How To Get Started With Native Ads Affiliate Marketing

Native traffic presents an opportunity for the more experienced guys right now.

It’s the traffic of choice for those wanting to move up the latter without fighting the big blue Facebook monster.

Native traffic is around since a couple of years, but started to get more traction for affiliates the last 2 years.

Native is an expensive game, since you often advertise on big branded sites in Tier 1 GEOs.

The expensive traffic makes high payouts necessary.

Nutra, casino and bizzop typically have high payouts and are going strong on Native.

It will take a seizable investment to break into those verticals.

  • 10-20k budget for a small Tier 1 GEO. You will probably lose 5-10k till you become profitable
  • 20-50k budget for a big Tier 1 GEO. You will probably lose 10-25k before you become profitable

The spread between your loss and budget is the money you need to float revenue.

Starting out, you can easily spend $1k+/day in Tier 1.

You can achieve x,xxx/days in all Tier 1 GEOs by running a single vertical.

To achieve xx,xxx/days you either need to run several verticals in several GEOs or make a play for US & UK.

Check out the Bidding & Placement section for a tip on how to cut your initial investment by a lot.

The Big Picture

The party is going strong in the english speaking Tier 1 countries.

Outside Tier 1 there is only a limited amount of quality traffic available.

You will have a hard time spending more than $100-$200/day outside Tier 1.

However there is place for campaigns in Tier 2 & 3.

You will be able to learn the basics for a fraction of what it would cost you in Tier 1.

Pick a GEO and one of the above mentioned verticals to get started.

  • Start outside of Tier 1 if you’re on a tight budget
  • Start in a small Tier 1 if you can spend more

Once you’re profitable you can scale your vertical to new GEOs.

You then can look into different verticals or keep your eyes open for new waves and opportunities.

A wave can be a new vertical or angel that picks up traction and is not saturated yet.

I had my biggest wins on Native with angels that opened up unsaturated demographics and pain points.

You can run the mentioned verticals on Mobile, Desktop and Tablet.

Sometimes you need to run device specific creatives, landers & placements to make things happen.

Always run a separate campaign for each device and OS with adjusted bids.

Different devices can show a variance in performance from network to network.

Desktop is already saturated on most networks.

Mobile traffic is growing fast and is the play to make right now.

Selecting An Offer

The offer has by far the highest leverage on Native, it will make or break your campaign.

A great offer will convert well on day one and stick out immediatelly.

I had several campaigns losing me big money till I eventually found a great offer.

At the same time, highly profitable campaigns died once the main offer stopped performing.

  • Test several offers to find a good one
  • Test new offers before you cap out
  • Offers can die quickly due to “optimization” from the advertiser
  • Test several new offers per week to keep your campaign alive

Always ask your account managers for recommendations.

Be specific and ask for offers that are doing well on Native.

Offers that do well on Facebook can completely bomb on Native.

Check out what offers the competition is running. Only test offers that are running for at least 2-3 days.

Native Adplexity is the best tool for this task.

Live spying on branded sites has a place as well.

It can give you valuable position informations, campaigns in a top position are often times highly profitable.

Creatives & Landing Page

Adplexity and live spying will get you started with creatives and landing pages.

When starting out, you need to figure out fast who and what to copy.

It’s more important from who you copy, than what you copy.

You only want to copy from experienced guys.

Bad creatives will kill your campaign before you even get started.

Your creatives decide which audience will enter your funnel.

You need creatives that have an high enough CTR and still have some commercial interest.

  • If your creatives are too broad and evoke too much clickbate,  you will gets lots of clicks but no conversions
  • If your creatives are too targeted and have strong commercial interest, they will convert well but you won’t get much traffic

Test several different angels, themes and variations of creatives to find a good mix of the above.

As always, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

There are great creatives out there for each vertical that you can use to get started.

However, you will need to do some variations to the creatives once you identified your initial winners.

Running the exact same creatives as others on the same placement won’t fly.

Either bring creatives from other competitive GEOs to yours, or create slight variations.

Landing pages you can copy 1:1.

If you want to improve something, focus on the headline of the lander.

It makes the biggest difference.

Bidding & Placements

You cannot overestimate the importance of placements and bidding on Native.

When you start a campaign, you will get boatloads of bad traffic.

But you don’t need to work your way through the bullshit yourself.

Always try to get a basic blacklist from a traffic source rep or buy a list from another affiliate.

You will still need to cut placements aggressively, but it will ensure a way better start.

If your traffic source has advanced targeting options e.g. channels or interest, ask your traffic source rep for those as well.

This alone will cut your initial investment by 50%.

However there are only so many placements that will work with your funnel.

You can bet that all of the other affiliates are competing for the exact same placements.

It’s always the same placements that are doing damage.

Placements are transferable between GEOs and even verticals.

You need to show some gamesmanship to make the big $.

  • Improve your funnel to bid high
  • Run a granular campaign setup
  • Improve the creative CTR
  • Run theme campaigns
  • Come up with new angels to hit on unsaturated demographics and pain points
  • Find unsaturated placements that where only recently added to the network

I prefer to work the creatives and the CTR.

CTR is the name of the game on most Native networks.

Revcontent lately introduced vCPM with the bid as sole driving factor in the traffic allocation.

I will soon write an article about optimising and scaling campaigns on native, if you’re in a hurry check out the media buying mastery.

  • Carlos Becerril

    Hey Sebastian I’m just getting into native and I have the budget but I’m wondering how do I swipe other people’s landing pages and make it my own?

    • Sebastian Roeltgen

      You can either do live spying and then download the page with your browser (on Chrome File / Save Page as). Or you get yourself a copy of Adplexity Native where you can download the landing page. You then need to change the tracking link on the landing pages and upload it to your FTP.

      • Carlos Becerril

        Thanks!