Win with 2021’s Trendiest Verticals!

So, 2021 is just around the corner, and, with so many online advertising verticals going belly up and others taking off, it’s been a little tricky to track which are the best to back come 01.01.2021.  

We thought we’d take out some of the guesswork, hopefully, save you some unnecessary research and get to grips with what’s hot so you can maximize your ad profits with the upcoming years trendiest verticals. 

If you’re the “places to be, people to see” type of online advertiser and video is more your thing, then check out the full webinar recording right here, in partnership with RedTrack

Play it on repeat and drive your family nuts with your own one-stop audio guide. It’s as simple as that! Besides, there really are only two we’ll be throwing a whole lotta love towards (in this article at least). Those being,

App Installs, where we’ll cover…

  • 2021’s top 3 App Installs
  • Preferred Ad Formats & Payout Models for App Installs
  • Tips for Advertising App Installs

Sports Betting, where we’ll cover…

  • General Campaign Creation Tips 
  • Preferred Ad Formats for Sports Betting 
  • Preferred Payout Models for Sports Betting

That being said, let’s get cracking with…


In our new digitally induced, remote word, App Installs are everywhere!! In fact, at the end of 2019 alone, there were more than 204 billion unique app downloads worldwide.

I mean, there’s literally an app for everything! From game-changing online shopping and banking protocols, right through to Pokemon Go and the chance to milk digital cows. 🐄

No kidding! Head over here for a list of apps you’ll never use but everyone seems to download. And, as the third quarter of 2020 comes to a close, the global consumer mobile app spend climbed higher than it ever has before. Social distancing has seen remote transactions take off and this number is said to climb to record heights at the beginning of 2021.

Adcash - Online Advertising - Unique App Downloads - Q3 - 2020 table

Image courtesy of Statista

And if that’s not enough to convince you that App Installs aren’t going away, (at least in our lifetime), then check out the combined App Store/Google Play downloads from 2015 to the present day.

Adcash - Online Advertising - Google Play/App Store Downloads 2015 - 2020

Image courtesy of Statista

So, with a bit of onboarding motivation taken care of, what is the quickest way to make App Installs your go-to vertical for 2021. As a starting point, when you’re advertising mobile offers, try and stick to a few key verticals with a broad target audience, that brings consistent downloads and has worldwide appeal. Switching up your app install verticals from campaign to campaign can send some great results your way.


Adcash - Online Advertising - Apps to Test - 2021

This is our pick for the top 3 verticals we’ve seen the most app installs stem from. 

Top 3 App Verticals to Advertise in 2021

As a general rule when advertising these verticals, the less specific the target audience is, the more reach you stand to gain. It’s a numbers game and the more wide-reaching the popularity of the vertical and the app, the better the conversion ratio becomes. 

The vast majority of the world downloads apps to make their lives easier. Try to target your campaigns to the sectors where automation plays a key role in improving the lives of the average consumer, saving them time and money. Also, make sure you go in with the facts. Do your research and weigh up the pros and cons of each. We’ll get you started.

Online Dating Apps 🔥 ❤️‍ 🔥 ❤️‍

In 2019, online dating giant Tinder reported a $7.86 million strong mobile audience in the  U.S. alone, with a global 1.6 billion swipes per day. That’s a heck of a lot of awkward small talk at fancy Italian restaurants. 🍝

So, it’s common knowledge now that mainstream dating apps (like Tinder and many others) convert extremely well into installs. They work especially well during a global pandemic where the world is on lockdown and loneliness is a valuable commodity to maximize on (sad, but kinda true). Additionally, dating apps don’t need a pre lander to convert well. All you need is a catchy one-liner and the right ads to back it up. 

The drawback? With the above mentioned there is significant competition in this sector where the biggest players in the space offer their apps completely free of charge. This, unfortunately, means that Installs don’t always guarantee sales.

eCommerce Apps 🛍️ 🛒 🛍️ 🛒

These days, it’s almost impossible to track down an eComm virgin. Those rare and unique unicorns of society who’ve never bought something online (at least anyone after the Boomer generation). 

These days, a click and a CVC number get you unprecedented access to a universe of digital shopping. From groceries and gadgets to shoes and booze. There’s something for everyone. In fact, at the beginning of 2020, e-commerce sales worldwide totaled $3.53 trillion, with online shopping rated the single most popular online activity worldwide.

In fact, now more than ever, the online shopping sector has rocketed to new heights during the pandemic, with eComm offers holding mass appeal and converting worldwide traffic from all walks of life. These App Installs can be run immediately, without creating a pre-lander or any additional legwork.

Some of the drawbacks are that the install to sales ratio depends on what is being sold and if there are good deals circulating. This is why conversions tend to increase during major shopping holidays, like Black Friday and Christmas. Additionally, the KPIs can be a little harder to track, making it tricky to dig down into exactly what targets converted the best (when conducting your post-campaign analysis). Avoid this by signing up with a high-quality tracker that captures the data for you.  

VPN & Utility Apps 💻 🔗 💻 🔗

The last of the big 3 App Installs, and just to give you a rough idea of how big the VPN/Utilities App Installation market stands to get, check out the table below, where 2022 is expected to give way to a $35.7 billion market, rivaling online dating and other top verticals in the world today.  

Listed as one of the world’s top-performing apps installs, VPN downloads work extremely well with pop-unders, and the target audience is basically any smartphone user in the world today, and, in a world where 44.87% of the population owns a smartphone, VPN is dynamite for online advertising campaigns.

The drawbacks? Understandably, there’s a heck of a lot of competition in the market sector, and with so many companies jumping on the VPN wagon, the propensity for fraud increases. Always make sure you know what you are advertising and try the product yourself before sending it out to the world. Quality control is a big issue in this sector. 

Lastly, be aware that the App Install to sales ratio depends on the pre-lander, the app functionality, and its pricing.

Adcash - Online Advertising - VPN Market Share - 2016-2022

Image courtesy of Statista

A Quick Word on Ad Formats 

The above 3 app install verticals seem to convert at their best when paired with pop-under, interstitials, and push notifications, but, if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to try your hand at marketing your campaigns through a few other digital ad formats

Tips for Advertising App Installs

Firstly, if you’re advertising your offers without a pre-lander then you should always make sure the old version of the app is not live and that you are directing people to the most updated installation. Double-check your linking URL and download the app yourself before moving forward.

Secondly, customer reviews will sell your App before you even have to. Add updated, glowing reviews to your offer, and make sure that you’re able to screen and answer comments (or, even better yet, someone from the app development team)  

Lastly, always check the campaign visuals. Make sure they tie in with and complement the product you’re advertising. Always strive to be the most eye-catching ad, pulling attention away from the others when a user first lands in their App Store or Google Play account.  

Which payout Model to use with App Installs

Last but not, least, how do you plan to get paid? We’ve found that the CPM model yields higher volumes, but this really does depend on the nature and cost of the bid. 

For the absolute best-performing traffic segments, check out the new and improved Dynamic Pricing Model

CPA Target Bidding volumes are guaranteed right from the start, but the offer needs to be showing decent eCPMs to keep the pace. And finally, the CPI model, (which is available only for direct advertisers) tends to yield nice results, but, the  volumes do depend on the CR (number of unique clicks generated)

Phew! That’s a lot to cover! But we’re officially halfway through. So, without further ado, let’s jump into all things betting, starting with the awesome Return of Sports and the unique opportunity to advertise some of the best games around the world before 2020 comes to a close, and into 2021. It’s time to convert and conquer with…

Sports Betting 

If you start out with the numbers alone, Sports Betting is a MASSIVE payday, in every sense of the word. In fact, the last few months alone have seen a significant spike in user activity on a global scale. 

So, what should you be looking out for and what is the best way to target your traffic? We’ll cover some general best practices around sports traffic targeting, campaign optimization, and landing page building, all headed your way live. Right. Now! 

Adcash - Online Advertising - Sports Betting Verticals 2020

Let’s start with a few…

Adcash/RedTrack Webinar - Sports Campaign Management Tips - 2020

Tips for Advertising Sports Betting

Make sure you have a strong handle on these points before sending traffic to your sports campaign. As the first point of entry, ensure that…

Your landing page is customized for the event

When it comes to advertising the world’s hottest games, your landing page is key to bringing in the crowds and making them stay. So, what makes a great landing page and how do you get there? 

Make sure there is no copyright infringement going on, i.e no clear pictures of notable sports stars (the Ronaldos, Messis, and Lebrons of the world) as well as no team names. 

This is a gray zone and there really is too much out there to keep track of, by sports branding regulators. However, if you are in glaring breach of copyright infringement, the powers that be may well come down on you. Our advice? Stick with royalty-free stock photos, like iStock (paid), or Pexels (free) to name just two in a wide ocean of options. 

Fans love a good Welcome Offer. Make sure you have one and separate yourself from the competition with unique deals, discounts, and offers. The more time-sensitive the offer is, the higher the urgency associated, and the more effectively it sells. Phrases like “Today Only” go a long way to securing the winning conversion. Running competitions is also a great way to get into the hearts and minds of sports bettors. I mean, the whole reason they’re converting in the first place is that they love the thrill of the win. Use it to your advantage. 

Lastly, customize your language. Use sports-related keywords in your copy for a better chance of matching with the right websites. Get your campaign targeting down to fine art and list only the most relevant categories. 

Pressed for time and not to Photoshop savvy?  All good! Try out Purelander, Instapage, or Unbounce. These free landing page builders help you create and generate eye-catching landing pages in the shortest possible time, with tonnes of different templates to choose from. 

Moving into campaign optimizing 

All these well crafted, catchy ads and no idea who you’re sending them to? You’re going to want to make sure you stay ahead of the competition and optimize your campaigns to reach the richest target traffic with the highest chances of converting. Welcome to Sports Betting Targeting, where… 

Your budget should never be spent all at once. Whatever you do, make sure to spread it throughout the day to better target high profile events and regions in time zones that haven’t started converting yet.

Try split testing your online advertising efforts. For example, you can opt to run a campaign with an average bid that targets all regions and traffic sources. Your second campaign (running simultaneously) can have some advanced features applied ( e.g. Keyword Targeting, Website Targeting) with an overall higher bid. Looking to double-check if you’re on the right track with your campaign targeting? Reach out to us anytime and we’ll give you a free audit to make sure you’re rocking your returns and that your bids are competitive enough to make the most of incoming traffic. 

So, with that said,

Which payout models are the best for Sports Betting?

Hands down, we’d recommend the CPA model, which will allow you to quickly earn back your initial campaign investment (based on the bid).

Pretty straightforward, right? Okay, so if you’ve read this far you should be just about ready to go and rock 2021 with the best conversion tips for App Installs and Sports Betting. 

One last word on Sports Betting. Like App Installs, some Ad Formats work better than others. As with App Installs, we like to think you can never go wrong with a combination of Push, Pop-Under, and Display. Although we’d recommend adding Native into the mix. Why? It’s  super easy to get your head around, and the returns come quicker (although in slightly smaller doses)

That’s it from us. All the best for your 2021 online advertising journey, and as always, if you have any questions around these two verticals, we’re happy to help out with tailored campaign creation, conversion, and optimization tips that work! Reach out to us here, and see you on the other side of awesome!

Join the conversation


Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *