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3rd Party Traffic: a Way to Scale Your Campaigns

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If you have been working with PropellerAds for some time, you may already know we offer two traffic options. They are Direct, and Broker, or Third-Party Traffic — and both are really efficient, by the way. However, not everyone gets the most out of this third-party traffic alternative. 

Meanwhile, it is a great option to scale campaigns — especially for affiliate marketing agencies with large budgets and a need to purchase as much high-quality traffic as possible. Still, it’s a solution for solo advertisers, too.

So, what is 3rd party traffic, when do you need to use it, and what are its pros and cons?

What is 3rd Party Traffic?

To start, let’s dive into a 3rd party traffic concept. So, when you open the PropellerAds Self-Service Platform and start setting up your campaign, you see two options for the traffic source:

  • PropellerAds Traffic, or direct traffic. How do we receive it? Easily: publishers put our tag on their website, and this website starts to show its visitors your ads. There are no other third parties between a publisher in this case and us.
  • Brokers Traffic or Third-Party Traffic. It’s another story: here we receive traffic that other networks share with us. We don’t cooperate with publishers ourselves, they don’t install our tags — but rely on the trusted sources provided by the other networks.

A very important thing to remember about Brokers’ Traffic sources is that we do control them. 

We use a bit different method that we have for checking our direct traffic, but they are the same reliable:

  • We monitor user behavior from third-party traffic sources to make sure there are no bots
  • We apply various anti-fraud tools to deliver only high-quality users from fair sources

So, the 3rd party traffic option is not just a pile of random sources. It has the same good quality and gives a significant boost to traffic volumes.

When Do I Need to Use 3rd Party Traffic?

The main point of including Brokers Traffic in your campaign is to attract as many users as possible. Why limit yourself to direct traffic, when there are so many more unembraced people who may like your offer? 

Here are the most popular situations when advertisers should consider Broker Traffic:

  • You are a large media buyer agency or a solo marketer, and you work with extremely large budgets. It means you can afford big volumes of high-quality users — much bigger than even a large PropellerAds direct database can offer. Scaling your campaign, in this case, implies larger investments — and possibly, a significantly bigger profit.
  • Your campaign shows great potential: it has stable positive ROI and profit. Why not make it perform even better? If you feel it’s too risky to make any optimization with your perfectly set targeting, try testing more traffic sources. Create a separate campaign and test out only broker traffic  — in most cases, it’s a win!
  • Your spending doesn’t reach your budget limits. Suppose you have a $500 daily budget, and you spend only $100 per day. What does it mean? Right, you have some money to attract more traffic! Of course, it will also work out only if the campaign is overall good.

What’s the conclusion, after all?

Scaling campaigns with 3rd party traffic is a great idea for all traffic types and verticals if your campaign performs well. 

Are There Any Risks?

Not many — but you need to know some nuances.

#1. When you work with very sensitive offers

We control our third-party traffic as thoroughly as we do with our direct publishers. However this traffic type implies having one or more mediators between the direct traffic source and the ad network. 

Every mediator means there will be an additional redirect — and if your offer terms are very strict, it may cause some issues. In other words, if you are using Brokers Traffic and don’t want it to appear at particular placements, pay attention to zone statistics and perform thorough testing.

#2. When you mix various traffic sources

When you mix Broker Traffic with Direct Traffic, you open a gate to a 1B+ monthly audience. With so many impressions, some people can see your ads twice. It can be beneficial for some campaigns. Still, if you see that your CR goes lower after you added Brokers Traffic, switch it off and re-launch in a separate campaign.

These are two reasons why we don’t always suggest running a mixed campaign with both traffic source types: choose an appropriate strategy wisely.

Strategies of Scaling With the 3rd Party Traffic

There are two strategies that you can apply depending on how sensitive your offer is. Here they are:

  • Scaling with a mixed campaign

If you are pretty sure that your offer terms allow you to send most kinds of traffic, you can switch on Brokers’ traffic for the existing campaign. 

It can pay off pretty quickly — you will instantly start getting traffic from more sources. Besides, you can even boost your profits if you change your bidding model to CPM at the same time.

  • Step-by-step scaling

It’s more complicated when you run an offer from a very large and reputable brand. It may have a long list of restrictions on ad placement and traffic type. In this case, you should be more careful and try running a separate campaign for Brokers traffic first. 

Start testing this campaign with small budgets: take your time and make sure you and the offer owner can accept this traffic. Everything is okay? Great, now you can scale this separate Brokers traffic campaign by increasing your bids and spending.

What Do PropellerAds Advertisers Say?

Have you heard of our Telegram Chat? Don’t say you haven’t — it’s a gold mine of tips and tricks for successful campaigns! 

For example, here are some real practices from our advertisers they shared in the chat about scaling with Brokers’ traffic:

Advertiser 1, Solo Affiliate:

— If it’s a new campaign, you can start it with Direct traffic and CPC. Working well? Switch it to CPM and start running Brokers Traffic, too!

Advertiser 2, a Member of Affiliate Team:

— I include Brokers Traffic not only when I need to scale my campaigns. It’s also useful when I target some specific GEO, and it doesn’t have enough traffic for me. 

Advertiser 3, the Offer Owner:

— Brokers Traffic does bring me conversions. My approach is simple: your network traffic earns more than it spends — keep on buying it then.

Advertiser 4, a Media Buyer:

— This is how I scale: add another ad format (I personally like to scale with In-Page Push), add Brokers’ Traffic, and sometimes optimize Interest Targeting.

To Sum Up

So, the summary: you should scale only when you are sure that your campaign is stable and profitable. With a negative ROI and profit, a campaign doesn’t need scaling: optimize or kill it in this case! 

However, a well-performing campaign will most likely bring even more profit if you reach fresh users from new sources.

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