Bringing automatic ad campaign optimization to Zeropark was one of our biggest ventures thus far. The value of Smart eCPA is so great because it largely increases campaigns’ efficiency while saving you time you would normally spend analyzing and optimizing your results.
Zeropark’s customers have already been taking advantage of Smart eCPA, so I can show you how it works with real examples. So, let’s dive in!
Setting up your Smart eCPA campaign
Smart eCPA is already enabled in everyone’s accounts, so you can start setting up a new campaign exactly like you used to beforehand. Keep in mind however, that Smart eCPA is currently available for Premium PPV RON, Source and MultiGeo campaigns.
Today, we’ve put two cases on display. Both of the advertisers chose to promote a mobile app downloads through pop, Run-of-Network campaigns.
One of them was promoting a mobile game targeted at Russia. The second one was promoting an utility app focused on the United States. Both were using simple landing pages that encouraged an app download and led to their OS-respective app store.
When you select Smart eCPA at the top of campaign settings page two of the options you know from regular campaign types will be unavailable. They are traffic buying model and Source/Target budget. This is because Smart eCPA decides this for you.
Apart from the eCPA target input field, one of the settings that is unique to Smart eCPA campaigns is the type of budget dedicated to the learning period.
It takes roughly 100 conversions for our machine-learning algorithms to build a complete optimization model for each campaign, however this doesn’t mean the campaign isn’t being optimized from the start. Once the learning stage ends, the model is ready, and the optimization works on all cylinders.
There are three settings for the learning period budget:
Tight setting is very trigger-happy when it comes to blacklisting low-performing traffic. It’s the right option if you are very careful about your spend, but it comes at the price of bringing you less conversions than other settings. It also extends the learning phase, as it takes longer to complete the optimization model when running on tight budget.
Moderate is quite self-explanatory. It doesn’t block low-performing sources and targets so aggressively, and it will save you some money, but the number of conversions will also be limited.
High setting will block only the traffic that doesn’t perform at all. It aims to bring you the most conversions and can significantly lower your eCPA in the long run. As the name suggests, it will cost you a bit more than the other two budget types.
Both of the advertisers whose cases we’re going to study went with the high budget type. The campaign targeted at Russia was limited to $550 a day, and the American one to $750.
Here are the settings of the American mobile utility app campaign:
And here are the settings of the Russian mobile game campaign:
Once you set everything up and get your campaign approved, the Smart eCPA campaign lifecycle begins. From now on, the majority of campaign settings can’t be changed, because it’s simply unnecessary.
The three stages of Smart eCPA campaigns
Your Smart eCPA campaign will go through three stages of progression.
The first one is Data Gathering. Even at this stage, the campaign is already being optimized, but the valid optimization model is still under construction.
The final stage is Optimizing. When you see a green bar, it means that the model has been completed and our algorithms are working to the highest efficiency to optimize your campaigns to your eCPA goal.
You can see from the graph when our algorithms were done learning. Just one day later, the campaign turned profitable, and the advertiser was enjoying results even better than he aimed for.
Once at around $7, the eCPA dropped to just under $5 on the final day of the learning period. The eCPA target of $3.6 was reached already on the first full day of automatic optimization.
The next day brought even better news to our advertiser, as the algorithms managed to decrease the eCPA even below the target rate, and stayed at around $3 for the entire week.
Smart eCPA campaigns are all about keeping the blue trend line below or at the level of the red target line so that your campaign is profitable.
Now, let’s give the other campaign a look, as the optimization process looked completely different there.
First, you can see the target eCPA, initially set at $0.2, the minimum viable value in Smart eCPA. As opposed to the first case, the eCPA started to decrease from the very beginning of optimization model building.
Even at the minimum eCPA rate our algorithms managed to get close to the target in a few days. To make the range bigger and achieve better results, the advertiser loosened the goal slightly on the 14th of August. After two days, this target was met.
Another increase of the goal was made on the 17th of August. The eCPA goal of $0.25, was not only met by our algorithms, but also surpassed , giving the advertiser some great results for 5 next days.
Then, the advertiser must felt like scaling the campaign, so he increased the eCPA goal to $0.3. The eCPA rate went up, but as you can see from the Insights graph at the top of the screen, so did the traffic volume, and most importantly – so did the payout.
This case shows you, that even at the minimum spend, you can achieve outstanding results with your Smart eCPA campaigns.
Overall Smart eCPA campaign tips
Imagine if either of the advertisers had cancelled their campaign a few days in, before they reached their goal. Not only would they lose money they invested in the campaigns, but also they would miss out on the profits that the campaigns were about to bring. That’s why patience is key to running successful Smart eCPA campaigns.
How to achieve results as great as these? Here are some Smart eCPA tips for you:
- Set a reasonable eCPA goal. The higher the goal, the more conversions you can expect. The example above shows that you can get great results even with the lowest target, but even the advertiser from this case upped his goal a bit to get more conversions. Also, don’t make your daily/total budget too low, as it may prevent the algorithms from being able to reach the target.
- Be patient. Let our algorithms work. They need at least 100 conversions to fully learn how to optimize your campaign. Don’t change your target until a valid optimization model is ready, which is indicated by a green bar saying “Optimizing 100%.” Our algorithms can decrease your eCPA up to four times if given a chance!
- One offer per campaign. Smart eCPA works only with one offer and one lander (optional). Changing links in your tracker will prevent Smart eCPA from working.
- Test. If your Smart eCPA campaign doesn’t bring you any results, try another offer or another landing page.
- Take control if needed. We enable you to manually control the traffic sources and targets. If you notice a sign of an invalid traffic, that one of the targets/sources is bringing. For example, a lot of conversions that are invalid, simply click the pause button next to the suspect: