Mobile CPA Affiliate – What You Must Know Before Spending on Mobile Advertising

Right now, there is great interest in mobile affiliate campaigns. And why not? Search has become increasing mobile and more and more people are successfully completing their purchase decisions over mobile. As an affiliate marketer, success comes to those who go where customers are. And when customers are increasingly on the mobile, it does make sense to follow, doesn’t it?

However, creating and planning a mobile affiliate campaign is significantly different from planning a regular (web based) affiliate campaign. There are several factors unique to mobile CPA campaigns. This article uncovers the several things you need to know before starting any mobile CPA campaign.

mobile CPA Affiliates - things you should know

However, before getting into that, let us quickly go over the basics.


Understanding Mobile Advertising Basics

 Essentially, mobile advertising can be of two types – on the mobile web or within the mobile apps. The latter is commonly referred to as in-app advertising, while the former is called WAP advertising.

The mobile display advertising formats are similar to those employed in web display ads and include text ads and banners- either static or clickable. Of course most ads are clickable, which is how you, as the affiliate marketer earn your revenue. However unlike web based campaigns, where clicks lead the prospective customer to a landing page or directly to the offer, you can do much more with mobile advertising.

Of course, the click on the mobile can lead to a landing page or an offer, but beyond that, you can also initiate a text message or call, creating an even more effective campaign that greatly increases the chances of conversion.

The pricing models in the mobile performance marketing space are similar to web based affiliate marketing and include CPM (Cost per Mille or 1000 impressions), CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPA (Cost per Action), where a common action is a ‘call’ to the call centre initiated by clicking the link.

 With these basics of mobile CPA advertising in mind, let’s take a look at the various factors you need consider before initiating a mobile affiliate marketing campaign.

1.  Specific Targeting is Crucial

 Not all smart phones are created equal. In web based advertising your ad would be displayed in the same manner, whoever viewed and wherever they viewed it. The same is not true of smart phones – different devices may display the ad differently, depending on screen size and resolution features. Also the degree of interactivity of smartphones and their user characteristics differ. Hence you need to create unique ads targeting specific devices.

Also mobile marketing experts are pointing out that focusing exclusively on smartphones is not a very ‘smart’ idea as feature phones still represent a bulk of the market, especially if you want target an older demographic. Hence this factor also has to be taken into consideration when you are planning a mobile ad campaign.

While most mobile web ads may be adapted for ‘ideal display’ across devices, this factor becomes even more crucial in the in-app advertising. For in-app advertising it is recommended to create device specific campaigns targeting a certain demographic audience which utilizes and interacts with that app on a particular kind of device.

So while your mobile CPA reach may not be as wide (as a web based affiliate campaign), it is definitely more targeted, and can deliver greater ROI.


2.  Carrier Criteria

There are two ways to access internet on the mobile – via the carrier or service provider (AT&T, Verizon etc and 3G and 4G signals) and via WiFi. So you have two prominent mobile traffic sources – carrier and WiFi. The carrier can offer more insightful information about the mobile users, enabling very specific targeting. This is completely missing in WiFi traffic. In fact several advertisers don’t allow WiFi traffic for their campaigns.

Conversion from carrier traffic is high as compared to WiFi traffic as this figure shows.

mobile CPA advertisinng-Carrier traffic conversions are higher

Also advertisers need to enter into agreement with carriers to utilize their resources for serving ads to the customers (after all, it is the carriers’ customers). And often times, the advertiser may have an agreement with one major carrier and not others. If you are promoting such an offer, you need to ensure that your traffic is from the specific carrier or you will not be to monetize the traffic.


3. Understanding Specific Country Guidelines


The telecom rules in different countries are different. In some countries, it is easier to run mobile advertising campaigns than others. Europe for instance, has some of the most stringent regulations in place and penalties for non-adherence are severe too.


The fact is that the mobile advertising space is evolving right now and changes are happening at a very fast pace. The result is that no one really knows what’s coming next or how something will change. Your best bet therefore is to keep your ear close to the ground. Make sure you follow the right mobile CPA blogs, keep abreast of latest news, just so that you don’t slip up in these areas.


4.  Identify the Best Mobile Traffic Sources

 How do you get traffic in droves to your offers?  Previously in this blog, I discussed the top 5 mobile traffic sources you should consider especially with the changing landscape in 2014.  These included Addictive Mobility, Google AdMob Ads and Jumptap in the top 3 positions (in particular order, though). Click here to see the other two and to read the entire article.


5. Test and Track


When it comes to mobile affiliate marketing, there really is no magic formula.  And there are certainly no shortcuts. While the field has huge potential and is extremely lucrative, more mobile affiliate marketers are actually losing money than earning pot loads of it. And those who are earning money are doing so because they earmarked a testing budget.  Do test your campaigns before you roll them out full scale.

And don’t forget to track your campaign performance for valuable insights. As we saw, there are several variables in a mobile CPA campaign such as type of device, screen size, device manufacturer, carrier etc. Without mobile tracking software that, well tracks all these varied factors, it is difficult to know what is working and what is not.


Mobile CPA advertising is here to stay and from the looks of it will be getting more lucrative with each passing day. Are you ready to jump into the fray? Don’t miss out on these factors to make your ‘mobile outing’ a stupendous success. Already a successful mobile affiliate? We would love to hear about your success strategies.

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