How To Set Up A Mobile Advertising Campaign

by Brook Lenox on April 10, 2009

In this post I’m going to go step by step through the process of setting up a mobile ad campaign.  In a previous post, I mentioned that my top 3 mobile ad networks are Admob, Decktrade, and Quattro Wireless.  Today, I’m going to walk you through setting up an Admob campaign.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Set up the account
  2. Create an ad
  3. Add funds
  4. Turn ads on
  5. Watch them closely!

Set up the Account

First, go to Admob’s website and click on “register” in the top right hand corner of the homepage.  You’ll see this.




You’ll walk through a simple process of entering name, email address, and other account information and then be asked to confirm your email address.  Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you can log in to continue. This step is so easy, that’s all I’ll say.  Let me know if you have questions.

Create an Ad

Creating an ad takes a little more thought.  In this example, we’ll be creating an ad for an iPhone app and sending traffic to the iTunes app store. Once you’ve logged in using the email address and the password you created, you’ll want to click on the Ads tabThen click on “Create iPhone Ad” which is the 3rd sub tab.  It is circled below.




See the iPhone Ad screen shot below. First, you pick where you want visitors to go when they click on your ad.  In our case we want to link to the iPhone app store, so we click on the App Store icon.















You’ll need to:

  • Name your ad
  • Create your ad text (35 characters max)
  • Add a tile or an icon of your own
  • Enter the URL for the landing page
  • Target your ad (Carrier, Country, Device, etc)
  • Set your bid amount

 Here is how the screen looks as you scroll down:
















Once you’ve filled in all the information, simply click “Create Ad” at the bottom of the page.  You can then go back to the My Ads sub tab to view this ad.  Admob reviews the ad before approving it, so you should see that status as “pending approval”.


  1. When naming your ad, choose something that will scale if you have 10-20 varations of that ad.  Something like “Widget – Test #1a”.  That way if you want to try more variations, you can call them “Widget – Test #1b”, “Widget – Test #1c” and so on.
  2. Run at least 3-5 different text ads at launch of a campaign to determine which will have the best click through rate.
  3. Although Admob gives you tiles that you can use in your ad, your logo or app icon will probably generate a better click through rate. But test it yourself!

Add Funds

If you are on the Ads Tab you’ll see a pinkish bar that tells you that your account balance is empty like this:







Simply click on that link to fill out the form that looks like this:










Enter your info, press submit, and your account is ready to start displaying ads.

Turn Ads On

 In order to turn ads on, go to the My Ads sub tab, click the box next to the ad name you want to run, and click on the “run” button.


  1. If you’re in no hurry to drive traffic, start with the minimum bid.
  2. On WAP ads you can insert variables like %phn% in your ad and Admob will insert the device name into the ad.

Watch Them Closely

Now that you have an ad running, you’ll want to know how it is performing.  The reporting tab will give you the ability to see your activity summarized or by ad.










  1. If you are monitoring your spend closely use the Daily Budget tab to watch your spend.  That seems to update much more quickly that the My Ads page or the Reporting section.
  2. Try Admob conversion tracking, if you have an iPhone app.
  3. Don’t just stick with Admob, test on Quattro, Decktrade, Jumptap, and others.

Any questions?  Anything I can help with?

Let me know and good luck!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

glauco tamega April 13, 2009 at 9:38 am

can it be easier? tks! :)

Brook Lenox April 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

You are correct…Admob definitely makes it easy.

MattjDrake April 15, 2009 at 5:45 am

That is very interesting. Has anyone noticed a real increase in revenue after using ads like this?

Brook Lenox April 15, 2009 at 8:55 am

Matt…I’ve run tests that have differed wildly results-wise. One test we couldn’t put enough money in to increase our rank or downloads significantly, another we spent very little and the downloads and ranking soared. That’s why it’s always good to test.

Woody deJong September 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Hi Brook
I have tried two ads on Admob and both were rejected due to content. I used two i chose from clickbank. I would have thought that the content was satisfactory. Where can I source programs that would be approved by admob? and how do I know if the links are iphone compatiable. Yours gratefully Woody

Brook Lenox September 5, 2009 at 9:25 pm


Sounds like you are trying to test an affiliate offer on Admob. If that is the case, how about creating your own ad text and using the click through URL from Clickbank or whoever. Make sense?


Dave September 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Good info, Brook. I tried to do a ClickBank affiliate ad on AdMob and it, too, was rejected. They indicated the format was incompatible with iPhone. I’ve seen elsewhere that pages containing video are the problem. Trouble is, I’m not having much luck finding pages among the ClickBank offerings that do not have video. Do you know of any sites whose affiliate programs are more suited for iPhone display?

Brook Lenox September 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm


I’m seeing the same issue. The best thing on the iPhone is the apps and the iTunes affiliate program does not work for PPC on Admob because of the lack of tracking and the low commission. Sorry…perhaps it’s still too early.


David October 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm

If I run my 4 ads on admob at the same time, $50.00 only lasts about 1 hour.tons of clicks but no sales . Am I better off with email submit or zip code ads

Brook Lenox October 13, 2009 at 11:46 am


I’d need to know more about your app/mobile service & this campaign before I can give a good answer.

What are you promoting?
How did you set up your targeting?
Did you set up the ads at the minimum bid?
Have you had success with any other efforts?

Feel free to continue the discussion here or email me.


AGODOH TSOGBE July 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

Tanks for helping me. But one things I can’t get now is ADMOB website.
It does not show the page following :
admob Enriching Mobile
Home – Solution – Ads
My Ads / create Ad / Create iPhone Ad
Please help me with exact website.

Mary Hastell August 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I want to put a 38 x 38 tile of my own on the campaign that I am promoting on Admob, however, where is the best place to get images that are not subject to copyright, and which program is best to use to re-size the photo please?

Also, I have just started a campaign and it has had 175 impressions but no clicks or sales yet?

Please can you help?

Brook Lenox August 13, 2010 at 8:08 am

@Mary – First…I’m not a graphics designer, but I have a couple of suggestions. I’d suggest to either 1) design it yourself or 2) have someone design it for you. Try creative commons on flickr for images and I use IrfanView for resizing images. Hope that helps!

Brook Lenox August 13, 2010 at 8:30 am

@Agodoh – sorry I can’t help you with the Admob website. I’m not a part of that company. It works for me.

Amer August 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

Hey, can I run the ads without adding funding for the first time?
the ad shows the green color like it’s working but I dont see any clicks.
Is that because of the conflict between Apple and admob? since I chose to run it on Apple iPhone.

Mary August 14, 2010 at 6:37 am

I have downloaded IrfanView, and it is great! Thank you so much for recommending it, I wasted all day yesterday trying to find a good one but this does everything I need.

Brook Lenox August 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

@Mary – your welcome!

Brook Lenox August 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

@Amer – if I understand your question…you definitely need to add funds BEFORE you can run ads.

Alex August 31, 2010 at 1:08 am

The Admob dashboard has changed this post is outdated! it does not apply to the current admob features.

Brook Lenox September 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

@Alex – You are right! Need to around to updating this.

Michael October 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I’ve been running my own ads for promoting my applications and publishing ads through my apps at the same time. However, seems my ads are served without any fund transferred around 40000 times a day. So I wonder if the ad serving cost is being deprived from my earning in realtime instead from the fund account.

Brook Lenox October 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

@Michael – hmmm…not sure what’s going on there. I’d contact Admob or whatever network you are using. I’ve personally never found ad exchanges to work very well.

Kathy Matney February 20, 2011 at 8:09 am

I have a question – We are trying to promote click bank products with Admob.
like to target iphones. After you login to admob. I do not see add (tab) or create iphone add??? How are you getting to this screen. I do not understand when you promote an item from Clickbank. Then paste the URL into admob it will not work. I need help to create and publish. I would hire you to help me. Please contact Kathy Matney CEO of Global Connect or call 727-289-5358 Home Number. Love to talk with you.

Brook Lenox February 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm

@ Kathy – hi there. It depends on what you are trying to promote using Admob. Are the click bank products on a website? If so, you’d want to choose website in step 2 of setting up a campaign. Then in step 3 you can target iPhones, Android users, etc. Does that help?

Ava May 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I am an app developer looking to use admob to run ads on my free app.
1. can I select the type of ads that will run–specific to my target audience?
2. does admob pay me to simply show the ad (impression?) or only if the ad is clicked?
3. In either case above, how much is paid to me? in real time?
4. Where else can I go to learn more about monetizing an app?

Brook Lenox May 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

@ Ava – answers: 1) you can select categories of ads and filter out ads with Admob, 2) most of the time with admob, you only get paid per click, 3) it depends on your click through rate and the bid of the advertiser (and you get paid monthly), and 4) keep reading my articles :)

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