Running the AliExpress offer at HilltopAds: ROI 69,17%

Running the AliExpress offer at HilltopAds: ROI 69,17%

Hi there!
Today, we would like to share a successful offer from the e-commerce niche, launched on our self-serve platform HilltopAds.

In this thematic case, you will learn how to effectively set up an e-commerce AliExpress advertising campaign and why this vertical is considered one of the most profitable for long-term operation. We will also demonstrate that campaigns with properly configured geotargeting achieve twice (or even more) higher conversion rates (CR), increase profits, and allow for optimizing efficiency by displaying ads only where they are relevant, excluding all those countries where people are not interested in the promoted product or simply...can’t read the ad text.

Key points of the case

Offer: Aliexpress
Traffic: Mainstream High and Medium Activity
Ad Format: Popunder mobile
СРМ: IL - $1.0, PL - $2.3, ES - $1.02
eCPA: IL - $0.16, PL - $0.20, ES - $0.36
ROI: IL - 60%, PL - 90%, ES - 50%
Total ROI: 69,17%
Revenue: $2,030

AliExpress is one of the world's largest platforms for online shopping. It is based in China and owned by the Alibaba Group. The platform has transformed the meaning of e-commerce and international online shopping. It has become popular worldwide by making its website understandable for users from different countries. For example, there are versions of the site in Hebrew, Polish, Spanish, and it additionally supports +137 languages. And yes, we specifically highlighted these languages because we are planning to launch advertising campaigns targeted at their native speakers from Israel, Poland, and Spain.


Geotargeting is essential for media buyers to optimize the efficiency of their campaigns by displaying ads only where they will be in demand. That's why it's worth considering geotargeting as a key component of marketing strategy. And that's why, in this case, we have devoted so much attention to this issue.

Contacting the right people, in the right place, at the right time, about the right things, and in the right tone - that's exactly what ensures success in arbitrage.

So, as for the advertising format, we chose Popunder mobile, so we didn't have to create any creatives ourselves. Our creative was the landing page of the Aliexpress website.

If you're unsure about which advertising format to choose for a specific offer, it's always best to consult with your manager; they're available 24/7/365.


Now let's move on to the most interesting part. In arbitrage, GEO is divided into 3 main levels from expensive to cheap — Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. In practice, this means the level of potential profit that can be obtained from residents of a particular country. Sometimes Tier-4 is also highlighted. This includes countries from Tier-3 with the worst indicators or unstable political situations.

For this Aliexpress offer, we decided to test Tier-2 countries where e-commerce is popular and there are no issues with online payments. We started with the less expensive Poland (PL). The tests yielded good results, and we expanded the campaign to Spain (ES), and then to the most expensive of the designated countries, Israel (IL).

Within the chosen strategy, we created various Popunder mobile campaigns to test each GEO separately. In addition to precise optimization, this allowed for more transparent analytics. You're probably eager to learn the main results, but we'll discuss them later. For now, let's move on to the campaign settings.

General settings for an advertising campaign on the HilltopAds platform

Before launching an advertising campaign on HilltopAds, you need to register as an advertiser. You can register using this link.

Next, to create an advertising campaign, you need to:

  • Go to the Manage Campaigns section
  • Click the Add Campaign button
  • In the campaign creation section, select the Popunder mobile ad format
  • In the Traffic Channels section, choose Mainstream high and medium activity
The advertising campaign settings

Next, it's essential to set up the Postback to track the results of your ad campaign.

For a detailed description of working with Postback and the available placeholders, check out our guide.

How to detect the ad campaigns efficiency in HilltopAds?
Today, for an advertiser launching an ad campaign, it is important to evaluate its efficiency quickly and reliably to avoid waste of time and money. HilltopAds provides advertisers an opportunity to use a modern method of tracking conversions through a postback URL.

As a result, our Final Destination URL should look like this:{{ctoken}}&s1={{zoneid}}

  • {{ctoken}} - HilltopAds parameter for passing conversions.
  • {{zoneid}} - HilltopAds parameter for passing source ID.

In general, you can add absolutely any parameter from the available options that is necessary for further campaign analysis. However, remember that it is essential to include the click_id parameter in the final link to pass conversions.

Next, we specified the ad frequency per user - 1 display in 24 hours.

These were the general settings for each of the advertising campaigns; now let's proceed to the settings for each GEO individually.


Ad Format: Popunder mobile
Ad campaign period: 18-22 March
СРМ: PL - $2.3
eCPA: PL - $0.20
ROI: PL - 90%
Revenue: $950

The advertising campaign settings

After joining the European Union, Poland began to accelerate its economic growth. The most affluent population resides in the metropolises, while small towns still face issues related to poverty.

Additionally, residents of Poland are interested in online shopping, especially budget-friendly options, which is what the AliExpress service offers. The country has well-functioning postal services and developed delivery systems. Approximately 25% of buyers exhibit pragmatism: they research brands, new products, pay attention to advertising campaigns, and discounts. Many people seek information about brands on social media and tend to listen to authorities.

In this case, for the AliExpress offer, we have set a daily budget limit of $100 for each of the advertising campaigns with the aim of more accurately determining the ROI and profitability of all advertising campaigns in the statistics. This will allow us to monitor the expenses and results of each campaign separately, providing a clearer understanding of which campaigns are most successful and effective in terms of return on investment.

Daily limit of the advertising campaign budget

We did not set a schedule so that the campaign runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If later we see that the campaign is more effective during certain time intervals, we will target specific days or hours, but based on our experience, it requires gathering a lot of statistics.

The final step before launching the ad is to specify the cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Here, we pay attention to the Traffic Volumes graph in the top right corner, which calculates premium, minimum, and recommended CPM rates.

For our targeting, the system recommended the following:

Traffic Volume and CPM rates

We decided to start with the recommended bid of $2.3.

Our advice: to test a new offer, start with the recommended CPM. This will show whether the offer is effective and whether the campaign needs optimization.

Throughout the campaign, we closely monitored its effectiveness. Testing showed promising results, however, we decided to implement Automatic optimization on the evening of the second day. We adjusted the eCPA bid to 0.20, which helped reduce the cost per conversion.

eCPA (effective Cost Per Action) - it's a metric that calculates the average cost an advertiser pays for each specific action, such as a conversion or acquisition, generated by their campaign.
The Automatic Optimization settings
Automatic Optimization of Blacklist zones in HilltopAds.
HilltopAds added new feature — Automatic Optimization of Blacklist zones. It automatically optimizes traffic sources and adds unsuitable ones to the Black List.

As you can see, based on the statistics, conversion rates for Poland have increased, and the eCPA has become cheaper. This is one of the important metrics for checking campaign effectiveness. By the end of the fifth day, our results were outstanding, as we achieved an eCPA of $0.20:

The statistics for 5 days

Indeed, the results of testing this offer in Poland turned out to be quite impressive. Our total revenue amounted to $950, with a ROI of 90%! This is truly gratifying! We are eagerly anticipating how this offer will perform in other GEOs.

The main conclusions about GEO

  • In terms of living standards, media buyers classify Poland as Tier-2, but it has good chances of moving into Tier-1 in the near future.
  • There is no high competition here, so the traffic ends up being quite cheap.
  • Since the pandemic, online shopping has gained particular popularity. Since then, Poles have not only mastered various online payment methods but also cryptocurrency. In other words, e-commerce offers do well here. Delivery is developed, payment is straightforward, and returns are conveniently organized.


Ad Format: Popunder mobile
Ad campaign period: 22-25 March
СРМ: ES - $1.02
eCPA: ES - $0.36
ROI: ES - 50%
Revenue: $600

The advertising campaign settings

As you can see, everything was going great in Poland, but what about Spain? Let's start with a brief overview of the GEO.

According to the latest data, Spain has a population of 47 million people, with 15% of the population being immigrants. The country is classified as a Tier-2 country. This means that when launching an advertising campaign targeting Spain, advertisers can expect higher rates for desired actions. However, one can also count on good profitability due to the purchasing power of customers.

Regarding the necessary targeting settings, just like in the first case, we have decided to set a daily campaign limit of $100.

Daily limit of the advertising campaign budget

In this case, we also adhered to the strategy of displaying ads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And finally, let's move on to the last step before launching the ad and set the CPM bid price. Here, we also pay attention to the traffic volume chart in the top right corner, which calculates premium, minimum, and recommended bid rates per impression.

For our targeting, the system recommended the following:

Traffic Volume and CPM rates

We decided to start with the recommended bid of $1.02.

After the second day of testing, we found that the cost per acquisition (eCPA) was too high, resulting in an unsatisfactory ratio of lead acquisition cost to generated revenue. Drawing from our past experiences, we decided to implement Automatic campaign optimization on the evening of the second day. By reducing the eCPA bid to $0.36, our aim was to enhance campaign efficiency and decrease conversion costs:

The Automatic Optimization settings

We noticed changes in the campaign's effectiveness by the end of the third day. Ultimately, by the end of the fourth day, we achieved the following results:

The statistics for 4 days

It can be stated that in Spain, we achieved the maximum number of conversions at an affordable price. Our profit amounted to $600, with an ROI of 50%.

The main conclusions about GEO

  • Spaniards enjoy online shopping, and e-commerce offers perform well here. Fashion and gadgets are leading, so advertising campaigns should focus on image, appearance, success, and other priorities.
  • Additionally, Spaniards try not to miss out on free delivery and discounts. However, fast delivery and the ability to return unsuitable items are more important to them than the reviews of other buyers.


Ad Format: Popunder mobile
Ad campaign period: 23-25 March
СРМ: IL - $1
eCPA: IL - $0.16
ROI: IL - 60%
Revenue: $480

The advertising campaign settings

Israel is an attractive GEO for running campaigns in any vertical. High internet penetration and speed, a developed economy, and affluent buyers are all components of success! Among its features, it's worth highlighting that the Israeli GEO can be considered a unique blend of the West and the Middle East. While situated in the Middle East, Israel differs significantly in mentality from its neighbors, where significant attention is paid to religious dogmas. Israel is primarily a secular country, where people's interests are focused on meeting everyday needs and common human desires. Therefore, e-commerce offers, especially AliExpress, are in high demand.

Regarding the budget, as everywhere else, we set a limit of $100 per day.

Daily limit of the advertising campaign budget

In this case, we also adhered to the strategy of displaying ads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We also set the recommended CPM rate at $1.

Traffic Volume and CPM rates

As Israel is a relatively costly GEO, we decided to launch a 3-day test campaign.

To validate the hypothesis regarding performance improvement post the application of Automatic optimization, we executed it after the second day of testing and reduced eCPA to $0.16:

The Automatic Optimization settings

Here are the results:

The statistics for 3 days

Yes, there is room for improvement and growth, but over the course of 3 days, with the offer in Israel, we managed to earn $480. And the ROI amounted to 60%. Not bad! What do you think?

The main conclusions about GEO

  • Competition in the Israeli market isn't as high as in European countries, but it does exist. Therefore, traffic and click prices cannot be considered cheap.
  • Various combinations can be tested in this market, but for creatives, it's better to choose the state language, Hebrew.
  • Israel is a profitable and convenient GEO. Despite the willingness to spend money, Israelis still remember the value of a good deal. When it comes to e-commerce offers, media buyers can indeed capitalize on this spectrum. Price comparison services are popular in Israel, so the coveted word "discount" has not been forgotten.

Total Net Profit

The net profit generated from the AliExpress offer, launched on the HilltopAds platform across various GEOs, illustrates convincing return on investment. With a total revenue of $2,030 and expenses amounting to $1,200, three advertising campaigns yielded a net profit of $830. On average, the conversion rate across the three GEOs was 69,17%.

Breaking down the campaign by geography didn't come as a significant surprise, yet it allowed us to better assess the scale and measure the extent of the benefits. For instance, Poland emerged as the country with the highest ROI in our case, although it's important to note that the advertising campaign there ran for the longest duration compared to others. Overall, we targeted countries within the Tier-2 segment, where the standard of living is relatively similar. This analysis not only showcases the effectiveness of the HilltopAds platform in promoting offers like AliExpress but also emphasizes the importance of strategic geographical targeting in maximizing returns on investment.


Here are some recommendations for promoting and optimizing advertising for AliExpress offers:

  • Don't limit yourself to geography and confine yourself to the boundaries of a single country. Explore new horizons and test different GEOs – we've already discussed this in previous cases.
  • While exploring new GEOs is encouraged, caution should be exercised when targeting countries with low purchasing power. Such markets may not yield significant sales due to logistical challenges and the absence of robust online payment systems.

We remind you that our case studies are food for thought and imagination, rather than direct instructions for action. Choose your combinations wisely and drive traffic with intelligence!