Wanna get started in the world of spy tools?
We recently discovered a great platform which will change the way you look at spying on your competitors’ push, native and adult ads for good.
This neat software gives you everything you need to spy on your competitor’s ads and take your own ad campaigns to a whole new level.
It’s packed full of useful features that promises to help you create winning campaigns and creatives in no time at all!
But does Anstrex live up to its name and how does it compare to major competitors in the industry?
Let’s find out!
One of the first things that strikes you when presented with Anstrex is the quality of the design and the meticulous attention to detail.
It’s clear from the start that you’re working with a company that takes its mission seriously.
From the well presented homepage to the login dashboard – we’ll come to this later – everything screams quality.
What is Anstrex?
The name itself is an acronym of three words – Analyze, Strategize and Execute – and the platform aims to live up to its name by creating a single unified place for push and native ad affiliates to manage their campaigns.
Just how well it manages to do that is what we’re gonna find out!
But before we get into the specifics about the platform, let’s look at who Anstrex is for. This should give you a basic understanding of why you might wanna use it.
Basically, Anstrex is a competitor spy ads tool, similar to names on the market you may already be familiar with, such as AdPlexity, but its focus is aimed squarely at the push notification and native ads market.
With data on 50+ ad networks and over 17 million ads in 90+ GEOs, it certainly boasts some impressive stats.
So right now you may be thinking, “Sure, but what makes it stand out from the other platforms I’m already using?.”
Well, for one thing, it covers more markets, networks and countries than any other spy tool.
It’s simply the most comprehensive competitor spy tool of its kind you can find.
It also offers a host of features that you won’t find in any one of the competitor spy tools, meaning you would need to have several monthly subscriptions for different platforms to equal all the combined features you get in one monthly subscription for Anstrex.
And, before you think the catch must be in the price, Anstrex has a very modest entry level subscription plan, starting at just $59.99/month.
We’ll look at the plans in more detail a bit later on, but this shows just how much bang for your buck you’ll be getting if you registered with the platform.
So the next question is, can it do all the things it says it can do, and does it do them well?
Let’s find out!
For those of you who may be used to competitor spy ads tools, the dashboard may be familiar to you.
That’s because, at first glance, it’s not too far of a departure from the industry standard layout.
But don’t let that lead you to think you’ve seen it all before!
Anstrex seeks to go far beyond the scope of other tools and has packed tons of new features under the hood that you’ll wanna try out as soon as you can.
First off, let’s look at the top navigation bar.
Right off the bat it’s got a slick design, that’s easy on the eyes, and super intuitive to use to get the results you wanna see.
Depending on your monthly package, you’ll be able to select Anstrex Push or Anstrex Native, and then apply a bunch of additional filters to your search results that enable you to get really specific with what you wanna find out.
Before we jump into these, let’s briefly touch on the profile icons for the logged in user.
Inside your account, you can see two icons, one for your profile settings and another for your video progression module.
That’s because Anstrex has some super helpful video modules which cover every aspect of the platform to help you get the most from the advanced features.
Let’s go ahead on click on it.
You’ll see a bunch of video modules of differing length which drill down into how to use each feature.
Once you’ve watched all these, you’ll be set to go and the video module icon will hit 100%.
While it’s tempting to think, “I’ve seen all this before,” with Anstrex you really haven’t and we strongly recommend to watch all the videos to get the most out of the platform before you start to click around.
Not only are they well presented and super easy to follow, but they’ll give you valuable insight into what to do to use the platform to maximum effect.
If you need more specific answers to any particular aspect of the software, there’s also excellent documentation via their knowledge base, that takes you all the way from a novice to advanced user, and additional chat box support in the unlikely event your question hasn’t been answered.
We tried out a bunch of different features and search queries and were pleasantly surprised to find out each one had been addressed in the video tutorials of the knowledge base section.
Apart from just being a nice touch, this shows just how much care and effort has been put into each step of the process, and why Anstrex is making such a well-respected name for itself as the new kind on the block.
The dashboard filters themselves are gonna give you a rich amount of data to sort through so you can drill down into your competitors’ creatives and ad campaigns with laser precision.
Starting from the top, you have Ad Network, Country, Platform, Language, Category (Native only), Affiliate Network, Tracker and Sort filters available.
This gives you an enormous amount of potential to accurately pinpoint which creatives and campaigns are performing the best on multiple sources and targets.
Just under the top navigation bar, you’ll find secondary filters for Days Running, Alexa Rank, Ad-Strength and Gravity.
The last two are worth mentioning in greater detail as they may be different from what you are used to.
Ad-Strength will measure the lifetime performance of an ad, while Gravity measures the recent performance of an ad over the past few weeks.
So, depending on what information you are looking for, you’ll most likely want to give more weight to one or the other of these filters.
This is great for identifying long and short term trends and planning your own campaigns accordingly.
There’s also a convenient adult filter switch, if you are working in a space where adult offers may raise a few eyebrows!
One of the things that Anstrex has added to the platform is the advanced search filter to help you get only the most relevant results for your query.
This is a huge time saver and makes sure you only see the results that are most useful to your campaigns.
Let’s go ahead and click on it.
You’ll notice there’s a bunch of operators you can use as part of the advanced search rules which you can also sort by advanced operators.
This is especially useful for searching GEOs, when you wanna only see the countries you want to see, combined with ad networks and targets.
The boolean operator at the top of the search operates with an And / Or function, which gives you limitless options for how you wanna view the data.
Using this tool you can get results for creatives by combining filters and using the equal / not equal / contains operators.
For example, say you wanna search for creatives on PropellerAds that do not contain the country Switzerland.
Just add your advanced search parameter to search for all ads which do not equal this country code.
You can add unlimited rules and groups to the advanced search to varying degrees of complexity and detail, depending on how specific you want your search to be.
Once you have created a search that fits your requirements, you can also save your advanced search for later use, which you can access at any time from the advanced search panel.
Anstrex is an all-in-one package that does an excellent job of each step of the way.
How to Use Anstrex
So how does Anstrex work?
Let’s run a search and see just what this bad boy is capable of!
Let’s say you wanna find your top competitors in the dating niche.
Well, first of all, enter your keyword and then select the filters you want to apply to the search.
For this example I’m gonna enter the search term dating and choose mobile search results in the UK with an ad strength of 10 and running for at least 60 days.
This should give us a quick idea of the long-term trends for the creative in this niche.
The search results page is a masonry layout which will show all the creatives that match my search filters, sorted by ad strength.
Here’s what it looks like:
Each search result contains the date first seen, the date last seen, ad title and copy, mobile and desktop creatives, ad strength and gravity, country codes and which ad networks the creative is running on.
One neat feature you can see right off the bat is the ability to be able to run a reverse image search on your competitors creative.
Using this tool, and so you don’t copy your competitors’ exact creative, Anstrex has a link to a reverse image search on all popular image search engines to help you find comparable creatives for your ads.
This works with both mobile and desktop images and is another feature that you’ll find incredibly useful as an affiliate.
So let’s go ahead and click the first ad to see what we can find out about the advertiser’s campaign.
Here’s what you’re gonna find when you access the details for a specific creative:
Synopsis – This tab shows you the Alexa Rank of the site by country, along with the advertising network and creative details.
If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find a link to the advertiser’s site.
You can access the site URL direct if you wanna see the page. This section also contains a link to the Download & Deploy tool discussed below.
Statistics – Here you can see daily stats of the creative, as well as the relative ad strength over time.
Bid History – This will show you the CPC statistics of the ad over time, but we found this isn’t available for every creative. So you may not always have access to this info.
Creatives – This tab shows you all the creatives from the current advertiser and can be filtered by ad strength, gravity, date first seen, date last seen, and duration. A second filter allows you to select which platform you are most interested in, with options for desktop (Mac or Windows), mobile or tablet.
Landing Pages – This will show you the current landing page along with any other landing pages found for the advertiser and has links to visit the page, copy the URL or download and deploy the page on your CDN.
Ad Networks – This tool is self explanatory and gives you a breakdown of traffic percentage per network.
Devices – Find out what percent of ads that were target to which devices.
Geo – Percentage of traffic per GEO.
That’s a lot of info!
By the time you’ve finished analyzing each aspect of the competitor’s campaign and finding out where its strengths lie, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own successful ad campaigns in no time at all.
Use this search filter to uncover competitors in your niche, along with successful ad network platforms and landing pages or look at a specific competitor’s strategy to find out industry trends and what’s working in your niche right now.
For the particular ad we clicked on, we can see in the synopsis tab that the ad is receiving 39.3% from GB, 17.5% of traffic from CA and 31.8% for the USA.
We can view the landing pages and additional creatives for the campaign, as well as which networks have the highest share of traffic.
Use this to uncover profitable creatives, devices, GEOs and traffic sources for your own campaigns.
Affiliates interested in the inbound and outbound URLs for the page can click on the URL chain button in the synopsis tab, which will enable you to see the click IDs and sub IDs for the URL strings, along with finding cloaked URLs.
The only thing we couldn’t determine was which landing pages where specific to which GEOs.
So you may need to dig a little deeper if you wanna find out this info, using a proxy or VPN service.
Landing Page Deployment Tool
Perhaps one of the most exciting features in Anstrex is the landing page deployment tool.
For any non-coders out there, this is gonna save you a bunch of time and give you production ready landers to rival to competition in seconds flat!
If you do know how to code, it’s still a super effective way to deploy your landing pages and cut down on the amount of coding work required.
It’s such a cool way to not only spy on your competitors landers but actually replicate them in your own campaigns, we’re surprised no one thought of it before.
Just think of all the time you’ll save on paying developers or hand coding your own work from scratch!
A word of caution though – don’t just rely on using a competitor’s landing page to bring in the bread and butter.
You’re still gonna want to apply split tests and optimize your pages. So use this tool to get a head start, not to outright plagiarize competitor campaigns.
As this tool downloads in the background, you also don’t have to wait for it to complete and can continue other searches while it works its magic.
You can access the web downloader at any time by clicking on your profile icon and selecting the Webpage Downloader from the drop-down menu.
There you’re gonna see a list of all your downloads in the past 24 hours.
Any downloads made before this are automatically removed from the system.
Ideally, it would be good to get a notification about this, as it’s easy to forget when you first clicked to download a particular page.
Having said that, we found it took only a few seconds to download each page. So you shouldn’t have to wait long to view your files.
Next, click the Edit button from the selected page you wanna use.
This part is super cool!
Anstrex comes with a built-in WYSIWYG editor for you to make changes to the lander on the fly.
You can edit the page with the tools available and opt to edit all links, edit JS and find and replace copy to match your own offers.
You can also edit the source file if you need to look at the code in more detail.
If you’re gonna do this, make sure to remove all tracking from the page. Otherwise, this is gonna lead right back to the original advertiser!
This is a nice touch and shows just how well thought out the tool is for affiliates.
Let the tool do its thing and maybe grab a coffee while you wait for the optimization tool to complete.
It will be done before you get back and depending on the size of the page, you may find your files ready to go before you even boiled the water!
Next, you have two options:
- Download the Zip
- Deploy the files on your server.
For the download files option, simply upload these files to your own server, and you’re good to go!
For the deploy option you’re gonna need to click on the Manage Server Accounts from the profile icon drop-down menu to get set up.
To do that, go ahead and click on Add a New Account and enter your AWS credentials, including the Nickname of your Amazon S2 bucket, along with your Access Key and Secret.
Visit the help files if you need assistance with where to find and set this up in your AWS account.
Once this is deployed on the server, you simply click the link to access the page.
This will also help you connect your own Amazon cloudfront distribution for your bucket with a custom domain name for your landing pages.
If all this still sounds like too much work to you, and it really isn’t, Anstrex has shared use of its own Amazon S3 bucket that you can use an a subscriber to launch your landing pages.
Simply go through the steps as before, but once the page is deployed select to use the shared hosting option, rather than deploying the files on your own bucket.
If this gets any easier, your developers are gonna be out of a job!
That said, we’d encourage you to at least host your own files, as this gives you more control over the longevity of the pages and allows you to create your own page names via Amazon CDN.
The favorites section is another feature you’re gonna love!
Simply click the heart icon on any creative to add it to your favorites.
You can file favorites by network, country, platform, language and tracker and sort them, as per the main search function on the dashboard.
A neat feature here is the ability to add groups to your favorites, and to move creatives into groups simply by dragging and dropping them from the browser.
This may be subject to change further down the line, but for now we’d say it’s a real bargain compared to similarly priced services on the market.
For the Anstrex Push plan, you’re looking at $79.99/month.
This includes everything you need to spy on your competitors’ campaigns and find winning traffic sources and creatives for your own offers, with unlimited searches and alerts.
Anstrex Native plan offers precisely the same functionality but is limited to native ads and is priced at $59.99/month.
If you need both Push and Native, opt for the Push + Native plan at $124.99/month, which is $15 or 10% per month better value than if you chose both plans separately.
Anstrex is much more than just another native and push ads competitor spy tool.
It’s innovative and ambitious and, for the most part, manages to succeed in its vision.
The interface is intuitive and well designed but where the platform really shines is in its function, which far exceeds the scope of its competitors.
It has all the usual features you’ve come to expect from a competitor ads spy tool, but much more besides.
And, somehow, despite this, Anstrex remains uncluttered and user friendly by only adding features that add real value to its users.
Other spy tools should sit up and take notice, because if what we’ve seen from Anstrex so far is anything to go by, there’s lots more in store.
We just hope that it manages to stay on track and remains true to its purpose and doesn’t grow to include too many additional features which could potentially lead to over complication.
So far, that’s not been the case, and each new feature firmly supports affiliates in making their life easier, while giving them fast access to the resources they need to create winning campaigns in short order.
If you’re serious about spying on your competitors’ native and push ad campaigns, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!
We think you’ll like what you see.