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Ultimate List of The Best Ad Networks Right Now

Introduction

If you’ve been working as an affiliate for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of ad networks.

If not, then stick around!

In this article, we’re gonna give the scoop on exactly what ad networks are, and why you need one to promote your offers.

We’re gonna look at the different types of cost models, as well as the targeting options and advertising mediums you can use for your campaigns.

We also review some of the best ad networks available to advertisers and publishers that you can use to get high quality, low-cost traffic, in any niche, and of course to make money!

Learn more: Advertisers vs Publishers: Difference and Relationship Status

You’re probably also interested in which ad networks are working right now for affiliate campaigns.

So we’re gonna focus more on that aspect of the business, rather than on how brand advertisers or publishers might use ad networks to promote their services through campaign objectives.

We’ll stay focused on how to use ad networks to get converting traffic to your offers, whether that be an email submit or sweepstake, cost-per-install, new user registration or something else.

What are Ad Networks and Why You Need One

For newbies to the game, the number of available ad networks to choose from can be overwhelming.

You may be wondering where to start or how to cut through all the noise to find golden opportunities.

But this wasn’t always the case.

While ad networks have always existed in one form or another, things were much simpler and far less competitive prior to the online business model we are now familiar with.

This is best illustrated by looking at the print world.

Publishers of magazines and other print materials have dedicated advertising sections, such as full page, half page or front cover ad slots you can purchase to advertise your offers.

This would typically involve booking your ad slot in advance with the publication and paying a set fee for the ad slot for the duration of the print run.

Obviously, this is an over-simplification of the process, but serves to get the point across that booking ad space in a publication is a relatively straightforward affair.

But what happens when you factor in a website with over 1 million daily impressions and multiple ad slots on every page, including additional formats like rich media, pop-unders, and native or contextual links?

All of a sudden, our simple business model becomes impossible to manage.

While the publisher may fill it’s premium ad slots the traditional way, by selling advertising space via a direct sales team or programmatically, they are still bound to have a large amount of unsold inventory which doesn’t get filled.

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This remnant inventory consists of non-premium impressions, which are typically sold as packaged impressions to the highest bidder.

And that’s where ad networks come in!

An ad network, at its basic level, connects buyers and sellers in an online marketplace by aggregating supply and demand.

They are responsible for buying remnant inventory from the publisher and distributing this inventory through impressions to advertisers.

They essentially act as a broker between supply and demand.

A publisher may even use two or more premium ad networks to fill all their available remnant inventory not filled by direct sales and use a remnant inventory supplier such as Adwords to make sure all their impressions get filled.

This practice is known as waterfalling and ensures that inventory is sold for the highest rate available at the time.

Today, we’ve come a long way from when digital ad networks first started, back in the 90s.

Ad networks are now able to use today’s tech to target users based on interests, behaviors, GEOs and lots more besides.

Impressions are served via RTB platforms which provide inventory to advertisers on an auction basis, where you compete with other advertisers in real-time for the ad slot.

So let’s look at what business models exist among ad networks and how you can use them to optimize your own ad campaigns and start making those juicy profits!

Advertising Business Models

Advances in ad network technology haven’t just been on the publisher side.

It’s also been about delivering as much value for the advertiser when choosing their placements and maximizing the value of their ad spend.

This is great news for affiliate marketers, as it’s opened up a whole world of potential to reach their target audience with tempting offers.

But before we get to that, you’ve probably seen acronyms such as CPM, CPC, CPV, PPV, etc, and you may be wondering which cost model is right for you.

Well, the answer is it depends!

While typically a CPM (cost-per-mile or thousand) cost model is the most extensively used, it’s not necessarily gonna work for your offers.

Why?

Well, because you don’t always want to be paying for impressions.

Let me explain.

In CPM campaigns, you’ll get 1,000 impressions at a fixed price.

Now, this will differ depending on the ad network and campaign targeting options.

This means that, as you won’t be paying for clicks, you can get a fantastic ROI, provided that your impressions are attracting a high CTR.

With the CPC model, you only pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

This is often better for CPA affiliates, as you don’t run the risk of overspending on your campaign – and only pay for clicks to your lander.

However, some targeting options will only be available with a CPM cost model – and vice versa.

You’ll also find networks offering a CPL or CPA cost model, which is also great for affiliates as it fits directly into their campaign objectives.

For this cost model, you will bid on actions the user takes on your landing page, so you only pay for the traffic that converts.

Ideally, you want to look at running your ads on networks with both options available to you, so you can test which performs best for your offers and which is the most cost-effective for your campaigns.

Ad Networks with Powerful Targeting Capabilities

One of the best things about ad networks, as we know them today, is that they give you full control, not only over the price levels of your ads but also over the placements and targeting options.

For affiliate marketers especially, this is where things start to get really interesting!

The ability to target specific audiences for different ad campaigns and select categories such as age, gender, GEOs, devices, etc, is a real game-changer for affiliates.

Part of the purpose of an ad network is to provide data to the publisher, so they can track which placements are being fully utilized, which ones are generating the most clicks and which audiences are being targeted.

However, this same data is also available to advertisers, and it’s this targeting potential that ad networks provide that is so attractive for affiliate marketers.

Similarly, as ad networks continue to provide more and more valuable services to publishers, they transcend their role of being simply an option to fill remnant inventory and become an additional source of premium traffic to publisher sites.

This extension of their services is what gives them so much extra potential to affiliates, who can use this to find incredibly lucrative ad slots at extremely competitive prices.

So what are some of the enhanced targeting options affiliates can benefit from?

Well, depending on your ad network, you’ll find a bunch of features you can use to set up your campaign targeting.

Types of Targeting

Here are the most important targeting options you’ll find on ad networks:

  • GEO
  • Platform
  • Device
  • Carrier
  • Publisher domains
  • Keywords
  • Time of day
  • Browser / OS
  • Retargeting
  • Categories
  • Audiences
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Gender

Some ad networks might additionally allow run of all sites on the network (RON) or you can target specific publisher domains to run your ads which are non category-specific (ROS).

Next, you’ll want to specify your budget and frequency capping for the campaign.

The network then facilitates the execution of the campaign through network tags which are placed on the publisher’s site.

Using this technology, you’ll also be able to rotate banners to display within your chosen targeting options and split test your ads to find the best performing creatives for your campaign.

Finally, an ad network provides a convenient reporting and measurement platform which you can use to assess your cost and engagement.

And that’s together with the many channels you can advertise on, including display, video, mobile, social, search, pops, native and push advertising campaigns, each with their own targeting options.

So if you have a campaign you are running on native traffic, you can try it out on push, and vice versa, to see which one performs the best for your offer.

You’ll also need to split test your campaigns by trying different targeting options for your creatives to see which ones are helping or hindering your progress.

Ad networks give you a central platform to analyze your data across multiple publishers and help you compile reports for the campaign to identify areas of strength and weakness.

If you find a particular creative is performing well with a particular traffic source for your targeted interest groups, you can stop running the ads which are not bringing your results and focus more ad spend on the ads with a high CTR.

Keep checking Mobidea Academy for more tips and tricks on how to run profitable campaigns.

Here is the list of the best ad networks for advertisers and publishers.

Best Ad Networks for Internet Marketers

1. PropellerAds

propellerads

Ad Formats: Push, Pop, Native, Interstitial.

Bidding Model: CPM, CPV

Minimum Deposit: $100

Targeting: GEO, Platform, Operating systems, Device types, Connection type, Mobile carrier and ISPs, Zone limitation, Dayparting (including timezone), Frequency capping, Browsers, Browser’s language, Anti-AdBlock zones, Slice limits (only for CPA campaigns), User activity, Retargeting groups, Broker traffic.

Description: PropellerAds is a great choice for both new and experienced affiliates. It offers tons of targeting options and comes with a smart rotator for helping you to find the best performing ads on your push campaigns. The auto-optimization features are a huge time saver and the ad creation process is simple to use, with excellent reporting data built-in.

Read our PropellerAds Review here.

2. MGID

mgid

Ad Formats: Native (video, header widget, under article widget, sidebar widget)

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $100

Targeting: GEO, Browser, Language, Devices, and Operating systems

Description: MGID has a reputation for being one of the top performing native ad networks for affiliates. They have very knowledgeable and helpful account managers, and, while the traffic isn’t the cheapest around, you can find plenty of high converting traffic using the advanced targeting features on the platform.

If you want to know more about this ad network, read our full MGID review or take a look at our list of the top native ad networks.

3. EvaDav

evadav

Ad Formats: Push Notifications, Native

Bidding Model: CPC

Targeting: GEO, OS, Browser, Language, Time of Day, ISP, Audiences, Frequency Capping

Description: EvaDav is extremely easy to use and newbies will quickly get the hang of the user interface to have their campaign up and running in seconds flat. But don’t let the simplicity of the platform fool you!

With a global reach of 250 GEOs and 10 billion monthly push notifications, along with premium ad inventory slots, EvaDav is a good source of high converting traffic and a force to be reckoned with!

4. Adcash

adcash

Ad Formats: Native, Display, Pop, Push, Interstitial

Bidding Model: CPC, CPA Target, CPM

Minimum Deposit: $25

Targeting: GEO, SSPs, User Interests, Keywords, Website Categories, Operating Systems, Devices, Browsers, Browser Language, Connection Types, Zones, Carriers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Description: Adcash offers a state of the art DSP with advanced in-house ad technology and one of the widest targeting options in the industry.

The platform enables you to create highly-targeted worldwide campaigns across multiple ad formats through one interface. Plus, access to over 200+ leading SSPs and Adcash’s exclusive publishers to reach global audiences at any time on any device. With Adcash you can centralize all your media buying activities through a single platform, and optimize all your traffic sources in one place.

Adcash also fights heavily against ad fraud and has saved over $11.8 million advertising budgets in 2018 thanks to their anti-fraud technology.

Last but not least, Adcash’s automatic bidding technology CPA Target helps affiliates save time and money. This means no more manual bid adjustments, blacklisting and whitelisting traffic sources – the CPA Target bidding solution does it for you!

Read our Adcash Review here.

5. PlugRush

plugrush

Ad Formats: Pop, Display, Native

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $10

Targeting: Audience (adult & mainstream), Delivery, Countries, Languages, Orientation, OS, Browser, Connection type, Frequency cap, Time of day, Whitelists and blacklists

Description: PlugRush is an ad traffic exchange that webmasters and adult affiliates are gonna love. Optimize your campaign using advanced filters and automated rules, and sit back and watch as the traffic rolls in!

Read our PlugRush Review here, and check our list of the best adult ad networks.

6. Zeropark

zeropark

 

Ad Formats: Push, Pop, Domain

Bidding Model: CPV, Smart eCPA, CPC

Minimum Deposit: $200

Targeting: RON, Keywords, Target/source, GEO, Countries, Cities, Language, Device, Frequency, Time based, Adult

Description: If you need more volume to your offers, then with Zeropark you’ll be in good hands. We especially like the demo feature that lets you see all the account features before committing to a campaign. The homepage traffic calculator is also a nice touch.

You’ll find different targeting options and cost models depending on the ad format, which allows you to progressively optimize your campaign for the highest performing traffic.

Read our Zeropark Review here.

7. PopAds

popads

Ad Formats: Pop

Bidding Model: CPM

Minimum Deposit: $10

Targeting: Site quality, Frequency cap, Prime spot, Throttling, Category, Country, Population, Device, Connection, Time based, Website, Adscore validation

Description: PopAds may not be the prettiest interface on this list, but what it lacks in UI, it more than makes up for with its advanced traffic and targeting options.

You’ll find traffic prediction algorithms along with advanced reporting filters to help you control your ad spend and deliver high converting traffic to your offers.

Read our PopAds Review here.

8. RichPush

Ad Formats: Push

Bidding Model: CPC, CPM

Minimum Deposit: $50

Targeting: GEOs, OS, Platform, Country, Browser

Description: RichPush is an ad network that specializes in push traffic only.

With more than 400M users it’s one of the biggest push traffic sources in the world.

In their network, the top GEOs with huge volumes are India, Brazil, Mexico, USA. Top verticals are Sweepstakes, Nutra, Gambling, Dating, App Installs.

You could check the current stats yourself with RichPush Insights dashboard.

You’ll find cool features like Target CPA that uses advanced machine learning to help you get as many conversions as possible at your target cost-per-action, or Micro Bidding for those, who want to manually fine-tune their campaigns for maximum accuracy and performance.

Every advertiser gets a personal account manager and can ask for tips, creatives, network insights (like what verticals perform best in particular GEOs lately) and so on.

So RichPush is great for both newbies and professional media buyers.

Read our RichPush Review here.

9. Clickadu

clickadu

Ad Formats: Push, Video / Pre-roll, Popunder, Push, Banner

Bidding Model: RTB, CPM, SmartCPM, SmartCPA

Minimum Deposit: $100

Targeting: GEO, OS, Device, Connection type, Mobile carrier, Browser, IP, Individual zones, Time schedule, Black and Whitelists

Description: If you’re running pop traffic to your offers, then Clickadu is definitely worth a look. The interface is very easy to use and you’ll find top-notch support from the team.

It has the added benefit of having CPA and CPL pricing models, so you only pay for traffic that converts, while simultaneously optimizing your audience lists on your ads

Read our Clickadu Review Here.

10. DatsPush

datspush

Ad Formats: Phone Push, Web Push, Rich Push

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $50

Targeting: Web/Mobile, Geo, Carrier/IP, Browser/Platform, Black/White lists, Source/Audience

Description: DatsPush is a fairly new network, but one that has set a high bar for other self-serving ad platforms to follow. It’s a platform built by affiliates, for affiliates.

You can target 250 countries in 120 GEOs, and with low bids, high-quality traffic, and daily payouts. It’s becoming a popular platform for CPA marketers in all major verticals.

Publishers also benefit from a CPA or Revshare model, making it one of the most attractive platforms whether you are on the demand or supply end of the spectrum.

Read our DatsPush Review here.

11. SelfAdvertiser

selfadvertiser

Ad Formats: Domain channel, Pop

Bidding Model: PPV, PPC

Targeting: RON, Keyword, OS, Browser, Device, Mobile Carriers and more.

Description: SelfAdvertiser takes a unique approach on bidding for pop traffic as it matches your keywords to domains the user is on, and then displays your pops on domains which relate to your keyword search terms. Campaigns are auto-optimized in real-time, and with 75 million daily impressions you can be sure you won’t be short on volume.

Read our SelfAdvertiser Review here.

12. Mobidea Push

mobidea push

Ad Formats: Push Ads

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $50

Targeting: Category, Country, Network, Carrier, Device, OS, Cities, Languages, Time-based, Frequency, Audience.

Description: Take your push campaigns to the next level with Mobidea Push. With simple campaign creation and high-quality push traffic from over 20 top suppliers, this is a platform that will appeal to affiliates who are serious about getting the most bang for their buck!

It also seamlessly integrates with Mobidea Affiliates, so you can choose your offers, and then pop on over to Mobidea Push to buy traffic. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

But make no mistake, this is a network in which experienced affiliates will be equally at home, with plenty of tools at your disposal to take your campaigns to the next level.

Read our Mobidea Push Guide here.

13. MegaPush

megapush

Ad Formats: Push

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $100

Targeting: GEOs, OS, Platform, Country, Browser, ISP

Description: MegaPush is a fresh and vibrant push notification ad network that boasts a ton of features and high traffic volumes.

You can get push traffic from as low as 0.001 $ per click, plus there’s an inbuilt tracker, so you can take control over every aspect of your campaigns.

The interface is well designed and easy to use, and the 12 million clicks per day will convert well for all types of CPA offers.

Read our MegaPush Review here.

14. ExoClick

exoclick

Ad Formats: Push Notifications, Email Clicks, Interstitial Ads, Billboard Banner, Large Footer, In-Video Banner, Native Interstitial, Native Exit, Native Recommends, Display Banner, Sticky Banner, Popunders, Instant Messaging, Video Banners, Video Pre-Roll, Direct Links

Bidding Model: CPC

Minimum Deposit: $200

Targeting: Keyword, IP Range, Language, GEO, Contextual, Browser, OS, Device, Mobile Carrier, Site, Frequency Capping, Day-parting

Description: There are few ad networks that can match ExoClick in terms of ad formats, targeting options or performance.

With over 212 billion ad impressions and precision targeting and cost control over your campaigns, ExoClick is a behemoth of a network with advanced tools for serious advertisers. State-of-the-art technology plus real-time-bidding, along with excellent security and tracking implementation is all engineered to perfection, giving advertisers access to a rich source of quality traffic at affordable rates.

Read our ExoClick Review here.

15. AdMaven

admaven

Ad Formats: Push Notifications, Full-Screen Ads, Direct Link, Lightbox, In-between Ads, Banner

Bidding Model: CPC, CPM, CPA, CPI, CPL, CPS

Minimum Deposit: $50

Targeting: Operating system, Browser and browser version, Blacklist / Whitelist domains based for push traffic and sub ID-based for pop traffic, Mobile ISP, Carrier per GEO, 3G/Wifi, Day of the Week, Specific hours of the day

Description: AdMaven boasts multiple ad formats and huge volume for affiliates who are serious about finding high volume, high converting traffic for their offers. With a focus on compliant ads and over 10 years of experience, AdMaven remains the self-serve platform to beat in 2019!

Read our AdMaven Review here.

16. PopCash

popcash

Ad Formats: Popunder

Bidding Model: CPM, CPC

Minimum Deposit: $5

Targeting: GEOs, devices, operating systems, carriers, browsers, and additional custom parameters.

Description: The $5 minimum deposit is a nice feature and gives new affiliates the chance to try out their campaigns on a small budget. That being said, it’s not the cheapest traffic you can buy.

So don’t expect that $5 to go far, even though the traffic quality is good and usually results in a CTR. Popunder traffic tends to work better in some verticals than others, so if you are running coupons, pin submits, gambling, dating or Nutra be sure to give them a try!

Read our PopCash Review here.

17. TrafficStars

trafficstars

Ad Formats: Banner, Popunder, Push Notifications

Bidding Model: CPM, CPC, cPMV (cost per mille views) and CPM (dynamic cost per thousand)

Targeting: Country, Language, Category, OS, Device, Browser, Carrier and IP Range.

Description: If you wanna reach millions of daily users from high quality traffic sources, it’s worth taking a closer look at TrafficStars.

They are an industry leader in technology and traffic monetization and have some forward thinking cost models based on the value of impressions and guaranteeing high visibility of your ads.

18. TrafficFactory

trafficfactory

Ad Formats: Display, Pop, Contextual

Bidding Model: CPC, CPM

Targeting: GEO, Devices, Carriers, Category, Banners and more.

Description: TrafficFactory offers world class GEO targeting and is the premium network for high quality traffic.

As you are guaranteed top-tier placements with their TrafficFactory, it’s important to focus on the GEOs which will deliver high converting traffic to your offers to maintain a positive ROI.

19. TrafficForce

traffic force

Ad Formats: Display banners, Popunder, Pre-roll video, Push

Bidding Model: CPM

Targeting: GEO (Country/Region), device type, OS, browser, carrier, IP range, connection speed

Description: TrafficForce is great in web and mobile traffic and campaign management. They also run a supply side platform which connects to more than 100 demand side partners, enabling programmatic buying and real-time bidding on 15 billion impressions per month, making them one of the most versatile ad networks on this list.

Read our TrafficForce Review here.

Conclusion

With all the recent advances in ad serving technology, there’s never been a better time for advertisers to get involved.

Plus, with new technology constantly arriving, things are only gonna get better.

The ability to control your pricing structure and use cost effective bidding strategy for your ads, along with laser targeted segmentation, has made ad networks an essential tool for affiliates.

The benefits ad networks provide far outweigh the alternatives of contacting publishers direct.

All you have to do is deposit your funds, set your campaign objectives and targeting objectives, load up your creatives and watch as the money rolls in!

OK, it may not be quite that simple to get a profitable campaign, but the process itself is fairly straightforward and easy enough for newcomers to get their head around.

Plus, with so many ad networks in direct competition, you’ll often find ad networks specializing in one area, such as adult, pops or push notifications.

It’s your job as an affiliate to play to the strengths of the ad network to find out which ones will produce high performing campaigns for your offers.

It’s possible to get started on most of the networks on this list for a relatively low deposit amount and start testing the quality of the traffic.

Once you get a bit more experience, start to scale things up and look at additional traffic sources and compare the performance stats of each campaign.

You may be surprised by the results.

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