Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, utility apps like antivirus and VPN services have been a red-hot vertical for affiliates. In this guide, we will break down everything you need to know to run successful antivirus and VPN campaigns touching on every aspect from the ads to the offers.
About the industry
Antivirus software, VPNs, and app utilities have been popular affiliate verticals for quite some time. Being digital products, they are easily distributed and fit perfectly into the world of affiliate marketing.
Antivirus software is the term for a computer program used to help prevent, detect and remove malware and computer viruses. A VPN or virtual proxy network provides a private network connection giving privacy and anonymity to users online. They both provide a sense of security to the user, giving them the peace of mind to work online.
This vertical does exceptionally well with push notification ads and in-page push ads. When selling an app utility, a device notification like push ads helps provide a lot of credibility to the offer as if the recommendation is coming directly from the user’s device.
Key advantages of Antivirus and VPNs
- Payouts small and large to fit any audience
- Converts year-round (Evergreen)
Industry size and growth.
The Antivirus and VPN vertical has always held a significant position in the affiliate marketing industry. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it saw a substantial increase as people spent more time on their computers and working from home. VPNs became very useful to connect remotely to office networks and antivirus software became.
The antivirus vertical which takes up over 10% of our total traffic is mainly focused on tier 1 and 2 geos. The US is the most prominent geo with over 65% of the traffic.
About the offers
Tips on choosing the offers
The first decision you will have to make is to decide to go with a direct offer or an affiliate network. Compared to other verticals, there are a lot of great VPN or antivirus direct programs and options available. Going directly will help get you the best payout rates because you are cutting out the middle man however the other conditions might not be as favorable to an affiliate compared to an affiliate network. Another incentive to work with affiliate networks is that you won’t have to work with as many companies, and it’s easier to switch between offers. You can check out our guide to choosing the best CPA offers to learn more about these two routes.
Payouts from these utility apps are very flexible. They can range from the high end of $50 to just a dozen cents. This means there are always great options for any geo you are targeting.
Popular ad networks and affiliate programs
As with every other thing you promote, you should allocate enough time to thoroughly research all the offers out there to ensure that they are really worth testing. To help you with this, we have compiled our list of favorite Antivirus and VPN offers.
Antivirus affiliate programs
VPN affiliate programs
How to advertise it
Antivirus and VPN Creatives
Once you have found your offer the next question is what angle to use to advertise it. These utility applications give users more safety and security while online, so it makes sense that the most popular angle is that the online world is unsafe and full of people watching your every move. Some advertisers try to leverage people’s emotions and fears to drive more conversions while others try to show the type of information that people can record. A great tip would be to use macros in your headings to show things like city or device name. To help get past creative moderation, It’s important to avoid untruthful intentionally scary headlines like “Virus Detected!!!” and instead use phrases like “Check your phone for virus”.
Tips for the creative
- Use graphic Icons instead of photos for the icon image.
- Use Macros in your creative to show things like city and device name to show the type of user information available to others without protection.
- Avoid untruthful and intentionally scary headlines
After clicking on the ad the user will be directed towards your landing page, and it is here where you have to fully convince them of your offer. With antivirus and VPN offers quality landing pages are often provided by the affiliate program allowing you to focus more on your campaigns.
Tips for landing pages
- Using things like location browser language and device type to show what kinda personal information is available on the web.
- Go further and draw conclusions from the previous information to show a more complete profile of the users. Instead of “Your IP is XX.XXX.XX.XX and are running macOS”, try “People can see that you live in Boston and are upper-middle class.”
When setting up antivirus and VPN campaigns, you should structure them based on device type. Unlike other verticals, these app utilities perform better on desktop compared to mobile and reflect that with 60% of their clicks coming from desktop devices. Because they are evergreen verticals that don’t burn out as fast, you can run antivirus and VPN campaigns longer. Depending on the payout of the offer, you might be able to set more competitive bids than the average in that geo. As we said earlier, this vertical performs great with push notifications ads, and we strongly recommend starting with that ad format. They also work very well with the emerging new format calendar push ads.