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Affiliate Myth Buster: Do I Need Auto-Optimization?

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Auto-optimization tools are a great example of resources that can exponentially improve the performance of your campaign. That said, many affiliates shy away from auto-optimization because they’re not sure how it works or they’ve been put off by inaccurate horror stories.

At PropellerAds, we’ve poured a significant amount of resources into developing robust auto-optimization features that lighten our affiliates’ workloads and help them build better campaigns.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of using auto-optimization features and give you tips to help you understand when you leverage these in your campaigns.

Our Auto-Optimization Tools Explained

We’ve rolled out two distinct features that help our members automatically make improvements to their campaigns and reduce the amount of work they have to do.

Our in-house auto-optimization features include:

CPA Goal 2.0

CPA Goal is available for Push Notifications, Popunder ads, Interstitials, and Survey Exit. This auto-optimization feature allows you to set a desired bid, drive conversions according to the target price, and exclude underperforming zones in order to boost campaign performance.

You can check out this webinar for more information.


A smart bidding model for Classic Push and In-Page Push. Its work is based on the automated zone management. You indicate your top CPC bid for the campaign, and after a testing period, the model starts showing your ads only at the placements with traffic costs that won’t exceed this bid. The main perk is that some of the placements will be even cheaper than your top CPC!

After the after learning period, you can also set custom bids for every zone depending on its performance. This will allow you to purchase more traffic from the most suitable sources and stay flexible with your optimization efforts.


Just like with SmartCPC, this model allows you to set the highest CPM bid you want to pay. Then, the algorithm defines separate bids for every ad zone for your campaign, and all these bids will never exceed the one you set.

Smart Optimization Tool

Smart Optimization Tool is available for SmartCPM and CPC campaigns on Onclick, Push, and Interstitials, but it takes a more direct approach because it excludes areas that aren’t performing well.

Rule-based optimization

This feature, available for Push and Interstitial CPC campaigns, allows you to set auto rules based on spending or conversions. In short, you are creating a formula that your campaign will follow under certain conditions, for example:

If the Spend is higher than X (your requirement), and if Conversions are higher than X (your requirement) within a certain period, the system will increase or decrease a zone bid, or exclude a zone.

What You Need to Know About Auto-Optimization

While the name “auto-optimization” may suggest that all parts of the adjustment process will be taken care of, it’s worth noting that these features are meant to support (rather than replace) your marketing activities.

For auto-optimization to work, you still need to put in a bit of effort. Remember, it’s not a magic potion, so you need to monitor your results and intervene at different points to enhance your results.

Additionally, you’ll need to work with a good tracker because the auto-optimization algorithm won’t work unless you’re using a reliable tracking platform. (Otherwise, it simply won’t work)

Don’t miss out our special offers for various tracking solutions: here they are, available for registered users

Remember, committing to auto-optimization doesn’t mean that you can’t do manual adjustments as well. In our humble opinion, the best thing may be to find a solid balance between manual adjustments and auto-optimization that saves you a significant amount of time without sacrificing your results.

Auto-Optimization Tools: When to Implement this Feature

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of deploying auto-optimization as well as scenarios where you should avoid implementing this feature.

You have lots of campaigns and it’s getting really hard to optimize them manuallyIf you have a complicated conversion flow (expensive conversions)
If you’re testing new offersIf you target GEOs producing low-quality conversions
You don’t want to pay for not-so-well ad zones
You have a limited budget and you want to stick to it

It’s Great For… 

Some of the main reasons you’ll want to auto-optimize include:

Increasing Efficiency and Ease

The auto-optimization algorithm may not be a silver-bullet solution, but it’s like having an extra brain taking care of all the routine jobs that need to be carried out. Our auto-optimization features also work around the clock, so it detects patterns and analyzes data 24 hours a day.

In essence, auto-optimization sets a base for easier manual optimization (if you still want to optimize by hand, of course), as machine learning does the basic filtering of the ad zones. 


Rather than waiting until you have the time to optimize your campaigns, CPA Goal and Smart Optimization Tool stop showing your ads in the zones that aren’t producing money as soon as the pattern is developed. Which, in turn, can save you a significant amount of money.

Better Budget Planning

When you auto-optimize, you select a target price for each conversion, which allows you to stay within budget without compromising your results.

As soon as the process of machine learning is finalized and the algorithm is out of testing (aka learning) period, the campaign can run on its own. It adapts to traffic fluctuations and ad zones performance changes.

Meaning that from now on, your efforts would be focused mainly on improving creatives rather than trying to manually optimize bids and zones. But the campaign itself requires minimum maintenance.

When You Should be Careful with Auto-Optimization

Although it can play a superb supporting role, there are some scenarios where auto-optimization may not be the best alternative. Here are some examples.

Complicated Flows and Similar Scenarios

If you have a complicated conversion flow or you’re promoting an expensive offer, you’ll probably have fewer conversions. In these cases, the auto-optimizer’s learning period will be extended and will cost more.

In this case, it would be more beneficial to run campaigns with CPA Goal., rather than with Smart Optimization Tool.

GEOs Producing Low-Quality Conversions

If you’re getting a lot of low-quality conversions in one or multiple areas, auto-optimization may not be the best option. The algorithm detects conversion volume rather than quality, so it would only boost traffic from these locations even if the leads are not what you’re looking for.

Whitelist Campaigns

Sometimes, Whitelisted zones need to pass a testing period to reach the same results as they do with the main campaign. The golden rule is to give them some time to gather pace – so, it’s not the best idea to switch them off too quickly with the help of auto-optimization.

Want to Find Out More? 

All in all, auto-optimization is an awesome feature that, even though it doesn’t work magically, it can still produce outstanding results if used properly. 

Do you run auto-optimized campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or in our Telegram chat!


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