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What is popunder traffic in affiliate marketing? Are pop-under ads still effective?

New ad formats keep appearing on the market while tried and tested options are still going strong. Both beginners and experienced affiliate marketers are often faced with the difficult choice of picking the correct ad format. If you dive deeper into the subject, you’ll quickly learn that every option has its perks. 

One of the oldest and most popular ad formats is pop. It’s perfect for affiliates with all levels of experience. It’s also successfully used for advertising offers from almost any vertical.  

If you want to learn more about the two types of pop ads – popunders and popups – read on and find out which is the best solution for your business.

Table of Contents  hide 

1. What are the benefits of pop traffic?

2. What is a popunder ad?

3. Are popunder ads effective?

4. Popunders vs. popups – pros and cons.

5. How to increase your conversion rates with pop traffic?

5.1. Spy on your competition.

5.2. Build your own landing pages.

5.3. Watch your targeting options.

5.4. Join more affiliate networks.  

6. Best GEOs and verticals for popup and popunder traffic.

7. Conclusions

What are the benefits of pop traffic?

Before we focus on the different types of pop traffic, we want to bring your attention to the benefits of pop traffic. Pop advertising has been on the market since the mid-1990s. Some advertisers just didn’t want their ads to be associated with the content of the site and a pop-up window would alleviate that problem. And that’s how pop ads were created — rather accidentally, by a guy who was tasked with finding an alternative solution to in-page banner ads.

That small innovation gave way to a brand new marketing strategy. Pop-ups rose to prominence very quickly. The reason for that was mainly because they were beneficial, effective, and of high quality. Rather than distract from the content of the website, ads appeared in a new browser window, letting users choose when they wanted to look at them. 

Additionally, the separation of advertisements from webpages went even further with the appearance of pop-under ads. This non-invasive ad format brought additional benefits to those who wanted to avoid interruption marketing.

But whichever ad type you choose to go for, pop traffic has a ton of benefits:

  • It’s cost-effective. Pops are highly recommended for low-budget beginners because they are unarguably the cheapest ad format available. And they’re not lacking in traffic quality either.
  • It’s scalable. Yes, pop traffic is a great entry point ad format to get started but that’s not all. It’s actually good for both beginner and experienced advertisers and works with low- as well as high-payout offers.
  • It’s high-volume. Pop traffic still beats push notifications in terms of volume all over the world. It’s also accepted in every ad network and available in every traffic source. In short, it’s everywhere and there’s a lot of it. 
  • It’s visible. Popunder and popup ads, unlike banner ads, don’t try to blend in with the website. They appear in their own tab, to be viewed whenever the user chooses to do so. 
  • It’s direct. Pop traffic is, in simplified terms, a prompted display of a webpage. Whether it’s a sweepstakes landing page, an ad with a store discount, or a brand-awareness infographic, a popup is just not possible to miss. 

What is a popunder ad?

Pop traffic can be divided into two categories – popups and popunders. With popunders being the less known form of pops, though equally effective.  

Zeropark, just like many other ad exchange platforms, does not separate popups from popunders. Although pop-under traffic is available in our inventory, we don’t offer it as a separate ad format. It’s still important to know how it works, though. And that’s exactly why we’re sharing that information with you. 

A pop-under ad is almost exactly the same as a pop-up ad. The only difference is that it opens in a window under the tab that the user intended to visit instead of on top. Just like that:


popup vs. popunder

Are popunder ads effective?

At first thought, popunders might seem ineffective because they are not immediately visible to the user. But they have a big advantage which makes their average conversion rate on par with pop-ups. They are completely noninvasive.

Because popunders open as a new browser window, they allow uninterrupted web surfing for those who don’t like to be annoyed by ads. In short, popunder ads are effective because they cater to the audience that hates interruptions. People always check their browser tabs before closing them so these ads won’t go unnoticed anyway. 

Additionally, among all types of traffic, popunder ads are the most subtle. They can only be viewed when the user willingly switches browser windows. In affiliate advertising, such low-key methods tend to generate higher-quality traffic. Regardless of how ad networks choose to categorize their inventories, popunders make a good addition to your campaign portfolio.

Popunders vs. popups – pros and cons.

While both types of pops are excellent ad formats, they each have their strong points. 

Popunders are less direct than popups, and it can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Opening a new browser window without interrupting the user’s flow ensures a better experience for landing page visitors. But it might also take them a while to get to that buried popunder ad. 

In short, pop-under ads have their advantages:

?? Non-invasive.

?? Give the user a choice if they want to look at the ad and when.

?? Great for creating brand awareness.

?? Generate high-quality traffic. 

… and their disadvantages:

? Harder to notice on mobile.

? They’re not immediately visible.

? Not as widely available as pop-ups.

Pop-up ads, on the other hand, are very direct. They are a part of the interruption marketing strategy. They are opened in a new window, on top of whatever website the user is browsing. They are not hidden away, but plain in sight as soon as they’re triggered by the browser.

Here are some advantages of pop up traffic:

?? Immediately visible

?? Direct.

?? Impossible to miss.

…and some disadvantages:

? Invasive.

? Might be seen as aggressive.

? Less focused on user experience.

In practice, the two types of pop actually tend to work best when mixed. Each user is different and a different form of advertising will speak to them. That’s why it’s often best to try the same campaign with more than one ad type. 

Including a high variety of advertising channels ensures that you achieve the highest conversion rate possible.


advantages and disadvantages image

How to increase your conversion rates with pop traffic?

Affiliate marketing is the kind of business that lets you make money every day without putting in a daily effort. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy business. There is a lot you have to learn and test before your campaigns take off. Popunder or popup traffic, a successful affiliate marketer needs to know their way around many things. Here are some key tips and tricks for increasing conversions.

Spy on your competition.

In order to beat your competition, you need to know what other advertisers are doing. The easiest and most effective way to do that is by investing in a spy tool. Spy tools offer insights into the immense market of affiliate marketing. You can see what is running and where; for how long; and how successfully. 

You can see our software recommendations for the best affiliate marketing spy tools hereWe can assure you that this investment will be worth it. 

Build your own landing pages.

Once you do the spying, it’s time to get creative. While doing an A/B split test with a ripped lander and modified lander is an excellent idea, copycatting and hoping for results is not. Sure, the landing pages from spy tools are tried and tested but they’re also very popular. That means the market is saturated with them to the point where they become invisible. 

A good pre-lander usually requires some creativity and optimization. And if your landing page speed is lacking, you might want to look at our tips on how to speed up your lander.

Watch your targeting options.

It’s good to start your campaigns with broad targeting. Beginner affiliates tend to worry about overspending and hence often choose to get started with a recommended whitelist. That’s a good option… but not the best. The most accurate whitelists are always those based on your previous results. 

You should also remember that pairing your offer with a suitable GEO targeting can have a huge positive impact on your pop campaigns. Take a look at our article if you want to learn more about tiers of traffic. 

Join more affiliate networks.  

You’ll need to create a whole lot of accounts while beginning your journey with affiliate marketing. While starting with one traffic source is a good idea, limiting yourself to only one affiliate network is not. Joining more programs or networks is highly recommended for two reasons: you get access to a greater number of similar offers and you get to compare payouts.

One affiliate network is usually not enough. Here’s an overview of ad networks and affiliate programs to supply yourself with a solid inventory of the highest converting offers. 

Best GEOs and verticals for popup and popunder traffic.

As you can imagine, pop traffic is so universal that it works well with nearly every vertical and in every GEO. To be frank, the same can be said about other ad formats as well. Push notification traffic tends to be equally universal but best suited for slightly different verticals.

Although different traffic sources have different inventories, affiliate marketing, in general, tends to follow seasonal trends. Take a look below to find out what’s performing best in Q4 2020:

  • Sweepstakes – oh yes, it’s always sweepstakes. People love winning free things regardless of the season. While a pop-up ad with a spinning wheel is a great and unexpected surprise, a popunder, in that case, might be like finding a hundred bucks in a pocket of that pair of jeans that you long forgot about. 
  • Gambling – the holiday spirit just makes people want to gamble. After all, there are so many bargains to hunt during Black Friday that the more budget you have the better. The gambling vertical is alive and well, and it’s got some serious money-making potential. 
  • E-commerce – that doesn’t need explaining, especially in Q4, does it? It’s the shopping season. Whether you choose to go with pop-under or pop-up adverts, you are making the right choice. Affiliates who don’t advertise e-commerce in November and December are missing out on some serious profits. 
  • Downloads – holiday breaks are usually when people have enough time to think about new entertainment apps on their phones. And if it’s not entertainment, there are just too many great organizational apps to have an empty phone. Also, the world is still not back to how it used to be. And when people sit at home they need apps and games to entertain themselves. 
  • Adult – for the same reason that people need games, they also need some adult entertainment. Homebound and often lonely, people are now more likely to visit a dating page. While adult advertising is restricted to adult traffic, it still offers advertisers a profitable source of income. Pop-under or pop-up, adult ads are still in season.

Pop ads and push notifications both work all over the world. Advertisers don’t need to think much before deciding on GEO targeting here. Everything is for the taking, although not everything for the same price. 

When it comes to choosing which countries to target for your pop campaigns it’s good to take into account what kind of offers you’re running. High payout offers, such as gambling offers, will work best in Tier 1 GEOs. Mid payout offers can work in any Tier, although you need to keep in mind that Tier 1 is more expensive than Tier 3. 

Sweepstakes are usually best for Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries only. Not because they wouldn’t convert in Tier 1 but because the payout would be insufficient to cover the cost of traffic and bring additional profits. 

The content of your offer is quite important as well. It’s Tier 1 countries, for example, that are most crazy about Black Friday Deals. Knowing cultural events, and holidays celebrated by each country can be especially helpful when running narrowly targeted offers. 


Tiers of Traffic GEOs MAP


Pop traffic is one of the oldest and most popular ad formats. It’s also the most recommended for learning affiliate marketing. It works in a very simple way – browser extensions trigger a new browser window to appear either over (a popup ad) or under (a popunder ad) the page that’s currently in use. 

Pop-under traffic is as good an ad format as pop-ups. Actually, thanks to popunder traffic affiliate marketing can be as non-invasive as it gets. And because affiliate advertising requires creativity and innovation, you really need to be open to trying new things. 

Although traffic sources adapt varied policies when it comes to categorizing their popunder inventory, popunder advertising is very common and definitely effective.  

It also doesn’t take much for pops to work. All you need to do is choose an ad network and a traffic source with a high-quality inventory. Then, you need to create some compelling pre-landers and run your campaigns. 

Don’t forget to optimize, though. Affiliate marketing campaigns don’t get profitable on their own. 

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