Affiliate Marketing Verticals and Tomatoes
First. We need to admit something.
Most of the articles written on affiliate marketing are g--- not very helpful.
There are a ton of them out there, for sure.
From articles on How to be a Super Affiliate, to articles on The Best Creatives to Use for Casual Dating on Push Traffic.
Written by someone who is not an affiliate, and another written by someone who runs Casino on Pops traffic.
The biggest problem is there seems to be a huge disconnect -- between the marketing team of a Traffic Source (bear with us, we know we are one) or the marketing team of a Tracker -- and actually running campaigns.
To be fair: Many of these articles are actually very well-written. Like. Dotted I’s and crossed T’s. They could get an A+ on their high-school English exam and awarded a Pulitzer for blog article writing. Very well-designed pages with slick pictures and put together by the best-of-the-best a corporate marketing team can put together.
The majority of affiliates, or wannabe affiliates don’t want to read that stuff.
First of all, most of the articles are not written by affiliates doing actual work in the trenches. It’s all hypothetical theories and hearsay from John’s second cousin, twice removed, who did affiliate marketing for a week during his vacation in Bangalore during the summer of 2016.
That’s not useful to someone who wants to run affiliate marketing Now.
Second of all, they’re full of very little actionable content and don’t give any real advice.
In short: Fluff.
Like these past few paragraphs. But wayyyyy less entertaining.
Oh yeah, most of them are boring too. But not this one.
Because we got Jaybot to do it.
And aside from writing in the 3rd person voice really well, Jaybot is an actual affiliate marketer, in the trenches, spending his own damned money and time every day trying to figure this stuff out.
For everyone’s benefit.
And so for your reading pleasure (with actionable advice!)…
We give to you: Jaybot’s List of Verticals
Wait. WTF is a Vertical?
A Vertical is the opposite of a Horizontal. Horizontal lines go left-and-right. Vertical lines go up-and-down. I memorized this as a kid by visualizing the horizontal line in the middle of the H in horizontal, and imagining a vertical line that splits the V in vertical in two. I still do this today so I don’t get them mixed up.
But that has nothing to do with Affiliate Marketing. In Affiliate Marketing, a Vertical is simply a type of offer. A Genre, if you will. A Group of offers that are similar.
Like Oranges and Bananas are both Fruit. Onions and Garlic are both Vegetables.
And no one knows what the hell a Tomato is because it’s both.
The typical genres niches Verticals for Affiliate Marketing offers are: Sweepstakes, Nutra, Finance, Crypto, Beauty, Casino, Antivirus, App Installs, Dating, Adult, Ecom… and a truck load more, but we’ll go over the big ones in detail to see what they actually are.
Why do we need Verticals?
This is a fair, but stupid question. No one interested in Affiliate Marketing would ever ask this question. The above question was probably written by a corporate marketing intern. But I’ll answer it anyway.
If we all sold the same stuff all the time, no one would be interested. The world needs variety. Just like diets and pornography collections. The more, the merrier!
OK. Which Verticals make money?
All of them. If they didn’t make money, they would cease to exist. Like Pogs, Hair Metal, and Pet Rocks.
So. Let’s talk about verticals that aren’t extinct.
The following are considered Evergreen Verticals (for now):
I figured I’d get it out of the way. Everyone always tries to hide this last in their lists. The reality is Adult content (also known as porn) is what the internet was made for. Online marketing was basically invented for the Horny Guy Vertical and it’s not going away. Ever.
This includes Adult Video On Demand, Adult Dating, Cam Girls, and even Adult Ecom (yes, sex toys!)
Adult not only deserves its own vertical and offers within, it deserves its own traffic sources. Mainstream traffic sources typically don’t want to see naked boobies next to their grocery market gift cards. So you’ll need to run on special traffic sources that allow Adult traffic.
If you’re getting into the Adult Vertical. Well, you better find some Adult-specific traffic sources.
Adult does well on Display, Adult Push, and even some Pops. Several Push sources (like this one) have both Adult and Mainstream, so make sure you tick the right box when starting a new campaign!
And if you just want to run offers everywhere on the planet, then read on!
Arguably the biggest vertical ever in the history of mankind. Win a Free XYZ! has been around forever in one form or another.
In the USA we had cereal box-top offers you send in the mail for a ‘free’ toy, or in Canada and other countries, those little glass bowls you drop your business card in to enter a raffle for a free steak dinner.
In Germany, it’s the tiny classified ad with “You can win Mercedes Benz C-class. Just fill out the field and send it free of charge to us. No stamp required!”
Every country has some raffle one way or another. You can even legally enter raffles for money in most places. Lotteries are still popular.
The only difference with sweepstakes in Affiliate Marketing is we are entering people into the raffle for a Free iPhone with their email or phone number as their form of payment (for Single- and Double-Opt-In), but we’re happy to take actual money too (Credit Card Submit).
Sweeps usually includes Free anything (even Toilet Paper!), but common ones are the latest iPhone/Samsung, and Grocery/Store/Restaurant/Service vouchers from anything like Walmart, Aldi, MediaMarkt, to McDonald’s, KFC, and Netflix. Literally, anything can be sweepstakes.
Sweeps does well on everything, Pops, Push, Email, SMS, Native, Facebook, Display, Adult. Everywhere.
What happens to the information collected? Typically, it is used (or resold) for Lead Generation. Which is another vertical entirely. So we’re dealing with a damn Tomato here.
- Lead Generation.
This is a Vertical. But it’s also how other Verticals monetize their offers (Casino, Sweepstakes, Dating).
So it’s a Tomato. Like I said.
But as a vertical on its own, it’s usually referred to for offers such as Home Mortgages, Auto Insurance, Home Renovation, Auto Loans, Solar Panel Installation, Refinance, Debt Consolidation, and other high payout offers.
Why high payout? These customers are very valuable. Someone who is interested in buying Solar Panels (a possible $XXXX-XX,XXX purchase) is much more valuable than someone who wants a free $100 Gift Card to Walmart.
Lead Gen (what the cool kids abbreviate to) offers typically do well on more expensive traffic sources such as Native Ads and Facebook. But also can do well with Push Traffic (just be sure to tell your account managers you will be running Push!)
This is not to say other verticals don’t have high payouts. They do. Like this next one.
Who needs Vegas? We have online gambling!
This way, you can dump money into slot machines and card games from the comfort of your home. No need to get distracted by alcohol, smoke, and hookers here (unless your home is awesome).
These typically have high payouts, even for CPL (cost per lead). Even higher payouts if you can manage to get customers do an FTD (first time deposit of actual money to the online casino). Because payouts are so high, quality of the leads is very important. You’ll get paid for every valid lead, but if the offer owner doesn’t make any money from them: you’ll get kicked from the offer quickly.
So be sure to stick to daily caps (limits on leads per day) until you get a quality check.
Push traffic does amazingly well for Casino offers. Especially the one hosting this article. Yes. Even in Thailand. Hint. Hint. Native traffic can work in certain geos too. Pops is usually forbidden due to quality issues, but check with your network as sometimes it’s possible.
Casino is great because it’s available in a ton of geos (countries) and they’re not much more difficult to convert than sweeps.
Just keep an eye on your quality. Speaking of Quality…
Find your soulmate online? Or just a casual encounter? You don’t need to spend time hanging out in smoky bars half-drunk just to awkwardly approach a girl anymore. These days, you can simply swipe left on that one app, sure. But the quality of matchmaking on those free apps may not be what people want...
Maybe they’re an older demographic in Brazil and just want to connect with someone?
Or a hard working student in Taiwan who wants someone nice that takes education and responsibility seriously?
Or they just want to make out on the couch for 5 minutes. I won’t judge.
There are tons and tons of Dating offers out there. Not even including Adult.
Here again, you will have daily caps on your offers and must have good quality (some % of your leads need to actually make money for the offer owner) or you will get dropped from the offer.
If you get really good, you can change to revshare on your offers. That means you will get a % of every sale your lead makes on the offer owner’s Dating Site. Pretty cool right?
Dating does really well on Push, email and Native traffic.
Another Vertical that can make you a pretty penny on every % of the sale is coming up next!
- Nutra, Beauty, Ecom
Hey, that’s three Verticals!
I know. It’s also huge.
I told you, this Vertical stuff is messy. All three of these are technically separate. But the same.
You are typically selling actual physical products to the customer. And you get a nice share of the sale. For some high-end offers, as much as 90-100% of the sale (don’t ask how/why, they just do). First, the definitions:
Nutra- Nutrition + Pharmaceutical = Nutraceutical = Nutra. Probably. Or someone wanted to make an homage to those gross, old pink packets of aspertame called ‘Nutrasweet’. Either way, it’s basically supplements for various health issues. This includes anything from Cures for Sciatica, Tinnitus, Blood Sugar, Toe fungus, Weight Loss, ED, various Gummies, CBD and other oils.
Beauty- Anything that makes you prettier than me. This includes Skin Cream, Powders, Weight Loss (again), Makeup, Shampoo, Conditioner, etc. Basically, anything you see in the beauty section of a fancy drug store. Just like most Nutra (see the pattern now?)
Note: Both of the above can also be used for info offers, such asn an ebook on how to lose weight, cure your back pain, diet cookbooks, etc. That won’t quite work for below though...
Ecom- Also spelled Ecomm. E-commerce. Electronic Commerce. Pretty much anything (like above) you can sell online. But. This typically refers to tech gadgets (drones, portable AC, DIY power), memorabilia (Trump/Biden Coins/Dinner Plates), and anything with the word tactical in front of it (flashlight, zoom, hat). Even Dog Toys are popular items to sell on Tiktok right now. Basically, if it’s a physical product, and you can sell it online. It’s ecom.
Ecom/Beauty/Nutra all do really well on Push, email and Native traffic. Pops, not so much. Facebook is touchy about Beauty and Nutra. Ecom is a big maybe.
- Finance, Crypto, FX
Yup. I’m combining again. These are not the same. But they all have to do with moving money around, so I’m squashing them together into a nice Vertical Salad for you.
Finance could be the refinance or mortgage stuff from our Lead Gen Vertical. Or it could be getting a micro loan from a bank. Or simply installing a banking app. Anything to do with banks can go in here.
Finance apps and loans can do really well on Push, email and Native traffic. They can even work on Pops in some geos. Facebook will allow banking apps and some loan offers it if you use their select audiences for credit/loans.
Crypto. Whether it’s a book on learning how to invest in crypto, or a system on how to get rich with with Bitcoin and Ethereum, it goes into the Crypto bucket.
Forex Trading is as old as Binomial options Trading. Get rich quick with lots of numbers and charts. I won’t even pretend to know how it works. But I can point you to a few offers that will explain the whole system to you and you can decide for yourself ;)
FX, Trading, and Crypto systems can do really well on Push, email and Native traffic. These simply won’t work on Pops. Facebook will ban you instantly for trying it, so don’t attempt :)
- Antivirus and App Installs
Antivirus is technically an App install, isn’t it? So I’m combining.
Antivirus can be anything from selling a full subscription to Norton/McAfee Suite on PC as a CPS (Cost Per Sale) to a tiny app install on Android as a CPI (Cost Per Install). Antivirus gets its own vertical name because it’s enormous.
But let’s not limit it to just one App.
Game App Installs on mobile are a huge vertical as well. Most Affiliate Networks have tons of CPI offers for every type of app (e.g. games, dating, streaming, productivity, and yes, Antivirus) available. And you know which traffic works the absolute best for this?
Push traffic is pretty much the best bet for App Installs and Antivirus on Mobile and Desktop platforms. Native and Email advertising can work for Desktop PC software, but it’s nowhere near as common. Surprisingly, Pops can actually work for quite well for App Installs and mobile Antivirus, so don’t be afraid to try it! Facebook is OK for most Apps, but check with your offer owner to make sure it’s allowed.
Honestly, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Verticals. There are tons more. But if you’re just getting started out (or simply looking for more variety) these are the major ones to dig into.
Any Verticals that I missed where you want me to go into more details? Let me know and we’ll get those written up too!
See you soon!
Now go make money! 😊