What is popunder traffic in affiliate marketing? Are pop-under ads still effective in 2022?

Magdalena Bober
popunders blog cover

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. Every best ad network has it. 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, what are the benefits of pop-under ads, and what’s the best pop-under ad network on the market.

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 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 site. 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. 

Despite pop up blockers and ad blockers become more and more popular over time. Pop unders and popup ads remained the most popular way of traffic monetisation. Online advertising is full of domain redirects, banners, push notifications, in page push ads, native ads, and display ads but pop/popunder advertising is still going strong. Users still engage and ad networks are still adding to their inventories. Even pop under ad network are appearing now to cater to the needs of affiliate marketers.

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What is a pop under 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 an ad network chooses to categorize its 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. To some users, there might not be a more annoying thing than being forced to stop reading content or browsing a web page to close a pop ad. 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 and opened in a new browser screen.

Here are some advantages of pop up traffic:

✔︎ Immediately visible

✔︎ Direct.

✔︎ Impossible to miss.

…and some disadvantages:


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. And pop under advertisments make a good subtle addition to any other format.

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 here. We 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.

If you’re running double opt-in (DOI) campaigns, an integral part of your funnel will be getting users to confirm their sign-up. You might find Hunter’s list of follow-ep email subject ideas handy.

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. 

Moreover, device targeting is an important factor when optimizing your offers. Mobile pop ads are different from their desktop counterparts but they’re an excellent choice for beginners. 

You should also remember that pairing your offer with 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 (and find the best pop ads network).  

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. If you try enough of them you’ll be sure to find the best pop ads network that will bring you countless profits. 

Work on your pop ups/pop unders bidding strategy

Regardless of the ad format you choose, be it Google ads, display ads, banner ads, or pop ads, you need to think about a bidding strategy for your affiliate marketing campaigns.

The charm of any self-service platform is that you get to decide how much you’re going to spend. If you want to go all out and bid high, nothing is going to stop you. That’s actually a good way to test an ad network if you have enough budget. But if you have a less extreme scenario in mind, you should bid up slowly and test your placements gradually.

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

Best pop up and pop under ads network

Pop-up ads and pop-under ads are both great mediums of advertising. Pop ad networks can be found just about anywhere nowadays. Publishers seem to have almost endless pop up ads inventory and traffic sources, both bigger and smaller can offer enough volumes to satisfy beginners and pros alike.

If you’re looking for a good popup ad advertising network, then you are on the right website. Well, almost. Just click the red ‘Go to Zeropark.com‘ button and register. We’ve got plenty of targeting options, dedicated account managers, responsive customer support, push ads, pops, and domain redirects. Zeropark is an ad exchange platform with huge volumes and we pride ourselves on being the most recommended self-serve ad network for scaling campaigns.

The minimum budget to start is $200. With that sum can easily test our advertising platform and receive enough ad impressions to find a profitable campaign.

Pop-under ad networks

However, if a popunder network is what you’re after we have a couple of choices for you. They might vary in CPM rates and inventory as pop under advertising is somewhat less popular than other formats. Still, if you’re looking for the best pop under ad network, there is plenty of networks to go around.

First of all, Propeller Ads offers pop-under ads among their many other ad formats. Additionally, Ad Maven, Clickadu, ADxAD, Evadav, RichAds, and Adsterra advertising networks all offer solid choices.

If you’d ask the community what the best popunder network was, we’re sure these would be the ad networks battling for first place. Customers usually appreciate these above-mentioned self-serve pop under ad networks for the quality of traffic, the possibility to have an account manager, and the variety of ad formats.

Pop-unders might not have the highest volumes but they are still worth trying and no advertiser should skip giving them a try.


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 affiliate network and an advertising platform with a high-quality inventory. Then, you need to create some compelling pre-landers and run your campaigns. Repeat that step enough times and you’ll find the best ad network that will bring you many profitable campaigns. 

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

Are you running your holiday campaigns yet?
Run Pop Ads With Zeropark Now!

Magdalena Bober

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