Reading Time: 3 minutes

When an affiliate tries to monetize traffic they meet the dilemma of how to do it properly. There are two common ways to do it – to use a smartlink, or to work with direct offers. In this article we will try to clear up which one of these two is better.


Smartlink is a URL that allows you to redirect traffic to relevant offers based on multiple types of targeting such as GEO, device, etc. The goal is to get the highest profit from worldwide traffic.

Let’s find out the advantages of Smartlink:

  • Automatic traffic distribution according to country, device, operating system, mobile carrier,  etc. An algorithm analyses this information and shows the user the top-performing product.
  • Automatic offers’ selection in accordance with the type of traffic. This is also where the algorithm comes into play. It selects and proposes the best solutions for particular types of traffic. Remember, that we accept all types of traffic, so there are a lot of ways to monetise it.
  • It saves your time. You don’t have to waste your time on endless split tests and optimisations.
  • You don’t lose your traffic. The algorithm always sends traffic to active offers. If one offer is broken it is replaced with another.
  • Additional traffic monetisation. Smartlink helps affiliates to get extra profit with the help of back buttons, push notifications, etc.
  • Available pre-landers. Forget about splitting different creatives. Smartlink analyses your traffic and sets up the most suitable pre-landers to keep your results high and stable.

Despite the advantages, Smartlink has some drawbacks:

  • Dynamic payouts. Smartlink includes offers from different advertisers, that’s why it happens when one conversion brings you 2$ and the next one brings $20. To compare results we highly recommend you to pay attention to the indicators EPC & EPM.
  • You cannot work with a selection of particular brands. The exceptions are customised smartlinks.
  • It takes time to find the best solution. The algorithm works with huge amounts of data, that’s why it needs some time to analyse the incoming information to find a top-performing solution. That means that a small part of your traffic will be used on offers that might not perform that well.
  • You cannot work without pre-landers. The exceptions are customised smartlinks

Direct Offers

Direct offer is a link with a single particular product or service that works in a specific country.

There are several reasons why affiliates prefer direct offers:

  • Fixed payouts. You’re always able to plan your profit based on the offers’ payouts.
  • You can work with your bundles. If you like to use your own creatives to build an effective funnel for your traffic, here you can do this easily.
  • Better chance to get a rate increase. If you deliver high-quality traffic to one brand, you have all the opportunities to get a higher payout.

As for disadvantages we have:

  • No automatic traffic distribution in accordance with GEOs, devices, etc. Generally, all products have their own working conditions, in particular GEO, platforms, etc.
  • Lots of split tests. You can have an enormous amount of split tests to find well-performing offers and creatives.
  • No additional monetisation.
  • Over capping. If you provide more traffic than the advertiser requires you will lose your profit.
  • Time-consuming monitoring of the market in order to find new solutions.

As you can see, smartlinks and direct offers have their own pros and cons. It depends on your preference and which one works best for you.

If you still have any doubts as to which way is better for your traffic, you can ask Adverten.

Register on the website & contact your manager to get more information.