Don't Invent - Spy! - spy tool for affiliate campaign
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Don’t Invent – Spy!

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome before deploying any kind of marketing campaign is choosing where to advertise and what the ad needs to look like. Many affiliates, especially at the start of their marketing careers, can get bogged down in the details. Procrastination is a significant hurdle for many of us. Too much time is spent analyzing what you want to do instead of optimizing what you’ve already done.

Any marketing campaign has a testing phase. This testing phase is an absolute necessity unless, of course, you’re just cloning a campaign you already know is making a profit.

This testing phase is vital to the success of any campaign. The testing phase provides the data necessary to fine-tune your campaigns and campaign creatives. Think of the testing phase as an exercise in buying data, and you’ll get a much better idea of what it’s about.

Our industry boils down to finding what works where and replicating that information in your own campaigns—an excellent starting point to finding this out comes through using a spy tool.

Spy tools come in various shapes, sizes, and complexity levels, but the basic idea is the same across all of them. Discovering what your competitors are advertising and where.

These spy tools essentially spider billions of ads every day, discovering all competitor campaigns’ elements. The creatives they are using, where they are advertising, the languages, their landing pages, and even the campaign duration.

Spy tools can access multiple types of traffic networks, including:

  • PPC
  • Push Ads
  • Pop Ads
  • Native Ads
  • Drop-Shipping

While some will tend to be more specialized and concentrate on specific traffic networks like Facebook ads, for example, others, including my personal favorite, Anstrex, cover a much more comprehensive range of traffic sources.

Spy On Your Competition

Here’s an example from a general query in Anstrex. I’ve applied two filters to this search, Ad Network, and Ad Duration. While there are several other filters I can apply to the search, the two I’ve selected will serve to illustrate the point.

From the search result, I see the following information:

  • Ad Network – in this case, ExoClick
  • Creatives – including images, icon, and ad text
  • Targeting – in this case, Desktop (iOS and Windows) and Android Mobile devices
  • Geo-targeting – multiple countries for this ad
  • Tracker – Binom
  • Ad Duration – from May 27th, 2019 to January 27th, 2021

While this isn’t an absolute rule (some campaigns are simply run for branding), it’s safe to assume that an ad running for this time duration must be making a profit.

From a simple search in my Spy tool, I know the creatives a competitor is using, where they are advertising, and once I dig down deeper into the search, the actual landing page my competitor is using.

This cuts research time down to a minimum and lets me deploy my campaigns that much faster. Why try to re-invent the wheel when you can just use what someone has already done?

Forget Expensive VPNs

Most, if not all, affiliate offers will have some kind of geo-targeting. Chances are, if you use an IP that is in a different location from the offer target, you’ll see a different landing page or even a completely different offer. To view the actual landing page, you need to change your IP to match the offer target country. That calls for a VPN. Even a basic subscription to a VPN service will be around $10 a month. While this isn’t a considerable amount, it all soon starts to add up.

Using a Spy tool negates the need for a VPN. The tool will display the landing page and offer relevant to the targeted countries, so you’ll always see the real offer and landing pages.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the bread and butter of what we do. Without a high-converting landing page, affiliate commissions are thin on the ground. I’ve lost count of the number of landing pages I have in my collection of tools, and while I used to code these from scratch, I rarely do anymore. Why would I when my Spy tool will show me the landing pages my competitors are using and allow me to rip these and download them for my own use?

Once I’ve ripped a landing page and downloaded it, all I need to do is clean this up for any extra code, make my edits and add my affiliate links.


In pretty much any vertical, the most expensive language to advertise on is English. The difference in advertising costs between English and other languages can be significant, but the downside is the need for translations. That’s fine if you are fluent in the language you want to target, but if you’re not, then translation costs can soon add up. Again, if your campaigns are making money, then the translation cost won’t be a significant factor.

If you’re just starting, though, the cost of translations can be prohibitive. Translations come in at something like $0.10 per word, so even for a push campaign for 30 or 40 words, that can come to $3 of $4. And that’s just for one set of creatives!

Use a Spy tool, though, and you get to see the creatives your competitors are using in the target language you’re interested in. Find an ad that’s been running for a while, copy the creative texts, and put your own spin on the images. Job done.

A Spy tool is an absolute essential for profitable campaigns. Along with your tracker, your affiliate marketing toolbox has to include a Spy tool. It saves time, money, and frustration. I can guarantee your successful competitors are using a Spy tool. The question is can you afford not to?

Need some help with setting up your next campaign? Join us here at Forex-Ads and take your affiliate marketing to the next level!

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