Typically, affiliate case studies focus on achieving successful ad campaigns. However, it's equally valuable to examine intentional failures and their lessons. Our partner's brave venture, investing $250 to showcase the detrimental impact of subpar creatives on campaigns, highlights the astounding potential of captivating visuals. Witness the remarkable journey of a Sweepstakes campaign, where a deep negative ROI skyrockets to an impressive 135%.

Brace yourself for an eye-opening affiliate case study that defies convention. Let's delve in!

Summary of the affiliate case study (Sweepstakes)
  • Traffic type: SocialBar by Adsterra
  • CPA Network: Adsterra CPA Network
  • Offer: Sweepstakes, all traffic
  • GEO: DE (Germany)
  • Spent: $250 for each case study
  • 1st case ROI: 135%
  • 2nd case ROI: -23%
Ever wondered how lead magnets operate? Their fundamental objective lies in priming users for conversions by offering enticing incentives such as bonuses, promotions, and more. In essence, within the realm of affiliate marketing, the term "lead magnets" encompasses the realm of creatives and prelanders that captivate and engage potential customers.

Within this case study, I will delve into the lesser-known aspects of upgrading your Sweepstakes creatives.
  • I will uncover the best practices for effectively working with your creatives and optimizing their content.
  • I will present a live example to highlight the contrasting outcomes between two different approaches.
  • Prepare to gain valuable insights from this in-depth analysis.
The initial approach involves constructing the creatives following an analysis of the target audience, employing various methodologies, and incorporating insights gathered from the primary landing page, among other factors.

In the second scenario, the creatives are created without any form of analysis or tools, solely based on arbitrary decisions.

Let's get started!

Choosing an offer

Consider the least extraordinary offer available publicly in the Adsterra CPA Network, namely the Sweepstakes in Germany, CPL SOI, where payment is made for each registration without confirmation.

As for the landing content, it comprises an embedded quiz consisting of three questions. Once the user completes the quiz, a pop-up prompt appears requesting their email address. Upon submission, we successfully register the conversion in our profit-generating endeavors.

Despite its regular updates, the offer continues to maintain a respectable conversion rate. This can be attributed to the enticing rewards it offers, such as a 1000 euro gift card for Amazon, Samsung S21, and a Samsung Watch. It goes without saying that such rewards contribute significantly to its impressive conversion performance.

Payout: DE — $2.88/CPL SOI

Final landing screenshot:


Two approaches to executing a single campaign

As previously mentioned, our focus today revolves around conducting experiments to evaluate the impact of different creative approaches on campaign success.

To initiate this process, we will allocate a budget of $250 each to launch two identical campaigns on the Adsterra SSP platform. Both campaigns will undergo similar optimization methods, although some variations may arise due to the possibility of certain poor sources performing exceptionally well with alternative campaigns or creatives.

In one campaign, we will conduct tests, make changes, and introduce additional creatives. Meanwhile, the other campaign will remain unaltered throughout the test period, except for minor optimization adjustments. The former will target mobile devices and tablets after the initial optimization, while a separate campaign can be created specifically for desktop traffic.

I recommend commencing with a minimum bid of $0.008 per click, as we anticipate an initial surge in traffic during the testing phase. Although the traffic estimator predicts approximately 16,000 clicks per day, the actual figure may be slightly lower due to traffic dynamics.

First Approach: Meticulously Crafted and Thoroughly Tested Sweepstakes Creatives


Now, with a budget of $250 at our disposal, it's crucial to allocate it wisely. What steps should we take?

1. Firstly, let's determine the creatives we intend to utilize for this endeavor. As previously mentioned, the equation "creatives = landing page content" guarantees resounding success. Disappointing the user by promising lavish rewards in the creative, only to provide a lackluster landing page upon clicking, will yield high click-through rates (CTR) but abysmally low conversion rates (CR).

Just to clarify, please remember that Adsterra's creative maker tool (accessible through your Advertiser's account) displays the background of PNG images as black to enhance contrast during the creative preview. However, on the publisher's page, the background will be transparent. Therefore, it's vital to consider this when designing your creatives.

To illustrate, I will showcase a few examples of creatives that I personally created using Adsterra's updated Social Bar creative maker:




I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of Canva and considering a subscription to stock image services. Alternatively, if you have the time and patience, you can search for the required PNG files.

Additionally, don't overlook the option of utilizing freelancer websites. You can acquire your creatives at a reasonable cost, tailored to your specific requirements, which you can prepare in advance.

Refining Creatives: Fine-tuning Your Creative Elements

2. Utilizing the mentioned spy tools enables you to monitor trends and stay updated on the most sought-after Sweepstake offers in real-time.

When using the image converter, keep in mind that it may slightly crop the edges. To avoid losing the significant elements of the picture, ensure you center the image accordingly.

Take extra care when translating your text, as it heavily impacts the resulting click-through rate (CTR). Poor translations carry the risk of losing a significant portion of your traffic. Make sure to review the translations multiple times to ensure accuracy and avoid any potential setbacks.

Optimizing Traffic

3. Excluding Bot Traffic: Take proactive measures to identify and exclude placements associated with bot traffic. Drawing from previous experience with platforms and conducting tests with small budgets can be invaluable in identifying and blacklisting DSP platforms with a poor reputation for bot traffic.

4. Establishing Whitelists: Start building whitelists right from the beginning. If you notice exceptional performance from specific placements, consider adding them to your whitelist. This allows you to launch future campaigns on the whitelist with custom bids, saving you both time and money.

5. Engage with Your Manager: Communication with your account manager is key. Your manager is genuinely invested in your success, so keep them informed about your campaign's progress and seek their advice. You might be pleasantly surprised by the insights and guidance they provide.

Second approach: Subpar creatives with limited optimization

Proceed with Caution: Testing the Ineffectiveness of Poor Creatives and Limited Optimization
With $250 remaining for the second test, it's important to clarify from the outset that this approach is NOT recommended. Please be aware that this approach highlights a wasteful expenditure of funds.

In this test, I intentionally create subpar creatives using low-resolution images, poorly translated text, and unappealing prelanders (or no prelander at all).

1. Taking the opposite approach, the creative will intentionally misrepresent the landing page content and be intentionally flawed.
2. I will include only two creatives, without making any changes or optimizations to them.

Below, you will find examples of creatives that should be avoided if your goal is to achieve profitability:



The problem lies in the fact that these creatives are devoid of substance, intrusive in nature, and fail to establish a meaningful connection with the audience.

The crux of a lead magnet lies in its ability to bind together the creatives, prelander, and landing page, creating a seamless funnel-like experience that entices users to convert.

However, in this particular case, these creatives are destined to fall short, and you will witness the unfavorable results soon.


Before diving into our work, it is essential to promptly blacklist all DSPs associated with bot traffic (relevant information is publicly available). Using DSP traffic can result in disappointing outcomes, unless you are confident that the traffic source adheres to non-aggressive practices and platform regulations.

Tests play a vital role in maximizing traffic acquisition within a short timeframe, by eliminating irrelevant sources and fine-tuning bids and creatives.

Through extensive testing, we can effectively identify converting placements and focus exclusively on driving traffic from those sources.

Exclude creatives with low click-through rates (CTR). To avoid hasty decisions, it is advisable to start with a pool of 10-15 creatives.

I strongly recommend utilizing A/B testing, employing divergent approaches. Experiment with different headlines and descriptions, utilize high-quality PNG images for creatives, and seek inspiration and references from spy tools.


- Targeting Mobile Devices (including tablets after scaling):
Focus on targeting mobile devices initially, and expand to include tablets as the campaign scales.

- Segmenting by Android (version 4.0 and higher) and iOS (version 9.0 and higher):
To simplify optimization and customize creatives for device system notifications, it's recommended to split the campaign into two separate campaigns: one for
Android devices and another for iOS devices.

- Setting a Bid of $0.008 per Click:
Begin the campaign by bidding $0.008 per click to attract traffic. Adjustments can be made later based on performance.

- Launching the Desktop Campaign Separately:
After conducting basic tests, consider launching a separate desktop campaign. Alternatively, if your budget permits, you may split the campaigns right from the start, segmented by operating systems.

- Excluding Creatives with Low Click-Through Rates (CTR) and Conversion Rates (CR):
Regularly monitor the performance of your creatives and exclude those with low CTR and CR to optimize campaign effectiveness.

- Pausing and Replacing Underperforming Creatives:
If the campaign's performance is rapidly declining, it is advisable to pause the campaign and replace the underperforming creatives entirely.

- Setting Up Postback and Testing Conversions:
Prior to launching the campaign, ensure that the postback is properly configured and conduct a test conversion in collaboration with your manager to verify its functionality.


First approach: screenshot is taken from
Adsterra CPA Network:


  • Total spent at Adsterra: $250.
  • Income $587.5.
  • Profit $337.5.
  • ROI 135%
Second approach: screenshot is taken from Adsterra CPA Network:


  • Total spent at Adsterra $250
  • Income $193
  • Profit $-57
  • ROI -22.8%

To conclude:

The outcomes clearly demonstrate the direct impact of creatives on campaign performance. To be transparent, I had initially anticipated the second approach to generate no conversions. It's challenging to generate revenue without exerting effort and demonstrating initiative.

Throughout this case study, we have thoroughly examined the precise manner in which creatives influence campaign success and subsequent performance.

Ensure to consistently test new approaches, seek out offers tailored to specific events, enhance campaign optimization, and closely monitor statistical data.

Cheers to your success!

Impressive! Investing $250 solely to illustrate the transformative impact of creatives on your ad campaign is quite bold! However, we believe it was a worthwhile endeavor, as it has equipped you with valuable insights to avoid the aforementioned mistakes. Now, you can secure high-paying offers and attract the cleanest, direct traffic to your campaigns!

Test Traffic and Offers from Adsterra:

👉 Click here to try traffic from Adsterra Ad Network.


👉 Click here to test exclusive offers from Adsterra CPA Network.
  • Like
Reactions: JonathanB