Are you new to affiliate marketing and still figuring out how to launch campaigns? This is the article that will shed light on two of the best-performing ad formats – Push Notifications and Popunders.

We’ll also discuss various methods you can use to optimize your campaigns. But first, let’s start by finding out more about these two exceptional formats.  

What are Push Notifications

If you have a mobile phone, you’ve probably received countless Push notifications so far. The same goes for your desktop device as well. So, what exactly are Push notifications? That’s easy; they’re those small alerts you usually see on the top of your screen. 

Read more about Push Notification in our extensive guide on How Not to Screw Up Launching Push Campaigns

One very nice touch this format offers to affiliates of all levels is the fact that it manages to reach your viewer directly on their device. It looks like a friendly, less aggressive, and oftentimes more reliable source of communication.

This happens since Push notifications are highly customizable, allowing you to adapt your messages to your audience.

Many would say Push notifications are the preferred means of advertising out of all the customer-communication channels. And, since they appear as native alerts on their device, it’s almost impossible for them not to pay attention.

In addition, they almost instantly take the action you indicate. For this reason, you need to have great care of how you use them. More about that later. 

What are Popunders

All that seems excellent, and clearly, that’s not it. We’ve got a way to reach all kinds of audiences, from the most reactive to the ones that are the hardest to impress. And here’s where Popunders come in.

The ever functioning and versatile OnClick or Popunders (also known as ClickUnders) are the pages that appear underneath your main browser page, once you click wherever on it, as their name pretty obviously suggests. 

This highly converting and effective format has been around since the ‘90s, and continues to surprise us more by the day with its evermore effectiveness, despite various voices of the industry claiming that this format’s death is near.

In fact, Popunders are anticipated to perform at even higher rates than we’ve seen so far, in the coming year (spoiler alert).

As always, we’re not all talk and no walk, so here’s the Popunder Traffic: Benchmarks & Market Trends 2021 Report that we’ve put together to showcase the amazing strength of this formidable format.

Why Choose One or the Other?

When choosing between Push Notifications and Popunders, you first need to consider a series of factors that make each a unique candidate for your advertising campaign. So here are the main benefits that we’ve lined for you, to make sure you’re prepared to set up and kick-start your campaigns.

#1 Define how you’ll engage with your Audience

While (most of the time) Push Notifications need consent before appearing on your users’ device, they have a pretty solid rate of engagement, while at the same time eliminating the risk of bot traffic presence.

Also, by limiting the number of daily notifications, we ensure that your users won’t be tempted to unsubscribe any time soon. 

Popunder traffic doesn’t lower the bar, once again underlining the fact that quality is our number one priority. By providing the full picture to your leads before they take action, this format almost guarantees you get informed leads that know what to expect.

Moreover, our anti-fraud features, working only with reliable websites, and constantly reviewing and refining our services, also contribute to that. 

#2 Determine how fast or effective you want to interact with your users

There is one definite difference when it comes to reach and performance when comparing Push with Popunders. That is the fact that the former have a better interaction rate than the latter.

In fact, your users don’t have to browse or use an app to get Push Notifications, as they can appear independently, different from Popunders.

On the other hand, Popunders have their perks as well, not being limited by a number of characters, in terms of the message.

In this case, your user gets straight to your Pre-lander or Landing Page, viewing all your creatives and text. Popunders give you more space to get funky with your message.

#3 Adapt your approach based on your offer

When it comes to getting your message across, Push notifications make things a lot easier, allowing you not only to connect with your existing audience but also expand globally.

In addition, with our vast range of Push notifications, you can reach users on pretty much every platform and device.

With Popunders, you get guaranteed visitors, which means that a certain number of real targeted visitors are directed to your ad offer.

Having the highest click-through rate, you also get a service that is both efficient, and at the same time, cost-effective.

#4 Prioritize between urgency or certainty

Having a short body and customized content, Push notifications are the fast and most effective way to get your customers’ attention, entice, and draw them to take action instantly.

This is how you make sure that the receiver is genuinely interested in what you advertise, at the same time reminding them of what you offer.

However, the long format offered by Popunders, can also ensure the fact that your audience is fully aware of your services or products.

This can make them more prepared to take action, almost as if your leads are already pre-qualified and ready to purchase. At the same time, this can show that once they purchase, they’re here to stay.

#5 Challenge the boundaries of your creativity and reach

As you probably expect, you can customize everything, from the title of your Push, the description, icon, banner, and even the buttons you want to feature.

Plus, you can select from two image sizes of up to a maximum of 720 Kb. We advise that you use at least 4 creatives (unless you don’t want to use all the 8 you can).

Here is where some might say that Popunders shine brighter, allowing you to be as creative as you possibly can, as you rely on the entire content provided by the landing page.

Having a very broad display space, you can allow your creativity to prosper.

When it comes to targeting, you’ll be on the safe side no matter what format you use. Here are the main targeting parameters that you can set, before launching your campaign:

  • GEO – City or State
  • Operating System 
  • Platform – Mobile or Desktop
  • Used Browser and Browser Language
  • Internet Connection Type

In addition to the above, Popunders allow you to target the specific OS Version and devices, for all your iOS users – talking about spot-on targeting campaigns! 

A nice touch that Push notifications bring to your campaign is ensured by the use of Dynamic Tags. This macro gives you the power to narrow your targeting to the specific city in which the user is, at the moment they receive your message. 

That’s great, but how does it work?

We’re glad you asked. When it comes to the mechanics behind these formats, here’s where one might have more success than the other, based on your campaign’s specifications.

Push notifications already have a big advantage in diversity. Our Classic Push notifications only need the user to subscribe, this way accepting to receive the notifications. However, the possibility to opt-out from receiving them is also available at any given moment. 

In-Page Push Notifications can work even without the end-users agreement. This is what makes this format a perfect fit for everyone, being also visible on iOS devices and on all the browsers.


Popunders, on the other hand, are really great since once you get traffic on the Landing Page, and they click on it, they’re practically hooked

From the point of view of the user perception, we can safely assume that no matter the steps the user needs to take to reach your message, the urgency-effectiveness of the engage ratio is perfectly balanced between Push and Pop Notifications. 

Ideally, affiliates should use both formats to ensure their users are approached from various angles and that their messages reach them at various times of the day, from various perspectives. However, we can conclude that both, Push and Popunder formats, perform extremely well on their own as well as combined in advertising campaigns.  

Optimization – ? the holy grail of affiliate marketing

Now that you’ve got all the information you need to best set-up your campaigns on their way to success, let’s talk optimization. There are two main ways to optimize your campaigns to get the best results. The easiest and fastest one is by automating the entire process. The more time-bound manner is to do it manually. 

When setting the optimization of your campaign on hands-free, you can also choose from two different options:

#1 Auto-optimization based on your Pricing Model

CPA Goal does all the work for you, in terms of adjusting traffic bidding to bring more volumes from high-performing zones, at the same time eliminating the low-performing ones.

Push NotificationsHighLowLow– 
PopundersHigh– NoneMedium
Popunder CPA Goal
Setting your Pricing Model Optimization

You will notice that Push notifications feature a CPC pricing model instead of the Smart CPM. The case is different for Popunders where the CPM model doesn’t come with any level of Auto-Optimization.

#2 Smart Auto-Optimization Feature 

This Auto-Optimization feature, automatically excludes inefficient traffic slices (Zone + GEO + OS + Creative) that do not provide your desired price per action.

When it comes to Push notifications, you can use the Target CPA auto-optimization extra feature for the CPC and CPM pricing model. 

Push Notification Smart Optimization
How to activate the Auto-Optimization Feature

Before you can decide to go the manual optimization route, you first need to make sure you understand what isn’t working with your campaign. Here is where the testing process begins.

PropellerAds - How to analyze affiliate campaigns

Make sure you fully understand how to test your campaigns by going over our Campaign Analysis checklist

Once that’s taken care of, you can proceed to optimize your campaign. Here are two very interesting and simple ways to boost your campaign’s performance

How to Choose your Verticals and Conversion Types for Push or Popunder Campaigns

Now that you know everything there is behind Push and Popunder campaigns, do you think that certain Verticals and Conversion Types work better with some ad formats? No worries, we double-checked this with our Account Strategy Team, and here’s what we found: 

(There are verticals that perform best with certain сonversion flows)

Push NotificationsPopunders
Dating / CPL, CPI, deposit.
Crypto / CPL, deposit 
Sweepstakes / CPL (SOI-single opt-in, DOI-double opt-in), CC-submits 

Utilities / CPI, Free Trial, CPS
Pin Submits / 1-Click, 2-Click
iGamming / CPL, FTD’s 
eCommerce / CPS, CPI (e-com apps), CPL
Games / tutorial, CPL, email confirmation, first game login, first match/game played, deposits
Software / Purchase, trial, install, registration

Keep in mind that what you see in the table above are just the best performing vertical and conversion flow combinations. Utilities (VPNs, for example) can work just as well with Push Notifications, but their performance might not be as high as in the case of Popunders. 

For best results, once you have hands-on experience in this field, testing and optimizing, you can mix and match as much as you wish, to find the best formulas that work for your campaigns. 

What’s the next step

Now that you’ve seen all the many ways you can use Push and Popunders, understanding their particularities, you should be ready to start your first campaign.

For some extra help, here are two useful video tutorials that will explain how you can:

What format are you gonna use? For any other questions or assistance, remember that we’re always here for you, 24/7/365.

Advertise well, and prosper! ?


This copywriting enthusiast has an experience of over 8-years in creating engaging online marketing content for various verticals and formats. Out of passion for copy, she devoted 4 years to master the art of sales. Her journalisms-instilled active listening, combined with the sales-bound charm give her the superpower to break boundaries and establish emotional connections with the users.