“Africa has LATAM problems multiplied by three”: an interview with Ivan, the owner of the PLASH team

Among the partners of ProfitPay are strong media buying teams. One of them is PLASH. We* interviewed its owner, Ivan, and found out how he motivates buyers to stay in the team, how he weathers Facebook storms, how many daily leads the team generates, and where to get white pages for $0,1 🙂

*Material prepared by the ProfitPay affiliate program

About himself and the team structure

Hello, Ivan. Tell us a bit about yourself so that readers can get to know you better. And also, share why you decided to create your own team.

Hello everyone! 👋🏼 My name is Ivan, and I am the owner of the team and the author of the homonymous blog PLASH. I am originally from Kyiv, and currently, I split my time between here and Europe.

Until 2022, I was involved in a completely different business, which yielded excellent results, but I wanted to grow even faster. After analyzing niches that had the potential for such growth, my choice landed on affiliate marketing. I began to immerse myself more and more actively in this business during my free time, and with the onset of the war, it became clear: this decision was very correct. In order to minimize risks, I decided to fully transition into affiliate marketing and immediately prepare for market domination.

What is the origin of the team's name?

The name was created by me in collaboration with the marketing department of my previous company back in 2021 for a completely different project. The name is derived from the word SPLASH, which we incorporated into the logo. And, originally, Plash was supposed to be pink 😅. But that's a completely different story.

How many people are currently on the team? How quickly were you able to grow to this number of employees?

We currently have 8 people. At our peak, we had 15, but I consciously made the decision to let go of some employees and focus on improving the efficiency of the best ones. In the end, it paid off multiple times.

At the moment, we are once again starting active scaling, and for this purpose, we’ve established an HR department.

About working with nutra

What type of nutra offers do you run: COD, SS, Trial? Why?

We exclusively run COD. We decided not to diversify and focus on becoming the best in one direction. Since COD offers the widest coverage, we concentrated on it.

Someone might argue, “But the ROI in COD is not as high anymore, and every year it gets harder to run them with lower approval rates”. I agree; it's indeed challenging. However, there’re solutions to this problem:

  • developing high-quality pre-landers. Sometimes, a pre-lander remains effective, with a stable high CR for years. By creating such pre-landers, you reduce the costs of constantly creating new transit pages;

  • working with direct advertisers. They have their own call centers, and it's in their interest to maintain high approval rates. If you're working with a CPA network that resells offers, solving the problem of low approval rates is unlikely. One of such advertisers is ProfitPay. We collaborate with them, I recommend 🤝

  • think unconventionally. In reality, in COD, there are many non-obvious but straightforward solutions that can increase your ROI by at least 30-40%. 

What GEOs do you work with? Why did you choose them?

Initially, we worked with tier-2 and tier-3 countries, but at one point, a strategic decision was made to shift our focus to Europe. Currently, 90% of our traffic comes from Europe, with the remaining 10% from Latin America. We prefer working with Europe because the customer support, delivery, and internet infrastructure are much better here. Additionally, the mentality of the people is closer to ours.

What do you think about the following statement: “Europe has long been dead for nutra, LatAm is also burning out, the best GEO now is all of Africa”?

We tried working with Africa, but it has all the same problems as LatAm, multiplied by three. Namely:

  • unstable and slow internet;

  • delivery issues, including cases where couriers are killed for coveted products like creams for enlargement of the genital organ; 

  • such a low level of development that people don't know how to place orders;

  • shortage of good advertisers.

I believe that the approach of simply searching for new GEOs and running successful combinations is short-lived because new GEOs will run out soon. It's essential to work on the quality of your combinations rather than the quantity of GEOs. That's why we work with Europe, and then we can transfer these combinations to any country, where they’ll yield results in 80% of cases.

About working with Facebook

In the team's blog, you wrote that you were able to increase revenue by 300%. How did you do that? What steps did you take to achieve that?

At one point, I let go of half of the buyers and started working on their efficiency. We completely redesigned all the processes within the team. Additionally, we completely abandoned remote work. These were the things that became our success key.

Similar question regarding the effectiveness of the buyers. How did you manage to increase their efficiency by 200%? How did you measure the results?

We completely removed account management, technical tasks, and all manual work from their lives. Now, everything a buyer does in our team is work with combinations and run them. Specially trained individuals handle all other processes, allowing us to do everything quickly and with high quality.

Everyone in their respective roles. The tech department handles technical tasks. The farmer manages accounts. The designer takes care of creatives. The assistant deals with manual work, which, while not complex, is time-consuming. This way, everything runs like clockwork.

Question: How do you weather storms?

We anticipate that storms can occur, so addressing them is nothing more than one of our regular business processes. We have a well-refined workflow for such periods, ensuring that each department always brings maximum value.

By the way, a recent storm created the need for a new launch scheme. I can confidently say that at this moment, we have the perfect approach to running campaigns. 95% of creatives are launched without bans or rejections.

What daily lead volume are you currently generating?

For nutra, we generate 700 daily leads.

Do you think Facebook is still an easy source of traffic?

I believe that for nutra, it's still best to start with Facebook. Moderation on other traffic sources is stricter, and there is much less information available openly. Consequently, a much larger budget is required for testing.

For illustration, I've created a table for three traffic sources. Facebook is well-known, Google is also in the hype now, and push is included in the table because they are often recommended to start with.




A vast amount of information

A vast amount of information

Very little information available; you can only learn some things through personal connections

It’s possible to join the team that accepts newcomers

There are 1-2 teams working with push in the entire market, you may have to start solo

It’s possible to join the team that accepts newcomers

Leads can start coming in on the first day of the campaign

Leads can start coming in on the first day of the campaign

The campaign is just starting to pick up on the first day

The traffic is of high quality, and real people click on the ads

It's easy to run into bot traffic if you choose the wrong push network

The traffic is of high quality, and real people click on the ads

From this table, you can conclude that Facebook is the best source to start with in nutra.

Are you planning to explore other traffic sources like Google, Bing?

Definitely, but not at this stage. We've decided not to spread ourselves thin on new sources and focus on what we're experts in.

How do you search for and test combinations? What does this process look like? Can you outline the specific steps?

Sure, I'll outline it. Here are the specific steps:

  1. First, taking into account the GEO's specifics, we determine which approach works best for the desired theme. Then, depending on the needs, we conduct a small research on the GEO.

  2. Next, we brainstorm, select the top three hypotheses, and create a bridge page for them.

  3. We then meticulously check the text for errors in design, meaning, and translation several times before launching in a split test.

  4. We take the successful ones and work with them, concurrently refining them.

  5. Finally, we adapt the successful combination for other GEOs.

What tools do you use to organize your team's work?

We have a tracker, antidetect, auto-submit, a custom CRM, and several pieces of proprietary software for various purposes.

Do you farm accounts yourself or buy them? Do you agree with the statement “Every respectable team should have a farming department”? Why?

I believe that the times when buyers had to be forced to manage accounts are long gone. Therefore, there must be a department responsible for all account-related work. The question is how well it can be organized. Personally, we use a combination of purchased and in-house accounts.

How do you choose an offer to test? Do you evaluate it before running, or do you follow the approach of “take and test everything”? If you evaluate the offer before running it, what criteria do you use?"

We have a list of the best advertisers for each GEO. When we want to work with a specific country, we immediately reach out to several top advertisers and request a list of offers with all the information on payouts, approval rates, caps, and specifics. Then we choose one or two offers and launch them. After some time, we keep the best-performing one.

I also recommend carefully examining the product packaging in studio and live photos. If the bottle looks like the cheapest vitamin C from a pharmacy with a label drawn in 5 minutes in Photoshop, I advise skipping that offer. It’s not like the old days anymore. The packaging must look appealing and be made of high-quality material. An enormous advantage will also be localization for the local language. Personally, I can recommend ProfitPay – they have the best packaging I've ever seen.

What payment solutions do you use? Care to share? :)

We use private solutions, so I won't be able to share them.

What is the maximum amount of money $$$ your strongest buyer has earned in a month?

I won't provide exact figures, but it's more than $10 000.

Can you share some kind of a trick about working with accounts? :)

I'll share how you can get unique whites for just $0,1. First, find a donor site for the white page. It's preferable to choose relatively simple sites – your tracker will thank you 😉. Then, set up a bot, the release of which is posted in our Telegram channel. You just need to subscribe and enter the API key from your Keitaro. The subscription, by the way, costs only $15 and allows you to download a whopping 150 (!) whites per month. Next, send the bot a link to the donor site, wait for 30 seconds, and voila – your white is already in your tracker and ready for use!

About team organization

Do you still run campaigns yourself? What do you think – should the owner of the team run campaigns or just manage?

Let's put it this way – I run campaigns through my buyers) I believe that if you, as an owner, have the time to run campaigns, you're directing your focus in the wrong place. The same logic applies here as to why we don't let buyers handle manual work.

Owners of teams don't count money, and they have their own car fleet. These are good advantages, indeed. But let's approach it from another angle: what are the downsides of being a team owner? :)

Downsides – you can't show off that car fleet 😢. But in all seriousness, I think this: if you're in your element, there can't be any downsides. There may be certain peculiarities that you either accept or it’s not your thing.

What budget is needed to create your own team?

At the moment, it's at least $50 000. Also, keep in mind that the first few months may be unprofitable or break-even.

Recently, we heard in a conversation that gambling teams make more money than nutra teams. Do you agree with this statement?

If we're talking about market size, 100% gambling is much larger. However, when it comes to ROI, the situation is the opposite.

How do you motivate employees to work when it's not possible to run campaigns? When everything is in the red? When there's a storm?

At this point, special motivation is no longer needed because many of the team members have been working for a long time, and we've gone through fire and brass pipes. So, everyone is confident in the team's success for a long time ahead, even when temporary difficulties arise.

In the beginning, of course, it was different. In tough times, you always need to understand that you influence the mood of the entire team. Even if you've been in the red for a week, you need to be twice as active and cheerful as usual. It's also important to communicate with each team member, monitor their mood, and provide support where needed, either with words or bonuses. That's why it's essential to always have a large backup budget.

In your opinion, who should definitely not create a team?

People who:

  1. Are looking for easy money.

  2. Are motivated by material gain rather than a sense of purpose.

  3. Don't have or aren't prepared to lose a budget of $100 000.

  4. Aren't ready to devote all their time to it.

Thank you, Ivan, for coming to our interview!

Thank you 🙂

Do you think COD-nutra is still alive? Should the owner be the one running traffic? Is it better to start running nutra specifically on Facebook? Which of Ivan's thoughts do you agree with, and which ones you don't? Write in the comments. Subscribe to the PLASH blog on Telegram - there you’ll find tips on working with traffic and the team's successes.

Also, subscribe to our Telegram channel where we announce our new articles. Let us know who else we should invite for an interview.