How to optimize a pop ads campaign like a pro

How to Optimize Pop ads

Once you’re determined to get good results on your pops ad campaigns, one way or another you get to the busiest part of it — optimization process. While optimizing a popunder campaign, you must be really careful as the traffic volumes for this format are enormous!

But if you want to know how to optimize ad campaigns on pops and get a pretty good hint on it, here are the answers to most of your questions!

The first question you face is how to make optimization on pops ad campaign? Where to start? Which parameters are the main to look at to make decisions? Our ad network experts and the 6 best affiliate marketing experts will share their wisdom about popunders’ optimization in this post.

What is optimization on pops 

The main goal of anу affiliate campaign is to get conversions. If there are no conversions, there is nothing to optimize. If you got a couple of them or even one, this means that the offer has potential in this ad network. 

For your profit, after some time of campaigns running, the cost of one conversion should be cheaper than the money you spend on traffic to buy it.

Any ad campaign’s optimization is the process of analyzing and disabling the sources, OS, devices, and other parameters that don’t bring conversions. It helps to pay less for ads and have profit in the end.

It is essential to mention that even experts in affiliate marketing don’t profit from the first day of the campaign’s running. That’s why the right moment to count your profit is not before optimization start but after it.

Learn more about how to set up Popunder campaigns in our top webinar “How to run Pops like a Pro. RichPops traffic insights”.

Main points for pop ads campaign optimization

Sometimes, the campaign starts getting conversions on the first day, but it’s not necessary. Wait at least 2-3 days to get enough data.

If there are no conversions after 3 days of running, it means that something went wrong with your landing page (incorrect URL, lousy design, problems with loading speed of the lander, and so on). If you’ve checked the landing page and it works well now, it may signal that this particular ad network doesn’t work.

At least you may try another country for this offer. Keep testing or quit.

The first thing you should check during pop campaign optimization is to make sure you have solid offers and landing pages.

Nick Lenihan, Affiliate Marketing Expert

In the testing stage, daily budget limits mean a lot. Use it not to lose money.

One more important point for optimization is to set up a postback process between the ad network, affiliate network, and your tracker. Postback is a top thing for auto-optimization on our platform. 

Auto-optimization features can be handy when it comes to pop traffic. The amount of visits is too high there, and you get a lot of data to work with in the tracker. 

Save your time and budget using RichAds top features that are available after Postback integration. Everybody can set them up once, and they will work hard while you are busy with your affairs.

You can learn more on setting up postback at all popular trackers and integrating with RichAds in our Affiliate tracking tutorials page!

Check in which time zones your ad network, affiliate network, and tracker works. If they are in different zones, you may face some troubles with data transfer. For example, the tracker won’t get the information about conversion in time, so your optimization process may go wrong. Set up the one time zone for each of them to be sure in your data.

What is RichAds?
🔝 High quality push and pop ads,
🔼 domain redirect and native traffic source,
🔝 buy push ads at $0.005 (CPC), pop ads at $0.5 (CPM),
⏫ domain ads costs start from $1.5 (CPM), native ads — from $0.001 (CPC),
⏫ ad network offers large volumes of traffic in more than 200 geos from Tier 3 to Tier 1.

Main parameters to look at in popup & popunder campaign optimization process

First, you should divide optimization into 2 segments: you can track the user’s profile or optimize traffic source.

In the user’s profile, you can look at:

  • City & Region;
  • Device (if you initially haven’t divided your campaigns into desktop and mobile);
  • OS;
  • Browser;
  • Connection Type;
  • Browser Language.

In the traffic source, you can look at a particular:

  • Subscribers list;
  • Publisher;
  • Site.

You can optimize all these parameters according to the data you get. Please, have a look at each of the parameters in the tracker and analyze it. If a certain OS, device, or browser doesn’t bring conversions, disable them on the ad campaign’s setup page in the ad network. 

You can do it even when the campaign is running. Don’t forget to save these changes!

How to Optimize Pops Ad Campaign Like a Pro

Every affiliate marketer has its steps to optimizing popup campaign. Somebody starts with traffic sources, somebody — with the user’s profile, and others look at the landing page’s performance first. There is no wrong or right way.

I optimize pop ads campaign in the following way.
The Traffic Source Segments are the variables specific to the traffic source. These are the ones I tend to give the most attention to once I’ve done my basic Visitor Segment optimizations.

Luke Kling, Affiliate Marketing Expert, rules premium affiliate community affLIFT

There is one more trick before we start analyzing. When we talk about pop ads there is no need to look into the tracker’s clicks parameter. The thing is that the users get into the landing page not after they click on something but automatically. That’s why on pops click means the same as visit or impression. Disable parameters connected with clicks in the tracker and make the process easy.

Learn more about how to launch and test a Pops campaign in our e-book

Нow to utilise blacklists and whitelists on popunders

While working on the optimization of traffic sources for popup & popunder campaigns, you need to be quite aware of high volumes of traffic for this ad format, and what constructs them. As soon as you know what traffic sources consist of, you can start utilising whitelists and blocklists, the best and least performing traffic sources for the campaign. Sometimes, you can get the quality data on what sources show the best results only with the help of conversion trackers.

In this part, we will tell the traffic sources structure at RichAds, show how to utilise whitelisting and blocklisting, and give some tips on optimizing paired with conversion trackers’ data!

The hierarchy of traffic sources at RichAds

For optimization, it’s important to understand the traffic source structure to make black- and whitelists.

The smallest source is a separate website. Several websites form a publisher, and a few publishers make a subscribers list.

These 4 numbers make a sublist. As you can see at RichAds, each sublist refers to the group according to its quality. Start to test with best Premium sources and then add Standard and Remnant.

These 4 numbers make a sublist.

Whitelists and blacklists

One of the main steps to optimizing your popup campaign is to disable non-converting sources. Why should you do this? If the website doesn’t bring conversions, it probably doesn’t contain your target audience. As you pay for impressions, using such sources may lead to colossal budget spend.

Except for blacklisting, you can also make whitelists. Remember that to make a proper whitelist; you need more time and data. To include a black- or whitelist source, you should set up source ID (32-character code) in the following format: 1 line – 1 source. There shouldn’t be any additional symbols or spaces. To set up, use publisher ID or site ID.

How much money is enough to test one subscribers list? RichAds experts say that everything depends on the payout.

Spend 1-4 payouts for your offer per sublist. If it’s low — use x4; if it’s high — x1-2.

Remember that if your budget is too tiny, you can’t test all the sources correctly. For this situation, we have an excellent tool, Source Sampling, which helps test sources in the best way even with a small budget. 

What parameters to look at in the tracker?

At first, sort your subscribers lists in the tracker to see which one doesn’t bring conversions. If you have enough data, you can dive deeper to look at each Publisher or even Site. 

Find the report for Publishers, for example, and sort them per Visit. You may notice that some Publishers have a lot of visits and no conversions. Turn them off, adding them to the blacklist. You’ll find the instructions on how to do this below.

Then you can sort the same report per Conversions and see which Publishers bring conversions. But Conversions are not enough. Have a look at the row with ROI or Profit. 

If you have conversions, and positive ROI, it’s a good sign! Add this source to Whitelist.

If you have a conversion, but your ROI is low for this source, it’s a reason to think about blacklisting or how to pay less for this source (you’ll find the instruction on how to use Micro Bidding below).

Also, you can have a look at the EPV (Earnings per Visit) per source. Compare it with the CPM you pay for these ads. If the EPV amount is close to the CPM, you have to think about them. Probably you won’t get profit from this source.

Optimization on pops based on the following terms:

EPC (Earn Per Click) = EPI (Earnings per Impression) = EPV (Earnings per Visit)

  EPC (Earn Per Click) or EPV (Earn Per View) is the ratio that shows an average earning of the webmaster for 1 click (impression) of their ads. This value is opposite to CPC. They are usually compared. If CPC is greater, at the end of the campaign, you are in a total loss.
When comparing, remember that pops work on the CPM model (payment for 1000 impressions = clicks).

How to use RichAds features for auto-optimization on Pops?

RichAds has cool features for maximum automatization of the optimization processes and reducing the traffic budget for pops.

Make work with pop ads easier using Performance ModeMicro bidding and Automated rules. The latter two features are allowed for the customers who have conversion tracking connected with RichAds.

How to start in Performance Mode

Performance Mode is a RichAds’ in-house feature that sets optimizaton process into an automatically adjusted mode. Once you’ve started a pop ads campaign in Performance mode, the algorithm behind it will be automatically detecting the best parameters for the campaign and set them accordingly.

Running pops campaigns in Performance Mode adds weekly fresh whitelists and blocklists, figuring them out by the campaign’s results! Thus, continuingly sorting traffic sources in this optimization flow, you get more and more highly converting sources exactly for your offer.

At RichAds you can launch a popunder ad campaign in Performance Mode right from the start. We also highly recommend to use this optimization flow for beginners and those marketers who want to get a safe choice on automatic optimization!

Also, worth mentioning that Performance Mode works simultaneously with manually added whitelists and blocklists, which increases the overall CR, decreasing the budget expenses. Plus to that, running pops in Performance Mode on Premium traffic sources at RichAds boosts the results, as this group is already configured with the best performing sources!

How to set up Micro bidding

Micro bidding allows us to set up different bids for different parameters within one campaign.

You may notice, for example, newer Androids tend to convert better, and you would like to increase traffic from it.

Formulas for Micro bidding are set up in the following way:

Parameter name: value:operation and change factor
Example: os:android 6:+0.001

Popup & popunder campaign optimization process with Micro bidding

For example, an advertiser’s bid for the campaign is $0.003. To make it higher for a certain OS, use the following settings:

os:android 6:+0.001(0.003+0.001=0.004 — it’s a total bid);

How to set up Automated rules

Automated rules allow creating automatic settings for black- and whitelists according to 7 parameters.

You can apply this action for:

  • publisher IDs;
  • site IDs;
  • OS;
  • creatives = landing pages;
  • browsers;
  • devices;
  • campaigns.

Using this feature, you don’t have to set up lots of parameters manually.

To make the work of Automated rules correct, set up at least 2 logical automatic conditions.

Here are the best conditions to make black- and whitelists:

  • Clicks+Conversions;
  • Spend+Conversions;
  • CPA+Conversions;
  • Conversions+Clicks+Spend.

Automation is also very helpful for managing pop campaigns, such as traffic source rules (i.e. if spend >1.50 and Conversions < 1 pause website).

Nick Lenihan, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Let’s look into the example of blacklisting non-converting sources. As it was already said previously, you have to choose two logical conditions: for example, if the spend is greater than $3 and conversions are less than 1, the system will automatically blacklist this source.

Don’t forget to set up a period of time. For blacklisting, 1-3 days may be enough.

popup & popunder campaign optimization process
Popup & popunder campaign optimization process with Automated rules

You can learn more about Automated rules feature and its utilising here.

Expert’s wisdom on how to optimize popup campaign

Here you can find some useful tips from the experts on optimizing your ad campaigns on popup & popunder! You can choose your own strategy on optimizing or follow the additional tips, or even mix it.

Don’t forget about using the automatic platform features as they increase the performance and at the same time decrease the expenses and effort.

Tips from Luke Kling

The fewer variables you have in your initial campaign setup, the more likely it is that you are not overpaying for traffic and the fewer variables you have to optimize for. Mobile and desktop traffic are going to have different bids. Instead of setting up 1 campaign targeting for both mobile and desktop, create separate campaigns for them. Then, when you do your optimizations, you also won’t have to worry about optimizing for the device. The same can be done for GEOs, OS, browser, etc.

There are 2 segments you can optimize for in each campaign:

  • Visitor Segments;
  • Traffic Source Segments.

The Visitor Segments are standard things you need to analyze/optimize in every campaign: device, OS, browser, etc.

The Traffic Source Segments are the variables specific to the traffic source. These are the ones I tend to give the most attention to once I’ve done my basic Visitor Segment optimizations. For example, with RichAds, you would optimize the Site ID and Publisher ID.

If you want to do it like a Pro, setup automatic optimization rules. RichAds has this built-in, so there’s really no excuse not to do it! Otherwise, you can test trackers/ optimizers like TheOptimizer, Landingtrack, RedTrack, and soon, Voluum!

Luke Kling, Affiliate Marketing Expert, rules premium affiliate community affLIFT

Tips from Servando Silva

There are many things to pay attention to while optimize popup campaign. It all depends on which type of campaigns, verticals, and conversion flow you’re testing.

However, some variables you’ll always need to check when optimizing are the website IDs, the OS and browser. Filtering bots is one of the things I consider a must for Pops as where you can find more bot traffic than any other traffic source.

Servando Silva, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Tips from Ian Fernando

EPI. The only number that is important. Everything else is just tweaking.

Ian Fernando, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Tips from Nick Lenihan

The first thing you want to do is to make sure you have solid offers and landing pages. After you know you have that, you can look at the segments of traffic you’re buying and see what’s working and what’s not (i.e., Android > Chrome > WiFi or Android > Chrome > MTN). Eliminate the losers and scale the winners. If EPV > CPV, then scale (increase bids, use other traffic sources, etc.).

Automation is also very helpful for managing pop campaigns, such as traffic source rules (i.e. if spend >1.50 and Conversions < 1 pause website).

Nick Lenihan, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Tips from imAttila

Pick the best lander after 1000 visits to it based on landing page CTR and/or conversion; whichever seems to make sense.

Continue with more landers in the style that worked best.

Test the offer on the backend. Even the same offer on different CPA networks might perform differently.

imAttila, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Tips from Colin Dijs

A combination of the “3-Day Rule” and rule-based optimization based on cutting low-quality placements. Find more about this rule here.


Colin Dijs, Affiliate Marketing Expert

Find more tips from the experts about optimization on Pops in our e-book


Pop ads campaigns optimization might seem like a very busy task followed by handling high volumes of traffic and details to consider. But in the end it narrows down to these simple steps: user profile optimization, traffic sources optimization, converting landing testing, and utilising automatic features. With the knowledge of these peculiarities, you can try setting up optimization process for your popunder campaigns and get higher and higher results with the practice!

We at RichAds have prepared everything for you to optimize your ad campaigns at the platform on popup & popunder with ease! You can launch a pops campaign worldwide on 220+ geos from Tier 3 to Tier 1, getting the best results with the use of Performance Mode, Micro bidding, Automated rules and integrating conversion tracking tools. Run profitable popunder ads with RichAds!

What is RichAds?
🔝 High quality push and pop ads,
🔼 domain redirect and native traffic source,
🔝 buy push ads at $0.005 (CPC), pop ads at $0.5 (CPM),
⏫ domain ads costs start from $1.5 (CPM), native ads — from $0.001 (CPC),
⏫ ad network offers large volumes of traffic in more than 200 geos from Tier 3 to Tier 1.

Aksana Shakal
Aksana Shakal has been in affiliate marketing for more than 5 years and is currently the Head of Content at RichAds, an ad-tech holding company. Her sphere of interest lies in affiliate marketing and SEO copywriting. In her articles, Aksana provided in-depth expertise in gaining traffic with different ad formats (push and in-page push ads, popunders and native ads) and verticals (Gambling, Dating, Nutra, Finance and much more). Aksana also loves reading novels and watching interviews on YouTube.

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