We at Adsterra are a bit nerd about tutorials, but expert tips are incomparably better when it comes to the most significant stages of advertising. Hence, we invited our CPA Key Account Manager, Sasha K., to guide you through the most challenging though exciting part of buying traffic, your first Adsterra campaign setup.
You will get the entire flow of the Adsterra campaign setup loud and clear, walking from adding your landing URL to submitting it for verification.
You know that Adsterra develops its Self-Service Platform, which is pretty easy to use. But it’s also very feature-rich, so you might get confused if you have not used ad networks as traffic sources before. I’m here to show how exactly you should create and submit your first campaign for verification flawlessly. And it would be just perfect if you signed up and completed all the main steps! Let’s ride!
Before you start the Adsterra ad campaign setup
1. Choose an offer
First things first, you need to have an offer you will advertise. In other words, an URL you will send Adsterra traffic to.
Since it’s your first campaign, I recommend to select a test offer with the most accessible conversion flow. This may be CPI (cost per install,) a download, or even a click. Sign in to your affiliate network or program and pick the offer you would like to try running on Adsterra traffic.
If you’re hesitating, check the Offers Wishlist on your Adsterra account page on your account. Here we list the examples of high-converting offers — just find them in your affiliate network or pick a similar one.
2. Make screenshots of the target landing page
Remember to save some screenshots of the final landing page after you come up with the offer to try with Adsterra. If you plan to use a prelander, it is better to take its screenshot, too. This will save you time one day 😉 I’ll get back to this point a bit later. Now, just save some JPGs or PNGs making sure they are less than 350 kB each.
3. Check with Traffic Chart
You don’t want to guesswork, do you? Then, before jumping into the Adsterra campaign setup, check for the available traffic volumes with our super-handy Traffic Chart tool. Pick it from the main vertical menu, and voila — you see how many ad impressions you will get for your geo, on which ad format, traffic type, and device. Recommended CPMs are also there.
Good job! Now you’re all ready for your first Adsterra campaign setup.
Important: Make sure the postback tracking is ok
You can carry on with the Adsterra campaign setup without tracking conversions. So skip this part and move to the next section if you don’t need this info. But now, I will let myself a slight turn to tell you more about tracking.
When running CPA campaigns, you use trackers not to miss a single conversion fired. And it will be pretty sad to start a campaign and realize that your postback fails to deliver those conversions. So let’s make sure the integration is OK or set it up from scratch.
From your Advertiser’s account, hit Tracking → Conversion Tracking. You’re on the Postback setup page.
Start with choosing the postback type. Choose the one that matches your KPIs.
Simple postback tracks conversions without a payout. Use it if you buy traffic with a CPM model.
Simple postback with a payout variable will send the cost of conversions.
Complex postback will send conversions with payouts in non-USD currencies.
Connecting to a tracker
Now move to step 2 and 3. Choose between the tracking systems we list or select Custom. Hit the GENERATE POSTBACK button. You can now copy the link and paste it into your tracking system.
Make sure you match all tokens given in the postback URL between Adsterra and your tracker. The most critical token is the clickid, which sends each conversion event through an offer URL and returns it through the Postback URL. You will need to replace the clickid with the corresponding parameter from your tracker, matching it with the Adsterra subid_short.
Here is an example screenshot from RedTrack. Clickid is named as ref_id, so we placed the ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## right near this parameter.
Ok, you matched tokens inside the postback URL. Now we’re ready to carry out a test. Go to your affiliate network and choose an offer. I would advise you to pick an offer with the most simple conversion flow; it will be easier to test if the conversion fires.
Generate an offer URL with a parameter ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)##, which will deliver conversions. I would also recommend you to put the ##PLACEMENT_ID## to track traffic from different traffic sources. It will be especially helpful for your further campaign optimization. By the way, you can always check Adsterra tokens in our FAQ.
Now move to your Adsterra account. On the Conversion tracking page, find STEP 4 and paste the offer URL with all tokens you need.
Click the CHECK URL button. If you see the “Success”, then congrats — you’re all set!
Let’s now explore the Adsterra campaign setup process from A to Z.
The Adsterra ad campaign setup from scratch
Now we’re back to the Adsterra SSP account. Click Campaigns → Create. And we’ll go with the General settings now. First, make up the name for your campaign.To Contents ↑
Then, decide on the connection type. Here you have three options: all traffic, Wi-Fi, and 3G (which is also 4G/LTE.) The 3G option will be the right choice if you run a Carrier Billing/ Mobile Subscriptions offer. This parameter will allow you to target mobile carriers within your geo later.To Contents ↑
Choosing Ad format, pricing, and traffic type
AdUnit category (aka Ad format)
This field is all-important, as you have to come up with HOW your ads will look like (with creatives or without them) and how much traffic you will get. With Adsterra, you have several ad units:
- Social Bar (a combo of display and in-page push ads);
- In-Page Push;
- Native Banners.
Popunders are ads that affiliates are best familiar with. No creatives are needed, so you can launch a campaign much faster. One of the most simple formats in use, a Popunder sends about 2.2BN impressions weekly.
Popunder’s closest rival is Social Bar, which is an advanced In-Page Push unit packed with over 20 most-converting template creatives.
Depending on the Ad unit, you pick the pricing type. And we’re about to explore this stage!
Next comes the pricing type — we have CPM, CPA, CPC as available options. When you run offers with fast conversions, then my advice is to pick the CPA pricing. You will only pay for actions completed. Installs, trials, downloads, single and double opt-ins (SOI and DOI) are fast conversions. Even a click can be a conversion! When your advertiser demands deposits, double deposits, or any other complex conversion, I’ve got a life hack: always buy traffic with the CPM model. It allows for more extended tests, it helps you distribute budgets catching as many conversions as possible and eventually it can be cheaper than you expected.
We have reached the Traffic type field. Mainstream traffic is average traffic for any ad campaign. Other types are for niche campaigns with specific user interests and specific traffic sources. The point is that both types can serve you well when you run, say, a VPN, VOD (video on demand,) or Gambling offer. That’s why we recommend adding traffic types when scaling ad campaigns.To Contents ↑
Landing (or offer) URL
Paste your offer URL with all macros you need to track. I will definitely recommend to use ##PLACEMENT_ID## along with the obligatory ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)##. Oh, and the ##COST_CPM## macros is necessary if you want to apply our smart Custom Bid feature that helps you spend wisely on those sources that send you the best traffic.
Remember I advised you to take some screenshots? Here’s why. Under the Offer URL field, you can attach the previews of a landing page and a prelander. Our moderators always check landing pages to match our policy. We emulate the targets you set to check your links, but sometimes it can be a tricky task. But with screenshots attached, you can verify your campaign faster. If you run a Smartlink campaign please attach several screenshots of all offers you have in rotation.
In the Device format field, you pick which user devices you would like to target, mobile or desktop. If not restricted by your advertiser, you can add Tablet traffic to Mobile type. It will send you a bunch of extra impressions, believe me. Now we’re jumping to the following field, Country settings.
Country and bid settings
Geos are the heart of your targeting. And we’ve reached the point where you can pick one. Actually, we allow for a bulk input, but in many cases, the rule of thumb is “one country per campaign,” as it makes the campaign optimization much more manageable.
When picking a country, Adsterra AI algorithms evaluate your competition’s bids and send you minimum and recommended CPMs. I would advise not to overbid and start with the recommended CPM. Minimum CPM is also OK, but you will have to increase it pretty soon.
Adsterra Smart Traffic Estimation also delivers you the expected number of impressions you will get at the start. Use this clue to evaluate how much you will need to spend daily. And speaking of spending… we’re moving now to the Budget field.To Contents ↑
Your first Adsterra ad campaign setup is almost complete. Now we’re going to enter the budget, which I recommend to leave Unlimited.
Don’t worry, you won’t overspend. Just scroll the page until you see the Cappings and Limits section. Here you can add daily/hourly limits and be sure that you won’t exceed them.To Contents ↑
Final steps of the Adsterra campaign setup
Finally, you should choose when the campaign starts after it is verified. You can either schedule it for a specific day or start immediately after verification. The third option is to leave your campaign inactive; it’s when you like to start it manually. If you have not topped up you balance, it is better to schedule the campaign or keep it inactive until you launch it manually.
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Now you’re all set. Click the SUBMIT button, and read through the Preview page carefully. Then, send your first campaign for verification. Our managers are online 10 AM-10 PM GMT, so you can ask us anything that causes concerns and doubts:
– optimal bids;
– black- and whitelists,
– optimization tips.
These were not all settings you can use; we listed only those necessary for a smooth campaign launch. There are many targeting options that will help you slice traffic and find the best targets. But we will get back to them soon. See you!
- Since it’s your first Adsterra campaign, it is better to start with general settings and wide frequencies. Avoid over-optimization when on the start point; you aim at getting nice traffic and then sift it out to find the best matching.
- Stay in touch with Adsterra managers not only when you’re stuck with optimization but to hook helpful insights about trending creatives and competitive bids.
- If you’re not aiming at worldwide reach, it is wise to create a separate campaign per each GEO you need. You can easily copy the campaign you set up and change the country.
- Stay persistent when testing traffic, and don’t leave your campaign run without monitoring it.
If not now, then when? We mean, it’s about time for your first Adsterra campaign setup.