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Affiliate Network Insider — 29 Jun 2022


Affiliate Marketing Post COVID-19, Affiliate Verticals’ Trends – Interview with C3PA

C3PA Network is a performance marketing agency with fundamental experience in customer acquisition. The team is aimed to deliver targeted traffic Worldwide, and provide top-quality expertise, excellent service, and exclusive customer benefits.

Each day new players are starting to conquer the affiliate marketing industry. They all aspire to achieve great success and hope that someday their names will appear along with the affiliate marketing leaders. Now we could hardly imagine that days and years ago all of these giants were newcomers as well. What were they dreaming of? Which problems did they have? What were the key factors to their success? What was the affiliate marketing industry like back then?

We continue sharing the answers to these and many more questions in our series of articles, Affiliate Network Insider*, that touch upon the working life of the biggest and most prominent affiliate networks and agencies in the industry. For this edition, we’ve talked to Artem Butov and Andrew Kucheruk from C3PA Network to find out what will be trending in affiliate marketing this year, how the industry will survive coronavirus crisis and which verticals are converting best.

Let’s go!

- Can you tell us about your journey into affiliate marketing?

Artem Butov

I got my first job in Advertising Agency when I was 21, combining it with studying in Universities. In the next 7 years, I worked in Advertising Agencies in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, started my career as a junior planner, and finished it as Top manager of Media agency. My job, except operational management, was in delivering Strategies that should back to Advertisers with a positive ROI. By combining marketing experience, building econometric models, and predicting trends we had to create a most efficient strategy and budget split for multimedia campaigns: TV, Online, Social, Print, OOH, Radio, New Media, etc. 

In a nutshell, before stepping into Affiliate Performance Marketing Industry I did performance marketing in Media. Why I decided to change, a few points:

  • ROI measuring is much accurate, and here we can deliver profit to Advertisers at a different level. End product receive lead or sale, skipping other steps of marketing funnel from ‘awareness building’ to ‘call-to-action’, and the action is exactly what we deliver
  • The world is open wide, you can play in different geos
  • All things happening online, you don’t need to be full-time dependent from office and working place 
  • I felt and still I do, that this niche has potential and promising future

What is the most challenging when you open your own network? 

Artem: I was used to working for someone, had my monthly salary and bonuses or profit option. But when you’re turning on a way of entrepreneurship, you can rely only on yourself. That was a hard decision, but I accepted the challenge, thanks to the support of my wife and friends on a start. Now I’m happy to be where I am.

–       Your experience in the industry is already 8 years. How has the industry changed since then?

Artem: The competition got stronger, and making money on converting CPC/CPM to CPL/CPA is much harder now than years ago. But on the other hand, inventing new methods of getting traffic is the process that never stops, as media consumption and online users preferences are constantly changeable processes. Those who follow trends are always winners. Some other visible changes: 

  • after the year 2014, the russian-speaking segment of affiliate marketing has blown down and affiliates refocused to much more stable Tier1 markets, English-speaking and EU. Nowadays Russian-speaking affiliates became most valuable and profitable for advertisers from US, CA and EU
  • some niches faded down and earnings on traffic became smaller, can say it about Carrier billing, Nutra, Payday loans. Can’t mention we experienced rise and fall of Binary option vertical, that was classical make-money hype. Then Crypto fever led to appearance of completely new verticals like ICO and Crypto whatever offers. In the end we see pretty strong new niche of Crypto trading that came as quintessence of Forex trading and Crypto trend

As predicted, everything goes mobile, we see a booming trend of generating traffic through mobile applications, and of course, new traffic type – push-notifications

  • governments started paying attention on personal data protection, and anti-scam programs
  • also can’t help but mention visible progress in anti-fraud awareness and methods, that is driven by innovative algorithms of data processing

- You work in gambling, dating and crypto verticals. Can you please share what’s trending in these verticals now?

Andrew Kucheruk

Sure. First of all – dating. This category has changed the most.

Every day people need social attention. As quarantine in many countries has forced people to reduce social interaction, they have also had to change their behavior. That’s why a lot of those who haven’t used online dating services before have started to do so.

Reports of the largest product holdings in the category of social discoverers showed a constant increase in the audience and time spent on their products.

The same can be said about the largest adult resources – online. The number of sessions, the duration of sessions has increased with the advent of quarantine. From this, the very category of dating has grown, which leads to increased competition in this niche.

It is also worth noting that despite the quarantine, the purchasing power of users has not fallen, as users need such services.

Another trend in this niche is video dating. More and more news is appearing with the information that the big players of this niche are launching online video chats. The integration of video into dating will certainly be the most influential change of this period and it is impossible not to pay attention to it.

As for the crypto, it’s easier here. Due to quarantine and the pandemic situation, many people lost their jobs or were temporarily left without a source of income (small local offline businesses, etc.). In such a situation, the attempt of people to find an alternative and try themselves in online earnings becomes a clear step. One such option is to trade cryptocurrencies on exchanges. What has changed – in addition to increasing demand, users, and trading volumes – is also a new communication – success stories about how people in quarantine make money by trading cryptocurrencies. This cannot be avoided and such prelands, banners, and sites will haunt us for a long time.

Betting and everything around sports and e-sports offline events is on pause, which is why this category is not in demand. However, it is worth noting that many betting companies have rapidly begun to develop the category of fantasy sports and casinos. The casino category has grown exponentially, especially in countries where it is legalized at the state level. Users of online casinos have started to spend more time there. Those who previously played offline – have tried themselves online. The main change is the growth of volumes in this category.

The mission of C3PA team is to be a reliable point of connection between Advertisers, Affiliates and every person standing behind the click.


–  How do you manage coronavirus crisis? Which offers work best this time?

Andrew: There were few changes during the coronavirus crisis. First of all, betting vertical was totally closed, in Gambling vertical many advertisers has started to cut the budgets, decrease the current CPA, as PV has dropped due to corona crisis. Many big advertisers in Gambling has switched to RevShare model to avoid losses. Dating vertical is showing really great results during corona, as people spend time at home and don’t have any opportunity to get distracted. First, we thought that people won’t pay for dating during the crisis, but as we can see now nothing has changed, we’re having the same budgets from all advertisers and for Mainstream Dating we have even more caps. It means that during corona time people still look for singles. Crypto vertical also shows great results during the past months – Israel’s call centers have worked during all hard times and people easily convert – because everybody wants to invest money and earn passive income from home. So all European GEOs were converting pretty well during this time and we’re seeing even higher CR than before quarantine. 

– Talking about gambling affiliate programs: which payment model you think is better – CPA, RevShare, or Hybrid?

Andrew: The gambling category is one of the largest and most developed in the field of affiliate marketing. The model that the affiliate should work on should be chosen according to the type of traffic.

Everyone knows that it is better to use the RevShare model for SEO traffic because players who stay out of the casino for a long time come from this traffic.

For the CPA model, it is better to use traffic from social networks, media, and display traffic.

According to the results of cooperation with our partners within the affiliate network, we can say that for the affiliate network it is better to work according to the CPA model as it allows you to maneuver in the volume and quality of your partner’s traffic.

Andrew Kucheruk and Artem Butov


– What is the future of affiliate marketing? How will it survive COVID-19?

Artem: As affiliate marketing is a pretty new niche, it’s changing every time. I don’t think COVID-19 will affect it much, but I’m sure that new trends will take place. Some verticals will die, some will survive, and others will perform stable growth. I’m sure dating and gambling are among them. We will see new solutions in stable verticals, like video chats in dating that’s gaining trend now. I believe in future of cross-platform solutions, when users have different products under one credentials. And of course, I’m curious seeing new verticals and traffic types will launch and develop. Regarding traffic trends, I believe in future of emailing, native traffic. Can’t deny growing value of content-based formants and influencer marketing.

Generally, we will face changes in formats, players and verticals, but the industry will prosper, attract more brains, ideas and assets.

– Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone? 

Andrew: In addition to the standard social networks such as Facebook and Instagram on the phone I have about 100 different programs that I usually use once a month as needed:) There is not even anything special to highlight if we talk about day-to-day apps. But, there are some apps like Asana and Slack that I am using every day and we built a lot of processes on it. Also integrated notification system from Asana to Slack help us to track the productivity of our team through a smartphone and add new tasks, make team calls, etc. 

– Your top tips for affiliate networks to increase their ROI?

Andrew: Take risks with different models of working with your partners and clients. Add new technologies in a partnership that will help you to grow (such as better tracking, better spy tools, better creative creating tools, customer support services, etc), develop as many innovations in the network, follow global trends in your niche, and be ahead of them.

– What do you think is the main secret of your success?

Artem: Always keep moving forward, gather proper people around who inspire you to develop, inventing a new, and stimulate overall progress. Do sport – it’s mind refreshing, I think I’ll never stop. Self-development is also ongoing process you should never quit. And regarding myself, of course, support of my family that does worth much. 

* AFFILIATE NETWORK INSIDER is a project, covering success stories and inside life of the biggest and most prominent affiliate networks and agencies in the industry.

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