Mobile affiliate marketing using admob PPC

James Cooper | April 7, 2010


Ok so a lot of people are getting interested in mobile affiliate marketing and whether there is a PPC arbitrage model yet on mobile.  Can you take traffic from a pay per click mobile advertising network such as admob or inmobi and drive it to a CPA-based mobile affiliate program and make a profit?
In some cases this can work, but it needs very careful management, tracking and targeting.  One of the issues with mobile advertising at the moment is that the quality of a lot of traffic on the blind mobile ad networks if of questionable quality, which makes conversions pretty poor in a lot of cases.  Here’s an example – the chart below shows the results from two different types of traffic – using organic traffic on a site controlled by us, and using traffic bought on admob.   The creative, landing page and offer was exactly the same in both cases however the conversion rate was hugely different.
Comparison of organic and admob traffic performance

As you can see from the data the organic traffic performed over 25 times better in terms of conversions.  Despite having 3.5 times as many clicks the traffic from admob only delivered less than 25% of the revenue of the organic traffic.  We have had a lot of success using admob for various things and it is a fantastic tool but you need to be very clever about how you test and target by geography, handset and platform to get the most out of it.
So – what should affiliate marketers take from this?  No you should not totally rule out using PPC on mobile, but it is very hard to make it work – just like on the PC web.  Let us know any questions in the comments or on our forum and we’ll try and answer them.

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