Home Affiliate Marketing & Media Buying 2-Fold Deposit Boost: How to Increase iGaming Conversions [Case Study]

2-Fold Deposit Boost: How to Increase iGaming Conversions [Case Study]

by Adsterra Team

This story is here thanks to a media buyer in charge of acquiring European traffic for an iGaming operator. He owns a managed Adsterra account and regularly launches campaigns to attract players. This time, his main challenge (and ours, as you may guess) was to stick to the monthly budget while increasing the number of first deposits. He furnished us with the necessary stats and agreed to make this story public. Lucky us, we can now share some essential tips for how to increase iGaming conversions with you.

Summary of a campaign

  • GEO: Romania
  • Product: Maria Gaming
  • Ad format: Popunder
  • Conversion flow: FTD (first-time deposit)
  • Traffic acquired from Adsterra: CPM
  • Monthly ad budget: $3,000
  • CPA limits: maximum $72 (desirable CPA $40)
  • Minimum deposit for players: $100

Results: iGaming conversions boost

  • Monthly deposits growth: from 42 to 93
  • Profit growth: $11,100 instead of $5,700
  • Final CPA: $32.5

How can you increase players’ deposits buying ad impressions? Easily! Adsterra sends premium traffic to iGaming, Sports, and Entertainment offers allowing you to optimize CPM traffic for conversions.


Main challenges to increasing deposit rates

Our partner needed to grow the number of first deposits on one geo, Romania, while staying within the budget allocated by his advertiser. The main issue was not to exceed the $16,000 monthly limit but also to avoid the slant in spending in favor of one geo.


Although the desired cost of one conversion for Romania was the lowest (about $70 per deposit), this geo demonstrated the harshest competition at that moment.

Another challenge was that we couldn’t monitor ad placements’ performance on our side since the advertiser didn’t add S2S tracking. Anyway, our partner and Adsterra team accepted all challenges and almost doubled the number of deposits from 42 to 93 while keeping the quality of these (users continued to play and deposit further on.)

It’s time to reveal the set of tactics we applied.

The iGaming conversions boost tactics

Before we drummed up the number of first-time deposits (FTD), we had to evaluate how traffic performed. Our partner media buyer could only share stats from his analytics platform once in 28–30 days. What we could check there:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Placement IDs
  • Registrations
  • Deposits
  • Dates

In a piece of the table below, you can notice that registrations come from 12 first placements in the Deposits column while the rest of the sources send no conversions (they were sending quite a lot of impressions, though.)


It may seem like the stats above reveal all the details we need to act, right? Let’s remove the underperformers and shift the budgets to the best placements, shall we? Well, no. And here’s why:

  1. We only had one Excel report with limited data, and no one could predict how the same sources would act in the next weeks, but we needed to work right now.
  2. iGaming conversions don’t fire away instantly. Users may register but hesitate to put in funds or wait for their pay packet day.
  3. Sources that deliver massive clicks are not necessarily of poor quality. Excluding or blacklisting them, we risk losing a considerable lump or potentially good traffic. Cutting off such volumes means cutting off possible profits. 

Our partner agreed to experiment with the bidding strategy on the condition that the budget wouldn’t jump over the limit.

4 steps to increase first deposits

1: Marketing budget limit  and distribution (by month / day / hour)

You don’t need to spend 50% of your money in the first five days, do you? Budget distribution allowed us to control ad spending by day or even by hour. We needed to spread funds to 30–31 days equally to stay within the agreed amount but grab all possible ad views from Romania.

This tactic helped improve the conversion rate and potentially increase the number of players’ deposits. We embraced more traffic sources, giving a second chance to those that delivered poor lots of clicks but no conversions at the start. Time is money, literally!


Adsterra partners with self-serve accounts can put daily and hourly limits in addition to the total campaign budget (see the screenshot above).

The Evenly Distributed setting is available only on managed accounts. Our managers applied it in this case to avoid rises and falls in spending since we couldn’t see the complete picture of traffic behavior.

2: Choosing the best time for showing iGaming ads

Apart from distributing marketing budgets, we could experiment with the best hours for displaying ads. Depending on the country, players are active in different timeframes.

In Romania, players may click your ad and visit a website at 3 AM, but they will hardly likely register and deposit. While this may seem a low-key factor to affect the CR, we improved the campaign performance drastically when we excluded night hours for the Popunder campaign.


3: Bid customization

We could only use by-weekly reports sent by our media buyer. Thus, we couldn’t monitor how this or that placement converted into deposits in real time. We got consent from the media buyer to leave traffic sources with zero registrations but decrease the payout.

Using Adsterra Custom Bid, it was easy to paste all these questionable IDs and set lower bids. Yep, it required manual work, but sometimes it was worth doing. Custom pricing is one of the tactics for hitting the desired conversion cost without reducing traffic volumes drastically.


As an outcome, we managed to win more money and direct it to the best-converting placements (also by using the Custom Bid tool). But as we didn’t cut off all sources that seemed useless at first glance, we were still getting traffic. This finally resulted in the growth of the conversion number from 42 to 93 players’ deposits. 

4:  Blacklisting

Removing advertising placements from the start is a risk of missing out on quality traffic. Therefore, our tactics included this step in the last turn. After four weeks, all traffic sources with zero or minor conversions were unlinked from the campaign.


Summarizing the outcome

  1. iGaming conversions don’t come fast, unlike installs or signups. You can’t say immediately if this traffic source will perform well, even if the stats display tons of clicks. The best way — mainly when you can’t track placements’ daily performance — is to decrease your bids for questionable placements and carry on testing traffic.
  2. Whether you’re an iGaming operator or an agency, you can limit ad spending by day or hour. This will protect you from overspending. 
  3. Finally, most FTD Sports and Gaming campaigns show top success with CPM traffic, while leads and installs can be advertised with CPA traffic.

We have more inspiring stories from the iGaming sector told by affiliates who earned $3,200 (22Bet, Portugal) or achieved an ROI of 360% advertising Play Regal in France.

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