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VPN vertical 2022: anonymity and access

VPN, safety, and anonymity are the words that one hears quite often nowadays. As we have mentioned previously, the trend for cybersecurity is rather strong, which means that VPNs and antivirus software offers are on the rise and are expected to grow further. According to the Global VPN Adoption Index, users downloaded VPN applications nearly 215 million times in the first half of 2022. Moreover, there are about 1.2 billion of VPN users worldwide, while the global cybersecurity market generates over $40 billion every year.

In this article, we will take a look at what makes VPN offers so attractive to users, what traffic sources work best for these products, and how you can approach an ad campaign to get the most out of this vertical.

Who needs VPNs

Let’s start with the basics: what is a VPN, and how does it work?

VPN or virtual private network is a software solution that creates a point-to-point connection between a user’s device and a remote location, this connection is inaccessible to unauthorized users. Since the connection is private, it conceals the user’s IP address and encrypts the data that is transmitted. For greater security and easy access to different resources, the VPN protocol also uses an intermediary server in a location different from the user’s, so it would also seem that the user is in a different country.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, VPN products are a part of the cybersecurity vertical and can frequently be seen alongside antivirus solutions. This niche is not young: the first VPNs appeared in 1996 as a business-oriented peer-to-peer solution for a secure connection between a computer and the World Wide Web. Later, the VPN protocol that has been intended for corporate use and secure access to private information has become a go-to solution for many Internet users. Some sought easy access to regional or restricted websites, others wanted to conceal their online presence. Overall, more than 31% of all internet users rely on VPN services, according to a survey by SurfShark.

Despite more than 25 years of existence and millions of users, the VPN has seen a renaissance of sorts after the 2019 pandemic hit the globe. With worldwide lockdowns, more people required remote access to their corporate networks and software that became inaccessible to anyone outside the brick-and-mortar office. Other uses of VPN include procuring access to region-specific content such as media, streaming platforms, or file-exchange websites. Though prompted by the pandemic, the popularity of VPN products does not seem to wane in 2022 as many people have shifted to working remotely regardless of the international situation.

Another piece of information worth noticing: the VPN protocol originated on personal computers and in later years mostly moved to mobile devices. Thus, we have seen more VPN products and offers for mobile traffic. However, lately one could notice more advertisers with stand-alone VPN products for desktop emerging. So, we can conclude that this vertical is rather versatile, and affiliate marketers would find suitable offers for any type of traffic.

Traffic sources and approaches

Before we dive deeper, you should always keep in mind that permitted and restricted traffic sources as well as eligible GEOs and promotional angles vary depending on the advertiser. Make sure to clarify all the details with your affiliate manager before launching a campaign.

Based on our internal research, the following traffic sources bring considerable volumes of high-quality traffic: Push notifications and In-page push, Pop-up and Pop-under, as well as Interstitial ads.

And here are some of the creative angles that perform well, based on the experience of the Yep Ads team.

  •  “Watch [STREAMING SERVICE] from outside your country”
  • “Secure and protect your connection from cyber threats”
  •  “Browse anonymously and safely — protect your digital experience”
  • “Keep your banking and other sensitive online activities safe and secure”

As you can see, these headlines play to the shared strength of VPN products that we have discussed earlier: safer online experience and easier access to specific resources.

Do’s and dont’s

✓ Focus on keywords that would reflect the intent of the biggest chunk of your audience who seek for a safer online experience such as online/network security, download securely/safely, or anonymous access.
✓ If you run campaigns on Google or Facebook, don’t forget to check the legal status of virtual private networks in your target GEO (for instance VPNs are banned in China), otherwise your campaigns may be banned.
✓ Such accompanying content as checklists, comparisons, or quizzes makes for great landing pages when it comes to software offers, and the VPN niche is not an exception. You can also make your landers interactive (like a calculator that shows the number of current cyber threats or unsafe connections) to grab the users’ attention.

✗ Don’t forget to provide enough social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials, as well as statistical data that demonstrates the effectiveness of a given VPN.
✗ Don’t go over the top. Simpler conversion flows that require a few clicks and offer reasonable incentives (trials, discounts, or useful guides) work better than a layered campaign (even when it’s thought through) with many forms and transitions between websites. Providing more information and personalizing your strategy is great, but never at the expense of user experience.
✗ Avoid aggressive approaches such as causing panic (e.g., “you will lose your passwords if you go on unprotected”). Misleading messages are also a bad choice, for example, saying “free access to XXX” while promoting a freemium VPN with limited features.


The VPN vertical is a trendy choice for both mobile and desktop advertising campaigns. The selection of products grows exponentially as users search for safer and more functional online experience. Make sure to study the special features of the product and match them with the qualities your audience is looking for — and your efforts will not go in vain. And if you need support, don’t hesitate to contact the Yep Ads Team, our experts are always ready to share their expertise!