Case Studies

[Case Study: Newbie Edition] Software & Brazil (ROI 54%)

antivirus app Case study

Disclaimer: Please note that this case was provided by one of our clients, and the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PropellerAds.

Even if you’re just starting out with affiliate marketing, the very first campaign can bring a good profit. Here’s a case study, submitted by a total newbie.

UPD: We had to remove all the mentions and blur the screenshots of the CPA network and the name of the CPA offer, because this CPA Network has requested us to do so.

Ad format: Push Ads
CPA Netwok: This CPA Network has requested us to remove info about them
Offer: Antivirus. The name is removed as per request of the CPA Network.
The campaign period: Nov 20, 2019 – Dec 31, 2019
Geo: Brazil
Spent: $1220 
Revenue: $1874 
Net profit: $654
ROI: 54%

How it all started

This was my first time running an affiliate campaign. Back then, at the beginning of last Fall, I didn’t have a clue about media buying and how it all works.

Like many other newcomers, I got caught on the hook of an online crook. I bought a course, but after that, had even more questions. Though I might count it as my starting point in affiliate marketing. It’s just given me direction.

Then, with Google’s help, I gathered the information needed: VPS rent, copy, paste, «clearing» and landing page creation, uploading them to a server, tracker setup (I advise using BeMob, the best server for newbies with a free trial version) and postback settings, and other data as far as media buying goes.

First, I chose Push notifications as an ad format, because it’s very intuitive and even newbies like me can figure out how to work with this format.        

How to choose an offer and the GEO?

By November, just when I was ready to launch my first campaign, I had been confronted with the perplexing problem, the problem that keeps up at night many marketers. Where to find a working combination of traffic -offer- landing page – creatives?

Well-informed people advised me to ask affiliate managers because those guys usually know the latest trends. I found my first CPA offer, chose a Push traffic source (not from PropellerAds), and then ran a campaign for a few days… Surely, with no luck. 

I was disappointed, stopped my campaigns for a while, and went searching for more information. And then, with advice from a good person, I ran into the antivirus offer. And that’s how I came to work with PropellerAds.

Upon the advice of the same person, I chose Brazil as the target location – a lot of traffic at a low price. As for me, these are perfect terms for newbies. 

The sufficient number of conversions allowed me to optimize my campaigns. And that’s what every affiliate marketer has to learn.

I searched for an offer via aggregators but found a proper one in the case study of one of the affiliate teams. That’s how I’ve run into this affiliate network.  Read also: A complete guide to finding high-converting CPA offers

The offer in Google Play

Getting approved by this affiliate network didn’t seem much of a big deal. When registering, I didn’t hide the fact that prior to this, I had had absolutely zero experience in affiliate marketing. And they still approved me. How to get approved by a CPA network?

I was only worried about the minimum payout of $500 and a 30 days hold period. The payment amount was $0,40, but after first +/- 100 conversions and the traffic quality checking, they agreed to increase the payout up to $0,50.

The campaign setup

I borrowed the pre-lander and ad creative from the case study, where I found this offer. The pre-lander immediately proved itself as working, but it wasn’t all roses with the ad creative. I tested many different versions of ad creatives and then left only the most converting ones.  How to test ad creatives for Push Notifications

The pre-lander   

Examples of ad creative 

The ad creative with the highest CTR

The title: Aviso / Warning

The description: Seu Telefone Pode Estar em Risco! /Your phone might be at risk! 

Here you can find our policy regarding ad creatives for Push campaigns.

While testing, I created campaigns for high user activity.

With CPC as a payment method. Under such circumstances, it’s easy to test ad creatives, cause Smart Rotator automatically redirects traffic to the best ad creative (calculated by CTR).

The rate chosen was slightly less than recommended. But still, there was enough traffic to optimize the campaign later on.

Here is the targeting setting I used:

propeller ads - case study - brazil - dfndr - targeting


In 1 or 2 days, I found the zone that was generating a huge amount of quality traffic. The bid was the lowest possible, but nevertheless, in 3-4 weeks, I got enough traffic and profit.

propellerads - case study - antivirus app

There was an automatic optimization set in the main campaign, the algorithm turned off zones with CPA higher than $0.40. The tracker helped me to find non-converting zones or zones with the negative stats, so I could turn them off manually. Sometime after, I changed the bid.

The bid of $0,007-0,008 gave the best results. By the end of the campaign, the bid was lowered to the minimum, which allowed to get some more profit for a couple of days more.

propellerads case study - stats

For a few times, I also tried to switch two active campaigns to pay per impression (CPM) method, but of no avail. CTR – extremely important for CPM-campaigns – was far too low. The pay per click raised, and that wasn’t in line with my primary goal.

In two weeks, that main campaign with its Blacklist was switched to the middle user’s activity, with the lowest possible bid. But in a few days, I stopped the campaign, because each and every zone was either going negative or breaking even. There was no use in spending money, so I focused solely on Active campaigns.  Nerd it out: white and blacklists for affiliates

propellerads case study - stats

In 3 weeks period, I got a list of profitable zones with a lot of conversions. I whitelisted them and added them to the new campaign. The targeting settings were copied from the main campaign, except for the new schedule – Push notifications were set to pause for the night time.

The current campaign stayed the course until the affiliate network closed the offer. By the end of the campaign, Android 6.0 option was excluded from targeting settings, because of its negative stats. 

propellerads case study - stats

I also tried to switch the campaign to low activity users, but with no luck. There was a lot of traffic, but users weren’t interested. In a few days, I stopped the campaign, trying not to lose my profit and good mood.

propellerads case study - stats

In the last week, I managed to switch the campaign to the CPM model (two campaigns were working simultaneously). I didn’t get what I planned, but I had no time to optimize anyway.

propellerads case study - stats

As I said before, the offer was turned off on the 31st of December. That was disappointing because I could work with it longer.

The stats of the affiliate program* 

propellerads - case study - braxil - dfndr - stats 7
*The number of conversions and the profit amount slightly differ upwards, cause there was traffic from other sources. 

The bottom line  

1. In affiliate marketing, there’s definitely a place for newbies. If you do it right, have a strong desire, and support of experienced friends, then you might learn how to generate good traffic and turn a profit.

2. Combinations are the key. The right choice of offer, affiliate network, and traffic source – these are the main aspects of one’s success. From my experience, I advise you to try PropellerAds, with its user-friendly interface, the estimator to evaluate the potential traffic amount, a lot of targeting options, automatic optimization, quick support team, and other advantages. 

3. If you’re just starting your journey in affiliate marketing, choose countries with a large amount of cheap traffic. That will allow you to optimize campaigns better.

4. Testing and optimizations are the most important things. As you practice, you’ll start to get the hang of it.

P.S. A big thanks to the people who helped me at the first stage of my development. 

Every expert was once a beginner. I wish everyone profitable campaigns!

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