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Tips For Negotiating With Mobile Advertising Networks

Ran Avrahamy Aug 12, 2014

This is the first of two articles written for the benefit of Developers & Advertisers who wish to promote their mobile apps through performance-based advertising / affiliate networks.Negotiate to Win

This guide was written based on personal experience, with the goal of elevating some of the unclear questions and worries, faced by most developers, when they are about to launch a user acquisition campaign for their mobile app.

This first article in this series is focused on the most crucial points to negotiate with mobile affiliate / ad networks.


Don’t sign an IO without:

  • Make sure the IO (insertion order) has all the details of the deal you agreed upon: OS, countries, allowed traffic types, budget, payment terms, cancellation terms, etc.
  • List if you allow or don’t allow incentivized traffic. You don’t want to get incent users when you pay non-incent rates. Same for app-discovery traffic.
  • List the budget of the campaign. If you know that the network can be trusted, you can allocate a significant budget. Otherwise you should usually start with a smaller budget ($10k – $20k).
  • List the daily cap. On top of the general campaign budget, this enables you time to review the quality of the traffic. It is advisable to start with a low cap ($300-$500 per day or so) and after few days you may increase it if all is well. We even advise our clients to place a lower daily cap per sub-ID.
  • List the payment terms. If you can, always post-pay. Net+30 is customary. Unless you know you can trust the network, don’t place too much funds with networks who demand a pre-payment. Always have a money-back-guarantee for non-delivered conversions.
  • Counting: Make sure that the numbers you are billed upon are the numbers from your tracking platform and not the network’s numbers.
  • Have an out clause of 48 working hours’ notice. This is important in case you need to pause or change anything for any reason.
  • Disqualified conversions: You must have the right to disqualify conversions. This obviously should only be done for valid reasons, such as fraud, with proof, and there should be a time limit for disqualifying conversions, but you should state it in the IO.

Negotiation points and tips:

  • Negotiate. Almost anyone will accommodate their demands to meet your needs and win your budget.
  • Make sure that you only pay for CPI and nothing else. CPI event is most commonly referred to as install + open of your app on the user’s device.
  • Transparency: Most networks won’t disclose the names of their traffic sources, unless you have an agency deal or similar unique deal with them. You may still ask to get it (but be prepared to get a no for this one).

How to get going:

  • Make sure you have conversion tracking installed on your app before you release it to the app store, especially with iOS, else you will have to re-submit it and to wait again for Apple’s approval.
  • While you are at it, make sure that within the tracking configuration you define additional events, past the install event, such as registration / completion of tutorial or first screen / social sharing event / payment event. This enables better optimization for you and also for the advertising network.
  • Prepare your creative. The most commonly used banner on mobile campaigns anywhere is 320×50 pixels. Static JPEG is preferable. PNG is also OK. Up to 40 KB where possible. If you target non English speaking countries it IS important to translate your banners.
  • Get in touch with your chosen network and sign an IO, as detailed above.
  • Send the tracking link and banners.
  • Make sure the network passes you their sub-ID and that you are passing them the deep-funnel event for

You are good to go!!!


About the author:

This is a guest post by Ron Brightman, CEO of Performance Revenues 

Performance Revenues is a mobile affiliate network with numerous advertising partners worldwide, delivering high volumes of quality users to mobile apps, on performance base.