The agony of choice: CPA, CPL, CPI, CPS, RevShare. How to choose the optimal payment model for your traffic?


Greetings! Many webmasters, especially beginners or those who are new to the Gambling and Betting verticals, often find themselves at a loss when starting out with selecting a payment model and rate for their offer. In this article, I want to lay out for you a step-by-step algorithm for choosing an offer with optimal conditions for your traffic 🙂

What do we have today?

CPI – this is a traffic payment model for app installs. It is used by advertisers who have their own native app. This model is not very common, but the numbers for payouts can vary from $2 to $5 for Android traffic and from $4 to $7 for iOS.

CPL – this payment model is more common than CPI, and such offers are encountered much more frequently. Payouts can reach up to $20 for a registration in TOP GEOs, but it’s worth considering that most casinos operate under a license and have very cumbersome registration forms with 6-10-15 or more fields, which reduces the traffic conversion into registrations by an average of three times. But even with such conversion, with such high payouts, it’s possible to maintain a decent ROI of 100%.

CPA – the most popular and widespread model of payment for gambling offers for deposits. Getting deposits is much harder than simple registrations, hence the payment for such a goal can reach $400+. Traffic for such offers is assessed by advertisers on many different parameters, and the CPA rate (and CPL, by the way, too) also varies depending on the source of traffic you use for purchasing. Traffic from low-quality sources, such as teaser networks, push notifications, clickunder, adult exchanges, is paid at a low rate. Higher quality traffic from social networks is bought at average rates. The highest CPA rates are given to those who use SEO, contextual advertising, ASO as traffic sources.

CPS – in the context of our niche, I mean by CPS a payment in the form of a percentage of the deposits made by your players. In my experience, I’ve only encountered one such offer for Russia. It was also some kind of volcano with a 50% payment to the webmaster from ALL new deposits made by his players. From all – that is, from both the first and repeated ones. The offer didn’t last long with such tasty conditions, only a few months, after which it disappeared without a trace and I haven’t seen anything similar since.

I have one logical assumption as to why this might have happened. Knowing a little about the underbelly of casinos, I understand that not a single product, except maybe the most shady, can afford to give such a percentage of “dirty,” so to speak, profits to partners without losses for themselves. Because it’s strange, as if they didn’t take into account that people can win and withdraw money, plunging the casino into a full deficit.

If you see such an offer – be vigilant! Most likely, it is a very unstable platform with amateur owners who will soon collapse.

RevShare – this is one of the first payment models that casino affiliate programs offered their webmasters. Payouts in RevShare vary greatly and often depend on whether the casino has a license.

When there’s no license, and the casino can set a lower return for players – they usually pay webmasters more, as the casino’s percentage of profit is higher in this case. Such products can pay up to 75% of profit to webmasters. Licensed casinos are a different story – the return of their slots is regulated by gaming software providers, and here the casino’s profit can be much lower than in the first case. Because of this, the maximum permissible percentage of payouts in RevShare for such casinos is usually around 50%.

About the RevShare payment model, it’s important to know something very important – there are two concepts GGR and NJR:

GGR – this is a financial indicator that determines the gross revenues of a gambling establishment.

NGR – this is a financial indicator that determines the net gaming revenue of the casino.

In the terms of offers, such details, of course, are often not advertised, but will teach its kitties the right things, and here’s one of them – ask your manager which formula is used to calculate the percentage of revshare on your offer. Do this right away, to avoid further questions and delays.

Arbitrageurs, newbies, and not so new, often fall for the indicated large percentages in payouts by the offer, but they don’t understand that 30% GGR can give a higher return than 70% NJR. This applies to both betting offices and casinos.

Hybrid offers – such offers are not very common in the market now, but there was a moment when it became fashionable to mix different payment models within one offer, for example: CPL + CPA, CPA + RevShare, CPL + CPA + RevShare. Usually, on such offers, the rate for each payment link is significantly less than in solo offers. For example, not $5 – $45 – 60%, as it might seem at first glance, but $2 – $20 – 10%. On the one hand, such a new payment model once attracted quite a few interested webmasters, on the other hand, everyone quickly realized that the usual solo CPA, CPL, or RevShare are still more profitable, both in the short term and in the long run.

Advertisers usually set rates on offers based on the average conversion, and they do so in such a way that regardless of the payment model used, they spend approximately the same, predictable amount of money on their advertising campaigns. That is, if your conversion is close to this average value from which the advertiser made his calculation, then for you, in essence, all conditions for rates on his offers will be more or less the same.

Another thing is when the conversion of your traffic is significantly different from the average values, then you need to think carefully about which offers will be more profitable to work with.

In this case, you need to start from the following indicators:

CR in registrations – strongly depends on the type of your traffic source, and here it’s difficult to say any specific number. One thing I can say for sure, if it’s not there – then we will not work with this offer any further.

CR in first deposits – a key indicator for us. Most advertisers rely on an average figure of 10%.

CR in repeated deposits – this indicator depends heavily on the actions of the advertiser, but also on your working approach, on how targeted your traffic is and whether you use additional pre-conversion methods. A normal level of repeated deposits in casinos relative to first deposits is 70-100% at the end of the first week of traffic dumping, and 150% in subsequent days, in betting this figure is much higher, and can reach a ratio of 200% at the end of the first week and up to 500% in the following.

Number of bets – thanks to this indicator, you can make conclusions about how actively your depositors play. Understandably, the more, the better!

Total amount of deposits – allows you to assess the scale of contributions from your players.

Amount of withdrawals – an important indicator for those who plan to work with RevShare first and foremost. The more withdrawals – the less earnings for the webmaster. It’s quite difficult to influence this in a casino, but in betting, it’s quite possible to create a situation where there are fewer withdrawals from your traffic… Well, you understand what I mean 🙂

So, what to do with all this now? Suppose we have an offer that can accept traffic for all types of payment models, which one to choose?

We test and see… xD

If our conversion from registrations to first deposits is more than 10%, for example, 20%, then it will definitely be more profitable for us to pour for deposits than for registrations, because on this offer our ROI will be approximately twice as high.

Why? Because, based on the average conversion of 10%, the advertiser will set a rate for registration, for example, $5, and for a deposit, for example, $50.

If we get 100 registrations under the CPL model, we will receive a $500 payout.

If we get 10 deposits from 100 registrations (the average conversion by which the advertiser calculated) – our payout will also be $500. But if we get at least 11 deposits… or 12,13,14…20 from 100 registrations, then our payout for CPA will noticeably grow compared to CPL.

If you see that your players make a lot of bets, make large deposits, make many repeated deposits, then most likely it makes sense to think about switching your traffic to the RevShare payment model, because in this case the advertiser will pay you much more than for CPA or especially CPL. You will need to stock up on some working capital, but the output will be worth it.

A few more important points that you should take into account when choosing an offer

Regardless of the payment model, you also need to soberly assess your strengths according to the following points:

Conversion limits – some offers have a minimum conversion limit. This was introduced because the advertiser cannot analyze traffic on too small a volume. We are already building statistics on the law of small numbers… But we can’t reduce them to 0 and analyze individual conversions. On some offers the limit is quite insignificant, 20 registrations or 5 deposits for the test. Somewhere this limit is higher, for example, 100 registrations or 25 deposits for the test.

The challenge lies in the fact that both the “small” and “large” limits mentioned in the examples are actually very small… The best option is to test the entire traffic within 1-3 days, a maximum of a week. Only in this case, you have almost a 100% chance of meeting the KPI and establishing yourself in working with the advertiser. If such a small volume of traffic is “spread out” over a longer period of 10-15-30 days, then its quality will be significantly worse than in the case of a quick test. If your volume is very small – it’s better to choose an offer with a smaller limit.

Baseline – sometimes payment is not credited for the minimum deposit possible on the platform, but for a certain amount of deposits made by the player. Conversions on such offers can cost 30-50% more, but a baseline over $10 reduces the initial conversion into deposits by about 20%, and a baseline over $15 can reduce conversions by more than 50%. It is profitable to run such offers for those who have a large portion of their traffic making large deposits, for example, those who do SEO, or run contextual advertising for brands – this will work. But traffic from FB at best consists of 60% minimum deposits, or even all 80%, so with this scenario, it might not pay off.

Qualification – qualification is something beyond the baseline or in its pure form. As a qualification, the number of bets played (wager in the casino) is often used. The condition may look like this: payment is credited to the webmaster when a person makes a deposit and plays 10 bets. The presence of qualification does not make the offer bad. All this is necessary for the advertiser to protect themselves from fraud. At the same time, the qualification parameters are always achievable for the webmaster and are not impossible (there are no advertisers with unachievable qualifications at If you are pouring targeted traffic, then meeting the qualification is not difficult.

Statistics updates – due to the uniqueness of integrations with advertisers, it turns out that in our system, statistics for different offers may be displayed with varying delays. In most cases, updates occur in real-time, but there are also offers that send postbacks on conversions once every 4 hours or once a day. If you work with a large volume of traffic, when you need to immediately track and analyze its quality – such offers are probably not suitable for you. On the other hand, if there is no alternative offer, you can manage by requesting statistics from the advertiser’s system through your personal manager.

KPI – I have written quite a few words on this topic. Here I just want to mention that there are offers with more complex KPIs, and there are simple ones. If you work with a source where the quality of traffic is not the best, I do not advise you to aim for offers with very high stakes, because they will also have a very high KPI for deposits and repeated deposits. Traffic is rarely completely rejected, except in cases where the traffic is completely inactive and more likely to be fraud.

Hold and payment terms – clarify with your personal manager in advance how payments are made on your offer, so that later there are no surprises like: you poured traffic on Monday and are waiting for payment this Friday, then you pour all the money on Thursday, and the next day it turns out that the advertiser will analyze the traffic for this week at the beginning of the next week, and accordingly will pay it only next Friday…

Hold period – this is also very important. If you have a little turnover, it will be difficult for you to pour on offers with a 30-day hold, it’s better to choose an option with a hold up to 14 days. On some offers, under certain conditions from you, it may be possible to reduce the hold period and make early payments. It is worth clarifying this possibility with your personal manager for each specific offer.

Overall, that’s all. I hope this article will help you choose the right offer that will bring you the highest ROI. And to make this choice without error, our managers will help you. They are always ready to assist you in any issue, tell you about all the nuances of any offer, and select the most optimal one for you in all respects.

Work with professionals, pour in the plus at =ˆ.ˆ=


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