desktop went from -100% to -5.98% with no optimization other than the bid.

Campaign group 2 - GEO Spain

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

Offers: ImonetizeIT, ProfitSocial

PreLanders: 2 different angles

If the first campaign was a surprise, these ones felt like a rock fell on our heads. The quality blew us away. It's so wrong to start with a low bid!

spain-push-traffic-results

Yes, you are reading this well. 171 clicks, 8 conversions... a conversion rate of 4.68%. ROI is 349.14%!

First action was to up the bid. The results that came in later were even more surprising. It will be showed in Act 3.

Campaign group 3 - GEO Indonesia

Set up: Mobile

Offers: ImonetizeIT, ProfitSocial

PreLanders: None

When it comes to push notification traffic: there are many subscribers coming in from Tier3 GEOs. The bids are low but so are the payouts. Can such a GEO work with push traffic?

indonesia-push-traffic-results

From the get go the traffic is there, the conversions too but again the avg position is high so we need to up the bidding. Also, reviewed the payouts with the affiliate network to see if there’s something else that we can get in the mix on the smartlinks. Results are in Act 3.

Pops! For dating? Well, it might not be the usual format you’d go with. This is a nice surprise that we’ve kept for Act 3.

This is the end of Act 2!

Bookmark this page and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram @plugrush, Twitter @plugrush and LinkedIn!

We would like to add something for you to take with you from this 2nd Act and apply it to your advertising journey with PlugRush.

2nd Act Takeaways!

  • Do not assume anything! Just because dating offers work best on display, it doesn’t mean they won't work on pops.
  • Do not expect to get all the campaigns profitable from the get go! Take your time, make a plan and execute it. This is not a type of business where you can live off a one hit wonder. Test things, be persistent with your media buying game, optimizing and scaling.
  • Communicate with your account manager and don’t rule out the offerings from both sides - us, the traffic network and the affiliate network. If your account manager from the affiliate network is telling you that offer X in GEO Y is hot, reach out to your account manager on PlugRush and ask for additional info on the traffic to test it.
  • If the offer is converting well, work on getting more of that quality traffic! Then scale to other GEOs. Bid higher, mark the campaigns in your sheet and always keep an eye on them. This is the first get first gain game. Once you’ve hit that sweet consistent green spot, squeeze the hell out of it.

Act 3

The optimization and the conclusion

The optimization of campaigns involves making decisions based on data that one collects over a certain period of time. The process can be exhausting and stressful due to the number of campaigns you have to go through. In this act we want to show you that, even with little experience, you can spend very little time but move the needle in your optimization process on PlugRush.

Let’s review the optimization process and what the results were for our campaigns.

Banner traffic - the results

Campaign group 1 - GEO Italy, banners 300x250 and 300x100

The desktop campaign was paused and the mobile one continued.

What exactly did we do?

Apart from turning on Automated Rules that cut off the non converting traffic, we optimized the landers and left the two best performing. The second part was to cut off the non performing ads and to see what template worked better. The profit came from the 300x250 and 300x100 banners on MastersInCash so we cut off iMonetizeIT. By the end of the second month we had added ProfitSocial offers.

The results were in after a day or two, but the next 2 months brought in a BIG profit!

The total spending was $261.31

In total the revenue:

iMonetizeIT 0$

MastersInCash €922.3 (aprox 1042.52$)

ProfitSocial 14.92$

ROI 304.65%, profit $796.12+

Campaign group 2 - GEO Spain, banners 300x250 and 300x100

Set up: Mobile and Desktop

The desktop campaign started better (in terms of ROI) than the mobile. Optimization was needed in terms of OS, browsers, banners and landers. Also, due to the amount of traffic and performance, we separated the mobile WiFi from carrier traffic. The offers changed due to iMonetizeIT having a mobile content offer for Spain. We started with landers and proceeded from there.

The interesting thing was that the bidding war started after week 1. If more advertisers have hot offers for a certain part of traffic, the bidding will become fierce and you’ll notice it right away.

spanish-banner-campaigns-average-positions

A good reason to check your stats for one day (usually today or yesterday) is to train yourself to notice anomalies. If you go back to these campaigns when they started running and the results after week 1, you’ll see the avg position being 1. This picture, however, shows a really high number for avg position (the higher the avg position, the lower your portion of the traffic!).

The worst part for media buyers is, when you’re testing offers and having to deal with a bid war, it can be discouraging. I tend to not be hesitant of upping the bid. Depending on the avg position and the starting bid, a sweet spot is to go 50-100% higher than your previous bid. In this case, from the avg position being 1 to avg position being up to 2 it’s clear the traffic is hot and the ‘fight’ begins.

Unfortunately, the mobile campaigns didn’t work as well as the Italian ones did. They were in high red for us, so we pulled the plug on those.

The desktop campaign did work with a high ROI. After a few optimization cycles and bidding it remained profitable till this day.

spain-desktop-banner-campaign-results

Native traffic - the results

Campaign group 1 - GEO United States

We have a similar situation to the one with banner campaigns in Spain. After the first few weeks and a ROI in minus on the mobile campaigns, things turned around after one optimization cycle and the results looked like this:

usa-native-ads-results

It's reversed - the mobile campaign is earning and the desktop one is in -ROI. That is looking at the interface alone.

One thing is for sure, the avg position on both campaigns now is really going up! The desktop campaign is 10.6! If your bid doesn’t go up on this one, you are for sure going to be in the red. With as many clicks as our natives received, the CR is really not there. Also, our avg position on the mobile campaign doubled.

At the end of the day, both campaigns long term (few months) went into red. The ROIs were -39.42% for the mobile campaign and the desktop campaign never surpassed the -50% ROI. We moved on to more testing and paused the campaigns.

That doesn’t mean we can’t get profitable! As a matter of fact, we kinda did. But, as we are a traffic network, our main goal is to have our traffic being of the highest quality. Our media buyers are constantly performing tests in order to assure that and to test out new features.

One of those features is collecting push subscribers with your own landing pages. At the time the campaigns started we were in the final stages of development before introducing push traffic.

We used these campaigns to collect push subscribers via our landing pages.

This campaign is a prime example for all the newbies out there going for the top GEO. You need to be alert. If you run campaigns with US traffic, you can definitely be profitable. You have to be prepared to work on your campaigns daily, to monitor the offers and the CRs of each part of the traffic - banners, LPs, OS, browsers and especially the bid. In this market, you are not only competing with other affiliates running offers but also agencies and the top affiliates that have the offer exclusively for themselves.

Campaign group 2 - GEO Norway

With these two campaigns - mobile and desktop - the situation was obvious. The bid was way too low for this GEO. We upped the bid both on mobile and desktop. The desktop campaign had a minor success (one payout on MastersInCash) but it didn’t work out. We set the bid as high as 0.04$ but still our avg position was 3. Somebody out there is really set on this traffic and won’t let go.

That’s ok. We have our mobile campaign!

norway-native-ads-positive-roi

Even with a higher bid we still held the avg position 3 but were able to get a decent amount of clicks. When traffic came in, so did the results. After a few rounds of optimization including landing pages, creatives and bid increases we were in the green.

This is not the end. The conversion amount shown here is only from iMonetizeIT. Remember that the MastersInCash revenue share is not shown here!

mastersincash-norway-native-ads-revshare

We hid the source IDs of course, but we didn’t hide the campaign ID.

As you can see the total revenue for campaign 7718911 (the NO mobile native campaign) is 598.60 EUR!

This campaign spent $156.6 and generated:

iMonetizeIT $74.12

MastersInCash $672.59

A total revenue of $746.71! ROI of 376.83% and $590.11 profit

That is why you should never be afraid to bid more!

Push notification traffic - the results

Campaign group 1 - GEO France

Remember how push notification traffic is hot? Remember how the bidding strategies that you, as an advertiser, are used to don’t work here? Yes and yes.

When you have something that is this hot, your bidding strategies will go out the window after a few days. We’ve heard that push notification traffic is high quality but we didn’t realize how fast people will outbid you on it!

We upped the bid on our campaigns and the results did not disappoint!

france-push-traffic-results

Our bid didn’t much change for the desktop campaign due to one source not being that productive. Your next steps should be to blacklist it and optimize the campaign. For us, this campaign is for testing so we left it as is. The ROI wasn’t going in our favor but the profits from mobile covered that with an ROI over 70% and nice profits.

Advertisers are fiercely bidding on push traffic and we took note! To make your advertising journey easier, you can just click on the ‘Set CPC’ in your stats and change it on the spot! That is without entering the campaign editor.

Campaign group 2 - GEO Spain

We continued to up the bid. We optimized the landing pages and offers, banners and sources. But the main thing that brought more traffic, more conversions and more profit was the bid. Here are the results for that cycle of optimization.

We noticed that there’s a lot of traffic on wifi and carrier, so we started a separate carrier campaign and the original campaign was left to run on wifi.

spain-push-traffic-results

Scaling comes into play here. We should let you know that both iMonetizeIT and ProfitSocial offers were performing well, but we focused more on ProfitSocial.

spain-mobile-push-campaign-for-carriers

Results after a few weeks: ROI is -12.77% and profits are down. When you have this situation after a few rounds of optimization and you’re trying to get it green again, the key is to keep a close eye on the offers performance and on various carriers. And, again, the bid.

Campaign group 3 - GEO Indonesia

Tier3 GEOs like Indonesia have cheap traffic but also lower payouts. That doesn’t mean you can’t get profitable. You just need more time to figure out the traffic and match it to your offers. A good example is this campaign that became profitable out of the blue with one offer and one conversion.

indonesia-mobile-push-traffic-profitable

ProfitSocial had our back with this traffic and that single conversion was enough to get us a nice profit and ROI.

profitsocial-indonesia-conversion

Of course, one conversion doesn’t ‘mean’ much but it’s a good starting point and the source that it came from is worth going for. If you have a similar situation, test out further and focus on campaigns like these. Whitelist the source, check your creatives (landers and banners) and, we have to underline, your bidding strategy.

Pop traffic results

There’s been a lot of rumors over the last couple of years that pop traffic is dead, that you cannot convert it and be profitable with it. The truth is, there was always a LOT of pop traffic to go around and both publishers and advertisers used strategies (some shady) to double their income in no time - such as having multiple pops going off on one page, having prelanders from offers set to open up multiple prelanders at once.

Things went downhill in no time due to the fact that the users simply didn’t even let the page open. User blindness is part of online business and advertisers are coming up with new angles and designs for their landing pages in order to overcome it. New regulations brought in tighter guidelines and that affected the traffic also.

As a media buyer, I have to say that over the years the only thing that’s not true about pops anymore is that you can start a campaign, have a CC submit offer and be profitable overnight without any work. Can you convert pop traffic? Absolutely! Can you do it without any optimization? Absolutely NOT!

Bottom line: You simply have to work on your campaigns in order to produce results! Can you be profitable on pops with dating? Yes! Longterm? Yes! It’s all about finding the perfect match that will work for you.

We have a few surprises in store. Some of them were running for months on end. Of course, having tested a lot of traffic, there were those that were paused. Pop traffic can be used to quickly answer the following question:

Can you go from red to green with no optimization on the platform other than Automated Rules?

Campaign 1 - GEO Portugal, Desktop traffic

The first campaign to answer this question is targeting Portugal. We had a few pre-landing pages and 3 offers running. All offers were dating verticals.

Our goal here was to test out our Automated Rules so we started with none! All of the print screans are done in 15 day periods.

The results were in pretty fast and we had almost 50k clicks, avg position 4.4 and -67.44% ROI (-13.26$ profit)

portugal-pop-traffic-initial-results

After two weeks of data, we set Automated Rules that we wanted to test:

  1. Exclude Subsources that don't convert
  2. Unlimit Sources that convert
  3. Bid higher! If the avg position is higher than 3.5, increase the bid 50%

portugal-pops-with-automated-rules

From almost 50k clicks we got down to ~30k clicks; the spending reflected that but so did the conversion rate! Our CR went from 0.02% to 0.06%, so we’re now getting more traffic that converts our offers! ROI is now lower too: -25.59% (-2.95$ profits)

Don’t let the shown bid confuse you. Using Automated Rules, the bidding can be done automaticall. In the campaign overview the bid stated is the one you’ve set up. The most simple way to figure out the actual bid that you are paying is to break down by the campaign date. You will see your avg position per day as well.

This was our goal! To have a great feature that will help our advertisers with optimization without them doing the ‘boring stuff’ manually!

Our next goal was to have the bidding even higher so we edited the Rule that aimed at bidding based on the avg position. Instead of opting for avg position being higher than 3.5, we opted for 3.

portugal-pops-in-the-green

Yes, you can go from red to green in a matter of weeks! We managed to get into green with no optimization other than killing one offer, leaving the campaign running on two separate offers, two prelanders and Automated Rules!

Campaign 2 - GEO Taiwan, Mobile traffic

So we wanted to test another scenario to see if we can go with no prelanders and no direct offers but smartlinks and be profitable by using Automated Rules. We’ve reached out to our affiliate networks and were told that there’s a hot GEO at the moment that they are seeing doing REALLY well: Taiwan! Mobile traffic.

Now, this is really not the usual GEO to go after. My 2nd doubt: do we even have traffic there? Come on! PlugRush is known for pops! Of course we have traffic there! So I’ve set up the campaign.

This was in September of 2018, PlugRush announced the launch of Automated Rules at TES in Prague. At the same time this campaign started.

My account manager was right! Taiwan is HOT! ROI 112.42% and a nice profit of 72.83$

taiwan-mobile-pops-results

You’ll notice here that the avg CPC is set on 0.00035$ and our avg position was at 3.4! We had to go higher with the bid, take all the traffic we possibly could and keep the offer running! Automated Rules are set to increase the bidding every time our avg position drops!

taiwan-mobile-pops-october-results

In October, the same campaign was still doing well, our ROI was 59.54% and the profit $18.88.

More interesting: our avg position is lower and the traffic is cut in half. The avg CPC is now getting higher (from $0.00035 to $0.00037). That means that I’m not the only one that knows that TW is hot! But, I want to confirm that the bidding done with Automated Rules can work its charm, so I changed the bidding to increase even more based on the position.

taiwan-mobile-pops-november-results

November came and the ROI is 44.78% ($31 profit). Not bad! You can see the traffic was back on and our avg position hit 2.7 with the avg CPC at $0.00044! So other advertisers started bidding more than I was.

December came and once again, we’ve set up the bid to go even higher. This only meant more traffic coming for our offer, higher ROI at 115.24% and more profit $75.90!

This campaign goes to show that even if you start a bidding war, with a good offer on your side you can have a lot of traffic going your way and be profitable at the same time - no matter how high your bid goes.

taiwan-mobile-pops-final-result

CONCLUSION

When it comes to running campaigns, failing is an inevitable part. Embrace mistakes, collect data, learn from it and move forward!

If you have a hot offer and you see positive ROI - buy all the traffic you can! A few takeaways:

  • Eventually every offer, banner, landing page or angle will die. But there will always be the next one on the way and a new audience wanting for it!
  • Do not be afraid to bid higher! If you have initial results showing promising outcomes, run further and bid higher. A higher bid means more traffic and more $$$ for you!
  • Work on your angles. Angles that work in one GEO can be easily adapted for another. But mind the text! You simply cannot translate 1to1 the word ‘hookup’ in every language and expect it to work!
  • When it comes to revshare, you have to be willing to invest and have several months of running campaigns. Be patient! You need data in order to calculate the avg CPA per profile. Even if the amount of traffic is not as high as it is in the US, you can still have a good deal.
  • You need to let your campaigns run! Do not stop them after 24 hours and ‘throw in the towel’ on the traffic and offers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Hope we’ve sparked some ideas and helped you understand the process of running dating offers on PlugRush.

Keep grinding and running traffic on PlugRush!

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