How To Boost Your ROI by 150% with Sweepstakes Creatives — An Affiliate Case Study

Our friends from Adsterra have recently published an interesting case study that shows the importance of choosing the right creatives. We asked them to share it with our readers — and here it is!

Most case studies focus on making as much money as possible at the smallest cost. However, that’s not always the best way to prove the efficiency of a method — let’s remember our middle school math classes and try to use the concept of “proof by contradiction”. After all, what better way is there to highlight the importance of creatives than comparing how bad and good ones fare with all other factors remaining the same?

So, in our case study, we will look at two different possibilities: that creatives don’t play a big role and that they do. The first approach cost our partner nearly $250, but it is totally worth it if we can help our partners to not make the same mistakes!

Please note that this case study was originally made by one of Adsterra’s partners, and does not necessarily reflect the company’s views.

Case Study Overview

OfferSweepstakes (all traffic)
GEODE (Germany)
Traffic typeAdsterra’s Social Bar
CPA NetworkAdsterra CPA Network
Cost$250 for each case study
1st approach ROI-23%
2nd approach ROI135%

The case study will focus on the following:

  1. How to properly upgrade and set up your creatives and their content
  2. Display the importance of choosing the right creatives
  3. Showcasing some less obvious factors that can take your Sweepstakes creatives to the next level

The case study will be split into two “sub-studies”, each of them taking their own approach to designing and utilizing creatives in a Sweepstakes campaign.

The first approach will be the “proof by contradiction” one — the creatives won’t be the main focus and will be designed and added without any prior research or analysis.

The second approach will take the more traditional route, and set up creatives using target audience analysis, spy tools, A/B testing, and so on.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Step 0: Choosing the Offer

To better showcase the difference good creatives make, the offer used in this case study will be as generic as possible. We’ve gone with the DE (Germany) GEO, and a typical Sweepstakes offer with payment for each registration (without confirmation). The payout is $2.88/CPL SOI.

The landing page is a simple quiz, which will prompt the user to enter their email upon completion — and if they do, we get the money!

Here’s an example of what the landing will look like.

The Two Approaches

We are going to run the same campaign with the same settings and (mostly) the same optimization twice. The first time, we will stick to whichever creatives we choose at the start — without doing any tests beforehand. The second time, we will test and optimize our creatives throughout the whole campaign.

Small Tip: For campaigns like this one, we advise starting with a $0.008/click minimum bid. There will likely be a bump of traffic at the beginning of our campaign.

We will run both of our campaigns on mobile devices and tablets.

1st Approach — Using Non-Optimized Creatives

Let us be clear from the get-go: this strategy is basically an amalgamation of all the bad choices one can make when working with creatives. Of course, some mistakes are more costly than others — but all of them still contribute to you losing your money.

Here are some of the mistakes we have deliberately made for this approach:

  1. Using only 2 creatives without ever adjusting them
  2. All pics were low resolution
  3. The translation quality was poor
  4. Bad prelander/no prelander at all
  5. The creatives did not reflect the content of the landing page

As you can see, some of these mistakes are easily avoidable — yet they can cost you quite a lot in terms of lost profit.

Here’s one of the poorly made creatives that we used. It does not match the content and is too low resolution for users to see anything of value.

Additionally, it looks empty, and does not carry any message. It does nothing to draw the users in and entice them to interact with the ad. All this leads to low CTR and CR.

2nd Approach — Using Optimized Creatives

In our first campaign, we spent our $250 on, well, nothing. Here’s a little spoiler of the results of that case study: it was not profitable. In fact, we lost some money on it. So, what will happen if we use those same $250 a bit better?

Step 1: Making the creatives

As we have proven in some of our previous case studies, the best creatives are the ones that mirror the content of the landing page. If you don’t deliver on your promises, users won’t be very happy — and will immediately close your ad.

Some ad networks offer pre-made creatives, but if you really want to stand out and rake in the profits, you should try making your own. Adsterra has its own creative maker tool that lets you make images like this one.

Adsterra’s tool is incredibly flexible and lets you make any type of creative, including in-page pushes for Sweepstakes. Additionally, you can get some well-made creatives from freelance artists on websites like Fiverr or make them yourself in Photoshop or any free online design platform like Canva.

Step 2: Testing and optimizing the creatives

You can use spy tools to track current trends and stay on top of the most popular Sweepstake offers. In our campaign, we made full use of them to update our creatives when needed.

When fine-tuning the images we used, we paid special attention to their quality and the text written on them. Higher quality translation work may be costly, but it pays off — no German speakers would’ve clicked on our ads if our text in German said something like “Get Phone No Cash Now”.

We did extensive testing (primarily A/B tests with different approaches, e.g. using different titles and descriptions) to weed out badly-performing creatives. If they have low CTR, ditch them. We used 10-15 creatives at the start.

Step 3: Work with your traffic

A big part of optimizing your creatives is working on your traffic.

First of all, you should ban all placements with bot traffic — we have tested this many times, and it really is essential. We have done it in this case study, too. Using DSP traffic is a sure way to make your campaign fail, unless you are sure that the feed isn’t aggressive and it complies with the platform’s rules.

The next thing we did was setting up a whitelist for well-performing placements. Doing it so early on has allowed us to launch custom bid campaigns on those placements later on, which generated us profit while saving time and money.

Small tip: Although we haven’t done it in our case study, it’s always a good idea to talk to your ad network manager and ask them for advice. It doesn’t cost you anything but can drastically increase your earnings.

Step 4: Post-Optimization

Here are some additional tips that can multiply your profits. We have used a few of them in this whole case study and this approach specifically.

  1. Targeting mobile traffic — and optimizing creatives for phones and tablets
  2. When targeting Android and iOS, it is better to have two different campaigns for each of these operating systems. That will simplify all the optimization you will have to do as the campaign goes on.
  3. If you want to go for desktop traffic as well, you should launch a separate campaign, too.
  4. Don’t be afraid to pause your campaign if it’s not doing well. Take this time to re-make or optimize your creatives.
  5. Test all the changes you want to make. We would also advise discussing them with your manager.


First ApproachSecond Approach
Total Amount Spent$250$250
Traffic typeAdsterra’s Social Bar$250

As you can see, our first approach — not optimizing our creatives in any way or form — has performed… poorly, to say the least. Our second approach, which involved optimizing our creatives with all other parameters left the same, has shown a 150% increase in ROI compared to the first one.

This case study shows that well-made creatives contribute a lot to the success of the campaign. We were surprised that our first approach made any money at all — we did not expect anyone to click on those poorly-made creatives.

Don’t neglect your creatives, try out new ad formats and approaches, keep up with industry trends, and don’t forget to optimize your campaigns — and you’ll be able to raise your ROI by 150% in no time, too!

Want to create well-performing campaigns with eye-catching creatives? Join Adsterra now to get access to next-gen monetization tools and advice from top experts in the industry!

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