AdvertisingAffiliate Marketing

The Subtle Art of Event Targeting [+Real Case]


Events like New Year holidays, Black Friday, and the big sporting events (for example, Super Bowl, UFC, Champions League, World Cup, etc.) represent an exciting time for consumers around the globe.

Aside from pumping consumers with adrenaline, these events are also a gold mine for affiliate marketers. By creating ads that target specific events and holidays, you can build a superb campaign with high-profit margins – if done properly of course, and we don’t want to mess things up, right?

Below, we’ll take a look at the subtle art of event targeting, give you tips on how to take advantage of it, and provide a real success story from one of our affiliates.

Why Should You Focus on Event Targeting

E-commerce sales for the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday racked in more than 22.55 billion US dollars in 2018. This is just one of the many examples of how much revenue these holidays can generate, and by using events targeting you can take advantage of the frenzy as well.

Aside from the money, sporting events like UFC fights and major soccer tournaments also generate a lot of hype. Associating your brand with these events can help build a better image, attract more attention, and potentially create a domino effect with your subsequent campaigns.

Just be careful with copyright, okay?

Types of Events You Should Target

There are too many events happening around, so you need to know which ones are worth investing in. This will depend on your industry, but there are some affairs and holidays that apply to all major verticals.

Events worth targeting can be divided into two categories, which are:


As the name suggests, seasonal events or holidays are defined by a specific month or date. Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Single’s Day, and many more are all seasonal because they occur once per year on a specific date and they are defined by some sort of tradition.

One-Time event

One-time events such as elections, sports matches, media premieres, festivals, and concerts also provide a great opportunity, but you need to keep an eye out for major shindigs that can benefit your verticals.

Keep in mind that some sporting events may seem seasonal because they happen around the same time each year, but these can change or be canceled depending on certain factors. Therefore, you should always treat them like one-timers and prepare for them without making any assumptions.

How to Prepare for a Big Event

Here are some tips to help you prepare for one-time and seasonal events:

Please note that all the screenshots are taken from publicly available offers on Affbank.

Seasonal Events

You should target seasonal events early on, so launch your campaign a good 3 weeks before the actual celebration.


Start by creating different sets of ads that follow the season’s theme, that way you can rotate creatives and try different versions. For instance, you can use a pink color scheme with romantic symbols and design similar ads with red instead for Valentine’s Day.

Summer promotion - example

In other words, leave some time for A/B testing – even minor elements like color of the CTA or a ribbon “New” can skyrocket the CTR.

Once you launch your campaign, make sure you monitor campaigns since the very first week and gradually raise the bids. Remember, the closer the holiday, the higher the bids will be, so make sure you account for this when dividing your budget.

Why “launch and forget” approach doesn’t work here? Because the competition will be crazy, think of Black Friday – how many advertisers are trying to get a piece of pie?

betting xmas

After testing the traffic and collecting whitelists the first seven days, you can use them to launch campaigns with a bigger budget in the weeks building up to the holiday.

One-Time Event

One-time events are a bit different, and they require more steps than seasonal happenings. The first thing you need to do is review the events calendar, identify the affairs that suit your industry, and check the regions that you can target.

For example, you can check Twitter’s annual event calendar.

Remember to check social media so you can identify trending topics, latest news, discussing that are attracting the most attention, and use them to create relevant ads. You can use fun wordplay and humor as long as it’s relevant to the event. For example, a dating platform can launch a campaign around a big tennis tournament and use an ad that says

Why Are Tennis Players So Lonely?

Because They Don’t Want to End Up with Love,

So Try a Match-Maker That’s Right for You.

landing page example

As for timing, you should launch your campaigns one or two days before the game or event. For gaming platforms, some types of betting, and similar verticals, you may even want to wait until a few hours before the start of the match or premiere.

You should always bid high because the competition is fierce right off the bat and play with your GEO targeting during the game to find the best combinations. For affiliates using Push Notifications, make sure you combine GEO with connection type and mobile internet service provider (ISP) for better performance.

Post-Event Campaigns

Just because the event has passed doesn’t mean you can’t generate revenue from it! Depending on your industry, you should design a retargeting campaign to bolster your initial efforts.

A good example is gaming platforms that design campaigns for a specific release or conference. After a conference has passed, you can still use promotions and giveaways in a retargeting campaign to help engage users that interacted with your ads the first time around.

Event targeting plan

Real Results from An Affiliate Marketer on PropellerAds

Talking about the success of affiliates that use events targeting is one thing, but at PropellerAds we see a lot of marketers that consistently launch successful campaigns.

Below, we’ve included a real case from one of our affiliates that launched a campaign for one of the biggest sporting events in 2018, UFC 229. This event featured Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov battling for the UFC lightweight championship, so the affiliate designed a push campaign around the fight.

And, because Nurmagomedov is from Russia, the marketer decided to target the star’s home country as well as Ukraine because of the large percentage of Russian-speakers that live there. Here are the results and details of the campaign:

  • Event: Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (one-time event)
  • Campaign Period: 04/10/2018 – 06/10/2018 (few days before the fight)
  • Ad Format: Push Notifications
  • GEOs: Ukraine + Russia
  • CPA Network: Pin-Up Partners
  • Spent: $327
  • Total Income: $450
  • Revenue: $122
  • ROI: 37%

Top-Converting Push Notification

push example_UFC

Ad Copy

The Fight of the Year – Bet Now!

25k Rubles Bonus on Deposit

Landing Page



First, multiple CPM and CPC campaigns with different creatives were launched, this affiliate marketer was trying and testing – the only right approach. His strategy was to launch first with CPC – see which creatives were converting, and then these successful creatives were launched with CPM.

Results (All Campaigns Launched)



Results in CPA Network


Learning how to target events properly can help boost your campaign. Regardless of your industry, there’s a strong chance you can build a winning campaign by looking at the calendar and keeping an eye out for big one-time events.

What events do you usually target?

Feel the need to discuss – here’s our Telegram chat. See you there!



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