Every time a new ad format is introduced it causes a stir up in the affiliate marketers’ community. Does it work? Is it a potential goldmine? The forums come alive with discussions, follow alongs and case studies. They seem to be the first to figure out how to work these new ad formats. And that’s why we’ve decided to look into the community for tips and tricks regarding in-app native traffic optimization.
In-app native is a relatively new ad format in Zeropark. It allows advertisers to display ads in between products listed for sale in Letgo, the top marketplace app in the US. That’s why native in-app traffic is perfect for e-commerce advertising, just as explained in this article.
Since native traffic isn’t widely recommended to complete beginners, in-app native might seem like a bit of an enigma even to more experienced affiliates. The budget needed for testing is not the smallest but the market is still fairly unsaturated. All you need to do is find that sweet spot and let the traffic flow.
Due to its striking similarities between banner ads, display ads, and regular mobile native ads, in-app native is a type of advertising that uses a lot of the same tricks. How do people actually run in-app native traffic? Let me provide you with some community insights.
Community tips on how to run in-app native ads!
Research the affiliate offers thoroughly.
Just like with any other type of traffic, you need the freshest data possible. First, check in with your traffic network and get a list of the top-performing offers. The best performing verticals for in-app native are binary/trading, gambling and e-commerce. Once you have a list of top performers you can show it to your traffic source representatives so that they can look through the offers and let you know what works best based on their observations and traffic insights.
Since people who browse Letgo are already interested in buying things, why not advertise another tangible product? Rely on the network recommendations but do consider any worldwide trends and hot topics.
Pay attention to offer specifications. If you’re running an offer that uses a call center to confirm purchases or subscriptions, your conversion time will be dependent on the working hours of the said call center.
And before you panic about a drop in conversions, make sure there aren’t any national or religious holidays in the location of your call center.
Use spy tools.
Spy tools can be incredibly helpful when coming up with creative ideas. You have the ability to look into the most popular and successful landers and creatives. Browsing through them can give you plenty of inspiration about what works. Remember one thing, though. Copycatting might seem like an easy solution to your creative dilemmas but it’s hardly ever the best solution.
Put in more effort and create your own stuff! You have a greater chance of attracting clicks if your ad is something no one has ever seen before. Always start with research.
Sign up for a spy tool of your choice and search for ads from your affiliate network. Analyze what is currently trending and where. Filter the results by how much traffic the creatives received and how long they’ve been running. Using these metrics makes sense as clicks come from users who find the ad interesting enough to engage with it. Also, no advertiser would run an ad for a long time if it didn’t convert well.
Watch out for creative fatigue!
Creatives for in-app native ads are especially important. If one person is persistently scrolling through hundreds of product listings every day, they will most likely see your ad more than once. Employing more creatives increases your chances of getting noticed.
Remember, though, that testing different styles of ads is crucial, too. Creatives can be a hit or miss. Sometimes copying the style of the app can work in your favor. Other times using a creative that stands out will bring you the much-needed clicks.
Engage users with your pre-landers
Landing pages are equally important when it comes to in-app native traffic. Why? Because if your ad gets the users’ attention, they will click it, and then it’s your job to convince them to convert. Landing pages with big, visible CTA buttons might work quite well.
Advertorials are a popular type of landing pages, especially for native ads. They require a lot of work but seem to be favored by people interested in products related to e-commerce, gambling, or finance verticals. There is no better way to sell a product than by describing its features and benefits in a credible and trustworthy way. A few comments from satisfied users might serve as a cherry on top.
Be careful with aggressive landers, though. They might seem to perform significantly better but they are often the cause of certain issues. First, you need to make sure you are compliant with the traffic source guidelines. That saves you the trouble of remaking the lander if your campaign gets rejected. Two, aggressive landers lead to chargebacks. Users who initially converted due to promised benefits may realize that the product/subscription they paid for isn’t exactly what they expected.
Gather & analyze sufficient data before optimizing.
The general community recommendation is to either test a lower payout offer or prepare an adequate budget for testing. The minimum starting budget is 10x the payout to test the waters for a few days.
Most of the time at least a couple of conversions should appear within the first few days. If that doesn’t happen, you can assume the offer isn’t going to convert later on. This is a rather aggressive method of testing and as any other strategy doesn’t guarantee results.
Even when you start to receive conversions immediately after launching your campaign you will most likely still run at a loss before you are able to optimize your traffic. You need to be prepared to invest money in learning the behavior of the traffic.
How to optimize traffic when you’ve only got one source?
Well, the in-app native traffic comes from one source only — the Letgo app. The available GEOs are the US and Turkey. According to the community, Turkey seems to be the most reasonable choice for beginners while the US might be more suitable for experienced affiliates. Your choice depends on what sort of offers you intend to run and what is your general experience.
Usually, the more expensive the impressions the better the earning potential for high payout offers (hence the recommendation of US traffic for more experienced affiliates). However, if you’re only testing this type of traffic and your offer payout is rather average, a GEO with cheaper bid prices will do just as well (that’s Turkey – perfect for beginners!). Overall, gathering enough data to accurately optimize the traffic should be your key focus.
Since native in-app ads are shown within the Letgo app, there isn’t a list of sources or placements to be optimized. The only granular data you can adjust are OSes, OS versions, frequency filters, and dayparting.
OSes & OS versions
That’s the first traffic filter you should adjust. The community tends to have theories about which versions convert and which are particularly useless. We’ve heard that Android 4.0 is a bit of an underperformer… But you should definitely check that for yourself!
Let your campaign run for a couple of days and cut the versions that don’t convert. Make sure the offer requirements don’t exclude one of the operating systems. You wouldn’t want to spend money on Android conversions while the offer clearly states iOS only.
Frequency filters and dayparting
When choosing how often to display ads to the Letgo app users, you need to take into account the number of creatives per campaign. Time-frequency works per creative so the more creatives you have the more often your ad will be displayed to each user.
In general, as long as you have a variety of creatives and landers you should go for a frequency filter of at least 1/12 hours.
It’s generally recommended to start your campaign without excluding particular days or hours. That way, you’ll get the maximum amount of traffic (and possible conversions) to test the waters. Later on, you can consider limiting the hours of running your campaign to those that seemed the most profitable. In the case of offers that require making a call to confirm your conversion, it might be reasonable to only run your campaigns during the working hours of your call center.
Creatives for in-app native ads
This is the thing you have the most control over. As there are no sources or placements, you can only adjust bids on the level of a whole campaign or creatives. The community recommends giving creatives no mercy. As the ads get shown to the user base a lot the creatives can burn out rather quickly.
It’s highly recommended to start with 5-10 creatives but you will usually need more as the campaign progresses. Some creatives will perform better than others and it’s best not to wait too much before throwing out the underperformers. Keep some spares. As soon as the difference in CTR is significant between the creatives with the highest and the lowest CTR (or ideally Conversion Rate) you should take action.
Don’t let the weak creatives eat up your budget. Pause the losers and add more fresh creatives on a regular basis. Pay attention to the characteristics of the winners but don’t be afraid to experiment.
10 Quick Tips for Letgo traffic optimization
To summarize, running in-app native ads is quite similar to running regular native ads. Remember these tips straight from the affiliate community and make the most of your campaigns. Here’s a list of top suggestions!
- Prepare a moderate budget. Higher than for pop or push, but lower than for regular native campaigns.
- Choose Turkey traffic if you’re a beginner (it’s cheaper, which allows you to spend more on testing).
- Go for US traffic if you’re more experienced and your budget is sufficient for higher bids.
- Research offers as thoroughly as possible.
- The performance of your offers might be dependent on call centers.
- Use spy tools to find inspiration for creatives.
- Be ready to introduce fresh creatives and pause the underperformers.
- Give your campaigns time to gather data.
- Optimize starting from OSes and OS versions.
- Use dayparting once you notice steady patterns in the coming conversions.
And that’s the gist of in-app native ads optimization. Sounds easy, right?