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Native ad spy tool in review

The Native Ad Spy Tool Review: Anstrex [20% Discount]

With Anstrex, you can find and do an in-depth analysis of any native ad that’s been served on the web. In this post, we’re going to review the platform in detail and help you decide whether it’s worth investing in it or not.

Enter the ‘joinative’ coupon code at the checkout and get a 20% lifetime discount on Anstrex.

BONUS SECTION: Scroll to the bottom of the review to find the recap of our Q&A session with Hiren Shah, Founder & CEO at Anstrex.

Doing competitor analysis? In our recent post, we’ve shared the best practices for finding competitors’ ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and other paid advertising channels.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links at no additional cost to you.

What’s Anstrex?

Anstrex is an ad intelligence tool used for finding and analyzing native ad campaigns as well as push notification ads.

When you search for a keyword, URL, or another parameter, the intuitive dashboard displays all the available native or push ads that meet the criteria. In the further sections, we’ll take a closer look at the Anstrex filtering options.

Anstrex features

We at Joinative use Anstrex for researching native ads, and therefore, we’ll be focusing on Anstrex Native in this review.

Who needs Anstrex Native?

Anstrex is a must-have tool in the tool of all kinds of marketers dealing with native ads:

  • Marketing agencies. Working with clients in various industries, you need to take efforts to stay up to date with what the competition is doing. The tool allows you to get up to speed when a new client comes and develop your own vision of the future strategy fast.
  • Affiliates. Doing native advertising to boost your affiliate marketing profits? Affiliates often use Anstrex to see what kind of content successful affiliate marketers promote and build their future campaigns upon these ideas.
  • In-house marketing teams. With a competitive analysis tool, you’ll always have a source of inspiration for branded campaigns.
  • Content creators. You don’t necessarily have to be a native advertising expert to have Anstrex in your toolkit. If your job is building landing pages to help your online advertising team, you’ll find Anstrex useful for getting ideas for your content.

Anstrex Native pricing

Anstrex is priced lower than other similar ad spy tools that often have even more limited functionality.

Anstrex Native costs $69.99 per month. There are no pricing tiers at Anstrex, and for this price, you get full access to all the platform’s features.

Can you get a free trial?

The company doesn’t offer free trials. However, you’ll get a 100% refund if you cancel your subscription within the first 2 days.

Anstrex Native features

Along with a fair pricing model, Anstrex has quite a few remarkable features.

Platforms

First of all, the platform brings together data from 27 native ad networks, including the major ones like:

  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • Revcontent
  • Yahoo Gemini
  • Dianomi
  • Plista
  • Twiago

If you compare Anstrex Native with other available options, you’ll see it covers more countries and networks than any other native ad spy tool.

Dashboard

When you log in to your account, you see a pretty intuitive dashboard.

Anstrex dashboard

At the very top, you can toggle sorting parameters that allow you to filter native ads by:

  • Ad Network
  • Country
  • Platform (Desktop & Mobile)
  • Language
  • Affiliate network
  • Tracker

You can also sort the selection by secondary filters, including dates when the ads were seen first, campaign duration, Alexa Rank, and others.

Two more filters that differ from the rest in unfamiliar terms are Ad-Strength and Gravity.

Ad-Strength evaluates the entire lifetime performance of a native ad. On the contrary, Gravity measures the performance of a native ad over the recent few weeks. The index correlates with the number of times Anstrex was able to see this or another ad.

Mind that you can apply only one filter at a time. To access more advanced filtering, you’ll need to turn to the search feature.

With the search filter, you can limit your research to a specific company or narrow topic.

Anstrex search

To do that, just click on the Search button on the right-hand top corner, type a keyword, and choose an appropriate button among the following ones:

  • Creative Text. By clicking this button, you tell Anstrex algorithms to search for ads that contain certain text in the title.
  • Translated Text. In this case, the platform will search for the keyword within the English translated text.
  • Landing Page URL. When this option is selected, Anstrex will try to match your search phrase with the landing page URL of each native ad. This is the best way to identify what the specific competitor is doing.
  • Publisher Domain. You can enter a root domain, and see all the ads displayed on it and its subdomains.
  • Publisher Widget ID. If you know the values of publisher widget IDs available for certain ad networks, you can search for the specific one(s).
  • Creative URL chains. The option allows you to search by a keyword that is present within the URL redirect chains.
Native Ad Course

If you want to limit your search even more, expand the Advanced Search tab.

Anstrex advanced search

Advanced Search enables you to:

  • Search by single and multiple parameters;
  • Exclude unwanted data;
  • Create groups of parameters and link them for even more versatility;
  • Save your search parameters for future use.

Ad details

When you finally specify all the criteria to be met and click Search, you’ll see a rich selection of native ads.

Campaign details


But that’s not all. You can see more information about any native ad campaign on the dashboard by clicking on the ad of your interest.


Synopsis

On the tab, you’ll find the information about the campaign landing page, ad creative, device it’s displayed on, and the advertising network. If you switch between tabs on the top, you’ll learn more details about other creatives and landing pages from the advertiser, their publishers, ad networks they advertise on, and the percentage of traffic per device and geo.

From our perspective, the Publishers section is the most insightful. Here you can identify publishers that have the highest potential for your future campaigns.

Publisher overview

Download & Deploy Landing Pages

From the Synopsis tab (the default tab), you can access one more unique feature. The landing page deployment tool allows you to copy and adjust your competitors’ landing pages with the help of the WYSIWYG HTML editor.

Landing page deployment tool

The feature is useful for advertisers willing to cut down the amount of time and work spent on developing landing pages from scratch.

We recommend that you use the tool as a starting point to build your own content upon, not a way to plagiarize other companies’ landing pages.

More features

Favorites. Easily bookmark native ads you want to access later by clicking on the heart icon.

Favorites


Exporting. For those who want to access the selection of the most remarkable native ads without logging into their account, there’s the exporting feature.


Exporting

More about Anstrex from the company Founder

Not so long ago, we had a Q&A session with Hireh Shah, Founder & CEO at Anstrex, in our Slack community. Here’s the session recap.

Q: For those not familiar with Anstrex, would you describe the tool in a few sentences?

A: Sure. Anstrex, in a nutshell, is a SAAS platform for online marketers. It was established in 2017. Our mission is to provide competitive intelligence to all kinds of online marketers at an affordable price. Currently, we have 3 products that allow you to spy on your competitors and gain deep insights into their successful online campaigns.

Our Native Tool spies on 27+ native ad networks from 88+ countries. Our Push Notification Tool spies on 38+ ad networks from 92+ countries. Finally, our Dropship Tool spies on big dropship suppliers such as AliExpress, Banggood, Dhgate, etc., and thousands of retailers to identify top-selling products. In addition, the tool helps you with managing your in-store inventory, adding new products, and automatic ordering of the products on the supplier website.

Q: Can you identify competitors’ best performing native ads with Anstrex or make any assumptions at least?

A: We assess the ad performance on multiple factors including how often we see a particular ad, how long it has been running, what is the traffic ranking of all the publisher sites where the ad has been running and a couple of other parameters.

Based on that, we assign 2 numerical parameters to each ad called “ad-strength” and “ad-gravity”. Ad-strength of the ad allows you to compare currently running ads as well as historic ads (ads that are currently not running).

Ad-gravity, on the other hand, has non-zero value if it is currently running and starts approaching 0 if it stops running. This parameter allows you to compare currently running ads.

Therefore, the answer to your question is yes. We can definitely figure out best performing ads for any given advertiser, country, ad network, niche, etc.

Q: Would you describe the landing page deployment feature in more detail?

A: Yes. This is one of a kind. You will not find this in any other ad-intelligence platform. It consists of 3 important tools:

  • Landing Page Ripper: It rips the landing pages by accepting any URL. If it is sensitive to the IP address (Geo-Dependence), we have proxies from various countries to achieve accurate ripping.
  • WYSYWYG Editor: Online editor to edit the page. You can change images/text/links etc.
  • Deployment Tool: Deploys the landing pages to your host using either FTP or AWS S3 bucket using their API.

Q: And speaking of the landing page deployment feature, do you think it’s a good idea to copy your competitors’ landing pages?

A: I am not a big fan of just outright copying landing pages. Start with any successful landing page as your template and then customize it to make it unique. You can use our ripper and ideas from so many different campaigns to achieve great results. Here are my suggestions:

  • You should always be split testing landers. At least run 2 landers at any given point.
  • Retire landing pages with relatively poor performance.
  • Keep honing your landing pages by incorporating elements from other successful campaigns (does not have to be the same vertical). This will ensure that your pages will be unique.
  • Rinse and repeat. Never stop. This will keep you ahead of your competition. Guaranteed.

Q: What top 3 factors would you recommend to consider when analyzing competitors’ native ads?

A: Duration of the ad. No one basically runs ads for weeks or months if it does not bring positive ROI.

Also, pay attention to our ad-strength and ad-gravity parameters which were discussed earlier. We take into account various other important factors including duration to determine these and can be used to make a relative comparison between various different ads.

And don’t forget to have a look at the Publishers tab. Our publisher data on any given campaign gives you a very good idea of how long they have been targeting each and every publisher.

Q: Do you do competitor analysis before you launch your own paid campaigns? How does it help?

A: We currently aren’t running any campaigns because of the lack of time. Our main mission is to continue to enrich the Anstrex platform.

However, I have run many affiliate campaigns in the past and found gold mines by finding some successful campaigns on Anstrex and applying the ideas by using other traffic channels that had not seen such campaigns. That is one more way to intelligently use Ad Intelligence or spy tool platforms like ours.

Q: The question that haunts me is why, being the only tool that collects data from so many networks, Anstrex costs about 4 times less than other native ad spy tools?

A: That is a good question. People assume that if the product is cheaper, it is not so powerful as more expensive products.

But, it will be a wrong assumption in our case. You can try it out (we have a 2-day full refund policy) and determine it yourself.

To provide a more precise answer to your question, scraping data is the most easiest part and not very cost-intensive. The real cost drivers are managing your infrastructure, data store, servers, personnel, and other auxiliary services such as proxies. We have been very smart at controlling these costs and therefore can offer a product that is competitive and profitable at the same time.

Our profit margin may not be extremely high but we do make up for that with volumes. There are so many emerging economies in Asia, Middle East and Sub-saharan Africa, and the residents of those countries absolutely cannot afford our competitors’ products because of adverse foreign exchange rates. We are glad to provide this growing user base with a valuable product.

Q: Do you have any plans to introduce subscription packages for small teams, for instance, with 3 users being able to be logged in simultaneously?

A: We will create such a package in the near future (3-6 months). We have been receiving similar requests from several users.

That’s it! Don’t miss our next Q&A session and join the community today.

So, what are the alternatives to Anstrex?

Before you make sure Anstrex is the tool you want to purchase, it’s a good idea to explore other options. Here are a few other popular native ad spy tools:

  • Adbeat. The tool gives more comprehensive information about native ad campaigns, including estimated ad spend and dashboards for advertiser comparisons. Pricing: starts at $249/ month.
  • AdPlexity. The platform collects data from the seven most popular native ad traffic sources. Pricing: $249/ month.
  • Advault. 13 networks, 19 countries, and over 16 million native ads. By signing up for the platform, you can also get up to $2300 in free credits on Brax, Native Ads, AdNow, Spoutable, and other networks. Pricing: starts at $97/month.
  • NativeAdBuzz. With NativeAdBuzz, you access native ads run on 10 native ad platforms across 12 countries. Pricing: starts at $47 (only 2 native ad networks available) with a 7 day trial for $7.
  • AdPeriscope. This is the only adult ad spy tool on the list. AdPeriscope collects data from 8 major adult ad networks. Pricing: $89.99/month.

Should you sign up for Anstrex?

Given the number of features available on the tool, Anstrex Native offers the most lucrative deal on the market. It truly makes advertisers’ lives easier. Give it a try today and see how easier it is to build strong campaigns with all the data about your competitors’ ads at your disposal.

Enter the ‘joinative’ coupon code at the checkout and get a 20% lifetime discount on Anstrex.