Hi, my name is Jaybot and I’m an affiliate marketer.
I am so successful that Pushground contacted me to write this case study. Just kidding, I’m not that successful.
Why the fuck anyone wants a case study from me is probably because I swear a LOT. Or because I give perspective that super affiliates don’t: I still suck (a little). So, if I can get a traffic source or offer to work, then it’s probably a solid source.
I’ll be honest, it has flaws. We all do. My wife tells me every day. We’ll get to that in a bit.
But their traffic is excellent quality.
All affiliates with a pulse will run into quality issues at some point. Especially when you start running with Direct Advertisers. They’re sticklers for quality. If your leads don’t back out, you’ll get kicked from an offer pretty quickly, and they will straight up tell you, “Your leads suck, stop sending us shitty quality, thanks.”
I really like this Advertiser, and they’re pretty much the biggest of the bunch for US SOI offers, so it’s a good idea to not piss them off regularly. So, my goal was to not get kicked from the offer by finding high quality traffic for their leads.
Maybe a low bar for super affiliates. But super affiliates aren’t reading my humble case study, you are. And you’re curious as hell to find out what happened, so keep reading 🙂
To make sure I didn’t get confused with any other traffic, I only sent traffic from Pushground to this offer. Nothing else.
In typical Jaybot fashion, the case study got off to a shitty start.
My Account Manager for the advertiser was kind of busy and didn’t have time to fish out the best new offers for me. So. I just grabbed one that had performed well in the past.
That didn’t work out too well. After blowing some cash and seeing bad numbers, I paused it and knew something was off.
Flooding my Account Manager with traffic got their attention though, so he finally got back to me. And agreed to give me an offer I was requesting; since I knew it was theirs and I had it working well on regular networks (not direct) already.
‘What offer’ you say? Sweeps, man. Sweeps! SOI (that’s single opt-in to my friends).
People love free stuff. This offer gives visitors a chance for free stuff. Free money to be specific. Free virtual money to use in their favorite virtual world to be even more specific. A game where the absolute best characters are Skull Trooper and Tomato Head** to be insanely specific.
Payout is a whopping $3.50 which means the geo is US. Which means high bids.
It also typically means I’m going to bleed money all over the place with a Run On Network or RON campaign, giving me all the traffic they have (and they have a fucking lot).
The great news is: Pushground already has two separate Whitelists waiting for you:
So you can start out with their ‘To Start’ Whitelist right away, which is tailored to testing new offers and campaigns. Less bleeding is good.
You can specify push subscriber age as low as 0-1 hour! 1-2 hours? 2-6 hours? What is this sorcery?
The newer the subscriber, the higher chance the user is active, can be engaged, and results in better quality traffic.
Granted, the volume will be lower, but we’re talking about quality here for testing. Not scaling yet.
Okay, so I won’t bleed too much money in testing, that’s great. So back to the offer.
Very simple offer, using a very simple lander.
This one, in fact:
I always start my creatives with the most generic shit possible. Seriously. It works.
When you’re testing lots of offers, you need stuff that will work with anything.
Really, I don’t even bother with images related to the product. Or running aggressive. I don’t have time to mess around with rejected creatives or text.
Here is one of my best performing creatives, ever. Feel free to steal:
(1) [OfferSponsor] Message! 😎
Enter today for a [OfferPrize]!✅
With a generic red/white giftbox for the icon.
Once you find a good offer, you can tweak and try to squeeze out better performance, but this will work for 90% of offers out there.
When you do find a good offer, and it’s time to optimize (or if you simply don’t trust me, and you shouldn’t) testing a bunch of creatives on Pushground is so easy, that I wish every other source did the same.
Upload your creative(s), add some text, done. Want to split test with the same text but some different image? Sooooo easy, click “Add Variation” and then change the image. Done.
Wanna keep the image but different text? Same thing, click “Add Variation”, then change the text. Image is already there waiting for you. Nice.
Pushground automatically adjusts traffic to go to creatives which convert better (you can turn this off too, if you’re masochistic). It does a pretty good job too. As opposed to some other push sources which only seem to optimize for CTR to line their pockets, not yours. I still had to keep an eye on it, but it does a way better job than many other sources in my opinion.
Super cool thing: The nearly instant approval times. Faster than any source I have tried. Also, way more lenient. If you’re into that.
In addition, adding or editing creatives to an existing campaign will not pause the whole campaign. Everything seems to keep running until anything new gets approved.
Okay, so I run my camp and got some conversions, let’s take a look at the damage and see what we can optimize.
Optimization is so damn easy to use on Pushground. Click on your camp and hit report. Set the date and then you can show the Supply ID (Feeds), Site ID (Placements within Feeds), Creatives, User Freshness, and a bunch of other stuff if you like… I won’t dig that deep, but let’s have a look:
Unlike some other sources, adjusting bids on running camps is totally OK on Pushground. It won’t fuck up any algorithms and tank the campaign if you tweak bids. In fact, it’s probably encouraged, which is why they have the handy bid adjustment boxes on the Supply and Site ID sections.
Supply ID is a fancy word for Feeds. And as we can see, almost all of the conversions are coming from one Supply ID. I’ll definitely bump up the bid for that Supply ID as it’s doing better than the rest. This overrides the campaign bid and is a good idea if you see a Supply ID doing better than the others. You can also blacklist Supply IDs from here with the big red button so you can concentrate on the converting Supply IDs.
Alright, let’s take a look at the Site IDs (the placements within the Supply IDs) and see what’s going on.
Not a ton of conversions yet, but these Site IDs already have pretty healthy ROI, and with a $3.50 Payout there is definitely room to scale. From here, you can also start micro-bidding on Site IDs that are doing well without fucking up the bids for any other Site IDs or Supply IDs. In fact, you can override any special bids you set for the Supply IDs here too (confused yet? Don’t be, it’s easier than it sounds). Notice that you can also blacklist any Site ID from here directly by clicking on the red button.
But before doing that, let’s see how fresh these users are…
Holy shit! 10 conversions came from 12 hours – 1 day freshness! And 4 from 0-1 hours? I could target those on any new campaign and save a ton of money! (hint, hint)
Okay, I’m definitely liking what I’m seeing here. How did the creatives do?
Wow, that top one definitely converts better, the second one has less conversions but… the CPA is a lot closer, I’ll have to keep that running. Notice again, you can directly pause and resume your creatives here.
So let’s see, initial SOI test in US, $56 in revenue without any optimization is already a win in my book.
After some minor optimizations, I was able to squeeze over $130 in revenue from almost 40 conversions, before I ran out of my test budget 🙂
Now to the important part: I asked my direct advertiser if there were any issues with quality to see if I should continue with the offer and…
No complaints. They want more.
That’s quality. Mission accomplished for my case study.
Not quite time to scale yet, but let’s see what Pushground has available…
615 million impressions sounds impressive. I just checked another big push source and they have about 1/6 of that.
And it’s there. Trust me. Learn from my mistakes:
Remember how you can target subscriber ages?
Do not select this unless you have the most amazing offer and the most Perfect funnel ever created.
You will be flooded with a massive amount of traffic. How massive? Roughly 500 clicks (not impressions!) an hour. If you’re not careful, that’ll set you back $XX or more an hour. But when it’s time to scale, and you have a nice Whitelist or Blacklist setup? Damn.
Speaking of Whitelists and Blacklists, I have to mention something because it’s awesome and not many (any?) sources have this:
You can Blacklist and Whitelist at the same time. On Supply and Site IDs.
Why would you want to do this? Aside from being a lazy affiliate and not bothering to look through all your lists, you can use this to your advantage by Whitelisting a Supply ID while Blacklisting the separate placements inside of it. The question is, can you do the opposite? Blacklist an entire Supply ID but then Whitelist one Site ID inside? I have no idea. Ask your account manager!
Did I mention that everyone who signs up gets their own personal account manager? Without blowing $XXXX first? That’s some nice service there. And they’re actually knowledgeable and super helpful (Hi Irina!) 🙂
Okay, this sounds a bit too glowing of Pushground, and I did mention flaws, so let’s go over what needs improvement.
Their auto-optimization thing works great now, but it used to be that you couldn’t reverse any sources it paused with your rules (this drove me batty). So, if you had a late conversion on a source and want to un-pause it… you have to start a whole new campaign. But, if you used the API it worked fine (and theOptimizer now supports Pushground! Yay!)
Big However: they changed that little quirk, and it works swimmingly now. It even shows you visually which sources were paused by your rule, like so, and inform you ‘click to unpause’. And it actually works faster than waiting for theOptimizer to queue up every 10 minutes. I would definitely recommend using it.
But! It only checks stats for the past 72h so… if you run marathon campaigns like me (that means really, really slowly optimizing and being a stingy bastard) you’ll want to keep an eye on your tracker stats and/or use theOptimizer as well.
When setting up a new campaign, Frequency Capping defaults to 3 ads per 24 hours. Most solo affiliates like me think this is a waste of money and always set it to 1 per 24. Many sources do 3/24 by default, so it’s not a major crime, it’s just something I personally don’t like
There are a few weird things with their reporting: sometimes, posted back conversions don’t show up in Supply ID + Source correctly. It does tend to sort itself out eventually, so it’s mostly a small annoyance.
When viewing reports, the dates get messed up when viewing stats (many traffic sources have issues with this), especially if your timezone is behind theirs. This causes a weird thing where the default date doesn’t count today/tomorrow, so you have to set a custom date to tomorrow just to see today’s stats.
Other than that, since they fixed the not-being-able-to-unpause Site IDs from automatic rules, I have very little to complain about.
Solid traffic source.
A fuck-ton of room to scale.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more camps to try out 🙂