TrafficStars Review: Premium Ad Network (2017 Update)

This TrafficStars review was created by two amazing Mobidea Crew members and it’s really gonna help you earn money on this ad network!

Have you been thinking about how to make it rain in the adult arena in such a competitive affiliate marketing world?

Then you’ve gotta start reading our super recent Ad Network Reviews to make sure you’ve got the info you need.

Today, we’re gonna carry on with our Ad Network Review series!

Ready? Start reading our amazing TrafficStars review!

In this article, we’ll tell you about the general features and types of traffic you can find on TrafficStars.

Plus: we’ll teach you how to launch a campaign, as well as review the reporting and optimization tools of TrafficStars.

After reading this review, you should have a good understanding of what the platform is all about and become ready to get things going.

Let’s get started, shall we?

TrafficStars Review: Overview & Features

TrafficStars is positioned as a self-serve premium ad network for high-quality adult traffic.

If you already tried working with TrafficStars before but were not admitted because of not having a registered company, we have good news:

The platform is now open to registration for individuals!

In order to get approved, there might just be some additional documentation that you have to provide.

No matter if you’re an individual or a company, you will get an assigned account manager right away.

These managers will help you understand which are the ad network’s top segments and spots, provide you with the top bids to be successful, and will give you many other useful clues.

Regarding ad formats: TrafficStars supports six banner sizes and popunders.

TrafficStars offers worldwide traffic, with a notable concentration of high volumes, especially in tier 1 GEOs.

Even so, you can also get other classic low-payout GEOs such as India, Brazil or Thailand showing high volumes.

The number of impressions and available ad spots can vary a lot, depending on the carriers and ad formats.

Keep an eye on your favorite segments, since the available prime spots can change over time with new spots being added (or eventually lost due to the decisions of publishers.)

You should always talk to your Account Manager to get the freshest numbers before launching a campaign.

Why?

Because the ad network’s traffic estimator is inaccurate, to say the least!

A higher number of premium sites also means tough restrictions on banners.

Many of the real premium spots (e.g. several spots on xHamster) don’t allow any fake players or text buttons.

This is where you should really be in sync with your Account Manager so as to get useful insights, since they can give you this information beforehand and avoid some frustration about rejected banners!

TrafficStars has also implemented a new feature in their campaign editorial process, where after reviewing, your banners and landing pages are flagged according to the type of content that is not allowed on each spot.

This will allow you to get a better feeling of which page allows what kind of promotion methods.

Let’s now get down to business and dive into the campaign creation process.

Campaign Creation & Tracking

Just like the whole platform’s interface, the campaign creation process is equally easy and intuitive and as simple as possible.

This allows you to get your things organized, making sure you can monetize faster.

trafficstars campaign creation

Settings

Select your campaign’s general features: Campaign name, Categories (to start, we recommend you select “All”), Ad format, Country and Ad Group (to organize your campaigns.)

Targeting

This option offers all the basics you need to get to create a nice targeting.

Related Content: Targeting Campaigns: How to Get All the Juice? (Part 1)

In more detail, you can target by:

  • Languages
  • Devices
  • Operating Systems
  • Browsers
  • Carriers
  • IP ranges

Scheduling

Just like other networks, TrafficStars allows dayparting and gives you the chance to schedule the dates in which you want your campaign to run – always nice to have these options!

Audience

The most interesting part is the websites targeting, or “Audience” as it’s called on TrafficStars.

You can choose between a classic RON campaign or a Prime one.

Prime is the cream of the crop: top websites + spots combination!

It’s the best in the market. Very appealing and definitely worth testing.

Don’t hesitate and “annoy” your Account Manager, asking for the top bids for those premium spots and the banners compliance.

Apparently, some of those spots allow you to go for more “aggressive” banners.

In that case, we suggest you create two separate campaigns: one for the more restricted spots, and a second one for the others.

You can upload all your creatives on the “Ads” tab.

Pricing

You’ve got two common pricing models available: CPC and CPM.

You’ll either pay a fixed amount of $ for each occurrence (Standard – available for CPC and CPM), or you can make use of their Dynamic CPM (SmartCPM), where you select your maximum CPM and their algorithm will adjust the actual price according to your competition in real time.

You can select the SmartCPM option by clicking on the “Dynamic” button next to the CPM bid you’re entering.

As an advertiser, we have no info regarding our position while launching the campaign – and not even while running it.

The small campaign summary (see image below) claims to help us estimate it, showing the total traffic available – which is usually never accurate for the chosen targeting.

Plus: the “Top CPM” = 0.03 $ shown below is the suggestion we got when targeting a BR TIM 300 x 100 Prime campaign for the xHamster Mobile header.

Once confirmed without an AM, it turned out that the actual top bid was much higher.

trafficstars campaign summary

Final tip: once your campaign is fine-tuned and ready to kick off, save the ID and give it to your Account Manager – it’s gonna be approved much faster.

In case you need to change something, you’re gonna get some straightforward feedback!

Ads

When uploading your banners, TrafficStars allows you to use a very interesting built-in “mini” tracking tool.

You can use it to split test your banners with assigned priorities and different prelanders.

This is a super helpful solution, in case you don’t already have a tracking service.

Tracking

If you’re already using a tracking service, the good thing is that TrafficStars is probably already there with all the predefined settings for Traffic Sources – time saving, indeed!

In case you don’t use a tracker yet, here’s a quick guide on how to set the postback directly with Mobidea: on every advertiser’s account in the “Tracking & API” section, you’ll see a short text regarding the link you need to use, just like the one below:

tracking api trafficstars

The framed link http://tsyndicate.com/api/v1/cpa/action/{{DATA3}} is the one you paste on the Mobidea Postback setting, just like in the following example:

mobidea postback trafficstars

After you save the changes, don’t forget to add the dynamic parameters you’d like to track in your Smartlink/Offer link.

As an example, we’re gonna track the campaign ID on data1 and creative ID on track2.

Then, at the end, you’ve gotta add the data3={click_id}, just as shown below:

http://www.videosondemand.eu/?sl=000000-000×0&data1={campaign_id}&data2={creative_id}&data3={click_id}

Reports & Optimization

After successfully launching your campaigns, you’ll want to keep track of their performance.

You can access a full list of all your campaigns from your Dashboard (the blue button) or by clicking on the “Advertiser” button on the top of your account menu and selecting “Campaign Listing.”

campaign listing trafficstars

There, you can check an overview of the stats of all your campaigns for the dates you wish to see.

One flaw of the UI is that you can’t choose to see only a certain campaign “Group” right away.

This means that – if you prefer to classify all your campaigns by the GEOs you’re running, for example (like we do on Mobidea) – you might wanna make use of the good old search function on your browser (Ctrl + F on a Windows PC) to jump to the GEO you wanna check first.

Apart from this detail, the interface is quite user-friendly with color coding for approved, paused, and rejected campaigns.

In “Actions”, you can move to the stats (the little bar-chart symbol), pause/activate, edit, clone or archive your campaign.

This is easy to navigate and pretty straightforward.

However, we aren’t fans of the part where you can clone a campaign.

When do you clone a campaign?

Usually, when you intend to whitelist some spots of an existing campaign, or if you wanna launch a very similar campaign for a different carrier, for example.

Related Content: Whitelists: Get The Most of Each Website

For this purpose, you might want to insert a note on the campaign’s name.

No can do, sir!

Impossible!

Why? Because the name of a cloned campaign is automatically created by the system and can’t be changed afterwards.

trafficstars campaign listing overview

Another part that should be noted at this point is the specific case in which you choose to edit your campaign and unselect some of the ad spots you were targeting (because they’re highly unprofitable).

What happens, then? The campaign will be resubmitted for approval, even if you don’t change any banners, etc.

You should definitely give a shout out to your Account Manager so as to speed up the process.

This is how you make sure you’re not missing any valuable traffic.

The provided stats in each campaign are pretty straightforward and the interface is easy to navigate.

You’ve got the option to choose the timeframe you wanna look at and check stats by ad spot, country, creative, site, device type, OS, browser, language and carrier.

There’s also a cool graph where you can choose which two parameters you wanna see – the standard is impressions and price (total daily cost.)

trafficstars graph

WARNING: there’s no way to see hourly stats on TrafficStars.

In case you’re planning to perform a dayparting, check your tracker or Mobidea’s stats.

Generally, TrafficStars allows you to see useful stats for your campaigns.

The network is all about making several individual premium spots work, though.

This means it can be tricky to scale up (as far as volumes are concerned.)

Therefore, you should use a tracker (such as Voluum) to dig even deeper into the performance of parameters within the various premium spots, and eventually create your whitelists to squeeze your sweet spots for as much money as possible.

TrafficStars Verdict

TrafficStars is definitely an ad network you should add to your list of adult networks. It offers a very clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate.

With several well-known premium sites, the ad network offers good quality and great volumes of traffic.

Remember: individual volumes can depend on the segment and ad format.

Moreover, there’s no functioning traffic estimator.

Even so, this missing part is more than compensated by the effort of the dedicated Account Managers, who’ll usually provide all the data you need.

Banner regulations are a bit tough. This is where you should work with your Account Manager and come up with solutions.

Learn More: The Difference Between Misleading Banners and Non-Misleading Banners

You can also think about launching several campaigns in one segment, depending on the individual restrictions of the premium spots.

In this network, scaling up can be a bit tricky, since the performances among the available premium spots seem to vary a lot.

This means it’s all about finding as many gold mines as possible and squeezing them as much as you can by working on banners, operating systems, etc.

Believe us: there are ways to find those sweet spots and TrafficStars has got a whole lotta cash waiting for you to grab!

TrafficStars: Offers & Verticals

  • Ad Types: Banners, Popunder
  • Cost model(s): CPM, CPC
  • Verticals: Adult

TrafficStars: Payment & Investment

  • Minimum deposit: 100$
  • Payment methods: PayPal, Paxum, Wire Transfer

Related Content: Affiliate Payment Methods: The Definitive Master Guide

TrafficStars: Support

  • Personal Account Manager: yes
  • Support Response speed: reply within 24 hours
  • Support rating: Perfect support!
  • Contact methods: email or online helpdesk
  • Contact: support@trafficstars.com

Editor’s Note: this awesome TrafficStars review was written by Karina Bielawska, a Polish Media Buying Sensei who knows more about offers than should be legally allowed, and Sara Moritz, an Austrian Affiliate Manager who gets Mobidea Crew members to make it rain without pain every single day!

Review
Summary
  • Review
  • Summary

8.5

Interface

7

Campaign Setup

8

Traffic Quality

7

Traffic Volume

9

Stats & Reports

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Dedicated AM providing a lot of useful insights
  • Good premium spots
  • Decent stats provided directly on the platform
  • Easy tracking setup

Cons

  • No indication for bidding position on the platform
  • Inaccurate traffic and top bid estimator
  • No Smart Bidding
  • No hourly stats on the platform