For beginners

mVAS vs. other verticals: What’s the most efficient niche for an affiliate marketer?

As an affiliate marketer, webmaster, or media buyer, you might wonder which vertical is the most effective in your efforts. What will bring you the maximum profit, high conversion rate, and relatively easy workflow? This article compares different niches, from Dating to Crypto to mVAS, and analyzes their pros and cons for an affiliate.

If you’re a beginner affiliate or CPA marketer, read on! After checking out this piece, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whichever vertical to work with. Even if you do have experience in affiliate marketing, this article will help you consider a different niche for your work that you’ve never experimented with.

Verticals for affiliate marketers

A vertical in affiliate marketing is a market, niche, or offer category united by the topic of its services and products. An affiliate decides which offers to promote and ad formats to use based on a vertical.

In our overview, we’ll analyze the following niches that are popular among affiliate marketers:

  • Gambling/Betting
  • Dating
  • Crypto
  • E-commerce
  • Sweepstakes
  • Finance
  • mVAS

For each vertical, we’ll find out the advantages and disadvantages. We’ve marked the pros with green, and the cons with red, for flawless and instant perception.

Gambling/Betting

Online casinos, poker rooms, bookmakers, and other similar services are all part of the gambling/betting vertical. Due to the high demand from consumers in recent years, the niche is trendy among affiliate marketers.

Advertisers pay money for a specific action from a customer. Target actions include deposit funding, registration, a certain number of free spins, and other similar activities.

Advantages of the Gambling vertical

✅ High demand

Gambling has been a prominent vertical for several years by now. In general, people are venturesome and want to try their luck.

✅ Different cooperation schemes

The payments to an affiliate marketer are made in different schemes:

  • RevShare (percentage of casino profits)
  • CPA (click per action — profit for performed actions)
  • % from active deposits
  • RevShare + CPA Hybrid

Disadvantages of the Gambling vertical

Complicated flows and KPIs

Complex flows and KPIs are among the most severe cons of working with gambling offers. Apart from registration, a user is often required to make a deposit.

Strict regulation and prohibitions in many GEOs

Due to the legislation in many countries where gambling services are prohibited or strictly regulated, it isn’t easy to push such offers into advertising platforms and networks.

Approvals and Holds

A common disadvantage of many verticals is the waiting time for your lead to be checked for quality and fraud. Typically, the payback period for a lead takes from a couple of weeks to several months (it depends on the quality of traffic). Even if you pour hundreds of leads daily at registration, but they are not converted into a deposit, the advertiser can reject all traffic and, most likely, close your access to their offer.

Dating

In today’s post-pandemic, unstable world, people often feel lonely and search for new relationships — romantic ones or friendships. That’s why dating apps and websites are so popular among consumers, and affiliate marketers love the vertical due to its high conversions.

The dating vertical can be divided into two areas: Mainstream dating and Adult dating.

Mainstream dating is targeted at those searching for long-term and serious relationships. Tinder and Badoo are examples of apps in the vertical of Mainstream dating. On the other hand, Adult dating is targeted at those interested in non-binding, easy get-togethers. Examples of the apps related to Adult dating are 4club, asiandate, emilydates, and loveeto.

Advantages of the Dating vertical

✅ Number of offers

There are so many offers in the vertical that you don’t have to worry about one offer going unsuccessful. If one offer doesn’t work, you can always run another.

✅ High demand

The audience has a steady demand, meaning you’ll never lack consumers, and there is always someone to target with the offers.

✅ Different payment options

When you work with the vertical, there are four payment options for most of the offers:

  • SOI (pay per registration)
  • DOI (payment for registration and its confirmation by e-mail)
  • RevShare (% of funds spent on the service) — less often
  • PPS (pay per subscription) — even less common

Disadvantages of the Dating vertical

Approvals and holds

The holds in your payouts might take from two weeks to a month since affiliate programs analyze the quality of traffic and how much revenue it will bring.

Crypto

In case you’ve been out of the loop for the past 10 years and haven’t heard about the ubiquity of cryptocurrencies, here’s a word for you. Crypto is a powerful field and will not go anywhere in the coming years. With the most popular digital assets, Bitcoin and Etherium, there is an established flow of exchanges and transactions in many aspects of everyday life.

The Crypto field can be divided into the following areas:

  • Education: Many websites dedicated to cryptocurrencies offer educational training on trade, blockchain technology workflow, and mining.
  • Investments: People who invest in crypto can wait for quite a while for the assets to work and generate profits in the long-term perspective.
  • Trading: The process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies is dedicated to generating profits in the short-term perspective.
  • Auto trading: This is a kind of crypto trading, only for the client this will be done by the robot provided by the broker.

The most suitable traffic sources for the Crypto vertical are Facebook, TikTok, Google and Google Ads, SEO, Push traffic, PopUnder, and YouTube.

Advantages of the Crypto vertical

 High payouts

The payouts for an affiliate marketer are pretty high due to the specifics of the vertical.

✅ Different cooperation schemes

There are three main models of affiliate rewards that work:

  • RevShare (% of an investor’s deposit)
  • CPA (payment for a deposit made by a user)
  • CPL (registration fee)

✅ No holds

You’ll be able to receive a payout as soon as the targeted action is completed. Practice shows that most often, the targeted action is a deposit.

Disadvantages of the Crypto vertical

Complicated flows and KPIs

In Crypto, the chances of losing the lead are very high. This makes the lead path and the flow highly important. The user flow in Crypto looks like this:

Announcement → Layout → Application on the landing page → Call center → Making a deposit.

The minimum deposit in Crypto is high, so many have doubts. If a person has to part with quite a sum, they need decent reasons to do so. For an affiliate marketer, it’s not so easy to force a client to make a deposit.

Strict regulation and prohibitions in many GEOs

Initially, crypto was a completely unregulated environment. It rose to prominence partly due to this freedom, and the prices in the field grew accordingly. The entire system has been developing well for a decade.

Today, attempts at regulation are a spoke in the wheels of a powerful cryptocurrency machine. More and more governments are releasing harsh laws to restrict the crypto market. China banned all cryptocurrency transactions in the country.

E-commerce

E-commerce is a field that deals with selling tangible physical goods online. Nutra, clothes, housing & gardening, goods for hobbies and sports, goods for pets and children, electronics — today, you can buy anything with a couple of clicks.

E-commerce is a profitable niche both for an affiliate marketer and an Advertiser. The latter doesn’t have to put a lot of effort into marketing their products: affiliates will do everything for them and receive their commission.

When it comes to money, payments for a targeted action are charged according to the CPS model (Cost Per Salе). The Publisher receives their money after the buyer picks up the goods at the post office or receives a delivery. Some affiliate networks work on the CPO model (Cost Per Order). However, there are so many fraudsters that the number of PPS with payment for a confirmed application is constantly decreasing.

There are different areas within E-commerce, and the goods are usually categorized into three groups:

  • White goods: These are the products that do not mislead buyers. Electronics, furniture, cosmetics, accessories, and other categories can be classified as white goods.
  • Gray goods: Positive properties of gray goods are greatly exaggerated. Gray goods are replicas of watches, miraculous anti-wrinkle remedies, and other questionable products.
  • Black goods: Goods that mislead people and might even be prohibited by law are black ones. You’ve probably seen an ad or four promoting some means to enlarge organs — these are black goods. In other words, black goods are low-quality fakes.

Advantages of the E-commerce vertical

✅ A ”real” niche

E-commerce offers authentic goods with tangible, practical value, unlike many other verticals. Everyone needs toilet paper, dog food, or a new mobile phone. Working with E-commerce and advertising white goods, you’ll be confident in your efforts and have a clear conscience.

✅ Many affiliate networks

When you work with the E-commerce vertical, you can opt for an abundance of affiliate networks. Even Amazon offers its own affiliate program, meaning you can choose any good from the platform that you find interesting and create an affiliate link.

Disadvantages of the E-commerce vertical

Restrictions on traffic sources

You have to be very careful when choosing your traffic sources. Most affiliate programs in E-commerce don’t allow you to bring traffic from “pirate” websites. What’s more, even push traffic might be restricted. This happens because brands do not want to be associated with gray sales schemes. Affiliate marketers and webmasters have to select more expensive options for promoting products, such as social networks, search engines, and messengers.

Approvals and holds

The E-commerce vertical has one of the most extended holds in payouts — from a month. The main reason for long holds is cookie-stuffing when someone with access to a large traffic volume slips cookies from different stores to all visitors. For example, cookies are stored in the browser for a month, and this period is quite enough for an average online store.

During this period, a user will likely make a purchase in one of those stores. An online store will consider that the buyer was brought in by a fraudster who masquerades as a Publisher and will pay a reward to the same fraudster.

Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes is the vertical of online lotteries. Ads such as «Subscribe to win an iPhone» are examples of the sweepstakes niche. To participate, a user needs to leave their contact information (their name, e-mail, or mobile phone number.)

The winner of a lottery is chosen randomly, which is why so many people want to participate: everyone believes in their luck and wants to test it. Additionally, users do not need to pay for participation in most scenarios. They enter their contact details and hope for the best without risking anything.

Four main flows are present in Sweepstake offers:

  • SOI (single opt-in): A user needs to enter their contact information in the form on a website and click “ok” or “participate.”
  • DOI (double opt-in): Practically the same as SOI, but a user needs to confirm their email address.
  • CC-submit (credit card submit): A user needs to confirm their bank card details. To do this, they subscribe to an advertiser’s service for a symbolic amount of $1.
  • PIN-submit: Same as CC-submit, but a user subscribes to a service using their mobile phone and confirms the subscription via an SMS.

Advantages of the Sweepstakes vertical

✅ Conversion number

Due to the high popularity of sweepstakes in general, you might expect high conversion rates. In most other verticals, a user must make a purchase to convert. Sweepstakes, on the other hand, offer relatively easy flow from a user’s perspective. A user doesn’t need to pay for participation or is asked for a symbolic amount.

A profitable vertical

Since many people want to participate, working with the vertical can bring you good profits.

Disadvantages of the Sweepstakes vertical

Restrictions on traffic sources

The abundance of fraud traffic from publishers forces affiliate programs to check the sources with more attention.

Approvals and holds

The main disadvantage of the vertical is the lengthy verification process of billing and chargebacks. Banks often block payments from users due to fraud by publishers.

Finance

The Finance vertical is one of the most profitable and actively developing verticals. You can see banners that advertise mortgages and loans both offline and online. The population is increasing in financial literacy, and there is an interest in investing and receiving passive income. Trading, brokerage, and other financial services are experiencing a real boom. 

Types of financial offers:

  • Credit cards;
  • Loans;
  • Microloans;
  • Binary options;
  • Consumer loans;
  • Banking services;
  • Brokerage services;
  • Deposits;
  • Insurance.

Advantages of the Finance vertical

✅ High payouts

Investing your time and efforts in the Finance vertical can bring you decent profits.

✅ Diverse target audience

From desperate people trying to make ends meet to the ones who want to invest, the Finance vertical includes a variety of potential clients to target.

Disadvantages of the Finance vertical

Restrictions on traffic sources

In the financial vertical, it’s impossible to use a number of sources, such as Adult traffic and motivated traffic, and there’s a prohibition of contextual advertising directly to the brand.

Complicated flows and KPIs

Only a complex multistage flow can bring you a lead. It usually looks like this: 

Announcement → Filling out the form on the landing page → Announcement → Filling out the form on the landing page → Call center → Agreement.

The reason for such a complex flow is banks’ caution in the approval of transactions.

Approvals and holds

Big payouts for offers have the opposite side. Traffic quality check takes up to two months. Banks have systems for assessing a person’s solvency. These systems discover many indicators that cannot be foreseen when attracting traffic, which affects the approval.

mVAS

The mVAS vertical is a niche of mobile content offers or services a user subscribes to with the help of their mobile phone and the DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) technology. When a user opts for such services, the price is paid directly from their mobile phone account instead of a bank card.

A client has an opportunity to subscribe to various services that provide access to video and music content, horoscopes, dating, legal adult content, courses, and so on. This abundance of services allows an affiliate marketer to use different traffic, from Gambling to Adult.

The mVAS vertical is usually divided into two niches: Adult and Mainstream, which, in turn, might be divided into a dozen more categories.

The clear advantage of the mobile Adult niche will be that the category is regulated by the laws of different countries and mobile operators. “Can the Adult niche be legal?” We answer: “Yes! It’s possible in mVAS vertical.”

At the same time, in the mVAS vertical, there’s no concept of strict regulation compared to other verticals.

There are several types of flows in mVAS, which are the paths a user takes to become a subscriber to a service. If you’re interested, read our article on types of flows in mVAS.

Advantages of the mVAS vertical

✅ No approvals and holds

One of the critical advantages of mVAS is the instant withdrawal of funds from a subscriber’s account with DCB technology. An advertiser never makes holds. In addition, they often make daily payments in affiliate programs focused on mVAS, which significantly simplifies the life of affiliates with no large turnover required.

✅ Simple user flows

Even the most complicated flows in mVAS are way more accessible than in other niches.

✅ Easy and quick to test 

The entry barrier in mVAS is one of the lowest in the CPA market. This is certainly a plus for both beginners and field professionals who burned out and decided to change their vertical and try something new. Advertising campaigns are easy to set.

✅ Audience volume 

The modern world is home to 7.9 billion people, and more than 6 billion own smartphones. The potential audience that might be interested in your offer is vast.

To sum it up

There are no bad verticals, and you can work with anything you like the most. Each vertical has its unique advantages, while disadvantages are often repetitive. 

If you can’t decide which niche to choose to start working with, consider the vertical with the least number of disadvantages. To make your life easier, we’ve created a table with all the pros and cons:

We’ve carried out a detailed analysis of various verticals and can reliably say that mVAS takes the first place. This vertical is the easiest to learn and launch, both for beginners and experienced affiliate marketers. No overregulation by laws in different countries, no serious pitfalls — this makes the field so attractive.

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