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Adsterra Review: Setup, Pros & Cons, Results

Intro

In this Adsterra review we’ll show you how an ad network can return you 416% on your ad spend in 10 days (or less) with minimal effort on your part.

Adsterra is a fresh and vibrant ad network that’s been finely tuned to work in step with the latest affiliate offers.

It’s slick, easy-to-use and is the perfect way to reach an eager audience that converts like crazy for all types of offers.

In this Adsterra review, we’re gonna look at how the platform blew up to be the success it is today, along with a brief overview of the key stats and figures, before showing you a step-by-step study of exactly how you can use Adsterra to hit the jackpot.

Sound good?

Cool, let’s get to it!

Verticals, Offers & Ad Formats

  • VPNs
  • Sweepstakes
  • Subscriptions
  • Gaming
  • App Installs
  • Dating
  • Software
  • Binary
  • Addons
  • Antivirus
  • Utility
  • Gambling

Check out the top-performing offers you can run.

Along with Popunder ads, Adsterra also supports:

  • Native Ads
  • Social Bar (which includes In-Page Push, Icon Notifications and custom creatives)
  • Banners (Display)
  • Vast (Video)

Tip: Try out different ad formats for your campaigns to see which perform best for your offers.

Funding Your Account

The minimum deposit value in Adsterra is $100.

Accepted payment methods include Paxum, WebMoney, Visa, MasterCard, and UnionPay.

You can also make a payment on request by Wire transfer and Capitalist.

You’ll be able to see your payment history and upload any required documents from this page.

Want a Promo Code to help get you started?

Use EB3VXLBN in the payment promo code section for a $50 bonus on your balance.

You will get $50 after depositing $150 on your balance.

Note: this promo code is available until May 31, 2022.

Support

The support you get from Adsterra is pretty awesome.

Not only will they help you tweak your campaigns but they’ll also be able to give you some inside knowledge that will make you

profitable from the start.

The support network includes:

  • Live chat
  • Skype
  • Email
  • Extensive help files and guides

Whether you’re new and just starting out or need help with managing larger volumes, Adsterra is an awesome team to have at your disposal.

Why Adsterra?

Adsterra is a global ad network founded in 2013 by a team of affiliate marketers and webmasters with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

It serves over 1 billion impressions daily. What’s so cool about the ad network, and one of the things that makes it so attractive to affiliates, is the emphasis on CPA marketing campaigns.

When it comes to turning a profit with VPNs, Utilities, Subscriptions, Sweepstakes, Dating – along with a ton of other verticals – you’ll find them hard to beat.

They’re also one of the few ad networks that release up-to-date case studies that show exactly how the top affiliates are making bank with the platform.

Bonus tip: You can use these as a blueprint for the best offers, so you’ll spend less time testing the waters on your own.

And, if you like a challenge, you can even get a reward of $200 if your success story is featured on the blog!

This emphasis on affiliate marketing and a transparent approach to business quickly resulted in Adsterra being hailed as one of the best platforms of its kind in the industry.

They take serious measures to detect, prevent, and fight fraud and scams. Each website and campaign is thoroughly inspected before approval through in-house security software, reliable third-party solutions, and a human review.

So let’s jump forward to look at today’s numbers and see how all this translates into real-world stats.

Adsterra by numbers and facts:

  • 30+ billion impressions/month;
  • 248 GEOs covered (Global);
  • 111K+ successful campaigns;
  • 18K+ direct publishers;
  • 12K+ advertisers;
  • 8K+ brands, affiliates, media agencies and ad networks;
  • All the payment models are available: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPI, CPL, RTB, RevShare;
  • Various ad formats and payment systems;
  • Easy API integration;
  • Complex multistep system to protect partners from inappropriate traffic;
  • Full targeting inventory including rare ones (i.e. Browser versions, OS versions, Carrier, IP targeting);
  • Retargeting.

Adsterra’s Partner Care Approach

Adsterra is also renowned for an approach that centers around the client. It includes but is not limited to:

  • An intuitive self-serve platform with automated onboarding;
  • 24/7 multilingual live-chat support;
  • Personal insights about the most effective ad format and/or settings;
  • An opportunity to work with a personal manager.

All Adsterra managers complete the company’s unique “Adsterra’s Partner Care Approach” course. They believe: clients are their equal partners, that’s investing into long-term relationships with them matters. They are also trained to help you in any way possible — and are even ready to share creatives that proved to convert in your vertical.

The current functionality of the Self-Service Platform makes it possible to run campaigns without a Manager. Still, anytime you feel like needing one – they are always here to help.

So let’s dive into the details of how to use Adsterra to set up your own campaign using a case study of our own and find out how we made a profit of $715.5 in under 10 days, with a starting budget of just $171.70

Getting Started on Adsterra

First off, you’re gonna need to create a new account.

So head over to Adsterra now and click on the registration link at the top.

Or, if you’d rather read how we did it first and create your account later, that’s fine too.

adsterra signup page

Tip: Use an active messenger account so you can connect with your network account manager. It’s one of the perks of belonging to the network and can speed up the process for you, so you can start making bank right away.

One of the things we love about Adsterra is the elegant simplicity of the signup process.

Right from the confirmation to the welcome email, to creating my first campaign, I always felt I was in safe hands.

This is worth a mention because with Adsterra, it’s not just the messaging that’s good; it’s the entire experience from start to finish.

So let’s get started!

The Welcome Screen

adsterra platform welcome screen

Here you’ll find the onboarding video guides and a simple 3 step method to getting your ads up and running.

Step 1: Choose a payment method and top up your balance;

Step 2: Create a campaign by yourself or with the manager’s help;

Step 3: Set up your conversion tracker.

We’ll be going over each of these steps in more detail later but one of the neat things about the welcome screen can be found in the ‘How to start getting traffic’ section right at the top.

“Why?”, you might ask.

The reason is simple: even though Adsterra is an SSP (self-serve platform) they don’t just take your money and leave you hanging.

You’ll get full support from a personal account manager who will help develop personalized solutions and provide you with expert advice to enhance your campaign performance.

They’ll help you determine which offers and verticals can give you the best results, so make sure you don’t skip this section and get in touch with your account manager right away!

Need more advice on how the SSP works?

Pull the pop-out tab on the browser window once you are logged in and voila! A full step-by-step guide on how to refill your account balance, create, manage and edit campaigns will appear.

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You can also open the off-canvas menu which will give you a top-down view of the various sections of the site.

This gives you access from everything to campaign creation, stats, tracking, and settings, so you can navigate through the platform like a pro.

The Offer

For this review, we got ourselves a wonderful SOI sweepstake offer, well-known Amazon.

We will try to work with an offer on Tier-1 GEO — Italy. The offer is quite simple and beaten. Let’s see how it will behave on the Social Bar format and whether I will be able to make a profit in a short period of time.

Offer itself is a small survey of 3 questions, that in the end asks users to enter their data and email, so everything is quite simple.

The only thing that’s alarming at once — the $0.8 payment for SOI registration, which means that users are not very eager to fill in the survey and we can easily flop and flummox.
Screenshot of the final landing:

Strategy

When dealing with such complicated and exhausted GEOs, don’t forget to verify every single detail with your manager.

Remember that the manager himself benefits if you make money. After checking with the manager on the competitors and the complexity of the GEO, I decided to make preliminary tests on a small budget to make sure that everything works, whether I should attach my prelander or the survey is enough to stop possible bots, etc.

I should warn you beforehand, that very narrow targeting is depriving you from some traffic. Be sure to conduct tests in advance and experiment.

Creatives

As I said earlier — there was no need for prelander, the survey was quite good at holding back the bot onslaught and I got quite clean conversions for this type of offer.

As for the creatives — it’s worth noting that I had a little trouble with them, because I could not understand what would work best.

But as you know, the answer was always there for me and I did not have to think too much, reinventing the wheel.

Keep in mind that to understand the success or failure of a creative, you need to run preliminary tests (ideally — a couple of times) to finally make sure that everything is working fine and the creatives have a high CTR.

Behold, examples of my creatives that worked well:

(Amazon Prize Raffle! Win a $500 card! Participate)

(Win prizes! Take part in the raffle!)

I advise you not to go overboard with Amazon logos and other mislead, otherwise you risk losing some of your traffic. As I said before, prize boxes and calls to enter prize raffles, etc. are great.

Go for it! 🙂

Creating Your First Campaign on Adsterra

So, instead of simply walking you through the campaign creation process, I’m gonna switch to using a live test offer so you can follow along with exactly how the pros set things up.

But – just before I do that – you’ll see from the image below that you’re gonna need to top up your balance on your account.
It’s up to you if you do this before or after you set things up, but you’ll need to deposit at least the minimum value of $100 before you can start a campaign.

As I’m keen to run through the process with you, I’ll leave the discussion of payment methods until later, but if you wanna go and deposit some funds before returning to read the rest of the article, now’s a good time.

Go ahead and click on the Create Campaign button.

Here’s where the magic happens!

Let’s go through each of the data fields required to set up your campaigns.

General Setup

Campaign name: We entered ‘sweepstakes’ here.

Connection type: You can flick between 3G and Wi-Fi only traffic options. For this offer, we chose ‘All Traffic’ but you may want to choose Wi-Fi only, if your lander has high bandwidth requirements.

Pricing type: Adsterra allows for CPM, CPA, or CPC pricing models. After questioning the manager and preliminary tests, I decided to start driving. From my experience with the format, I chose the CPC with 0.004$/click rate (preliminary tests showed that it is not possible to use minimal rate — all good traffic is stolen by competitors).

Ad unit category: Popunder, Native banner, Social Bar. For this offer, I wanted to test Social Bar format.

Traffic type: Mainstream + Non-Mainstream

Landing URL: It’s recommended to use domains that instill confidence in the user. For example domains like “win.prize-now.club” tend to have a higher probability of conversion compared to domains such as “trk.sdkfshfhkhsfshdufds.xyz” which are typically used by spammers.

Device format: Desktop, mobile, or tablet. The advertiser chose to work with mobile traffic exclusively, as per the recommendations on the offer page. There are tons of useful guides on affiliate marketing strategies for both mobile and desktop traffic which you can read to decide on a strategy. One other reason you might want to separate your traffic sources is so you can stay more targeted in your campaigns.

Countries: The advertiser chose Italy (IT). Adsterra allows you to manually select a country or use bulk input for multiple GEOs.

Budget limit: You can allocate a test budget to see how the campaign performs before dropping a fat stack of cash.

Start: Start immediately after approval, at a scheduled time or keep inactive.
Targeting

OS: Select which OS you wanna target.

Browser: Any browsers you wanna target.

Browser language: Any specific languages you wanna target. It is especially useful for reaching expats abroad.

Carrier: Target specific network carriers.

Capping & Limits

Frequency capping: Impressions limits per user.

Limits: Budget caps over a time frame.

Advanced Settings

Blacklist: Use blacklists to exclude placements from your campaign.

IP range targeting: Include or exclude a set of IP ranges — helps you target specific regions of countries.

Here’s a screenshot of the preview of how the campaign looked after everything had been set up:

Tip: One neat feature of Adsterra is the Smart Traffic Estimation tool which is available for CPC and CPM pricing models. Use this to find out the approximate volume of impressions/day based on your campaigns’ settings and competitors’ activity.

Tracking Your Links

Setting up your tracking links is the secret to success in any marketing campaign.

Why?

Because without accurate and correctly structured tracking links, it’s nearly impossible to stay profitable long term.

Read also: Best Affiliate Trackers

You can think of this as the equivalent of taking a wild stab in the dark about how many miles your car does per gallon or guessing how many marbles are in a jar of each shape, colour and size.

Left unchecked, sooner or later you’re either gonna find yourself stranded out in the middle of nowhere or end up throwing money away unnecessarily.

Tracking helps you stay in control of your campaigns and make smart decisions about how to allocate your resources. And it does this by providing you with detailed analysis of precisely which ad spots and traffic sources are performing the best for you.

Don’t yet have a tracker?

Scoot over to our friends at Voluum and we’ll get you set up with an impressive 25% discount on the best software currently available.

Adsterra has a CPA pricing model – along with CPM, CPC, CPL, CPO, and CPI (PPI) – which you won’t be able to use unless you have your tracker set up beforehand, as you won’t be able to see the conversions required for sending traffic.

So here’s how to set up your tracking in 4 easy steps:

  1. Choose your postback type – This can be simple postback, simple postback with payout variable or complex postback with currency conversion. The last one is used if you work with currencies other than US dollars.
  2. Choose your tracking system – We recommend using Voluum, the leading ad tracker. However, you can check our list of the best trackers.
  3. Generate postback and set it up on your tracking system.
  4. Test your offer with the built-in tool provided. The conversion subid for Adsterra is ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## and this must be included with the link. It is additionally recommended to use ##PLACEMENT_ID## so you can track traffic from different sources.

If you need any help with this contact your account manager at Adsterra who will walk you through the process.

Optimizing Your Campaign

So now that you’ve got the nuts and bolts of your campaign all tightened down, it’s time to tweak the settings to maximize the performance potential.

This is a huge topic for discussion and covers everything from writing killer ad headlines to testing CTA buttons on your landing page.

For this campaign, two key optimization strategies were used.

#1 (Blacklisting and Whitelisting)

The survey is cool for sure. But you should protect yourself from bots in advance, that’s why we create blacklists. Isp’s of large marketplaces and other similar websites are banned immediately, it helps a lot from the flood of bots.

Found a site that’s awesome?

Add it to the whitelist and make a separate campaign, with placements that show themselves well.

This is for your convenience while working after all. Even better, if you are using the feature with custom bids on the selected placements.

#2 (Adding Creatives)

Yes, you’ll have to work hard again. As practice shows, the creatives on sweeps run out of steam very quickly and you’re always having to come up with something new.

I know how hard and exhausting it is, but we’re making money here, right?

Be sure to do different tests and different approaches beforehand, it’s important to understand in advance what creatives work best.

Post Optimization

So how well can you expect your campaign to perform after you’ve made all your tweaks and it’s purring like a finely tuned Lambo?

Well, the truth is this depends on a number of factors.

But, as time goes on, as you gather more data on which verticals and offers perform best with individual traffic sources and ad formats, you’ll grow both in confidence and in earnings.

Check out the Adsterra blog for real-world case studies with delicious ROI that will give you a taste of what’s achievable.

Let’s take a look at the results of the ad campaign we’ve been following up to now:

Traffic: Social Bar by Adsterra.com

Offer: Sweepstakes All Traffic

Period: 01.04.2021 – 10.04.2021

GEO: Italy (IT)

Spent: $171.70

Income: $887.20

Profit: $715.5

ROI: 416%

So with minimal testing and optimization, and a test budget of just $171.70, this campaign made a net income of $887.20 for a total profit of $715.5.

I can say that I’m almost not surprised by this outcome. Everything works like a clock, if the plan is set up.

As you can see, such offers on Europe — they are quite working: take ’em, test ’em, it’s all up to you.

Could you optimize this campaign further for even better results?

Absolutely!

The point is that Adsterra came through as a profitable traffic source for this sweepstake offer and resulted in a positive profit margin which can only be a good thing.

Finally, sweeps are a fairly simple type of offer.

However, they suffer from the drawback that they can become obsolete way too quickly.

Users quickly lose interest, and so the campaign has to be stopped soon after it was launched.

This makes scaling hard.

Also, don’t forget to think carefully about your pre-landers!

Tip: Ponder before taking complex cc-submit offers, as you probably won’t be able to overtake your competitors and the campaign could slip into negative ROI. Which is bad! Also do not forget to test campaigns, settings and creatives. And be sure to communicate with your manager, they are always helpful and most responsive.

Good luck!

Adsterra Verdict

Adsterra is a great place to start for new affiliate marketers, and the emphasis on affiliate offers and high converting traffic is a winning formula.

Could they be better?

As with all ad networks, the quality of the publishers is essential to turning a profit.

After all, who wants to work with sites that have low traffic volume and an audience that doesn’t resonate with your offers.

That said, Adsterra does a great job of maintaining good quality publishers, but some smaller sites could result in less volume and conversions from some GEOs.

Pros

  • Good choice of ad formats;
  • Can run offers with non-mainstream traffic;
  • Great targeting options;
  • Caring customer support;
  • Plenty of funding sources;
  • Worldwide coverage.

Cons

  • Some payment methods need documentary confirmation;
  • No demographic targeting yet.

Final Thoughts

Adsterra is a fantastic network for digital marketers who are focused on affiliate offers.

They know the space well and have years of experience in making these types of offers successful.

The SSP is easy to use, and there’s more than adequate support available if you need it.

Plus, with a low minimum deposit (and a $50 boost on your account, if you use our activation code) there’s a very low barrier to entry, even for new affiliates.

So what are you waiting for?

Click the link below to start testing your own campaigns today, and multiply your money by numbers right away!

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