👁 ILLUMINATUS 👁
- Oct 15, 2019
Ready to learn about mVAS?Apparently, you’ve got to walk before you can crawl. No wait, scratch that – reverse it. Seriously though, we’ve got to start somewhere and if you’ve heard about mVAS, but you don’t have a clue what it is, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide I’m going to start at the beginning and explain what mVAS offers are all about. That’s what you’re going to find in this section – the basics to get you started if this is all new to you.
In the next section, I’m going to ratchet things up a notch and get into the business of promoting mVAS offers effectively – how to choose a good offer, the best traffic types to run, and how to set up your campaigns. I’ll even share some tips and tricks to help you compete with the best.
Then in the third section, I’m going to keep up a list of some mVAS follow alongs (including a new FA I'm about to start) where other members have promoted mVAS offers and either put some green on the board or didn't end up with the results they expected - then I'll summarize the highlights from these campaigns and try to point out what seemed to go right or what might've gone wrong.
If you have questions you want me to answer or comments you want to discuss – about anything in this guide, or anything I’ve missed – then feel free to reply and I’ll keep updating everything so it can be a go-to resource for promoting mVAS offers to infinity and beyond!
Now, strap in and buckle up because we’re about to learn All The Things…
What’s mVAS, Anyway?“mVAS” stands for “mobile value-added services” but these offers are also known by a bunch of other names, including:
- mobile content
- carrier billing
- premium SMS
- PIN submits
- mobile subscriptions
- mobile billing
- direct operator billing.
- Lead generation (CPL) offers convert when someone provides personal info
- App installs (CPI) offers convert when someone installs some software
- Purchases or subscriptions (CPS) offers convert when someone purchases something or subscribes to a paid service.
mVAS offers provide access to paid mobile services like games, music, video streaming (mainstream and adult), ringtones, wallpapers, horoscopes and utilities. And while plenty of mVAS offers are scammy (IMHO) there are plenty of offers for legit services that people can’t get on their phones in the usual ways – i.e. by subscribing with a credit card or PayPal etc.
Take the population of India for example, where only about 2% of the population has a credit card and can’t always get access to something like PayPal. If you’re from India and you’ve got a mobile phone – which is most of the population – then carrier billing is the perfect way to get access to mobile content without going through the main payment gateways.
The worldwide carrier billing market is worth over $50 billion! Which is sweet, but still just a drop in the ocean compared to where the market could go if the 'big boys' of the online app and e-commerce markets – players like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, UBER etc – get in on the action. In a world where these Appzillas provide worldwide access to carrier billing as a payment method, the market could explode to over $1 trillion!!
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a nice slice of that delicious pie!
mVAS Conversion FlowsBefore getting down and dirty and taking a peek at some offers, there’s one more basic concept about mVAS to wrap your head around – and that’s “conversion flows”.
For the total beginners – every CPA offer has a predefined path or “flow” that a visitor has to follow, starting with a “view” on the offer page and ending with a “conversion”. Depending on the offer, the flow could be as simple as a click on the offer page, or as complex as COD (i.e. paying cash on delivery of a product) or full registration and deposit (with KPIs to meet).
An offer's flow is usually categorized by the clicks or steps in the conversion process. In that sense, mVAS offers have different flows, ranging from 1-click offers to multiple steps, depending on the way different carriers allow the billing to be initiated.
There are 2 types of carrier billing methods:
- Direct billing (i.e. MSISDN billing)
- SMS billing.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the most common mVAS flows…
DIRECT BILLING (MSISDN) FLOWSDirect billing means the carrier allows a purchase or subscription directly from the offer page. Usually this is only possible on a 3G connection because the offer page needs to be able to automatically identify the user's mobile number (MSISDN) when the page loads.
There are 2 types of direct billing flows - SOI flow and DOI flow.
SOI Flow (AKA 1-Click Offers)
As the name suggests, a single opt-in (SOI) flow offer only requires the user to opt-in to the offer once, which is usually as simple as clicking a link on the offer page.
DOI Flow (AKA 2-Click Offers)
Double opt-in (DOI) flow means a user has to confirm their subscription a second time, after they click the link on the offer page. This can happen a couple of different ways, including a new confirmation link on a second page or receiving an SMS message with a confirmation link.
SMS BILLING FLOWSSMS billing means the carrier will only initiate a purchase or subscription if the user sends or receives an SMS with an activation PIN code. Because the billing doesn't take place directly on the offer page, SMS billing offers can work on a Wi-Fi connection as well as a 3G connection (and could even work on a desktop device as long as the user also has their phone with them).
There are 3 types of SMS billing flows.
Mobile originated (MO) flow can work in a couple of ways, but they both require the visitor to send an SMS to initiate a subscription. Sometimes they can be asked to do this directly - i.e., type in the phone number and the code themselves and then hit send. Otherwise, the user might enter their phone number on the offer page and then they're sent an SMS that they have to reply to.
Click-to-SMS flow is a convenient version of the MO flow where the offer page can automatically trigger the device's SMS box (with the phone number and necessary code already entered and ready to go) so the visitor doesn’t have to type anything and only has to hit send.
MT Flow (PIN Submit Offers)
Mobile terminated (MT) flow is a bit different to the MO flow because the user doesn't need to send an SMS message (or reply to one). What happens here is that the offer page has a box where the visitor types their phone number. Then the visitor is sent an SMS with an activation PIN code, which they also insert on the offer page (i.e., they don't reply to the SMS in this case, like they do with MO flow). Then they have to click the subscribe button on the offer page to convert.
Let’s Look at Some mVAS Offers!Despite going through all the flows for each carrier billing methods, from now on I’m not going keep things in categories like that. It’s helpful to know about the main flows so you know more about what the visitor has to do, but it’s NOT the most important thing about choosing an offer.
IMHO, the most important things for running mVAS (like all types of offers) are:
- The quality of the offer itself
- The quality of the traffic you’re buying
- The quality of the campaign you’re setting up (targeting, angle, lander etc)
- The quality of the competition you’re facing from other affiliates.
You can find mVAS offers on specialist mobile content affiliate networks and most ‘general’ networks (i.e. the ones that carry a bit of everything), like:
- Golden Goose
- Traffic Company
GamesGames are one of the most popular types of mVAS offers, including offers that give access to single games or game arcades.
MusicAnother popular category of mVAS offers is music, including music and music video streaming services.
VideoSimilar to music offers, video offers are also very popular in mVAS, including mainstream and adult streaming services.
HoroscopesIt's not really something I'm into, but horoscope offers seem pretty popular and they're available on all of the main mVAS networks.
UtilitiesUtilities offers come in a bunch of different flavors when it comes to mVAS, including the usual suspects like antivirus and VPNs. But they also include a range of different apps, like instant messaging and even random things like accounting software.
And many more...If you look on the top offer lists on most mobile affiliate networks, like the the ones I've mentioned already, you're likely to find a lot of mVAS offers.
So, now you know All the Things!
Well, at least in theory - so if you want to have a crack at promoting some mVAS, or you want to improve your game, then jump down into the next section and let's have a look at how to choose a good offer and promote it successfully!