This story is about a media buyer in charge of acquiring European traffic for an iGaming company. He uses Adsterra to run ads and try to get more people to make their first deposits. He faced a challenge of sticking to his budget while getting more deposits. He shared his stats with us, and we're sharing his tips on how to get more people to deposit in iGaming.

Overview 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
Outcomes: Increase in iGaming Conversions
  • Monthly deposits growth: from 42 to 93
  • Profit growth: $11,100 instead of $5,700
  • Final CPA: $32.5

Boosting players' deposits through ad impressions is simple with Adsterra! We deliver high-quality traffic to iGaming, Sports, and Entertainment offers, enabling you to optimize CPM traffic for increased conversions.


Main challenges in increasing deposit rates

Our partner aimed to increase the number of initial deposits in a specific location, Romania, while adhering to the budget set by the advertiser. The primary challenge was to remain within the $16,000 monthly limit while also ensuring an equitable distribution of spending across different geographical areas.


Even though the target cost for one conversion in Romania was the lowest (approximately $70 per deposit), this geographical area experienced the most intense competition at the time.

Another obstacle we faced was the inability to track the performance of ad placements from our end, as the advertiser didn't implement S2S tracking. Nevertheless, our partner and the Adsterra team embraced these challenges and nearly doubled the number of deposits from 42 to 93, maintaining the quality of these deposits (as users continued to play and make further deposits).

Now, it's time to unveil the tactics we employed.

Tactics to boost iGaming conversions

Before ramping up the number of first-time deposits (FTD), we needed to assess the performance of the traffic. Our partner media buyer could only provide statistics from his analytics platform once every 28–30 days. Here's what we were able to check there:
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Placement IDs
  • Registrations
  • Deposits
  • Dates
In the table below, you'll observe that registrations originate from the first 12 placements in the Deposits column, while the remaining sources yield no conversions (despite generating significant impressions).


The stats above might give the impression that we have all the information needed to take action, right? Let's remove the underperformers and allocate budgets to the best placements, shall we? Well, not quite. Here's why:

  • We only had one Excel report with limited data within it, and there was no way to predict how the same sources would perform in the coming weeks, yet immediate action was required.
  • iGaming conversions don't happen instantly. While users may register, they might hesitate to deposit funds or wait until their payday.
  • Sources that generate significant clicks aren't necessarily of poor quality. By excluding or blacklisting them, we risk losing a substantial portion of potentially valuable traffic. Cutting off such volumes means losing potential profits.
Our partner agreed to experiment with the bidding strategy under the condition that the budget wouldn't exceed the limit.

4 steps to boost initial deposits

1: Marketing Budget Allocation and Distribution (by Month/Day/Hour)

Spending 50% of your budget in the first five days isn't necessary, right? By distributing the budget, we could control ad spending on a daily or even hourly basis. Our goal was to evenly spread funds across 30–31 days to stay within the agreed amount while maximizing ad exposure in Romania.

This strategy helped enhance the conversion rate and potentially increase the number of player deposits. We also expanded our traffic sources, giving another opportunity to those that initially generated high clicks but no conversions. Time is money, after all!


Adsterra allows partners with self-serve accounts to set daily and hourly limits in addition to the total campaign budget (as shown in the screenshot above).

However, the Evenly Distributed setting is exclusively available for managed accounts. In this scenario, our managers implemented it to prevent fluctuations in spending, as we lacked a comprehensive overview of traffic behavior.

2: Optimal Timing for iGaming Ads

In addition to budget distribution, we conducted experiments to determine the most effective times for displaying ads. Player activity varies depending on the country and time of day.

For example, in Romania, players may click on your ad and visit a website at 3 AM, but they are unlikely to register and deposit. Although this may seem like a minor factor affecting conversion rates, we significantly improved campaign performance by excluding night hours from the Popunder campaign.


3: Customizing Bids

As we only received bi-weekly reports from our media buyer, we couldn't monitor the real-time conversion of each placement into deposits. With consent from the media buyer, we decided to maintain traffic sources with zero registrations but lower the payout.

Utilizing Adsterra's Custom Bid feature, we were able to input these questionable IDs and set lower bids. Although it required manual effort, it proved beneficial at times. Custom pricing is a tactic aimed at achieving the desired conversion cost without significantly reducing traffic volumes.


As a result, we successfully increased our revenue and directed it towards the most lucrative placements (utilizing the Custom Bid tool). By not eliminating all sources that initially appeared unproductive, we continued to receive traffic. Ultimately, this led to a significant increase in the number of player deposits, from 42 to 93.

4: Blacklists

Removing advertising placements from the outset poses the risk of overlooking valuable traffic. Therefore, we saved this step for last. After four weeks, any traffic sources with minimal or zero conversions were removed from the campaign.


Summarizing the results:

  • iGaming conversions don't occur quickly, unlike installs or signups. Even if statistics show numerous clicks, it's challenging to predict if a traffic source will perform well immediately. When unable to monitor daily placement performance, decreasing bids for uncertain placements and continuing to test traffic is advisable.
  • Whether you're an iGaming operator or an agency, implementing daily or hourly ad spending limits can prevent overspending.
  • Ultimately, most FTD (First-Time Deposit) Sports and Gaming campaigns achieve optimal success with CPM traffic, whereas leads and installs can be effectively advertised using CPA traffic.

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