The Ultimate Guide to Pop Traffic 2022

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Ultimate guide to pop traffic blog header

Have you been searching for how to run pop traffic ad campaigns?

If you have — then you are right where you need to be. This comprehensive guide will show you the basics of everything pop ads, and give you intel to start and scale your pop advertising.

You’ve surely come across pop campaigns before, but this is your chance to learn all there is to know about this popular ad format. And since the ultimate goal of running ad campaigns is to make profit, you should obviously focus on what’s working best for you.

Read this ultimate guide to pop traffic and learn how to make the most out of your pop ad campaigns in 2022!

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What is Pop Traffic in Affiliate Marketing?

You might be new to the affiliate marketing scene and asking yourself how exactly do pop ads work? Well, in its simplest terms, pop traffic is an advert that appears in a new window as a result of a user’s action on the webpage. It all started with a guy called Ethan Zuckerman, the father of pop-up advertising. In the ’90s there was a simple idea that an advert would appear in another window rather than the traditional banner ad format while on search engines. Nowadays you won’t find pop ups on the search engine results page though.

There are two distinct types of pop ads that are aptly named for the way the ads are displayed to users. The first one is known as pop-up and it is displayed on the webpage in front of the page the user is viewing.

The second is pop-under as the ad is displayed in a new window behind the original webpage, so they are visible only when the browser window is closed.



As we have said, pop-up ads are a popular ad format for affiliate marketers — an alternative to native and banner ads. And although pop-up and ad blockers exist, this form of advertising has been bringing amazing results for years now.

These ads still appear regularly on high traffic websites (such as video streaming sites or adult content sites) as well as in the form of interstitials on mobile apps. These ads are great for brand awareness for big brands, so you’ll likely have seen some for large brands like Uber, AliExpress, and even Facebook.

This form of advertising is often assumed to disrupt users. This is to be avoided with smart ad planning and proper UI research. With quality UI design software on board, a marketer can have pop-up ads bear great value to the organic user.



The newer evolution of pop advertising is the pop-under. As the name suggests, they appear after the user has closed the website they were on, and so their browsing experience is not interrupted. This results in a similar click-through rate as pop-up while with improved user experience.

They are mainly effective because they are so non-invasive. Meaning that people have more of a chance to click on them than traditional pop-up ads as they do not distract the user from their web browsing activities and hence people tend to be more prone to actively engage with popunders.

Learn more about effective pop under campaigns!

popunders blog cover

Pop ups vs Pop Unders

You might be asking yourself the question, which is best pop-up traffic or pop-under traffic? Well, let’s settle this argument once, and for all.

In order to understand which pop type is best, it is good to lay out the advantages and disadvantages of each. That way you can make your choice freely.

Pop up

The benefits of pop up traffic:

  • Highly visible instantly
  • Have been around a long time so widely available.
  • Very direct.
  • Simply impossible to miss.
  • Good for brand awareness even if closed.


  • Less focused on user experience.
  • Can be seen as pretty aggressive advertising.
  • Invasive, in-your-face advertising.

We can see that the benefit of pop ads is the fact that they are direct and when sent to an interested user they can be incredibly effective. It’s this interruption to what the user is doing that is the make or break part of the strategy, though. This can lose users, or make them think about your promotion.

That is the risk and reward problem with pop, and it is what leads to the creation of the other version of this ad format which reduces the risk… the pop-under!
advantages and disadvantages image

Pop under

Pop-under ads have their benefits:

  • Non-invasive.
  • User has the choice of when and if they want to look at the ad.
  • Also great for brand awareness.
  • Generates high-quality traffic.


  • Less known than pop-ups.
  • Mobile makes these ads harder to see.
  • Not immediately visible to the user.
  • Users may dismiss the ads as they are closing all windows.

Pop-unders are the newer ad format, so there is still more to learn about how they can be used most effectively. They are a pretty great alternative to the traditional pop up adverts that users are used to.

Learn all the differences between
pop-up and pop under ads!

Pop ups and pop unders in Zeropark

What are the benefits of pop ads? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Some of you may be wondering what are the benefits of pop traffic? And this is a good question.

Here’s a picture that lays out all the benefits of pop traffic for you so you know everything good about this ad format.

This is a brief description of all of the benefits of pop traffic, it highlights the viability of this as an ad format.

Now, it is possible to say that there are some disadvantages of pop traffic, too. For example, pop-up blockers or ad blocker extensions for your web browser that makes this format invisible to some users.

However, another benefit of this ad format is the way that it has evolved to circumvent these ad blockers. Also, if the pop-ups or pop-unders are blocked the ad network does not record this as an impression so your spend is not wasted.

It’s important to say that engagement with the pop ad format is still going strong and volumes are some of the biggest in the advertising industry.

What are the benefits of pop ads? INFOGRAPHIC

Looking for more pop advertising tips? Check out this article by KJ Rocker to rock your pop campaigns.

Pop ads vs Domain traffic

Some affiliate marketers are trying to find out which is the best ad format for them, and it’s understandable as there are a lot to choose from with push, in-page push, pop, domain, native social media, email… and the list continues to grow.

In this section, we will help you find out whether you want to make money with affiliate marketing using pop or domain ad formats.

Let’s start with what domain or domain redirect ads are, as we have already discussed pop ads.

Well, simply put, domain traffic aka zero-click traffic comes from a redirection of a user. This redirection comes when a user types in the URL of a parked/unused domain (this usually occurs from a misspelling) in the website address bar. While the webpage loads, a real-time bidding auction with the various advertisers competing for the traffic until the user is redirected to the highest bidding advertiser’s website (this happens in milliseconds).

In the end, it’s up to you.

Only you know what makes sense for your affiliate marketing campaigns, and your business goals. So, you need to decide which traffic type is right for you. If you choose domain, mobile pop traffic, or regular pop traffic, it will all depend on your affiliate experience, strategies, and budget.

So, we recommend you do your research on the trends related to your niche, on the community forums, and affiliate blogs. This way you will find out exactly what makes the most sense for you and your affiliate business.

Read this article on domain redirect traffic and pop traffic to find out more!

The choice between pop and domain redirect ads

Pop ads for e-commerce

The e-commerce vertical is still one of the hottest pop ad niches and serves ads to millions of users every day. They are particularly effective in communicating sales and discounts for big brands on a mass-market approach.

We have found that they can be particularly powerful to advertise to big spenders, in the latter part of the year. Pop ads communicate the message about ongoing deals and promotions in the run-up to the holiday season. These are especially effective when the pop-up, or pop-under, includes a promotional code for free shipping — like buy one get one free or other discounts.

Pop ads can be very effective especially in Q4 which is notoriously the busiest time in affiliate marketing, click here to learn more about how to make money with pop ads in the e-commerce vertical.

If you haven’t run pop ads before, you can check out a quick start guide to running your first pop ad campaign here.

Is pop traffic still effective in 2022?

In short, we have got to say absolutely yes. Pop still has high volumes and is one of the cheapest ad formats in affiliate marketing. Not to mention the fact it is a perfect place for beginner affiliates to dip their toes in the affiliate marketing waters.

If you use it wisely, pop ads can be incredibly effective in boosting your ROI for your affiliate marketing efforts. Although Ethan Zuckerman has now come out to say he is apologetic for creating pop ads, and this could lead some people to be wary of the ad format, there is no doubt that it is still an effective online advertising format.

You may be thinking that there are more promising digital marketing methods in 2022 such as social media, email marketing, and so on. But by no means does that mean that pop ads are dead, or to be forgotten.

Another thing that is unavoidable is the fact that every reputable ad network around is still providing pop traffic and discussing the benefits of both pop up and pop under ads.

Can you afford not to use them in your affiliate marketing strategy?

And what about pop under traffic, can it be effective?

As we have already said, the good news about pop under ads is that they are non-invasive, and this is their advantage over the other ads that users are presented with 6000-10,000 times a day. Unlike popups, they promote the user experience when browsing the web and don’t demand attention immediately, but wait patiently until the browsing session is finished.

This helps with reaching more users, as the potential problem with some pop up viewers is that if their browsing experience is interrupted too many times, they will simply install pop up blockers and will be lost as a potential customer in the future.

Pop under ads are the solution to the customers that are one pop up ad away from installing a pop up blocker. They cater to those people who are perhaps looking to use streaming services and do not want to be interrupted while they are watching something. While closing all the windows your potential audience will review each window so they don’t close something important like your ad with a promo coupon to their favorite shop. This is your chance for success and hopefully a conversion or two.

The best time to market to someone is once they are finished with their task and ready to move on to another website. For example, your shopping offer, or perhaps win a phone with one of your other sweepstake offers.

This is the biggest advantage of pop under ads, it won’t irritate your audience so they install ad blockers on their devices.


Every affiliate marketer wants to increase their conversion rates. And every affiliate marketing strategy needs optimization, no matter which ad format you choose, whether it’s pop, domain, push, or native ads. We’ll walk you through the things you need to be doing to ensure your affiliate offers have the best chance of success. Whether that’s testing them, using automation, tracking software, or using whitelists to help you.

Test test test

Test test test. That’s always been a golden rule of affiliate marketing. If you fail to prepare your affiliate marketing strategy with testing… then you are preparing to fail.

We recommend that you set aside a testing budget for each campaign to ensure your traffic source has the possibility of conversions before you risk your entire budget and hope your campaign works.

Another way of testing your affiliate marketing campaigns rather than simply trial and error is a/b testing which will automatically increase your odds of a successful outcome.

This comes in the form of conversion testing, which is a feature available in all Zeropark campaigns. This allows you to avoid common campaign setup errors such as domain mismatches, incorrect tracking tokens, incorrect postback URL, and incorrect tracker setup.

Rule-Based Optimization

Rule based optimization, affiliate Marketing tools

If you want to make money while you sleep, then you need to implement a little automation magic into your campaigns. This will allow you to sleep soundly knowing your campaigns are not burning your entire budget while you are away. Let us explain exactly how this works.

It works via an algorithm called rule-based optimization (RBO). These are automatic adjustments to your campaigns that you choose, so you are still in control of your campaigns even when you are not there.

It works by having a set of instructions that change your campaigns when certain things happen, for example, if your CTR drops below a certain level, you can pause the campaign, or conversely, you can increase your bid if your CTR starts to go up. The amounts of increase and decrease can be all adjusted by you so your automatic campaigns can be tailored to your campaign needs.

Allowing your affiliate marketing campaigns to be auto-optimized based on the rules you pick to set saves you time, energy… and most importantly — money.

You are allowed to have up to six instructions that suit your business needs for each particular campaign. These particular instructions are IF-THEN, which means if a certain outcome occurs within the campaign, then a specific action is performed automatically. Pretty cool, right?

For example: 

IF a target has more than $3 spend and ROI is less than -10% within the last three days THEN pause.

This is the simplest example of rule-based optimization, but it will save your campaign whether you are a beginner or an experienced affiliate.

Having said that, Zeropark has RBO available in every affiliate marketer who has set up conversion tracking. All you have to do is set the payout amount of your offer and your rules will be created for you.

And as always, if you have any doubts, you can get in contact with Zeropark’s support team, and don’t forget about our dedicated blog post on RBO.


First of all, it is important to tell you exactly what a whitelist is. As you can see from the example below this is what a whitelist looks like, but this one is just an example you’ll need to provide your own specific data when requesting one from your account manager or customer support contact. In basic terms, it is a recommendation on traffic sources, verticals, GEOs, etc. that perform well together in a given period of time. These lists are not exactly a shortcut to success but a leg up. It’s what you do with the information on the list that will determine your profitability with the information provided.

We mention whitelists here as they can boost your campaign performance and increase your ROI when implemented properly. If you are not looking for campaign optimization tips then look away now. You can ask your account manager for a recent whitelist for pop traffic. And if you don’t have an account manager yet, our customer success team will be happy to help in providing you a whitelist based on your campaign parameters.

POP Whitelist example

(Example of whitelists)

Need a whitelist? Sign up for Zeropark’s Traffic Insights newsletter to receive weekly updates on the hottest sources, verticals, GEOs, and more! 👀


Targeting is also an integral part of your campaign, as the more specific you are with segmenting your target audiences, the more likely you are to get interested visitors to view your offers. We recommend that you segment your campaign by device type, GEO, and always remember to stick to your niche.


Mobile vs. desktop

The type of device your target audience is most likely to use should always determine your offers and your landing pages. And if it isn’t optimized for this, you won’t be reaching as many potential customers as possible. This goes for the operating system, too. Just like with the new iOS 14.5 update, there are always more ways to segment your affiliate marketing campaigns so they are optimized for the best possible conversion rate.

The first thing we need to say is make sure your campaigns are at least split into mobile and desktop devices. After that, you can go optimize for iPhone or android down to individual software updates like the one above on mobile.

We would also recommend testing pop ads with both mobile and desktop, as there is an increased chance of visibility in each case respectively due to the way the ads are viewed on each device. But you won’t know what combination works best for you if you don’t test!

Sweepstakes that promote winning a new phone will work just as well on any mobile device, so there is good news for those affiliates that haven’t optimized for device type yet. But it is time to get started!

Sweepstakes Geos

It’s also important to focus on the right parts of the world for your traffic, as some areas are more expensive than others, and some convert best for particular verticals and device types. One way to find out what works best is through experimenting, and we have mentioned above that a whitelist might give you a hand in working out which GEO works best for you.

The GEOs that have been found to be working best for pop traffic recently can be seen below:




Sports Betting


17,586,072 $0.0029

US(United States)







2,128,971 $0.0013

ZA(South Africa)



Gambling Real

TH(Thailand) 11,080,629 $0.0010







US(United States)





E-commerce RU(Russia)




181,878,815 $0.0009











US(United States)




























MX(Mexico) 7,553,399


As long as you are running pop ads with the verticals mentioned in this article like e-commerce or sweepstakes you’ll be on the right track to be making money in whichever GEO you prefer.


We have covered a lot of ground in this article, so feel free to bookmark this one to come back to. Let us remind you that pop ads are still an effective ad format in 2022 and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon!

Remember that pop ads have high volumes and are still one of the most cost-effective advertising formats in affiliate marketing. And it doesn’t take much for them to work, you just need the right affiliate network and the right ad platform with a good quality inventory. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to optimize your campaigns. In fact, that means optimization can lead you to profit.

Excited to see pop ups rocking the affiliate world all these years?
Run Pop Ads With Zeropark Now!

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