What Tier to Choose for Ads Campaign: 1, 2 or 3?

Veranika Minina 14 March 2024 Tiers Top GEOs

Table of contents:

  1. Why is There a Division of Countries in Affiliate Marketing?
  2. List of Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 Countries
  3. Tier-1 Countries Characteristics
  4. Tier-2 Countries Peculiarities
  5. Tier-3 Countries Features
  6. How to Choose the GEO?

GEO is a key factor that influences the success of any affiliate marketing campaign. All countries are divided into 3 groups according to their level of development. They are Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3. Understanding the differences between them, you can choose the most suitable one for your offers and effectively boost your traffic volume.

In this article, we suggest you discover the peculiarities of each Tier as well as what tier to сhoose for an advertising campaign.

Why is There a Division of Countries in Affiliate Marketing?

The economists divide all countries into developed, developing and third world countries. This division is accepted on the basis of the economic development of the regions. In affiliate marketing, it is based on the customer’s financial ability and average income. Also, one of the crucial factors is a possibility to make payments online.

These criteria allow you to divide countries into three categories, each of which has its own characteristics. Choosing the right GEO will allow the affiliate to find the target audience for the offer, minimizing the risks.

It is also important to remember that Tier-classification is not stable, as countries can move from Tier-1 to Tier-2 or Tier-3 and vice versa. A sudden change in the political or economic situation can lead to changes: the country can rise in the TOP or become unprofitable for launching an advertising campaign.

List of Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 Countries

Before we start talking about GEOs peculiarities, we suggest you get acquainted with the list of countries.

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America.Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Korea (South), Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates.Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Brunei, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Congo, El Salvador, Ecuador, Egypt, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, South Africa, Thailand, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Qatar, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia.

Tier-1 countries are the most perspective and most desirable as well as the most difficult to work with because of the high competition. Here, affiliates can receive the largest payouts, but attracting users to offers is challengeable as well as the cost of users’ attraction is high.

Tier-2 countries are less competitive compared to Tier-1, and the customer acquisition cost is lower. But it’s worth noting that the residents in these areas are not the least affluent. It means that they can contribute to higher profit potential.

Tier-3 countries are also attractive for affiliates. The reason is cheap traffic which is easier to attract. The payments that affiliates receive are lower, but the profit can be reached by attracting a large volume of traffic.

As you can see, marketers can have successful campaigns in any GEO, no matter if it’s a developed country or a country from the list of third world countries. But you need to know all the peculiarities and possible restrictions that regions may have. So, let’s look through the peculiarities of GEOs to understand what tier to сhoose for ads campaigns.

Tier-1 Countries Characteristics

As we’ve already mentioned, Tier-1 countries seem the most attractive choice for marketers. Nevertheless, users here are used to the abundance of advertisements, and it is difficult to attract their attention not only for beginners, but also for experienced affiliates. Also, these people know how to avoid noisy ads.

One more peculiarity is high competition among affiliate marketers, creating a complex environment for newcomers. Success in this highly competitive landscape is often achieved by experienced affiliate marketers who have honed their skills and devised unique sales strategies.

But the difficulties are not only in high competition. Tier-1 countries also have high prices. Traffic can be much more expensive than traffic from other places. This requires a large initial investment from the affiliates.

There are strict legal regulations created in advertising of products and services by governments. Many verticals face difficulties due to restrictions or outright prohibitions. It’s important to be aware of these regulations when planning and executing campaigns.

Rich target audience;
Top payouts;
Diverse range of payment methods;
Numerous available offers;
Cutting-edge technologies;
Extensive selection of traffic options.
High CPC/CPM rates;
Significant budget requirements;
Big competition;
Stringent industry regulations;
Discerning audience;
Low traffic volumes compared to Tier 1 and 2.

Tier-2 Countries Peculiarities

These countries are in the stage of developing. It means that they can appear in the list of Tier-1 countries as soon as these regions reach the special conditions.

Nevertheless, Tier-2 countries are already quite technologically advanced, the audience has a sufficiently high level of income and easily makes payments online. Here, it is easier for the affiliates to find the ideal client who will not only be interested in the offer, but will also pay for it. Advertising costs are lower, so affiliates don’t need a huge budget to operate in these regions, with the exception of Betting and Gambling.

In these regions, users are more likely to engage with eCommerce, Nutra/Health, Dating and Antivirus verticals. The chance that they will definitely buy furniture, clothes, weight loss products, etc. is much higher as it is easier to get them interested with the help of general sales funnel.

The audience is willing to pay when interested;
Average payouts;
Average CPC or CPM;
Less stringent laws on advertising, compared to Tier-1 (depending on GEO);
Moderate competition;
Significant traffic volumes.
Localization of creatives and landing pages is necessary;
Less popular products and brands may have lower conversion rates;
Market research is essential;
Payment methods need to be verified.

Tier-3 Countries Features

Tier-3 countries are the right choice for beginners. The competition here is lower compared to Tier-1 and Tier-2 countries. The market is not saturated with ads, and it provides an opportunity for marketers to stand out and catch the audience’s interests.

What is more, this approach allows marketers to explore affiliate marketing, understand how the processes work and what are the best ways to attract an audience with the help of creatives, landing pages and prelandings.

These GEOs offer significant traffic volumes at a comparatively lower price. But such quality of traffic requires good optimization. You need to use trackers, or just join a trusted CPA network with all useful features to track the campaigns.

Also, there are some obvious rules:

  • Consider the availability of global and local payment systems in the chosen country;
  • Evaluate the cost to be paid by the client and compare it with the average salary in that country;
  • All the content must be localized due to the fact that a low percentage of people know English in these locations;
  • Adapt the ads according the cultural preferences, values, and nuances;
  • Calculate and plan the campaigns.
Cheap traffic;
Few legal restrictions;
Lower competition between affiliates;
Ad Blocks almost are not used.
Low payouts;
Not good traffic quality.

How to Choose the GEO?

It’s unpossible to say which Tier is the best for ad campaigns. There are a lot of nuances that are necessary to be taken into account.

Knowing the basic peculiarities of all Tiers, you can start choosing the appropriate GEO. First of all, consider your experience in affiliate marketing as well as economic development of regions, the availability of payment systems, and audience characteristics. Additionally, considering the amount of traffic available in a particular area is crucial as it directly impacts your potential profit.

Affiliate marketing campaigns depend on traffic volumes and devices through which it originates. Nowadays, it is beneficial to have a large amount of mobile traffic as mobile phones and tablets replace computers in many situations. However, it is also worthwhile to examine the volumes for desktops devices, even if the offer is not specifically tailored to a particular device.

You shouldn’t focus on one Tier only. Test countries from all categories to see which regions are easier to promote traffic to and which are more difficult, what difficulties you may encounter in your work.

And one more crucial thing is a vertical. For example, Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Russia are considered prime locations for promoting Gambling offers in the beginning of 2024. The USA, Japan, Canada, Germany, and Turkey are recommended choices for Antivirus vertical. To target the Financial vertical, it is advisable to focus on countries such as Argentina, Poland, Greece, Italy, and Indonesia.

So, we recommend you always follow the updates in affiliate marketing, read the articles about the best GEOs for the specific verticals. This knowledge helps affiliates to achieve great results and high commissions.


By understanding the differences between Tier-1, Tier-2, and Tier-3 countries, affiliates can effectively boost their traffic volume and attract the right audience for their offers. The division of countries into tiers is based on factors such as economic development, average income, and online payment capabilities. Each tier has its own characteristics and offers unique opportunities and challenges for affiliate marketers. When choosing the appropriate GEO for your campaign, consider factors such as your experience in affiliate marketing, economic development, payment system availability, and audience characteristics.

Veranika Minina
Veranika Minina is a fan of affiliate marketing. Veranika's articles are carefully crafted to simplify complex concepts, making them accessible to beginners while also offering fresh perspectives about CPA-networks for experienced marketers. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned marketer, Veranika's writings are sure to inspire, educate, and motivate, guiding you towards a profitable affiliate marketing journey.
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