There are 2 main offer types (or verticals) that are recommended to newbie affiliate marketers, one of them is SWEEPS and the other one are PIN submits. I already wrote an article about Sweeps here, so let me take a look at PINs now.
PIN submit offers are also called “Carrier Billing” or “Mobile Content” offers, the most accurate name for the would actually be Carrie Billing offers, since that’s their core principle – users get billed for something (some content) by their mobile carrier (operator). The charge will either appear on their invoice or it will be deducted from their prepaid credit.
You can see quite a wide range of products that utilize carrier billing, for example antivirus, wallpapers, ringtones, videos, games, astrology, lotteries adult photos and videos … I would say antivirus, wallpapers and adult content are the most popular ones right now.
WANT TO KNOW HOW CARRIER BILLING WORKS?
As I already said, users get billed directly by their mobile operators, but before this happens, they need to agree to get billed – subscribe for something. It can be a one time charge or recurring one, until the user decides to cancel.
There are basically two way of subscribing :
1. By clicking on something – this is the so-called 1 or 2 click flow (MSISDN Flow). For this to work, the user MUST be connected through a mobile internet connection supplied by the mobile operator (carrier).
There are always some terms & conditions to agree to, by clicking on an “Agree” button, the user accepts them and get’s billed. This is the 1-click flow. In case of a 2-click flow, there will be one more confirmation required.
Both 1 and 2 click flows have one thing in common – there is no need to leave the offer page in order to start the subscription, users don’t have to type in anything either. That’s why this method works so well.
Let’s be honest here – certain % of the users don’t even realize that they are subscribing for something. That’s why 1-click flow get’s replaced by 2-click flow on a large scale and new and new regulations are enforced in all GEOs across the world.
2. The second way requires some more action from the user. They can subscribe either by sending a SMS reply to confirm the subscription (MO Flow) OR receiving an activation code via the SMS , which they need to enter on the offer page as a means of confirmation (MT Flow).
As you can guess, these 2 flows convert way worse than both 1-click or 2-click flows, because there are more steps required from the users and it’s a known fact that any extra step will have negative impact on the conversion rate.
So why would anyone use them for their offers? A) Regulations … B) These flows can also convert wifi and desktop traffic. Even a user browsing on his laptop, through his wifi connection, he can still subscribe by using his mobile phones to send a confirmation SMS for example … Truth to be told, wifi traffic usually converts really bad with carrier billing offers, but it’s technically possible.
HOW TO PROMOTE THESE CARRIER BILLING OFFERS?
PIN Submits can work with any kind of traffic, POPs, banner clicks even mobile redirects … many of them can work even without a Landing Page, thou it’s not so common as a couple years ago.
There is one thing that is specific to these offers, that is not the case with any other type of products – you will need CARRIER ONLY traffic for them to work WELL.
As I mentioned already, it’s technically possible to convert wifi traffic with the MO and MT flows, but the conversion rates will literally SUCK. On top of that, the advertisers have to make deals with every carrier they want to work with. Due to this, pretty much any offer directly specifies what kind of traffic they want, for example : Vodafone, Germany or Orange, France.
To take it even further, many advertisers optimize their offers for certain Operation Systems, so they might ask you to send Android only traffic for example.
In a nutshell – you need to be very precise with your targeting and only buy the proper traffic. The good thing is, affiliate managers usually know exactly what traffic segments work well for what offers and they will happily give you this information.
There are also several affiliate networks that specialize in Carrier Billing offers and they can optimize your traffic for you by sending every click to an offer that is most likely to convert it – based on a set of data they collect for every click – what carrier, what device, model, OS …
In case you want to test some of them, here are my favorite ones that I all tested myself :
In order to run Carrier Billing offers, you also need a good tracker with proper carrier detection. My favorite one for these offers is Voluum.
There are two reason for this, first is to be able to properly split your traffic and send the matching traffic to the offers. It’s pointless to send Vodafone traffic to an offer that can only convert Orange visitors, right?
The second reason is that even thou most traffic networks let you buy traffic by carriers, their targeting usually sucks and they will send you plenty of wifi too. By using a proper tracker, you can identify these hits and ask for a refund, demand better targeting or decide to stop working with that particular source.
A FEW TIPS ON RUNNING CARRIER BILLING OFFERS:
I would like to give you a few tips now, don’t take them as rules carved in stone, but they can definitely make your life easier, since all of the tips are based on my experience with running these offers.
1. Usually, smartphone traffic works the best. Tablets are not so hot and desktop rarely works at all.
2. Android usually wins over iPhone, Windows phone is a hit or miss. For the most volume, definitely target Android.
3. Most developed Tier1 GEOs are also the most regulated ones. The most opportunity with PIN submits is in Asia, Afrika and Latam.
4. Don’t be afraid to test low payout offers, especially when the flow is 1-click. I was able to make a 8 cents payout offer profitable in Pakistan 🙂
5. Definitely split test using a Landing Page and a Direct Link. I’ve seen both working. Even thou LPs usually win these days, I still have some GEOs where directlink works better.
PINs are still on my list of “easy to run” verticals and they are very suitable for any newbie Affiliate Marketer. The regulations are getting tougher thou, so don’t wait and test them now!
Thanks for reading!