WHAT IS A VERTICAL?
A vertical is the category of offer that you are promoting. An offer can be a product (physical or digital), a lead submission form, a website sign-up, a service, or pretty much anything else that can be monetized.
Not all verticals will work on any traffic source though. It’s certainly easy to get overwhelmed as a beginner as to which vertical to promote and where, but this part of the guide will hopefully clear that up for you.
Below, I have outlined the most popular verticals that are suitable for POP traffic, which of course is by far the easiest traffic a newbie can start with.
- Antivirus & Utility Applications
- Dating (Mainstream & Adult)
- Casino & Gambling
Let’s dive into each of these a bit deeper.
Lead generation is the process of supplying leads (individuals) to clients (brands/agencies) who have the potential of being converted into customers. Sweepstakes are a type of lead generation, also known as “sweeps” or “vouchers” – they are a bottom of the barrel lead generation, with questionable ethical structure. These types of offers will ask the visitor for their contact information (Cost Per Lead) and even their credit card information (Credit Card Submit) in order to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a prize. The type of prize varies greatly from advertiser to advertiser depending on what GEO they operate, but normally they include:
- Smartphones (iPhone, Samsung)
- Supermarket/Restaurant Vouchers and Gift Cards
- Common brand name store gift cards (Amazon, Walmart, Tesco etc)
- Electronic Appliances
- Essentially anything that has a broad appeal and has familiarity with the general public
The normal conversion flow of promoting this type of offer looks something like this:
- A visitor gets sent to a landing page, where they are asked to participate in a sweepstakes to win a specific prize – answer survey questions, spin a wheel, pick a prize, whatever – and then afterwards they are sent to an offer where they can register for the prize draw. When they do, that counts as a conversion. The advertiser gets a lead, and you get paid.
Since with POP traffic, it is impossible to do any specific audience targeting a well thought out landing page is an absolute must. It should obviously reflect the same type of product that the offer is promoting and preferably be in the language of your targeted audience.
Luckily, sweepstakes is one of the most popular verticals run on POP traffic, so a lot of converting offers and landing pages are easily available to spy on and steal from other affiliates.
Affiliate networks and traffic sources have very specific Terms of Service that you agree to upon signing up. Please review them to make sure that you do not violate the ToS and risk not getting paid or getting banned from the traffic source.
Compliant landing pages might adapt the look and feel of the authority website, such as Facebook or Google without using the respective trademarked logos. Wording in compliant landing pages would use words like “You can win an iPhone!” instead of “You’ve won an iPhone!”
A minor change in wording (Saying “You can win” instead of “You’ve won “) may only have a slight impact on the conversion rate, but is something that might be worth implementing instead of risking getting kicked off the offer, not getting paid, or worse yet, getting sued. However, there are advertisers that don’t mind or even encourage aggressive promotion. If that’s the way you want to go, ask your Affiliate Manager for offers that accept aggressive landing pages.
But even in this case, you still need to get them approved with the traffic source that you are planning on advertising on. Depending on how well the traffic source is doing, some networks will reject campaigns using aggressive landing pages – especially ones with trademarked logos. You will see a notification of some sort when you log into the traffic source, and an email may be sent to your inbox to notify you. If your campaigns keeps being rejected due to aggressive promotion, you risk losing your account with that particular traffic source – i.e.,you will get banned.
Back in the day, affiliates made a cash-load of money promoting antivirus type offers.
Most landing pages that convert the best use scare tactics to inform visitors that their devices are infected with viruses. If the visitor does not download the app/software right now, something terrible will happen to their device, personal information, or data. And just like with sweepstakes, the landing pages that convert the best adopt the authoritative feel of websites/interfaces similar to your device’s Operating System.
In 2019, the majority of traffic sources absolutely forbid these types of landing pages, but some affiliates do find a way around it by using ‘cloaking’. It’s a technique that sends traffic source reviewers to a compliant lander but sends the visitors to an aggressive lander. Due to its nature, cloaking is not something openly discussed on blogs or even private forums. Once again, if you are caught cloaking by the traffic source or advertiser, you risk losing your account or not getting paid.
Typically, there are two types of dating campaigns that traffic sources allow: adult and mainstream. (Propeller Ads that we use in this guide only sells mainstream traffic).
“You have 10 beautiful girls waiting for you just outside your door.” Sound familiar? Landing pages with these claims are ubiquitous on adult tube sites. These are the kinds of landing pages that are used to promote adult dating offers, and normally only adult offers can be promoted on adult traffic. These offers include adult dating, adult cam websites, male enhancement products, ED pills, and so on.
The mainstream dating vertical is similar to adult except that these offers can be promoted on mainstream traffic due to lack of nudity on their offer pages, and actual big companies behind them (think Match.com or Mate1.com). Of course, there are also adult dating offers disguised as mainstream dating, that might get approved by a traffic source.
4. CASINO AND GAMBLING
This type of vertical includes online casinos, lotteries and sports betting. The most common landing pages used are fake “spin the wheel” or “slots” types, with the common pay-out models being slightly different from the other verticals.
Aside from the normal Cost Per Lead (aka CPL) where you get paid when a visitor signs up or fills out information, casino type offers include:
- Conversions based on First Time Deposits (aka FTD), where an affiliate gets paid when a visitor joins the site and makes his first deposit
- Revshare, where a certain percentage is paid out to an affiliate, based on how much the visitor who signed up deposits.
Standard Cost Per Lead offers are easiest to run, but FTD and Revshare can generate significantly higher returns in the long term. (Some FTDs pay upward of $200-500 range per deposit)
order to reduce risk, most big casino offer advertisers (owners) will only
offer FTD and/or Revshare to the affiliates they haven’t worked with
This is because with the CPL model, the advertiser would be paying you for the lead first, with no guarantee that the lead will ever go on to make that first deposit.
SO, WHICH VERTICAL SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
What offers do you have available, and what landing pages can you spy on?
For an absolute beginner, I always recommend Sweepstakes since they are relatively easy to run and achieve your first profits with, and you can test other verticals later on. But ultimately, the choice will be yours to make, so choose wisely!