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The fundamentals of monetizing with offerwalls

June 8, 2023 in Games | 9 min. read
The fundamentals of monetizing with offerwalls | Hero image
The fundamentals of monetizing with offerwalls | Hero image

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By listing offers users can complete in exchange for in-app rewards, offerwalls don’t just generate revenue; they can also increase retention and engagement rates since users have an incentive to keep coming back to the game to receive their rewards. This trifecta – revenue, engagement, and retention – makes offerwall one of the most lucrative ad units for developers.

Below, Anna Poperko, game design consultant lead, covers the benefits and challenges of using offerwalls, the game genres that work best with this ad format, and the most strategic places to place offerwalls in your game. Let’s dive in.

Benefits of offerwalls

If you’re considering monetizing with an offerwall, here’s what you should know before you take the plunge.

  • Increase retention: Players who engage with offerwalls are more motivated to return and continue playing because they’re invested in receiving and using the offered rewards. Essentially, as players become more invested, they become more loyal as well, boosting long-term retention.
  • Monetize more players: Open the door for new revenue by monetizing non-paying players. Some people can’t or don’t want to pay, but they might be more open to paying with their time instead. You can set the same price for offerwall currency as the reward you set in the store (for example, $1 = 100 gems), so you’ll receive the same amount of money from players who complete the offers, such watching revenue-generating ads, as the ones who actually paid with their money.
  • Raise eCPMs: Offerwalls tend to have the highest effective cost per milles (eCPMs) of any ad unit. In fact, they can generate about 10x higher eCPMs than rewarded video ad units because advertisers are more willing to invest in ad units that target highly engaged players. Think about it: Offers set deep in the advertiser’s game (like “reach level 20”) can help the ad unit to acquire a high-quality user, also potentially generating better revenue for the advertiser.

Establish the right ingredients

To make the most out of offerwalls, a game needs two things: currency that’s worth making an effort for and players who are willing to make that effort.

  • Ensure a gaming fit: Some games are a better fit for offerwall than others. Hypercasual games, for example, usually aren’t the best fit because, by nature of the game, players tend to be less invested in their long-term success. These players want snackable content and aren’t willing to invest their time in another game to receive a reward. On the other hand, midcore or hardcore games attract more committed gamers, so offerwalls provide incentives to progress because they capture an engaged audience willing to invest time to progress through the game.
  • Consider your engagement: Since an offerwall caters to highly engaged gamers, its engagement rate (the percentage of total users who engage with the ad units) tends to be lower compared to other ad units.
  • Factor in OS: Additionally, offerwalls are limited by different operating systems’ capabilities. Due to iOS constraints that limit data from ad clicks, this ad format is significantly more effective on Android, where it’s possible to extend more offers to users.
  • Build a strong hard currency: For offerwalls to be effective, the player needs to feel like the currency is valuable and rare enough to work for. This is called hard currency: currency that has the highest possible value for the player, usually represented by gems, diamonds, and so on. Players determine a currency’s value in different ways: maybe they aren’t able to get it for free, they can only get it in scarce amounts, or they can’t buy it with a different form of game currency. Basically, the more valuable players think the currency is, the more likely they are to complete an offer in the offerwall. 
  • Tap into long-term retention players: Generally, offerwalls are aimed at players who found value in the hard currency and want to progress further in the game, but can’t or don’t want to spend money on in-app purchases.

The games that combine these two conditions above (long-term retention players and hard currency) will benefit the most from the offerwall. That’s why this ad unit is most profitable in midcore and hardcore genres like shooters, RPGs, and strategies. Check out the eCPMs for each ad unit.

Place offerwalls in the right spot

When it comes to offerwalls, location is everything – it affects the quantity and quality of gamers that will interact with it, and thus the amount of revenue ads can generate. Here are the top placements for maximizing revenue and engagement from the offerwall.

Home page: If you’re looking for the most exposure possible, the home screen is your best bet. The home page is the first thing the player sees when opening the game, so placing the traffic driver there will expose the offerwall to the maximum number of players possible. Adding an offerwall to the home page can also help to increase overall player engagement, because the home screen has the maximum number of users passing through.

Example of home page offerwall from Pixonic's War Robots

The in-game store: The next hot spot is the game store – when the player is looking to get some hard currency, the store is the first and natural place to look. By placing the offerwall traffic driver in the store, players can immediately recognize the opportunity to get hard currency without spending anything.

Example of in-game store offerwall from Pixel Federation Games’s Seaport

Out of currency: You can also show the offerwall traffic driver when players need hard currency the most. This prompt catches players at the right moment, where offerwall is a great and free alternative to get more in-game cash.

Promotional pop-up: Additionally, we recommend that developers use pop- ups to promote sales opportunities that increase a reward’s value over a limited period of time, for example: double coins for two days over Christmas weekend. To increase visibility for these promotions, it’s even beneficial to show the player this offerwall pop-up immediately when they open the game. Get more tips for running offerwall promotion campaigns.

All in all, offerwalls have a slew of perks that can be utilized to your benefit if you know its recipes for success. Piecing together the right currency and players and knowing where to place the ad unit can make all the difference in your game’s revenue and overall success.

Learn more about getting started with offerwalls. Then, put these tips to good use and contact us about growing your app business.

June 8, 2023 in Games | 9 min. read

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