When most people think about summer, they envision blue skies, rays of sun, and crowded beaches. But for affiliates, this time of year is not as happy or festive as other seasons. As a matter of fact, the summer season represents one of the biggest challenges for affiliates that are trying to establish or maintain superb performance throughout the year. 

At PropellerAds, we’ve been helping affiliates build awesome ad campaigns for years and we’re very familiar with the struggles that these marketers face during the warm month.

To help you out, we’ve touched base with our top account managers and created a list of tips that will allow you to make the most out of the limited traffic available during the summer.

Why Is Summer So Bad for Conversion Rates?

For starters, it’s important to understand why conversion rates and traffic in general plummets during the summer.

Simply put, consumers spend a lot less time on their computers and smartphones, instead opting to take advantage of the good weather and spend time outdoors. Add to this the extra layer of COVID restrictions and it’s even easier to see why the summer of 2021 will be a tough one for affiliates.

With the above in mind, there’s still hope that the industry can pull through relatively unscathed. For instance, the summer Olympic Games, Euro Cup 2020 (played in 2021), and similar events will give affiliates the chance to connect with their audiences beyond the usual scope.

Sporting Events 2021 for Affiliate Marketers [Interactive Calendar]

Best Verticals for Summer

We’ve analyzed historic data to get an accurate idea of what verticals have a higher chance of delivering awesome results during the summer slowdown. Let’s take a look at the results we found.

2020 Says… 

Last year, the top verticals for summer were sweepstakes, finance, and iGaming, with the latter two growing at the fastest pace. This makes sense because many countries around the world had COVID lockdowns in place in the summer of 2020, pushing consumers to find other ways to entertain themselves or make money. 

Propeller On Air #8: How to champion iGaming campaigns this summer? [Live Podcast]

2019 Says… 

In the summer of 2019, iGaming, sweepstakes, and finance were also popular, as well as eCommerce. However, the fastest-growing segments that year were mobile utilities and dating, which shows that consumers were more interested in meeting others and investing in non-essential goods.

2018 Says… 

Finally, finance, sweepstakes, and iGaming were the best verticals in 2018, so it’s safe to assume that this trend will continue for the fourth year in a row. The biggest growers were software, iGaming, finances, and utilities, so affiliates should focus on entertainment and functional apps to get the best results. 

How to Bring Your Summer Campaign Back to Life

We’ve talked to Sofia Yakovleva, one of our top account strategists, and put together a list of tips to help you bring your summer affiliate campaign back to life. 

Let’s go over our team’s recommendations.

Increase Bids and Relaunch Campaign

The reduction in summer traffic is due to a variety of factors, but it can be explained using a simple demand-supply model. To overcome the shortage in supply, affiliates should relaunch their existing campaign and increase the bids by at least 20%.

Widen the Targeting Settings

Targeting can reduce the number of uninterested users that see your ads. But, you can also reduce traffic accidentally if your settings are too narrow. To combat this, try widening your targeting settings and testing out zones you weren’t interested in before.

How to Know When You’re Overdoing It with Narrow Targeting

Create a Separate Campaign for Your Whitelist

If you have whitelists in place (which you should!) you can go the extra mile by creating a separate campaign and only targeting your whitelisted zones. Additionally, you should consider raising the bids in these zones to get the most bang for your buck.

Raise Ad Frequency

Similar to the bids and zones you target, think about raising the ad frequency beyond your usual threshold to make sure that you’re getting the most possible exposure during this relatively quiet period.

How to Manage Your Ad Frequency and Ad Schedule?

Test New Ad Formats

Many affiliates prefer working with formats they are familiar with, so they avoid testing new ad formats. But, these new alternatives tend to be very profitable, especially in their early stages.

Therefore, you should test out different formats by switching from push to in-page push or building an interstitials campaign to see how it performs. 

Work on Your Creatives

Optimizing ads is not a new practice, but many affiliates stop adjusting their ads once they start performing well. Rather than getting complacent, make sure that you have fresh creatives that are updated regularly. Your ads will burn out a lot faster if they are displayed more frequently, so pay special attention to this element!

How to Test Ad Creatives for Push Notifications

Ready to Launch a Killer Summer Campaign? 

Summer is undoubtedly one of the toughest times of the year for affiliates. But, with the right strategy and traffic source, you should be able to get decent results and build a killer campaign even during the hot months.

Need to talk to someone about summer campaigns… We get it. Here’s our Telegram chat 🙂


While working as a writer and marketing consultant for the past 9 years, Tom has also developed a passion for the world of affiliate marketing. With first-hand experience and a solid background in online marketing, he has a deep understanding of the different ad formats, offers, and other elements that affect the performance of an affiliate campaign. Tom also loves backpacking around tropical countries, listening to the boom-bap sound of old school hip-hop, and playing amateur rugby with his local team.