Mobile marketing has been on fire for the past few years.
Mobile pop traffic is the source where a lot of newer affiliates got their start and created their first $1k a day campaign.
There are a ton of mobile traffic sources to choose from, plenty of offers, and it’s simple to get started in.
But there’s also a lot of confusion around mobile.
Have you ever seen the “hot offer” reports from different affiliate networks? And have you noticed most of those offers are banned?
I wanna clear the air around mobile from an affiliate’s point of view.
Plus, I’m gonna show you what makes a profitable mobile campaign, and give you some insider tips.
Here’s what I’m going to cover in this post:
- What is mobile pops, and how does it work?
- Is mobile pop good for newbies?
- What do you need to get started (plus my recommendations)
- Pros / cons of mobile marketing
- What offers / verticals work well on mobile
- My top 3 tips for successful mobile campaigns
Let’s get started!
What Is Mobile Popunder Traffic and How Does It Work?
Popups started on desktop years ago, and they’ve made their way onto mobile.
If you’ve ever been on a torrent/streaming site or adult affiliate sites, you’ve seen popups.
Most of you know what pops look like, but this section is for the 1% who might never have seen them before.
Here’s how mobile pop works:
- You visit a site and click on a link (often to download something, or watch a video)
- A new tab opens in your browser and takes you to a new page, OR, you stay on the same page, but a new tab loads under the original website
Mobile Popup Definition: You click a link and a new tab opens on top of the original website you were on.
Mobile Popunder Definition: You click a link, and the page loads as normal, but another website has loaded under your original tab.
With popunders, the viewer will see the page later when they are flicking through their tabs.
Here’s an example of a landing page on a streaming site (plus an example of a “spinning wheel” landing page lol):
#1 Click on any of the links on this page
#2 Next, I see a new tab open on my phone
#3 Then, it takes me to the landing page tab.
This is how mobile popups work. Mobile popunder is the same, but the new tab pops under your current tab, so you won’t see it straight away.
You can kinda tell that mobile pop is pure interruption marketing.
Interruption marketing means that your visitors didn’t intend to see your ads/landing pages.
They might be trying to stream a TV series, but instead, they see a landing page giving them a chance to win sweepstakes.
It might sound kinda weird, especially if you come from AdWords where you are bidding on keywords and people are actually wanting to buy stuff.
Why would someone wanna sign up to a sweepstakes offer if they are trying to watch GoT online?
There are a lot of reasons why – it’s your job as the affiliate to convince someone that it’s worth their time.
Is Mobile Popup Good for Newbies?
I don’t wanna say that mobile is the BEST strategy for newbies because there are some things about it that won’t suit everyone (see Pros & Cons section below).
But it is ONE of the best places for newbies to learn affiliate marketing.
There are a ton of reasons why:
- Most mobile traffic sources have a low minimum deposit
- Traffic is CHEAP compared to FB, native, search etc.
- You don’t have to worry about ads – just landing pages
- Mobile traffic sources are very forgiving
When you run campaigns on Facebook you have to worry about your account getting banned, uploading & building ads, creating landing pages, relevance score etc.
With mobile you just start sending traffic to your landing pages.
Yea you can get your account banned, but you have to be running something pretty aggressive to get a ban. Plus, they will normally warn you a couple of times (unlike Facebook).
What’s the downside of this?
Low barriers to entry mean that it’s gonna be difficult.
BUT, it’s still a good place to learn CPA affiliate marketing.
You learn how to set up your tracking, how to build landing pages, how to split test and optimize.
A lot of big affiliates hit their first big payday on mobile.
There’s very little friction.
Ripping some landing pages & uploading them to your server + Voluum takes an hour or two.
What You Need to Get Started as a Mobile Affiliate Marketer
You need to line up a few things before you dive into mobile.
Most of these you can get done within a few days.
Approval from affiliate networks might take a few days, but you can be getting your tracker set up, landing pages built, and some research in.
You can build up a system for uploading to your server, storing your files/results etc.
There’s always something you can be doing as an affiliate.
Here’s the list of things you need to get started:
Mobile Pop Traffic Sources
Most of the mobile traffic sources are companies you won’t have heard of before. You can’t go to Google and ask them for mobile pops lol.
These companies work kinda like native traffic sources.
You build a campaign in your dashboard and put your campaign URL in from Voluum. After your campaign has been approved by their quality team, it will go live.
There are a ton of these mobile traffic sources that offer pops, but…
Here are the mobile pop traffic sources I recommend:
Pro Tip: Some traffic sources will start running traffic as soon as the campaign is approved. Others give you the option of pausing or running once it’s approved. Be careful to set a low budget for your campaigns otherwise it might drain your budget.
You need some mobile offers to promote.
Some affiliate networks are better for mobile offers than others though.
Here are my recommendations for mobile affiliate networks:
Note: These companies do mobile AND desktop offers. Always make sure the offers are for mobile. You can see in your affiliate network dashboard. If you’re not sure, hit up your affiliate manager.
You need landing pages to send your traffic to.
If you know basic HTML & CSS, this will be super easy for you.
If not, then you can still hack your way through it.
The easy way to do it is by ripping a landing page and then customizing it. Spy tools like Adplexity will save you a lotta time…
This is a good way to learn coding as an affiliate marketer. You only learn things as you need them. When you can’t figure something out, look it up on StackExchange, or watch a Youtube video on how to do it.
You can use landing page builders to create your own, but they will be a lot slower.
Here are a couple of quick mobile landing page tips:
#1 Go for simple images
Remember, it’s interruption marketing. People will decide in less than a second if they want to click through to your page. Don’t try to be clever. Get the point across fast.
#2 Make the pages load as fast as possible
I’ve written about how to boost your page load speed before. This is one of the most critical parts of mobile pop, especially if you are running in Tier 2 / 3 countries. Some countries have really slow internet, so you wanna make your files as small as possible.
Affiliate Marketing Specific Tracker
I don’t wanna hear any more stories about guys using Google Analytics to track their campaigns lol.
Voluum is the gold standard in this industry. There are other options like AdsBridge if you’re on a budget, but if you can afford Voluum, it’s worth it.
It feels like a pain in the ass to set up your tracker at the start, but once you’ve done it a few times there’s not much to it. I’ve written a comprehensive guide on affiliate tracking software here.
Servers / Hosting
If you’re on shared hosting trying to run mobile campaigns, you’re throwing money away bro.
One of the best tips I can give you is to use a CDN like Rackspace. A CDN holds copies of your files on servers all around the world so your page loads lightning fast from anywhere.
Imagine if you’re running a campaign in the Philippines, but your server is in Dallas, Texas.
It’ll take a long ass time for that page to load if you know internet speeds in the Philippines.
But if you use a CDN like Rackspace, they have 200+ servers all around the world. Chances are there is one close by the Philippines and your page will load a lot faster.
You can also use a VPS or dedicated server like LiquidWeb if you can’t use a CDN.
(FYI, Adplexity have got a deal on at the moment. They are doing 25% off FOR LIFE for Ngo readers)
This is one of my favorite parts of mobile.
If this were any other industry,affiliate marketing spy tools would be illegal.
It feels like insider trading or something. A spy tool like Adplexity lets you see thousands of landing pages & campaigns that other affiliates are running.
Then you can one-click download the landing pages so you can use them in your own campaigns.
How does Adplexity work?
First up you decide how you wanna search. You have 3 options.
This searches the actual text on the landing page. Say you wanna find other affiliates pushing the Uber app. Type “Uber” into the search field and see some of the most popular landers.
Here’s what pops up:
This lets you search for specific offers in Adplexity. This is massive. You put in the offer URL and you can see what landing pages other affiliates are running.
Try this one of for yourself, I don’t wanna give away too many secrets 🙂
This lets you see which creatives run on certain websites or apps. This is useful if you see a domain name that keeps popping up, or if you wanna find out which category you should use on your traffic source.
What else can you search by?
Device type – Android or iPhone
Connection – is it running on mobile data or wifi?
Affiliate network – this is good for finding profitable offers
Ad type – you can choose between popup, in-app, redirect, text etc.
Traffic source – gives you an idea of what other affiliates run on that traffic source
Tracker – this is a major giveaway it’s an affiliate and not a brand or big company running the ad
Hopefully you guys can see how much of an advantage Adplexity is for mobile affiliates.
Adplexity goes a lot deeper than this too.
You can one-click download landing pages, you can order landing pages by Newest, Running Longest, or Received Most Traffic.
This tool is a game changer for mobile affiliates.
Now you wanna know what offers to run.
Spying is the best place to start, but there are some evergreen offers/verticals on mobile.
What Offers / Verticals Work Well on Mobile Pops?
I hate the question “What offers are hot.”
You need to dig deeper.
What kind of traffic does mobile popunder have?
It tends to be un-targeted traffic that skews towards men (because of the type of websites it’s on).
So now…what kind of offers work well for untargeted traffic for men?
On top of that don’t think about the offer only. What angles and landing pages can you use to emphasize this?
This is something I cover in depth at AFFcelerator workshops, but I’ll give away as much as I can here 🙂
There are four main monetization types of offers, here they are:
#1 App Installs
Someone installs an app on their phone, and you get paid.
Simple enough right? Well not anymore.
Now companies are smarter and have different metrics they want you to hit.
Some apps will only pay if the person takes the right action (book a hotel, do a scan etc.).
Here are a couple of examples of verticals within app installs:
There are a ton of antivirus software companies out there who make all of their sales from affiliates.
You will see a lot of affiliates run this vertical on mobile if you use Adplexity.
These are software downloads / apps for mobile phones. They are in niches like battery life extender, speeding up your device, protecting your data etc.
#2 Lead Generation
This means someone fills a form with their information, and you get paid.
It’s important to make sure you’re sending quality leads. The advertiser will cut you off if the lead quality is bad and not backing out for them.
Vouchers are one of the biggest lead gen offers for advertisers. You have probably seen $500 Amazon / Walmart / whatever company gift card offers around. These can work really well on mobile if you localize your marketing.
Health / Beauty
Weight loss, muscle gaining, supplements etc. are all massive niches that have trial offers for mobile users.
There are a ton of these offers available for mobile and they can have good payouts. Most of the time they are “get an iPhone for $x” kind of offers.
#4 Pin Submits
Pin submits (sometimes they are called Mobile Content Offers) are offers where users sign up to get access to receive regular content. They have a ton of content they can provide and it varies a lot. Offers might give out utility apps, adult content, antivirus protection, horoscopes etc.
The image above shows one that is using a security software as the main selling point, but the icons underneath show the user they can get heaps of other content if they sign up.
These offers have been around forever, but they keep converting. People go into the draw to win prizes like iPhones, tablets etc. Often they will pay out less than a few dollars for each conversion.
Pros/Cons of Mobile Traffic Sources (Popup/Popunder)
You guys should know by now there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Every business model has good and bad sides.
I talked about Shopify ecommerce a while back, and native ads before that. Both have pros and cons.
Never try to find a “perfect” business model. Weigh up the risks and rewards, then make a decision and stick it out.
Here are my thoughts on the good / bad of mobile.
Pros of Mobile Pop
Easy to get started
Mobile is one of the fastest ways to get started as an affiliate. You sign up to a traffic source & affiliate network, get Voluum, upload some landers to a CDN and you can get started.
You can rip landing pages using Adplexity to get you started which saves a lot of time.
Mobile pop and redirect clicks are super low cost. Why? Because it’s untargeted traffic. Some mobile traffic sources support keyword bidding, but the costs will probably be higher.
Traffic is the biggest cost an affiliate has, so cheap clicks mean that mobile is budget friendly.
Don’t need to worry about ads
One of the hard parts of being an affiliate is balance. You want to get high click-through rate, but you only want the right people to click your ads. It’s a fight between clickthrough rate vs conversions.
With mobile, you don’t have that problem. People automatically see your landing page so you only need to convince them they need the offer & to click through.
That’s why search, display and native are not as newbie friendly – there are more variables to test, therefore you need more budget.
Mobile traffic sources are not gonna be as strict as Facebook or Google.
They do have restrictions on what you can run, but you can run more aggressive offers and landing pages. Things like sweepstakes and antivirus will get you banned straight away on Facebook, but you can run these offers on mobile.
Note: You still have to submit all of your landers for approval. If they don’t allow something, they should tell you why so you know for the next time.
Cons of Mobile Pop
Campaigns can be volatile
Mobile has opportunities for massive ROI, but it’s also unpredictable.
Bid prices go up and down, and sometimes weird things happen that you can’t explain.
Campaigns can go from 200% ROI to 50% ROI overnight. You’ve got to keep a close eye on your stats.
You can have one ZoneID killing it one week, and die off the next week.
The main takeaway is that mobile is definitely not a “hands off” business model. There is massive potential, but you need systems to keep your campaign ROI high.
Hard to scale
This flows on from campaigns being up and down. If you can’t keep a steady ROI, you don’t want to scale it. There are a few tricks to scaling, but it’s advanced stuff.
Mobile pop is super competitive. STM has a few guides like the Mobile Cookbook that a lot of newbies have used. There are a ton of follow alongs on STM that are super helpful for newbies, but that also means a lot of competition.
If you do mobile you’ll find yourself in bidding wars all the time. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it means there’s money to be made.
Charles’ 3 Biggest Tips for Profitable Mobile Campaigns
You Have to Get Aggressive
Mobile marketers are super-aggressive with some of their landing pages and scripts.
You’re at a disadvantage if you’re not as aggressive. I hate that the industry is that way, but it is what it is.
Know what you can get away with, and what you can’t.
You Need to Focus on Cutting Site Placements
Before someone sees your landing page, they are on another site. That site has a “siteID” or a “placement”.
If you start a campaign you’ll see that traffic comes from hundreds of placements. Some of them will be profitable, some of them won’t be.
Building a strategy for pausing traffic from placements is a vital part of mobile.
Your Speed Matters More Than Ever
Remember that some people who see your ads will be on dialup speed internet. Even in countries with high connection speeds, you wanna make your landers ultra fast.
There’s a study on Kissmetrics that says if a site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose 40% of your visitors.
With mobile pop, if your page takes 3 seconds to load, you are never going to get profitable.
Mobile Pop Traffic is Great for Newbies
If you wanna learn affiliate marketing, mobile pop / redirect is a good place to start.
- It doesn’t cost much to get started
- You learn optimizing and split testing
- You don’t have too many variables to worry about
- You’ll learn how to create angles and see what really sells
It teaches you the fundamentals of affiliate marketing.
There’s still good money to be made on mobile even though it’s been around for such a long time. One of the most important things to remember is “Imitate then Innovate”.
You can’t expect to rip landing pages and get rich.
Before you go, grab this list of mobile traffic sources!
If you liked this post, please share/comment for me so I know you guys like it!
Mobile Video Training / Two Super Affiliates
Two of the best affiliate marketers in the world hang out and answer your questions on mobile marketing.
16 questions. 1 hour long. Non-stop knowledge bombs. We had fun shooting this video and hope you receive tons of value from it. There’s not too much mobile marketing content out there right now for free, so enjoy!
Tips for choosing mobile traffic sources:
PlentyofFish Mobile – Not affiliate friendly anymore since they got bought out by Match.com. You won’t be able to get anything approved.
Facebook Mobile – I only recommend it if you’re doing a “clean” campaign like Teespring / Shopify ecom. DO NOT do Facebook if you’re running anything slightly shady. Your account’s going to get banned and it’ll be difficult for you to get another one.
NativeAds on Mobile – Places like Taboola. Too expensive for newbies
Adult on Mobile – Places like Exoclick. Super competitive.