Interview with Vlad Troy, CEO of AdsMain
Our "Affiliate Marketing Interview" series is back, finally! Today we are so excited to share with you our recent interview with Vlad Troy, CEO of AdsMain. Vlad was one of three founders, long ago in 2010. Before AdsMain period he was a publisher/media buyer, working with such old giants like eBay (they used to pay nice rewards for CPL), CJ, ClickBooth and MetaReward. Those times, you could earn huge money with incentive offers, by just opening incentive/gift card website and attracting leads through forums and email subscriptions.
In 2010 he, his close friend and his brother, decided that they need to make step forward and open their own affiliate network. It was a time, when almost 90% of affiliate networks were located in USA, they mostly paid by checks and wires and many modern affiliate trends like mobile app marketing, social marketing only started to appear. A lot of thing changed since then, but AdsMain remains the same reputable network that always opened and honest with their partners.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?
I’m from Odessa, Ukraine. I was born in Odessa in 1986. Graduated Odessa Academy of Communication in 2008.
2. How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?
I realized that some companies can pay me for new clients in 2005. But I prefer to think that I started as an affiliate in 2006, as before I was earning as a freelancer doing different stuff, like posting on forums and linkbuilding.
I don’t remember exactly how I was involved in affiliate marketing, as in 2005-2006 it was very few information about this stuff. There were absolutely no information about affiliate marketing in Russian. My English level granted me access to this industry. I found some interesting articles where people were sharing their experience on some forum and decided to try myself.
3. How long was it before you realized you could live off your affiliate income?
My first affiliate income was $300 in March 2006. You know in Ukraine it was huge money. It was my point of no return.
4. What is the biggest mistake you made when you first started doing Affiliate Marketing?
I think I made a lot of mistakes, but one of the biggest is that I didn’t attract investments in the beginning. AdsMain would have been much bigger company if I did it right.
Another mistake was in 2015, when we didn’t direct more of our forces to be more in mobile app marketing. We didn’t catch the right moment and a lot of “mobile” money passed by AdsMain. But I don’t like to regret about anything. I leave it in past and consider as experience.
5. What was your biggest success to date?
I don’t want to equal success to money only. It’s not right for me. Biggest success is definitely AdsMain’s team. We were able to put together a great team of passioned and honest people. I like everyone who is working with me and ever worked in AdsMain. And it's my everyday pleasure to see all these people doing something together.
6. Tell us a little bit about AdsMain and what you do over there?
Right now I don’t do much of operating work. Most of the time I only solve financial questions and sometimes negotiate with partners. AdsMain is USA based company, with one of offices in Odessa, Ukraine. We have 11 people in Ukraine and 2 in USA. At this moment we have over 2000 publishers with all kinds of traffic and around 1500 offers in all verticals and niches.
7. There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes AdsMain different?
What I know from our old publishers – is that they are 100% confident that they will get their money from AdsMain. And this is true, we are very decent regarding money. We try to pay faster (sometimes from our own money) to get publisher on the board. In 2019 70% of all our payments, each month are made weekly or maximum net15. Our managers are always friendly and never ignore anyone. Even if publisher will not be approved or his account will be suspended because of fraud – we will chat with him and explain all reasons why such decisions were made.
And yes, we have “only” direct offers and “only” highest payouts….;)))))
8. What kind of offers are performing well on your network?
We work and always worked with almost all verticals. Tops in 2019 are sweeps, loans and insurance in USA, dating, games and gambling.
9. Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates - Push, Native, Facebook, Email, Search or any others?
80% of our publishers don’t own their inventory. They do media buys from different DSPs. Search and Facebook work good now and during last 5-6 years, but since 2018 we have a big increase of traffic from Push.
Some of our top publishers, which run US financial lead gen offers still collect their leads through their websites, subscribers or using niche forums.
10. Do you do your own in-house media buying for your advertisers, or AdsMain drive traffic only from publishers?
Yes, we have a media buying team and % of our own in-house traffic grows each year. We buy from DSPs, Facebook, Google and we even have our own inventory: websites, social groups and recently we launched our own crypto currency application.
We will be creating new sources soon. Youtube channels and few niche social groups is something we are looking at in nearest future.
11. What are the criteria for an affiliate marketer to be accepted at AdsMain?
We like to work with experienced publishers. But it doesn’t mean if you are a newbie you can’t work with AdsMain. You can, but you need to know basics and have plan of how and where you are going to get traffic from before you apply as a publisher.
During approval process, our managers mainly ask about experience and ask to prove it (references from other networks, publisher ever worked with). We also verify location of a pub and try to predict publisher’s intentions, I mean if he is really trying to earn fairly as a pub or will send us fraud.
12. For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network - What's the best way/time to reach you?
Four highly skilled affiliate managers monitors all applications daily. So the best way is to apply and wait. Important is to provide real email, as publisher will receive a confirmation letter with further instructions and contacts of manager who will review his account.
Another common way is to find our contacts over LinkedIn, Affpaying or through our Facebook page. This also works well.
13. What are the best places for the newbie to learn affiliate marketing? What advice would you give for them?
It's now so many places to read and learn about affiliate marketing. Much more than it was in 2006 I personally recommend reading forums: Warrior, STM and AffiliateFix. Also, a good way to understand the basics and even more is to get Google certificates. Google Academy is a free course that will definitely help in starting affiliate business. Same with Facebook BluePrint.
And if you know HTML at least a bit, this will also help.
14. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements of run a successful campaign.
Except of experience, it is definitely good tracking, good creatives and good landing page.
If you are familiar of how to work and experiment with those 3 elements, after some time and spending money, you will start to see result.
Yes, networks already have tracking on board and most of the time, networks do provide creatives and links to landing pages of advertiser, but to get ROI using them you need either to be one of the first publishers who run them or be lucky testing/running with super profit traffic source.
In all other situations you need to use your own creatives to attract new customers, unique landing pages to convince customer to do the action and third party tracker to see all performance and compare with network tracking you get offer from.
15. What's the difference between a Super affiliate and an Average affiliate?
Amount of money they lost before becoming a Super affiliate :)))))
This is a joke and a true in same time.
Affiliate marketing is a full-time job and you need to do it seriously. Always learn and improve your skills.
A lot of people start to look for shorter ways to earn and instead of learning how to do it right, try to cheat and send fraud. Yes, it might bring some results in beginning, but it will not bring profit in long term.
16. What are the keys to building successful relationships between Affiliates and Affiliate Networks? What are some of the challenges of being an Affiliate Manager/Owner?
I partly answered this question above. It’s all about treating your affiliates as partners and respect them. We all do the same job and need to help each other.
Be polite and keep your promises, respect terms and pay on time. Not many networks and companies in this industry follow these easy rules. That’s why there are so many “1 month” networks out there and so many publishers that ask for faster payments, just because they are afraid to be scammed again and again.
17. If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?
Again it’s about scam and not following agreements. I think, it will be nice if we all have some sort of supervising organization that should qualify all networks in the industry. It should control their behavior regarding terms, finances and management. Something like IAB, but with even more controls and standards. It should also act as a judge in all conflict situation. So, if a network is qualified, you will 100% be sure you will get your report on time, you will get your payment on time and you should worry only about traffic and earning money. Even if it will require to make a deposit to such organization as an insurance. If someone creates it, AdsMain will be a member of it for sure.
18. What do you think about where the industry is going in 2020? Where AdsMain may be going? What advice would you give to affiliates to keep up the pace.
Industry is going mobile, this is true. Supply and demand sides will implement more and more automation and AI features, and it’s good – it will help all sides with time economy and optimization.
Advertisers will set even harder KPIs in all verticals. They are not looking just for any new lead or client as it was before, they want it to show engagement.
All sellers will continue to set strict rules (like FB and Google). Creatives will need to be HQ and more informative then ever. Internet speed grows and it will force everyone to create more complicated solutions to get customer’s attention during those few seconds he sees your ads.
19. What's your favorite movie and why?
I have a lot of favorite movies. Some of them are Interstellar, Inception, Casino (1995). I also like almost everything that is created by Tarantino and Scorsese.
20. Give us a little advice of how to focus on everyday work and not waste time.
This is one of biggest challenges in my life. Focusing is hard when you do something you don’t like, or you do it only because of money.
I’m lucky guy as I love what I do. But even in such situation you need to face with a lot of routine work, that sometimes will bring you down.
When you trapped in routine – my advice is to switch to something else, at least for some small period of time, 1-2 hours or maybe even 1 day. Think about other stuff you need to do in your life. Spend a day with your beloved one, with your child, go to the gym, etc. Just restart your brain and let it relax.
21. Thanks a lot for this interview. If there is anything else, you would like to say to the readers of Affpaying.com now is the time!
If you are already a reader of Affpaying, it means that you want to do something is affiliate marketing. And if so, please continue! During all these years AdsMain paid out millions of dollars to affiliates. Some of them started with generating $40-$60/month and now we pay them $5000-$10000 weekly. This is true and I see such grow myself every month.
Don’t waste your time – try hard and you will succeed.
It was my pleasure to share my knowledge and story with you.
Many thanks to Vlad for sharing time with us and for sharing some great insight tips here! If you have any experience with AdsMain, please write a review for them on the AdsMain review page. Also, if you are an affiliate marketer, affiliate manager or affiliate network CEO and are interested in answering a few questions about you, your network and affiliate marketing, please don't hesitate to drop us a message.