Running campaigns on mobile pop traffic is a good way to get started with media buying and affiliate marketing.
Pop traffic has a steep learning curve, however compared to Native or Facebook its a walk in the park.
You don’t need to bother with account farming, creatives, complex targeting or cloaking (at the beginning).
You can research and setup a new campaign within minutes.
However, the party has its price.
You will need an budget of about $2k-5k to find your first winning campaign.
Your monthly fix costs will amount to $400-500.
- $100 for tracking, best tracking tool out there is Voluum
- $100-200 for hosting, best hosting company for affiliates is BeyondHosting
- $200 for ad intelligence, best spy tool for mobile affiliates is Adplexity
If those figures put sweat on your forehead, then media buying ain’t for you.
If you’re willing to invest the money, you can accomplish x,xxx/days within 3-12 months.
Not too many guys make it to that point.
They either give up early or they give up too early.
It’s impossible to not become profitable if you follow the right strategy and keep testing.
The big picture
Pop traffic is getting more and more saturated as we speak.
What worked perfectly well even 6-12 months ago won’t make you any money today.
You need to work smarter than it was necessary before.
- Look into Tier 2 & 3 GEOs
- Search for new traffic sources or run unsaturated GEOs on the mainstream sources
- Look into mobile content: Antivir, Adult Content, Generic Downloads
- Build systems & automation and outsource time consuming tasks
- Master reverse engineering & ad intelligence
- Test several new campaigns per day
- Become a master of scaling
Mobile pop traffic is a high frequency arbitrage game.
You need to test dozens of campaigns to find one winner.
The spread between CPV and EPV will be your profit.
If you have a winner, you need to scale it hard and fast.
In such an environment, technology and automation is becoming more and more the predominant factor to success.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, write copy or invent anything.
In fact you don’t need to know anything about sales, marketing or consumer psychology at all.
The work is already done.
All you have to do is to shuffle it a tiny bit.
You need to find a combination of GEO / Offer / Traffic Source / Lander / Placements & Bids that works at a given moment.
That doesn’t mean that you should come out of the gates swinging and test like a madmen.
You need to narrow the variables down as much as possible.
Gather information from traffic source reps, account managers and affiliates.
Figure out what works and what is currently hot.
Within those recommendations, you reverse engineer what the big guys are doing and bluntly copy their work.
I wrote all about it in the post about reverse engineering.
You then can switch up single variables till something hits home.
When switching up variables, always look for ways to get a competitive edge or to move things into a less saturated territory.
Test 30-50 campaigns quickly, analyse your campaigns, then kill the losers and focus on the potential winners.
Testing & Campaign Setup
Once you have the informations down, it’s time to pull the trigger.
Don’t overanalyse and overthink things.
Just get started.
- Mindset: You need to test many campaigns to find a winner. Never waste time polishing a turd. Rather test several campaigns and focus on the initial winner instead of trying to make one campaign work
- Offer Selection: Test 5 recommended offers or offers that you see other affiliates running
- Landing Page: Identify the key player for your GEO and vertical on Adplexity and copy their landing page. Split test 2-3 landing pages
- Traffic source: Test campaigns always on 2 good traffic sources, to avoid missing a good campaign just due to a weak inventory. Split the budget that you would spend on one source on two
- Targeting: Test with optimal targeting first, when you see traction loosen your targeting. Ask an account manager or other affiliates for a basic blacklist and the best targeting for a given vertical / offer
- Bidding: I wrote an full article about the art of bidding
Analysis & Optimisation
Winning campaigns on Pop don’t become profitable over an extended period of time.
The campaign should be profitable within a couple of days or you should move on.
There are just not that many variables you can play with.
It makes the difference between a winning and a losing campaign.
Before you spend 10 nights in a row optimising an campaign, just test more offers.
Switching to a better converting offer can boost your campaign from -70% ROI to a whopping 100% ROI.
Another big leverage is testing your campaign on a different traffic source.
Some campaigns work well on one source and bomb completely on others.
A better converting lander can move the needle quickly as well.
Breaking out profitable targeting options into separate campaigns can give you a profitable campaign instantly.
Then it already gets very time intense.
Cutting placements can move the ROI, but has limited potential.
As do cutting targeting options like carrier, OS, browser, device.
I will soon write an article about analysis & optimisation and scaling. If you’re in a hurry, you can check out the media buying mastery.