PopAds Optimization Guide

Learn everything from pop ads types, marketing strategies, tracking and analytics to bid strategies and how to perfectly test your campaigns…

What you can expect in this Pop Ads Guide

Firstly, we need to comprehend the right way to set up an Advertiser campaign with PlugRush. All advertiser campaign setup questions should be answered before that we can begin to beat the competition with the instructions of this guide.

At times, they get stuck when seeing all of the options offered on the advertiser platform.

Pro Tip: Be rational and know all about a traffic source (soft & hard factors)

What works on one traffic source may not function on another. Each source is distinctive even if they are in the same cluster.

Not a day goes by without someone asking “how to make money with Pops”.

This guide has all you need to know about Pop Ads. If you want to learn how to develop profitable campaigns, you are in the right place. This is the starting point before you will google “Pop Ads Guides” and will open 20 Tabs simultaneously hoping to find more info.

The truth is there is nothing better than this. For further tips, check out our weekly newsletter in which we will explain more Pro Tips.

In this guide, we will cover the following topics:

Intro to Pop Ads

Purpose & Type of Traffic

Marketing Strategy Types

Prerequisites – Tracking & Analyzing

Bidding Strategy

Campaign Targeting

Campaign Optimization

Special Tips


Introduction to Pop Ads

What is a Pop Traffic?

Pop traffic is derived from advertisements that open in parallel with the website they are attempting to reach. This traffic is generated in two techniques: The first is when the site physically possess the ad code for the popup on their property. The second is when the visitor of the website has a toolbar or plugin on their browser that is generating the pop. Plug rush ad network enables you to target by IP range, domains, or blacklist as a way to figure out where the pop should appear. The pop can occur in the form of a:

  • popunder
  • Popup
  • Tabunder
  • Tabup

What device type of Pop Traffic is there?


A pop opens a new tab/window, triggered by a user and click anywhere on the publisher’s website. The user is surprised if he notices it. This is where the landing page experience starts showing the importance and only the smartest offers will generate, leads, conversions, downloads, clicks or whatever is intended. Also, any scam will be closed almost instantly by the internet users. For setting up desktop pops, the only parameter required is the URL. Meaning the setup time can be quicker than a minute.


Same as a desktop pop, the mobile pop starts up a new tab/window as soon as a user clicks anywhere on the publisher website. The biggest distinction is that the possibility that the user does not see this trigger is almost impossible. As there are fewer extensions on mobile browsers, there are almost no ad-blockers that can really stop the pop to open a new website. As the chrome browser is widely spread, this could be the target browser. Even if some users are enabling certain add-ons in the Safari browser, it is still a minority. Just like for the desktop pop campaign, only the URL of the wished website is required.

Pop ads Advantages & Disadvantages


Pop Advertisement has a lot of traffic in various ways for both desktop & mobile. The traffic can be bought for as low as $1 per 1000 in other words a click costs $0,001 or even less. If you are looking for a lot of cheap traffic, you should read on to know the whole truth as traffic is not everything.


Like most pop sources, Pop Ads has a lot of low-quality traffic. They’re also regarded as a blind network and several times will pass only a website ID as opposed to showing the actual referrer. There are about 300-400 different advertisers per country that you will have to contend with. Each one of them is seeking on a daily business for the next jackpot.


If your offer is easy to complete and is “impulse” driven such as Sweeps, App installs, Email submits, etc. – Pops will do very well for you.

Purpose & Type of traffic will you target with Pop Ads

What’s your purpose with Pop-Traffic?

It is now essential to understand the types of offers that are often seen on these networks but also how these various offers convert.

  • Content Billing – The visitor does an action and is charged a fee straight to their phone bill.
  • Lead Generation
  • Single Opt-In (SOI) – The visitor must complete out the information normally as an email address or a phone number. No verification is needed from the user; the conversion happens only when they submit their data.
  • Double Opt-In (DOI) – Similar to a SOI but requires the visitor to validate their data by clicking an email link or SMS information.
  • Cost Per Sale (CPS) – The visitor buys the product, and a conversion happens.
  • Cost Per Install (CPI) – Once the visitor sets up the application on their, phone or PC, a conversion takes place.

What type of traffic is coming from pops?

Since Pops are generating traffic in a very extreme way, the majority (pretty much all) of the Pop Ad’s publishers are only in a few selected niches.

These include:

  • Adult websites
  • File sharing (Torrents, etc)
  • Image hosting
  • Gambling
  • Web based games
  • Automotive blogs
  • Mobile Content
  • Utility Apps
  • Sweepstakes
  • Antivirus
  • Games
  • Nutra
  • Dating
  • Travel
  • Mainstream VOD
  • Adult VOD
  • eCommerce
  • Finance

You won’t be finding Pops delivering traffic from any reliable site. That’s for damn sure!

It is essential to understand that most publishers only utilize Pops to generate income from their properties when they have no other choice. Nevertheless, even with this type of traffic, there are a few hidden ways that can make you a pretty decent chunk of money.

Pop Ads Marketing Strategy

Emotional Marketer vs Sniper

The first set is what I call the “launch and pray” group. They set up multiple campaigns with the hopes of finding a winner. If something doesn’t work out almost immediately, they write it off as a loss and move on. Those are the marketers that decide to depend on their gut feeling. They are the marketers that state to be data driven but do not completely understand that it is a text. And that text is written in words, a number of hundreds of words, thousands of characters. Giving the user the opportunity to scroll 31 times and spend 12 minutes 43 seconds reading this guide.

Conversely, we have what we call the “camper.” It’s the enemy in counter strike hiding in a corner with a rifle waiting to shine at the right moment. They started a campaign and let it run even if it’s extremely unprofitable. Normally, they “optimize” aka cutting everything not working in the campaign. Over time, they end up losing a lot of money trying to optimize themselves out of a deep hole. Those type of marketers is the data driven guys. They test, learn, react and have a never ending loop.

Who am I, is the question you have to ask yourself

Now, there is no “best way” for everyone, but the answer that is most likely to get you results lays somewhere in-between. Each of these strategies has their strengths and their uniqueness, but unfortunately, most people take each to the extreme. If you want to have a better understanding of each type of Marketing Strategy, you should decide to take a look at the Marketing Campaign Optimization Guide. You will learn how to test and analyze the data correctly.

Tracking & Testing Methodology

Make sure you have the tracking in place

There are several types of marketing tools that one needs to have set up to make sure you are getting the right data while testing different campaigns and make them comparable.

Here is an overview of the different type of tools that you as a marketer need to have set up before getting into this competitive advertising market:


Front-end tracker – Captures data about the user before they load your site or app.

Back-end trackers – Tracks where visitors go to on your site or app.


Heat map tracking – The ability to see where users click visually.

Auto Optimization – Tools that optimize your campaign automatically based on performance.

Data Visualization – Aids you to have a knowledge of all this awesome data you have been collecting.

For further information on how to set up the correct tracking tools, check the tracking & marketing tool guide out.

How to gather valid data:

First, stop viewing the data based on your whole testing period and make selections based on the collective data obtained from the beginning of your test as this is a wrong way of doing it.

Take things one step at a time when you are working through the optimization process. When you finish Step 1 and start to work on Step 2, you are expected to view the data for the time period from when you commenced Step 2 and onwards. Then, do the same for Step 3 and only view the data from the time you started Step 3 and onwards.

And I will write it one last time so that it sinks in: test only one main step (variable) at a time.

The worst mistake you can make is giving up, so under no circumstances do it! You may be required to test 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 campaigns before you obtain your first real success but once you do, it only gets less complicated!

Learn your traffic source very well, and keep testing. There are no cutting corners to build effective campaigns but the hardwork will pay off. Again for getting even deeper into this testing strategy, check out this marketing optimization guide.

Bid Strategy

There are various techniques that can be utilized to set our initial starting bid but I am going to share two specific techniques with you. Remember: everyone has their strategy and you can’t expect one technique to work for each and every campaign.

Endeavor to test 5-10 offers at least and test the best-performing one by utilizing this Bayesian calculator from Peak Conversion.

Method 1: Fast Results – Bid 25% up or down

This technique is simple: you can view what the average bid is and – in this case – it is 0.0015. You either optimize the bid by 25% or reduce it by 25%. That would be your starting bid.

With this technique, you will typically need a bigger testing budget to work with.


Because you will get more traffic at a higher bid range.

This will assist you to test faster, but you will also be paying for a large number of traffic that doesn’t convert that well. At least, until you eliminate the low-quality parts and create amazing whitelists. A different benefit is that as you are one of the major bidders, you will have the opportunity to get the best rankings on the network.

The advantages are usually simple: you get data drawing faster and able to make decisions faster. If you are lucky, this is a great way to run a successful campaign.

Method 2: Low Bid

With this method, the aim is to have a knowledge of what traffic volume is required at what bid ranges and pick the one that has a great volume at a good bid price value. Most affiliate marketers when first starting out, consider getting traffic for the most affordable bid possible. The presumption is that the cheaper the bid, the more likely they are able to make a profit.

Wrong! Cheap traffic is a traffic that most people don’t usually want. If you can get something out of this affordable traffic, you must be distinct with an ultra-high converting landing page. Or else, you just wasted money.

Let’s do a demonstration!

In our illustration above, we began with a $1 CPM, which is a .001 bid. I will personally input various bids on Plug rush. Then, I will view the number of impressions displayed on the “Summary” page. Finally, I will personally calculate the approximated spend per day. See below:

.001 = 9,000 impressions and approximated spend of $9 per day

.002 = 13,000 impressions and approximated spend of $26 per day

.003 = 17,000 impressions and approximated spend of $51 per day

.004 = 20,000 impressions and approximated spend of $80 per day

.005 = 21,000 impressions and approximated spend of $105 per day

.006 = 29,000 impressions and approximated spend of $174 per day

.007 = 29,000 impressions and approximated spend of $203 per day

.008 = 29,000 impressions and approximated spend of $232 per day

.009 = 29,000 impressions and approximated spend of $261 per day

From this data, I collated the $3-4 CPM and $6 CPM ranges which gave me a remarkable amount of traffic.

This signifies that I would select a bid somewhere among one of those two selections.

By raising the bid to the range of $7-9, I may learn new opportunities that convert perfectly.

Although, my total traffic hasn’t improved that much.


By beginning at the lower ranges, I will still acquire a cool amount of traffic while decreasing my ad spend by having a lower CPM.

The major mistake most people make is that they only take a look at the impressions. You can’t check out the average estimated position if you have 10 to 20 people bidding in front of you as there are only 2 things this could mean:

The visitor has been bombarded with a lot of ads before seeing our landing page Or The competition has blacklisted all the bad traffic already and that’s why they are bidding more so we would be stuck only with the junk traffic being left.

This doesn’t mean it is a bad strategy. It only shows that starting with a low bid means that you need to start blacklisting as much as possible before becoming profitable.

Campaign Targeting

Most advertisers that you will be competing against usually will only target categories, ISP/carriers, device type, and finally site placement.

This is a wonderful start for the majority of traffic sources as you do not have to go further than that. Nevertheless, Pop Ads are distinct. We know that each nation has on average over 300 various people competing for similar traffic. So any optimization that you make can enhance your ROI as it will get you much nearer to the success you desire for on this platform.

Before attempting the first thing, you are required to view your historical data. Have you had other campaigns from various channels?

  • What have been the successful factors?
  • Did you view which country the high converting traffic was coming from?
  • From which country was a lot of traffic coming from but not converting?
  • Which device did they use? A mobile phone, a desktop computer or a tablet?
  • Which type of browser presents 80% of your traffic?
  • Which operating system are they making use of?

There are several questions that you can inquire but only specific things will help. If you set up new projects with no historical information, you are required to start somewhere with a well-written hypothesis and keep on running this procedure over again.

Optimize Language / Country Targeting options

How deeply can you go? Let’s visualize that you intend to target the Belgian or Swiss market as they have a strong purchasing ability. There is one little issue:

Which language will you focus on? Which language is your landing page? Is the app, product etc. in the right language?

Those are the issue that is vital when you run Pops as those are the fine-tuning bits that will enable you to win over the competitors. People speak Italian, French as well as swiss-german in Switzerland. In Belgium, they speak French, Dutch and even German. So you need to ensure that either your landing page is automatically identifying the language of the user’s web browser and thus forwarding them accurately since the starting or you have to focus only on the user that has the correct language. Plug rush is working towards giving you the opportunity to target languages and countries in the coming weeks.

Optimize Operating System options by versions

An Operating System is basically vital to understanding your audience. A user operating on Windows Vista or XP has a different purchasing ability than a user operating on an OS X. Same with iOS and Android. In your analytics tool, you should first take a look at where you are acquiring the most effective conversions. The moment you know how to get further into the operating system, ask yourself which Windows, Android or iOS version did the conversion emerge from.

Just visualize that someone is making use of an old Android Version of 3.6 versus someone making use of the newest iOS version. Most probably, the user possessing an old Android Version would be eager to win a brand new iPhone 8 or Samsung Galaxy S8. On the other hand, the user possessing a brand new phone does not intend to change his mobile phone and would not take part.

What we should learn from this is that we are expected to have an understanding of the target audience. We need to comprehend if users that are making use of Windows XP are individuals in the middle age and are possessing a wallet full of money but they only did not comprehend why it is necessary to press the update button to Windows 7 or 10.

Also, remember that you should put this into consideration in conjunction with the targeting country. In India, almost everyone is probably making use of Android phones. And most likely aren’t making use of the latest Android version. In summary, once you know the target audience in conjunction with target country, you will realize that the other groups might be user groups that are not great at all for you or are even bots.

Stay tuned: we are rolling out the Android targeting options soon!

Optimize browser targeting to increase conversions

Several browsers are engaging with scripts in absolutely various ways. Consequently, it is vital to make a browser evaluation of your landing page. When you have an understanding of how this technical part works, you can create a list of the web browser that you will not focus on as the conversion probability is very low owing to the browser technology.

Also, you should endeavor to set up a campaign and also divide the 20 bugs or the 100 bugs into various web browsers. Just imagine you invest $25 on 4 various browsers and all of a sudden you discovered a jackpot that nobody is focusing on. A typical illustration could be Microsoft Edge Browser with sweepstakes. This might be overlooked by your competitors.

Stay tuned: we are rolling out the browser version targeting options soon!

Optimize ISP / Carrier targeting to increase conversions.

Do you want to find the main factors that differentiate you from the competitors?

Here we go!

Carrier Targeting will enhance your probability to significantly narrow down your focus group. Certainly, for this, you require an excellent knowledge of the demographics and the carriers of the country. But this is precisely why it is distinctive and why it is going to distinguish you from the others.

A typical illustration for the US market place are the carriers of T-mobile/Spring. Those are normally budget carriers.

In the long run, this will inform us if we were able to focus on them, we most likely need some free software application to transform those users. Conversely, we possess Verizon / AT&T which ordinarily has got low user rate. Majority of the users are currently their customer considering 10 years or more.

Another example is Germany, you can be sure that a user that is making use of T-Mobile is paying out a lot of money for what they acquire, but the connection quality through the entire country is the most suitable (maybe perfect for individuals traveling across the country in trains, cars etc.).

On other carrier platforms such as Fonic, Lyca, Congstar that have more prepaid providers and the users don’t usually care about the connection in Germany but maybe concerning the city connections.

If those budget providers decides to give you 10GB of bandwidth for only 10€, then the users opt for that particular offer. This indicates that those are likely the users playing games on their mobile phone all day long as well as listening to music and watching of videos. They are the main power users we might decide to target.

Optimize Time Targeting to increase engagement

Targeting the actual time of the users is often complicated, but your analytics expert can actually contact you during the day and when you have most visitors during the week and at what time they are visiting. Same goes for conversion, engagement etc..

If you then tell him to merge this per country, you might actually have an understanding of your users better and know which are your most rewarding hours. Definitely, you would enhance the bid at those times to obtain the best traffic.

Also, why not try something out such as 3 am to 7 am in your focused geo. You might be amazed by the little amount of money invested but the positive ROI.

Optimize Website Targeting to exclude scam

We will get to the final step before launching your campaign live.

Based on the campaign optimization technique you intend to use, you will either be doing away with some sites (blacklisting) or incorporating some sites into your whitelists.

The fact that a site works with one campaign doesn’t mean it will function on another site.

The other is genuine as well. A low performing site in one campaign doesn’t indicate that it will suck in each and every campaign you operate.

In the course of starting out, I highly recommend that you develop a blacklist for specific geos.

For instance, if you begin to operate at a high rate in the United States, be sure to have a record on an excel spreadsheet of full referrers to blacklist.

Certainly, the website you are focusing on most likely do not carry out straight tasks in the beginning but instead when you have passed through one country for some months and you can as well endeavor to start it in another season.

The little extra Optimization

  • Use scripts on your landing pages to get a positive ROI
  • JavaScript alert box
  • No click-back option allowed
  • GEO-Location Call Out
  • Getting city, state, country, zip code
  • More info about that?
  • Date Call Out
  • Random Countdown
  • Pop-Under Domination
  • A user clicks on a CTA and your main offer is opened as well as a new secondary offer
  • Audio Blast

You will get more detailed information about the landing page scripts in the landing page script guide


We hope that by now you have got the motivation and knowledge to develop your next marketer pop campaign. Just keep in mind that you are not losing funds if you are buying the data. This data will enable you to develop the decisions essential to make your campaign worthwhile.

In conclusion, never forget about the following optimization methods:

  • Choose Your Targeting Strategy: Broad vs. Specific targeting
  • Follow the testing principles and verify your results with the Bayesian Testing Calculator
  • Bid high to find the quality traffic quickly before the competitors’ do
  • Use the most converting website funnel to make sure it is not the ad network providing poor quality
  • Cut out unprofitable traffic with blacklisting and whitelisting options
  • Cut low-performing targeting parameters
  • Remove your bad placements

Hope this was helpful. If you still have any questions unanswered, please contact our Support Team via Zendesk, email or Skype.