Which Is Better: Incentivized vs Non-Incentivized Traffic

Posted by Jamie Jin
Which Is Better: Incentivized vs Non-Incentivized Traffic

We see new marketing daily terms almost on a weekly basis. As a marketer or advertiser, it is essential to know what incentivized traffic is as it is a common practice in organizations.

Marketing experts have also stated how companies are creating more loss than gain just because of the lack of knowledge on ‘incentivized traffic’ and ‘non-incentivized traffic’.

If you are a marketer and you feel a little guilty for not knowing this term, continue reading on as we cover the definition of incentivized traffic and provide a variety of case studies on it.

Incentivized Traffic

Incentivized traffic refers to a user acquisition campaign offering potential buyers incentives in exchange for their contact information. Incentives that are rewarded may include paid money, prize, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.

The main purpose of an incentivized traffic marketing campaign is to attract a large number of leads to pass you their contact information within a short period of time.

Of course, some companies may consider obtaining potential buyers’ contact information through non-incentivized campaigns, but really, how often do you, as a consumer, give your phone number or email addresses without thinking twice? Contact details is a personal thing, and consumers may be more accepting to give in exchange for attractive incentives. And it is the marketers’ job to design a seamless user acquisition campaign to make it happen.

So let’s take a look at these examples to understand it better.

For example, company A’s website has a series of articles that discuss relevant topics that potential consumers are interested in. At the end of every article, there is a call-to-action that rallies for you to join company A’s mailing list.

On the other hand, company B’s articles end with a call-to-action that encourage readers to download a PDF case study via a form to find out more about the topic they have just discussed on. Company B has seamlessly implemented the user acquisition campaign, without it looking like one.

Of course, it is obvious that company B is going to acquire more users than company A.

To bring this understanding to another level, let’s look at what incentivized traffic can do through this mobile app example.

In the context of mobile app, incentivized traffic is generated from all types of advertisements in return for rewards. The user is asked to complete a specific action, which may include friend referral, signing up to a service, watching an advertisement video.

In return, user may receive rewards consisting of in-app currency, in-app credit or an external app discount. In turn, the app receives more organic traffic due to app referrals, which leads to a higher ranking in the app store, which will again, attract even more app installs organically. At the same time, apps are also able to.

Still hesitating if you should start on incentivised traffic?

If your marketing goal is to increase your user acquisition rate quickly, incentivized traffic is definitely a good way to get it going. To convince you further, let’s take a look at the two main advantages of implementing incentivized traffic in your marketing campaigns.

Advantages of Incentivized Traffic

1. Cost and Time Effective

Incentivized traffic may be cheaper than non incentivized traffic.

The only ‘losses’ you are making would be the ‘incentive’ that you are giving out. Incentivized traffic also provides easy and fast user acquisition over a short period of time. On average, incentivized campaigns start showing results in 3 days. It also helps to ensure user flow, which will ensure that losses are kept to a minimum.

2. Encourages Organic Reactions

In marketing terms, organic refers to the act of your consumers coming to you naturally over time, rather than ‘artificially’ via paid advertisements etc.

Overtime, word of mouth is going to do you a favour.

This is especially evident in the mobile app case study. The high number of user acquisition or app downloads has enabled the company to improve its app store ranking. The high app store ranking is going to attract even more user acquisitions organically.

Disadvantages of Incentivized Traffic

1. Lower Lifetime or Higher Dropout Rate

The presence of incentives have led to higher drop off rate.

Initially, incentivized traffic may have created a higher acquisition rate over a short period of time.

The real challenge would be retaining these acquired users. Users may just be interested in the incentive at that point of time, and not your company or main product. As such, they will be inactive, and not engage with you as much after gaining a reward.

For example, users may uninstall the app as soon as they receive their incentive.

In worst case scenarios, these acquired users may even cheat the system to gain more rewards!

As these acquired users do not spend a lot of time on your website, this will affect your website analytics greatly as you will notice a spike in your website’s bounce rate.

2. Less Targeted Audience

With an increase in acquired users, the quality of the acquired user is compromised.

As mentioned above, the objective of the acquired user is not clear and may be different from the objective of your incentivized traffic marketing campaign. The profiles of these acquired users may be so broad that it differs so much from your target audience.

These un-targeted users become unreliable and irrelevant to your main product, and will not convert into subscribers. This is especially important if you run an information-based website, getting such subscribers will lead to a low one time visitors to readers conversion rate.

Acquiring new users who find your content essential, and want to subscribe, should be your goal instead.

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Non-Incentivized Traffic

Non-incentivized traffic refers to the type of traffic that is generated, even if no incentive is offered to users.

The traffic is generated when interested consumers engage with an advertisement without any incentive or reward.

The advertisement usually comes in the form of a video or banner. Since a sum of money is needed to allocate for advertisements, cost per acquisition will definitely be much higher as compared to incentivized campaigns.

To find out more about the difference between the two, let’s take a look at the advantages of employing non-incentivized acquisition campaigns.

Advantages of Non-incentivized Traffic

1 Organic traffic with higher lifetime value

Consumers would only engage with a non-incentivized acquisition campaign if they are really interested.

This would mean that the lifetime value and retention rate of these consumers generated from non-incentivized acquisition campaign is definitely much higher, making them high quality leads.

2. Higher engagement rate with high-quality consumers

Engagement refers to the online interaction such as response rates, reviews and engaging conversations between consumers and your business.

Since these are higher lifetime value consumers, they are definitely more receptive to your marketing campaigns.

It also means that marketing cost might be lessened in the long run since they will help to spread information about your business through word of mouth organically.

Disadvantages of Non-incentivized Traffic

1. Higher Cost

Since the traffic is essentially organic, it definitely costs more in order to receive the same results as compared to an incentivized marketing campaign. You will have to allocate a big part of your monthly marketing budget to this campaign in order to see results.

2. Slow Growing Rate

Without incentives, it is almost impossible to acquire a huge amount of users in a short period of time.

Lesser users are willing to be ‘open’ to your main product, and as such, it is necessary to consider how, why and what you can do to acquire such users without any incentives. This highlights the main difficulty of improving the efficiency of the organic traffic your non-incentivized campaign is getting.

Incentivized vs Non-Incentivized

Traffic Type Cost Conversion Rate Retention Rate
Incentivized Low - Medium High Low
Non-incentivized High Low High

As summarized above, we have covered the pros and cons for both incentivized and non-incentivized traffic. The best strategy to get the most out of your campaigns would be combining both incentivized and non-incentivized traffic. An App company will be used in this case study to help you understand better.

When the app is newly launched, incentivized traffic is a smart way to boost the app’s download rate.

The app would then rank in the App Store’s top chart, which would provide the app with all the necessary brand awareness and exposure. Once this is executed, a perfect blend of both incentivized and non-incentivized traffic can help you to maintain your download rates, while ensuring the quality of the traffic. Non-incentivized traffic would help to increase user engagement and increase user lifetime rate.

It should be noted the app itself needs to be of top quality in order to retain the users.

Imagine having invested money in the campaign, but the main product - your app is lacking in many ways - such as non-user friendly interface or bad outdated content. It will be a waste of money, time and effort on the marketing team!

However, as marketers, we should also keep ourselves updated in order to be at the top of the game.

Apple has mentioned that they do not support incentivised traffic, and will be penalized in the app store.

This is one thing that we should keep into consideration when planning the right strategy.

Most marketers may not know that combining two different opposite strategies may actually increase the success rate of any marketing campaign. It is essential to focus less on the disadvantages, and learn to not ignore the advantages of various strategies.

We hope that the newly gained knowledge will allow you to be more adventurous when it comes to trying out new things! Marketing is ever-evolving, it is never too late to start implementing such newly learned strategies at your workplace!

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J Posted By Jamie Jin Business Marketing Team
Tagged incentivized traffic, non-incentivized traffic