Case study: Rise of ROI from -23% to 135% due to lead magnet pumping

5 min

When it comes to lead magnets, what do we really know? It’s clear that their primary objective is to engage and warm up users, offering bonuses, promos, or other incentives before nudging them towards conversion. In the realm of traffic arbitrage, lead magnets serve as the creative and preseason strategies that set the stage for success. In this enlightening case study, we will delve into the less obvious aspects of optimizing lead magnets, the art of crafting creatives and their content, and provide you with a real-world example showcasing the impact of two distinct approaches.

The First Test: Precision through Audience Analysis

In our first test, we take a meticulous approach by collecting creatives through an in-depth analysis of the target audience. We explore various angles and leverage data from the primary sources to construct compelling lead magnets that truly resonate with our audience.

The Second Test: A Simpler Path

In contrast, the second test opts for a more straightforward route. Here, we assemble creatives as they are, without extensive audience analysis or the use of analytical tools. This test serves as a comparison to assess the effectiveness of each approach.

Selecting the Offer

To conduct this study, we’ve chosen one of the most common offers available within the Adsterra CPA affiliate program. This particular offer pertains to sweeps in Germany, using CPL SOI, and offers payment for each registration without requiring confirmation. The landing page features a concise questionnaire with three questions, followed by a pop-up window prompting email entry. Upon completion, the user triggers a conversion that adds to their rewards.

It’s worth noting that this offer is regularly updated and continues to demonstrate remarkable conversion rates. With incentives such as a 1000 euro Amazon gift card, a Samsung S21, and a Samsung Watch, it’s no wonder this offer remains attractive to users.

Payouts for this offer in Germany are set at $2.88 per CPL SOI.


As mentioned earlier, our focus for this study revolves around testing different approaches to creatives and assessing their impact on campaign success. Here’s how we plan to execute the study:

We’ll allocate a budget of $250 for the test.

Two identical campaigns will be launched on the SSP platform.

Both campaigns will undergo equal optimization, with some variations expected due to potential differences in source performance.

In one campaign, we will actively test, modify, and add creatives. In the other campaign, we will maintain the original creatives with minimal intervention throughout the testing duration, except for necessary optimization.

Initial campaign launches will target mobile devices and tablets, with the possibility of a separate desktop campaign as needed.

We recommend setting a minimum bid of $0.008 per click, as this test is anticipated to generate a surge in traffic, with an estimated 16k clicks per day (though the actual numbers may vary due to dynamic traffic patterns).

With this comprehensive approach, we aim to uncover the nuances of lead magnets, enabling us to fine-tune our strategies and ultimately enhance the success of our marketing campaigns.

Approach #1

We’ve got a $250 budget, and it’s crucial that we spend it wisely. So, what’s our plan?

First and foremost, let’s carefully select the creatives for this campaign. As I mentioned earlier, the creative content, or “creo,” is essentially the heart of your landing page. It’s essential that your creative aligns with the landing page to avoid disappointing users. Mismatched creatives can lead to a high click-through rate (CTR) but a low conversion rate (CR).

A quick tip: When designing your creatives, remember that the PNG image background should be black. This enhances contrast in the creative preview, which will be displayed with a blank background. This simple adjustment can significantly impact the effectiveness of your creatives.

I’ll also share some examples of creatives I’ve personally created using the updated Social Bar from Adsterra.

One of the advantages of the Sweepstakes vertical is its thematic flexibility. You can launch creatives that align with specific events, creating a surge in demand. To do this effectively, I recommend using Canva at a basic level and having a subscription to access stock images. Alternatively, invest some extra time in finding the necessary PNG files.

Don’t forget the option of freelance platforms, where you can commission creatives based on your brief, prepared in advance. It’s a practical way to ensure you have the creatives you need.

The spy tools I mentioned earlier come in handy here, as they allow you to stay informed about the most popular Sweepstake offers at any given time.

Keep in mind that image converters may slightly crop the edges of your image, so centering it is crucial to avoid losing the essential parts of the picture.

Proofread your text translation multiple times, as it has a significant impact on the final CTR. Neglecting this aspect could result in a substantial loss of traffic.

Ban placements with bot traffic, and rely on your previous experience with platforms, as well as small budget testing. If the DSP platform has a questionable reputation, consider blacklisting it.

Start building whitelists from the very beginning. If you notice excellent performance, add a placement to the whitelist. In the future, this will allow you to run campaigns with custom bids, saving both time and money.

Communication with your manager is key. Sharing your progress and seeking advice from your manager can greatly benefit your campaign. Managers are invested in your success, and their insights can be pleasantly surprising.

Approach #2

We had $250 left, and we decided to allocate it for an unconventional approach test. However, I must emphasize that this is NOT a recommended strategy. It’s essential to understand that this approach represents a misguided and wasteful use of resources.

In this approach, we intentionally create mediocre creatives, utilizing images with low resolution, poorly translated text, and even foregoing pre-land or providing an entirely subpar one.

This approach is the complete opposite of the traditional method. The creatives intentionally deviate from the landing page’s content, and the approach is fundamentally flawed.

We’ll limit ourselves to just two creatives, and we won’t make any changes or optimizations.

The problem with these creatives lies in their emptiness and intrusiveness. They lack meaningful content and push away the audience rather than drawing them in.

The essence of a lead magnet hinges on the synergy between creatives, pre-land, and the landing page. They should form a cohesive and compelling funnel that guides the user towards conversion.

In this case, the creatives are destined for failure, and the results will reflect this unfortunate choice.

Optimizing Your Campaign

Before embarking on your campaign, it’s crucial to take strategic steps to enhance your chances of success. Here are the key considerations:

  • Ban Bot-Prone DSPs: Start by blacklisting all Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) known for bot-generated traffic. You can easily find this information in publicly available sources. Using DSPs with a bot traffic history is a surefire path to campaign failure. Consider using them only if you’re confident that the traffic source is genuine, non-aggressive, and complies with the platform’s regulations;
  • Testing for Maximum Efficiency: Testing is a fundamental aspect of your campaign. It enables you to quickly filter out irrelevant sources, fine-tune your feeds and creatives, and optimize your strategy;
  • Building a White List: After a thorough testing phase, you can confidently compile a white list of placements that consistently deliver conversions. Focus your efforts on these high-performing sources;
  • Creative Selection: Eliminate creatives with low Click-Through Rates (CTR). At the outset, it’s advisable to start with a set of 10-15 creatives to avoid hasty additions. Consider using A/B testing with entirely different approaches, experimenting with diverse titles and descriptions. Utilize high-quality PNG images for your creatives, and seek inspiration from spy tools and available links whenever possible.

Post-Optimization Steps

After the initial phase, shift your focus to post-optimization strategies:

  • Target Mobile Devices: Concentrate your efforts on mobile devices, with the potential inclusion of tablets for future scaling;
  • Specific OS Versions: Target Android versions 4.0 and iOS versions 9.0 and above. Consider splitting them into two distinct campaigns for simplified optimization and customization of creatives to align with device system notifications;
  • Competitive Bidding: Set a competitive bid of $0.008 per click to maximize your campaign’s reach;
  • Desktop Campaigns: Desktop campaigns for scaling should be initiated in separate campaigns. Consider the separation based on the operating system after conducting the primary tests, unless budget constraints necessitate an earlier split;
  • Disable Underperforming Creatives: Continuously monitor and deactivate creatives with low CTRs and CRs;
  • Adapt to Challenges: In cases of severe underperformance, don’t hesitate to pause the campaign and undertake a complete replacement of creatives;
  • Postback and Hard Conversion: Prior to launching, ensure that your postback is in place, and collaborate closely with your manager to run a hard conversion;


Approach #1

  • Total Adsterra expenditure: $250;
  • Total revenue: $587.5;
  • Profit: $337.5;
  • ROI: 135%.

Approach #2

  • Total Adsterra expenditure: $250;
  • Total revenue: $193;
  • Profit: $-57;
  • ROI: -22.8%.


The results are a testament to the profound impact of creative elements on campaign performance. In the second approach, where creativity was lacking, the expected outcome was a dearth of conversions. Succeeding in digital marketing demands drive and initiative, as this case exemplifies.

This example offers a comprehensive breakdown of how creatives influence a campaign’s success and its future performance. To thrive in this dynamic environment, always remain open to testing new approaches, seek event-specific offers, fine-tune your campaign optimization, and keep a vigilant eye on the statistics. Thank you for joining us on this enlightening journey!

Like it! Share with your friends!

RateMeUp Team

We’re not just a group of anonymous affiliate marketing experts; we’re a close-knit team that’s been working together for over a decade. Our journey began at the inception of this industry, where we laid the foundation for the very first verticals. If you’ve ever been intrigued by traffic arbitrage case studies, chances are you’ve already come across our work.