This article was initially published in October 2021, but it’s been updated in July 2023, due to accuracy reasons.
No matter if you are an experienced marketer or just a newbie, it’s always hard to decide which ad format to use in your campaign. So let’s start from the basics and explain what you can expect from a well-known and most familiar of all ad formats – the one and only, Popunder.
We’ve gathered the most important questions that advertisers and affiliate marketers like you wonder about, and now we are about to give you all the answers you were craving for.
So buckle up, and get ready to rock Popunder ads from the ground up.
What is a Popunder?
Popunder, or OnClick as we also call it, is an ad that appears under the user’s active tab, in a new browser window. Popunder will be presented as a full landing page or website page (your “Target URL”), displayed in a new tab, behind the one that the user is currently viewing.
Popunder is a very popular ad format that was created to beat banner blindness. It can come in several different forms – in static, video, or animated arrangement.
Commonly used terms
To make sure you don’t get confused on what is what in this article, and to help you understand the difference between quite similar terms tied to Popunder, here is a table you can rely on:
|Popunder ad||Ad format that appears under the active browser window|
|Popup ad||Ad format that appears on top of the active browser window|
|Pop ad||Ad that’s displayed after the user clicks on a web page that contains Pop ad script|
|OnClick||Synonym for Popunder|
|Pop traffic||Traffic that’s coming from Popunder and Popup ads|
|Popunder traffic||Traffic that’s coming only from Popunder ads|
Are Popunder ads effective?
Popunders are one of the most effective ad formats. Their main advantages, compared to some other popular ad formats, lie in the fact they don’t need user permission to be displayed, they offer enough space for long text and large creatives, and they are capable of bringing high conversion rates (CR).
Pros of Popunder ads
- They are hard to miss – no matter that they appear under the user’s current tab, they are noticeable and difficult to ignore. So sooner or later the user will pay attention to the ad
- Popunders are compatible with all platforms and devices – which allows advertisers to reach the widest possible audience
- Popunders do not need to be allowed by the user – as we already mentioned, they don’t need user’s permission to be presented to them
- Popular ad format – users are familiar with how it works
- Format size – the fact advertisers have the entire browser tab on disposable will allow them to use large creatives and as much text as they want to promote their product or service
- Popunders are generating high-quality traffic – they will reach the right audience thanks to advanced targeting settings
- Popunders are ideal for achieving brand awareness – they provide advertisers with numerous options for how they are going to represent themselves.
- They are a cost-effective ad format – with a minimum of $0.01 for 1.000 impressions, you can get a huge reach for your brand/product. In PropellerAds, we have 500 million daily impressions on Popunder in 195+ countries of the world.
What is Pop traffic and where to buy it?
Pop traffic is all the traffic that’s coming from Popunder and Popup ads. When talking about Pop traffic we refer to every click that’s been made by users, based on Pop ads. Pop traffic can lead to direct sales and conversions with very little effort.
As for where to buy Pop traffic – there are advertising networks specialized mainly in Pop traffic, with PropellerAds being the leading one.
Different types of Pop traffic
There are three types of Pop ads: Pop-up ads, Pop-under ads, and Tab-under ads.
- Popup ads, by definition, should be very effective due to the fact they appear in front of user’s face instantly after being activated; however, this is very debatable since they tend to be a bit invasive
- Popunder ads are based on the same format and style as Popups, but they were created to be less invasive and to be presented underneath the user’s browsing window; the user will see this ad only once he closed his active window
- Tab-under ads will not appear in separate window, but only in separate tab (on the user’s active browsing window); it’s also less obvious than Popup, but it can be quite effective, especially if the ad tab starts blinking to attract users attention
Popup VS Popunder ads: Which one is better?
Popup and Pounder ads are quite similar formats, but there is one huge difference between them. While the Popunders will appear in a new browser window, UNDER the active tab user is currently navigating, Popups will showcase on TOP of the browsing page.
Which one you will choose depends on your campaign goals and advertising strategy, but most advertisers prefer Popunder ads due to the fact they are more subtle compared to Popups.
Because this format is more user-friendly, the chances users will engage with the Popunder content are much higher, which will result in a higher CR.
How do users land on Popunder ads?
When you run an OnClick campaign, Popunders with your landing page or website page will show up on various publisher’s websites. These ads will be opened whenever users click anywhere on the web page that contains the Popunder tag.
When that happens, your “Target URL” will pop up in a new browser tab, behind the user’s active tab. At that point, users will have a choice – to continue browsing the initial page they were navigating on, or to go straight to your content – which is UX effective.
What does Popunder look like?
Popunder is a transparent layer on a publisher’s website. It is designed to stay that way, transparent and non-intrusive, up to the point when a user clicks anywhere on the page containing the Popunder tag. Only then the ad will pop under the users’ active tab, in a new tab with your “Target URL”.
Do Popunder ads open in a new tab or not?
Yes, they do. Unlike other ad formats, Popunders will open as a new browser tab. In fact, the moment users click on the page with the Popunder tag, the Popunder ad will automatically be opened under the currently navigated tab.
How do you define user activity on Popunder ads?
When it comes to Popunders, user activity depends on how many times a user has already seen your Popunder ads. The fewer times one user sees one ad, the higher user activity will be. With PropellerAds you can target users based on their activity and choose between three levels:
Note: You will be able to target users based on their activity only if you use the CPM bidding model.
Do I need to add creatives to my Popunder ad?
The Popunder ad format doesn’t require any additional creatives, because once the user clicks on the web page with the Popunder tag on it, the ad will automatically open in the form of a landing page or website page that you added as “Target URL”. So all you need to run OnClick ads is a Landing Page or a website.
What is an optimal frequency for Popunders?
With Popunder ads, less is more. And unless you know your audience preferences very well, we recommend using the default frequency of 3 ads every 24 hours. However, if you need to show ads ONLY to unique visitors, you can send 1 ad every 336 hours (yes, that’s 1 ad every 2 weeks).
What verticals work best with Popunder ads?
Given how widespread they are, Popunders usually perform very well with most verticals. However, they do have the best results within Sweepstakes, Finance, and Utilities. On top of that, during special events, like St.Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or some big sporting tournaments, they have been found to perform very well on iGaming and eCommerce as well.
In what GEOs Popunders convert the best?
When answering this question we can only talk about the current situation, it’s not a constant thing. Also, each campaign is different and campaign specifics are key things that will define its success in different GEOS.
- Tier 1 countries (US, UK, GE, IT, AU, CA) can be a huge success for Popunder campaigns, but they should be reserved only for well-experienced marketers who know how to optimize their campaigns. The reason – traffic here is most expensive and the audience is very demanding. iGaming offers will probably work well here.
- Tier 3 countries (IN, KR, MX, PL) are great for affiliate beginners and advertisers who are not ready to risk losing too much money. You can make it a more profitable option by running a campaign in less expensive GEO but with higher traffic volume. Verticals in high demand of Popunder traffic in Tier 3 countries are Sweepstakes, Mobile content, and Utilities.
Using Popunder traffic in affiliate marketing
To all of the affiliate marketers thinking about promoting products or services through Popunder traffic, this is what you need to do and pay attention to:
Based on our experience, it’s recommendable using pre-landers before the main offer page in Popunder traffic. It’s a good way to present your intentions to your audience before you serve them with a product/service ad. But bear in mind that pre-landers are effective only in some verticals, like Dating or Finance, while in some, like Utilities, they might not lead to desired results.
When setting up your Popunder campaign make sure to cover all the bases and devote your time to the audience targeting – you don’t want to overspend by running too broad campaign. Pay attention to the geolocation – where is that you want for your potential customers to see the ads, device – do you want for your ads to be displayed on tablet, desktop, or mobile, on which operating system you want your campaign to focus, on what browser, connection type, etc.
Keep in mind that if you choose Android, you won’t be able to target the device type.
Make sure to define how often you want the same user to see your ad in a specific time period. It’s important to make a good assessment here so the user doesn’t feel like being bombed with your ads and still is exposed to them quite enough.
- Optimization and testing
In order for your Popunder campaign to be successful and drive to as many conversions as possible, it is essential to optimize it along the way. Focus on test results, try changing the ad copy based on these, or exclude the non-performing ad-zones.
And while we are at the subject of zones – PropellerAds’ new feature called Subzones can bring better campaign optimization and budget allocation by allowing you to split one zone into segments, and invest only in profitable ones instead of excluding the entire zone. It is a very useful tool that works only with CPM and SmartCPM pricing models.
Also, follow the campaign performance, see where the ads are shown, how many times, and if possible, through conversion tracking, get an insight into where the conversions are coming from exactly. For tracking conversions use our auto-optimization tools properly.
Experienced marketers advise to start your Popunder campaign by setting broad targets. Avoid excluding any groups at the very beginning, unless there is a specific audience you have to be focused on. After you track the first campaign results you can create a Blacklist by adding zones that didn’t meet your performance targets, or create a Whitelist of high-performing zones.
How to start getting Popunder traffic?
There are a couple of steps you need to take in order to start getting Popunder traffic. Since you are here at PropellerAds blog, we will assume you are interested in teaming up with us, so here is how you can do it:
Step 1: Sign up with PropellerAds.
Step 2: Add funds to your PropellerAds account; you can use several payment methods for this, including Wire transfer, PayPal, Skrill, UnionPay, Advcash, or Bank Card. You will be able to set up the campaign even without the funds, but you won’t be able to launch it before there is enough money in your account.
Step 3: Create your pre-landers. Remember how we said having a pre-landers on Popunder campaign will probably increase your conversion rate. But this depends mostly on the vertical, so it is an optional step.
Step 4: Create an ad campaign. You can start by adding a campaign name, then continue by selecting Popunder as your ad format and traffic type, after which you can proceed with choosing your bidding model. The next step is to paste the Target URL of your website or landing page and to set up a tracker. After you decide on the ad frequency, you can continue by selecting the traffic option, and then choose the audience. Now is the time for GEO targeting and for defining your campaign budget. Move on with more specific targeting and finally schedule your campaign.
What bidding models are available for Popunder?
There are three bidding models available for all PropellerAds clients who are basing their campaigns on Popunder ads: CPA Goal, CPM, and SmartCPM. Depending on your experience, marketer level, or campaign goal you can choose the bidding model that suits you best.
How much do Popunder ads cost? (What is the lowest bid rate for OnClick?)
The cost for Popunders is the bid per 1.000 impressions (CPM). If you decide to run Popunder ads with PropellerAds you can set a bid as low as $0.01.
However, we recommend running tests to determine your campaign’s potential and the ideal bid value. The system will provide a tip on the optimal price for the chosen targeting. Alternatively, you will likely get a low CR.
Can I add a pre-lander to my Popunder landing page?
Yes, adding pre-landers to your Popunder landing page is possible. You just need to put your pre-lander URL to the Target URL field in our platform, and then on your pre-lander you place the link to the main landing page.
Is there an auto-optimization feature for Popunder?
The simplest auto-optimization tool that you can use when running Popunder ads with PropellerAds is the CPA Goal bidding model. The only expertise you need to run it, is to set the conversion price.
Using it, the system will continue setting bids automatically, bringing you conversions based on the target price you set. At the same time, the CPA Goal also excludes underperforming zones from targeting, boosting your campaign performance.
What traffic sources are there for Popunders?
Working with PropellerAds you can always choose between exclusive inventory or partner traffic, on every format.
Exclusive inventory is high-quality traffic that comes from our exclusive supply partners, while partner traffic gets filtered on our side. Both are great for getting extra reach and for scaling your campaigns.
And let us remind you of PropellerAds Anti-Adblock technology that can help you bypass any known Ad-block plugin. It supports all browsers, it’s immune to blacklists and filters, and it leads to instant revenue growth.
How can I get the most engaged audience with Popunder ads?
One of the fastest and most effective ways to reach an engaged audience with OnClick ads, is by targeting Direct Click traffic. It features different combinations of ad placements and ad formats, and takes interested users straight to your offer. Without any other steps in between.
Are Popunder ads effective in eCommerce?
As we already mentioned, eCommerce is one of the verticals in which Popunders perform very well. This ad format allows you to attract more visitors to your website than, let’s say PPC traffic, and for a significantly lower price.
What can Popunder advertising be used for?
Popuder advertising is a great option for affiliate marketing – not only that it’s convenient, since marketers don’t have to prepare creatives, but it has a high conversion rate and often leads to ROI increase.
Also, Popunders are good for lead generation, but in some particular verticals, like iGaming, Finance, eCommerce. Clearly, the generated leads will depend on several factors, like the rate, selected GEO, and opt-in offer.
Best practices for effective Popunder campaigns
- 1 GEO 1 campaign – this is PropellerAds golden rule and it’s proven to bring way better results
- Fast landing page – with Popunders your landing page is your ad, so you should make sure it loads super fast; you should always test it out before launching a campaign
- Clear CTA – don’t overcomplicate this, the call-to-action button needs to be very simple, clear, and noticeable
- Rely on ad capping – to make sure your targeted audience is not presented with the same Popunder too many times, you can use frequency capping and limit this number
- Do not exaggerate with targeting settings – clearly, you need to use some filters, but don’t exaggerate, at least at the beginning. Start with a broader audience and then with time add more traffic filters if needed
Is Popunder traffic still effective in 2023?
Absolutely. Our latest research shows that Popunder ad format and Popunder traffic can lead to a significant growth in conversions and revenue. And it’s especially effective when targeting new audiences. We will provide you with some examples tied to sports vertical that’s currently at its peak:
Hope we managed to answer all your questions. And if not, come join us on Telegram chat, and let’s further discuss Popunders in 2023.