Even though affiliate marketing is full of different opinions and contrasting strategies, there is one thing that almost everyone in the industry agrees on: sweepstakes are the perfect vertical choice for beginners.
Affiliate marketers face many choices before running each campaign. Having no previous experience in choosing the right source, offer, GEO, or any other component of an affiliate campaign can be really stressful.
That’s why we’ve decided to focus on one vertical only and tell you exactly why you should give Surveys and Sweepstakes a chance.
Read this ultimate guide to Surveys & Sweepstakes vertical and learn why it’s an evergreen niche for affiliate marketers in 2022!
What is Surveys & Sweepstakes vertical?
Surveys & Sweepstakes, also known as sweepstakes or surveys & sweeps, is an umbrella term for various offers promising users a reward, usually a chance to win an item, upon taking a specific action.
Entering a sweepstake contest is free, but as mentioned, certain actions are required. For example, users need to submit their email addresses, fill a form, or spin a wheel-of-fortune by clicking on the designated area of the website.
In return, lucky users are given a chance to win a wide range of products starting from brand new phones, electronics, shopping or travel vouchers, and many others.
Note that sweepstakes can be found under different names due to network-specific naming conventions. The most commonly found names would be surveys and sweeps, leadgen and vouchers.
Types of Surveys and Sweepstakes Offers & Affiliate Programs
Another thing to remember is that surveys and sweepstakes ads might all work on a similar premise, but they tend to come in different shapes and sizes. Just have a look below!
SOI stands for Single Opt-In and is by far the simplest form of a sweepstakes offer. They have the lowest payouts but require the least effort to convert. All users need to do is to, for example, leave their email address. And that’s it — that’s your conversion. Not much for a chance of winning a brand-new phone.
DOI stands for Double Opt-In, but even though it requires a two-step authentication, it’s still a fairly easy process. Users usually need to first enter their data and then confirm it via email. Nonetheless, DOI offers are a bit harder to convert as not everyone who starts the registration process is willing to complete it. On the plus side they do have higher payouts which makes up for slightly lower conversion rates.
CC Submit means users are required to submit their credit card details in order for a conversion to be counted. Naturally, it’s much harder to convince users to leave their banking details on a website rather than it is in case of email addresses. That’s why these types of offers usually come with much higher payouts and they require a lot more effort (pre-landers, advanced optimization strategies, spot-on funnel), too.
TIP: it’s easier to enter your credit card number on desktop devices than on mobile, so CC submit offers might work better with desktop traffic.
Mobile Subscription Offers, also known as carrier billing offers, require users to subscribe to some service for which the payment will be periodically charged directly to their mobile phone bill. Such offers are characterized by higher payouts and lower conversion rates since, similarly to CC submits, people are more reluctant to share their phone numbers than their email addresses. Also, depending on an offer, one or two-step verification is required.
Why is Surveys and Sweeps vertical worth it?
Sweepstakes are, without a doubt, the most universal vertical. They’re not dependent on the economic situation and never get affected by the ongoing world-scale events. People always want free stuff if you ask them, especially if there’s no entrance fee and the only thing they have to do is to provide an email and some additional information.
Sweepstakes are also the vertical most commonly recommended to less experienced advertisers as they have a low cost of entry and tend to convert very well. Since the click flow for that kind of offers is very simple and straightforward, the conversions are easy to get, i.e. they don’t cost a lot of money and don’t require the highest quality of traffic.
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Where to run Sweepstakes? Top GEOs
Sweepstakes work on both mobile and desktop traffic and practically in any GEO. As always, everything depends on your offer details, whether you want to involve ad creatives or pre-landers, as well as targeting and optimization choices (not to mention the seasonal swings).
The truth is, you can’t go wrong with GEO targeting. You can choose between good GEOs and excellent GEOs, but you definitely want to target countries according to the type of offer you chose.
SOI and DOI offers work for all countries, but if you’re only starting you should go for cheaper traffic, that is, Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries. Running successful Sweepstakes campaigns is also possible in Tier 1, but in that case it’s recommended to choose locations with the highest volume, such as US or LATAM countries.
In general, higher payout offers require users to complete more steps for a conversion to be counted. Some offers require users to pay a fee to enter a draft — hence the higher pay and higher quality of traffic needed to score the conversion.
Offers involving money work best in Tier 1 GEOs because users in the most wealthy countries are the most willing to spend real money online. Of course, it doesn’t mean that such offers stand no chances in Tier 3 countries. It just means that such offers combined with Tier 3 countries are much harder to perfect and require more work in testing funnels.
Want to know more about GEOs and Tiers of Traffic?
Read the article and find out what Tiers work best for your offers!
Top GEOs For Surveys & Sweepstakes
Tier 1: US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy.
Tier 2: Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa.
Tier 3: India, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil.
Surveys & Sweeps: Best Ad Formats
If you’re a slightly less experienced advertiser, then pop traffic is for you! Why?
Pop ads are simply easy to run. No creatives are required and more often than not landing pages and offers are a package deal. Also, pop traffic is cheap and there’s plenty of volume which means you can spend more on testing and optimizing (also called the learning phrase).
Once you’re slightly more advanced, domain redirect might be worth a shot. Even though it’s a bit more expensive than pop, it can still be considered cheap, it converts well and even allows for a more precise targeting. Broad or exact keyword matching lets you target users who have already shown interest in a given product. If someone was about to look for a new phone in an online electronics store and gets redirected to an ad offering a possibility to win one – it’s highly possible they will engage. Also, no ad creatives or pre-landers are required and the traffic volume is big enough to scale.
Push or in-page push ads allow you to deliver your message straight to users’ devices in a non-intrusive, user-friendly, and highly-engaging way. The traffic is top-quality, hence the higher cost and higher conversion rates. When choosing this ad format you need to also think about creatives but they can give your campaigns a huge boost! Push works especially well combined with mobile targeting (and don’t forget about the possibility of targeting iOS users through in-page push ads!).
Creatives & Landers DOs and DON’Ts
Here’s what you should do if you decide to use your own pre-landers and creatives:
- Make sure the lander matches the offer in terms of colours.
- If you’re taking your creatives from spytools, make sure they regard the same offer as the one you’re promoting.
- Keep the whole funnel corresponding in design.
- Avoid typos.
- Adjust or translate the copy if needed.
- Do your best to optimize the loading speed of your landers.
- Add a sense of urgency: EXCLUSIVE OFFER, LIMITED AVAILABILITY, OFFER ENDS IN…
- Countdowns, quizzes, spin-wheels, or roulettes are great elements for engaging users.
- Use real photographs.
- Remember about seasonal trends (add some festivity during the Holiday season!)
- Rotate creatives to avoid creative fatigue.
- Add positive comments and user reviews for the sense of credibility.
…and here’s what you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t overdo your creatives. Simple designs are the way to go.
- Don’t use cartoonish visuals.
- Never guarantee any prizes.
- Avoid copying everything from spytools – use them for inspiration.
- Don’t use logos of popular brands.
- Stay away from copycatting materials.
- Double check you copy before posting to avoid typos.
- Don’t try to imitate copyrighted materials.
- Don’t lie to your audience.
Landing page examples:
Source: Mobidea | Offer Type: SOI Email Submit
Source: Mobidea | Offer Type: CC Submit
Source: Mobidea | Offer Type: SOI Email Submit
Need ideas for push notifications creatives?
Read the article and learn about the hottest trends in push notifications.
Step-by-step Sweepstakes campaign optimization
- Launch broad campaigns first — choose RON targeting to get all traffic coming from a selected country. In this way, you’ll be able to identify top-performing sources for your campaigns. You can turn these sources into a whitelist campaign later on.
- Let your campaigns run for a couple of days before optimizing. Don’t play with the parameters too recklessly, though. Start with OS targeting and then gradually adjust OS versions and browsers.
- If you’ve been running your campaign for over a week you should check if some hours or days are more profitable than others. If you see clear distinctions, head to the dayparting section and adjust it by eliminating the least profitable time periods.
- To fight the market saturation, increase your bids gradually until your win ratio reaches 70%-90%.
- You should only cut sources and targets when they are still unprofitable after reaching the above mentioned win-ratio. Otherwise, you might cut them before unlocking their full potential.
- Don’t over-optimize too quickly. Wait until you have significant data to exclude placements and other traffic filters.
- See some really well performing targets/sources? Save them in a spreadsheet and launch a whitelist campaign.
- If your CTRs are relatively high but you’re not buying enough traffic — bid up!
- If you’re spending too fast, but the CTR is satisfying, then lower your bid or increase the ad frequency.
- Keep on testing. Test creatives, landers and offers. Sometimes it will only take you $100 to find a profitable campaign but sometimes you’ll spend hundreds before you see your first green numbers.
Do you feel ready to start your first sweepstakes campaign yet? If not, then hopefully that will be the last thing you need before taking action.
We’ve prepared a list of sources that can give your sweepstakes campaigns a head start. Have a look!
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Sweepstakes are an evergreen vertical including a variety of offers that give users a chance to win something in exchange for sharing a little bit of data.
Single opt-in, double opt-in, cc submit and mobile subscription are all different types of Sweepstakes offers. They each need a slightly different approach but as long you know their strengths and weaknesses you can make each of the offer types profitable.
Surveys and Sweeps work in nearly every GEO but Tier 1 is better for higher payout offers while Tiers 2 & 3 work best for all kinds of Single Opt-in and Double Opt-in offers.
Lastly, each ad format has its benefits depending on how advanced you are. Pop traffic is most recommended to beginners because of how easy it is but both domain redirect and push can work just as well for affiliates on any level.