Anyone buying traffic from Facebook or Google knows that these networks offer great opportunities for mobile apps advertisements. On Facebook, you can see such ads in the mobile version of the browser, in their official client, in the messenger, and Audience Network. And Google's Universal App Campaigns allow you to display application ads in Google Search, GDN, YouTube, AdMob, etc.
Just imagine that thousands of users have a casino app or sports betting app with your affiliate link in it. It is installed on their devices and from time to time it gives a push reminder that the huge prize is still waiting for the lucky player. There is a high probability that such a user will register, start playing and make a depo sit. We can say in advance, that on average, about 10–30% of those who have the app make their first deposit.
The logical thing to ask would be — as an affiliate, how can you run a campaign for mobile app installations? After all, you do not have an iGaming app, and such apps are actually forbidden in the AppStore or Google Play. However, this approach is viable. Moreover, it is incredibly popular in some regions. For example, the vast majority of affiliates (let us assume a figure around 80%) in Russia, Ukraine, and other CIS countries still work or once worked with mobile apps.
The "Facebook + app" or "UAC + app" approach offers several significant advantages:
Developers create a two-part mobile app: moderators see harmless content, such as a simple game, and real users see the WebView component — a mobile version of a casino website or a full-fledged betting platform. Such cloaking allows uploading the app to the AppStore or Google Play.
The affiliate can launch ad campaigns in Google UAC or Facebook ads. While the app is in the store, you can drive traffic to it. The app can “survive” from two hours to a year, sometimes more, but sooner or later it will be banned.
How much can an affiliate earn this way? As a rule, mobile app campaigns have 10–30% ROI. This means that a successful campaign can bring 10–30 cents on each dollar invested.
Large media buying teams that focus on iGaming apps claim to get about 20,000 deposits a month. This can amount to about $ 1 million in net profit.
The most profitable though labor-intensive way is to create an app of your own. Developers from big media buying companies know the subtleties of cloaking and make apps that stay afloat and avoid immediate bans in the stores.
Finding an Android or iOS developer may seem like an easy task, after all there is a whole swarm of freelance specialists and IT studios out there. The problem is that a “normal” Android or iOS developer used to white-hat apps, will be completely baffled by the need to use cloaking. To do this, you need someone with special experience in the affiliate field.
However, if you manage to find such a professional, the workflow will be as follows. You compose a technical task for a freelancer or an IT company. The development process starts, it can take from 7 to 14 days. It depends on the mock page you plan to use in order to pass the store moderation. When it is ready, you will be granted access to the app and the developer account. Then you need to add your affiliate tracking link.
There is another option: instead of creating an app you can rent one. Some developers specializing in the CPA field in general and the iGaming vertical in particular provide affiliates with such an opportunity. Freelancers can be found on affiliate-themed websites or in special Telegram chats. On average the rental terms are: 10 cents per install, or 10% of the traffic coming to the app.
In this scheme, the affiliate provides the developers with the ID of a personal Facebook advertising account, this link is connected to the app. Thus, when the affiliate logs into their advertising account, they see the app ready to be used. After that, developers must provide the affiliate with a deep link that will be used when creating the campaigns.
Also, some CPA networks provide their affiliates with applications, it is often free of charge. The affiliate program takes care of all the technicalities, and the affiliate only works with ads. If the app is banned, network managers offer a replacement to maintain the flow of traffic from the affiliate.
You can link the apps with a mobile analytics service, such as Appsflyer. This tool attributes each app installation marking the channel the user came from. It also calculates the cost of each new client and determines the ROI.
Appsflyer allows to analyze any traffic source: Facebook, UAC, Tik Tok, In App, etc. To use the service, you need an Appsflyer agent account or an e-mail address that is not yet featured in their database. Developers will use this account or e-mail to grant you access to Appsflyer.
If you do not have any tracking tools connected to the app, it can only be used for advertising in Google UAC.
If an app has events added by the developers, you can optimize the campaign for registration or deposit. Facebook will select the audience that is most likely to perform the target action. In this case, the cost of installation will go up, but the conversion rate will also be very high.
For example, here is a case from one of our trusted sources. A mobile app campaign optimized for installs, traffic source is Facebook, GEO is Australia. Without optimization, the cost per install was $ 8, with optimization — $ 29. But the affiliate needed just 2 installations to get the first deposit.
It is obvious that there are more Android apps on the market. There are two main reasons for that. On the one hand, it is easier for a cloaked app to get into Google Play than in the AppStore. On the other hand, there are more Android users and they form a more reachable audience. In addition, the cost per installation for an Android app is much lower than that of iOS.
It is harder for an app to get into the AppStore, the cost per install is higher, and the audience is smaller, since fewer people use iPhones. But if the developers manage to smuggle an app into this store, it will live much longer (up to one year!). This means that it can bring more profit in the future. Another significant advantage of iOS lies in higher solvency of its users. This makes iOS traffic more valuable in the eyes of the advertisers.