There are basically three types of incent traffic that exist both on desktop and mobile:
1. Virtual currency – the user gets virtual currency, usually in a game, so that he can advance in the game faster in exchange for engaging with an ad (installing app, subscribing CPL, or making a sale). The higher the CPO the advertiser pays out, the more virtual currency you’ll get
2. Interstitial traffic – you are watching a free movie and it stops or reading an article and it stops after page 1, until you engage with an ad, then you can continue to see/read the rest
3. Reward programs on emails – users get rewards (pearls, coins, points etc) for opening emails. Once they have enough pearls or coins, they can exchange those points for a product (e.g. iphone, ipod, computer) depending on the amount of points you have
As you can understand incent traffic has two important characteristics:
1. The user is NOT per se interested in your ad, the user is interested in the virtual currency or points he can earn.
2. There is massive international volume of users available for the above three mentioned traffic sources. Have a look at the size of the biggest incent players (tapjoy, trialpay, supersonicads, fyber, etc) – all of these companies are huge both in numbers of people as in revenues. This proves the size of the channel is massive.
So how do you make these two characteristics work with each other instead of working against each other? How can you make use of that volume and drive traffic that still holds value for the advertiser (otherwise your traffic will get paused)?
The answer lies not with the affiliate or the traffic source in this case, but with the advertiser.
The advertiser has to be ready, prepared and set up to accept these traffic sources. That’s why its very important to never drive incent traffic if the advertiser does not allow it.
Incent traffic has a lower
value than non-incent traffic, but as there is huge volume in there,
with the right payout it can help an advertiser grow its user base,
increase sales numbers or number of leads in a profitable way.
That of course if its set up in the right way.
Driving volume with incent traffic is easy, making it back out ROI wise for the advertiser is the hard part. It is the affiliate network’s job to check the following points with the advertiser before running incent traffic (even if they do allow it straight away):
1. Have a solid anti fraud mechanismn in place to detect manual pixel fires. A small number of incent users will try to manually fire the pixel in order to get as much virtual currency as they can.
This is just one example of ways a user can fraud the system. Another one is, for example, using fake credit cards in case of a CPS campaign
2. Having clear agreements with the advertiser. You can’t expect the advertiser to pay for duplicates or frauds. Important is that you get these numbers in time (within 10 days of the month’s end) from the advertiser in order to finish billing and communicate the billable numbers to your incent partner. The disapproval rate will be way higher than with non incent traffic, but then again the volume makes up for that. Incent traffic will only really work for advertisers that have a low processing cost per user (be it a valid or invalid user)
3. Most importantly, have the right sales funnel. incent traffic is great for CPS campaigns if the advertiser has a good credit card check mechanism that filters out fake or invalid cards in real time. For CPL campaigns I would only recommend it if the user details that have to be provided are rather long (+10 fields) and for example the phone number is asked and pinged to verify if its real or not. For CPI campaigns on mobile, incent is usually only used as burst campaigns in order to increase an app’s ranking in the app store and with that, create a “snowball effect” – the higher the app goes in the ranking, the more organic installs will come
4. Communication – its very important the advertiser is right on the ball and there is daily communciation between the network and the advertiser on which Pub IDs are having good ROI, which ones have high disapproval rates, and which ones are driving fraud. The network should communicate with the incent partners on a daily basis as well so the incent network can delete that small amount of users that try to trick the system.
In conclusion, its important to have the right set up (sales funnel), good communication advertiser/network/publisher and also have the right expectations about incent traffic (very high volume, relatively low quality with low ROI margin, compensated by the high volume) before starting off.
We would love to hear your thoughts!