The ad formats available to marketers have grown exponentially with the rise of digital marketing. They can range from the traditional search ads, display ads, and pop-up ads on websites; to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and native advertising in publications or blogs.

While mastering a particular traffic type is a good start, marketers should consider taking their campaigns into more than one channel. After all, digital marketing can be pretty unpredictable!

One moment you are earning thousands from a particular source; the next thing you know, it's been banned. Boom. Gone. Should you just close up shop, then? Are you going to sit in one corner and cry? While this idea may sound like a doomsday prediction, affiliates who've been around long enough know that this can happen anytime, so it pays to be prepared to switch to a different traffic source.

This article will highlight all of these different types of online advertising formats available for modern marketers looking for an edge over their competitors, or at the very least, those looking to scale.

Ad Formats Discussed​

Display Advertising
  • Banner Ads
  • Interstitial ads
  • Video Ads
Native Advertising
Search Engine Optimization
Sponsored Search Results or Pay-Per-Click Marketing
Contextual Ads
  • Pop ads
  • Zero-click ads
  • In-Text ads
Social Media Marketing
  • Organic Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Ads
Incentive Ads
Email Marketing
Push Notification Ads
  • Classic Push Notification Ads
  • In-Page Push Ads
  • iOS Calendar Push Ads
SMS Marketing
Audio Ads
Mobile Ads
Adult Ads

Display Advertising​

Display advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising, and you are guaranteed to have seen at least one of this in your lifetime, even if you don’t use a computer or mobile device much.

This type of advertising has evolved over the years, which means multiple formats are available right now. These are:

1. Banner Ads​

Banner advertising is also referred to as display advertising because of its visual nature. A banner ad can take visitors from the publishing website to a specific landing page.

The main point of banner advertising is brand awareness. But with its massive volume and affordability, it is also being used by affiliates to promote affiliate offers.

Many studies and tests have shown that banners are attention-grabbing because of the images, sizes, and placements. It can consist of anything from one color with text only (.jpg) to complicated animations created in HTML5 or Flash, or even video banners.

The downside to a banner ad is that people are so used to such advertisements that they develop ad blindness. Nevertheless, advertisers are still able to reach their target audience because of its sheer volume and broad reach.

There are three kinds of banner ads to choose from, which are:
  • Static ads. The static ads are banners that have no movement. These are just simple advertisements that show images and information that will grab the attention of the user. Static ads are lightweight and easier to make.

  • Animated ads. Meanwhile, animated banner ads will have some motion to them. The movement can include scrolling text, blinking lights, or changing colors and visuals, which help attract viewers’ attention because they stand out more than a still image. Flash ads and GIF ads fall under animated ads.

  • Interactive ads or Rich Media ads. This format is used to increase user engagement by allowing the user to interact with the banner with simple actions without leaving the publishing website’s page.
Calls to Action appear after the user has interacted with the banner for a period of time or after a set number of actions.

Ads continue to evolve, and seeing the trend in user video consumption, banner ads have also evolved to include in-banner video ads. These are videos showing up in banner placements. We will discuss this in more detail under Video Ads later on.

Another recently-developed banner ad format is the In-Page Push Notification. It is technically a banner ad, but since it imitates the look and style of Classic Push Notification, it is frequently lumped in with Push Notification Ads.

Banner Ad Placements and Sizes​

Banners are placed on multiple parts of the page:
  • Header
  • Footer
  • Sidebar
  • In-article
  • Below the article
There are different banner sizes available depending on the placement. Each size is optimized to fit the website properly, whether it is being viewed on a computer or a mobile device.

Banner ad sizes are typically measured by width and height in pixels. As such, something like 300x200px means the image is 300 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall.


(Image from

Below is a table of banner ad sizes available today:

Ad SizeAd NameLocation
300x250Medium RectangleWithin or end of the article
336x280Large RectangleWithin or end of the article
728x90LeaderboardTop or within an article
970x90Large LeaderboardTop of the article or at the header
300x600Half PageRight or left side of the page
468x60Full BannerLeftside or inside small spaces in the article
234x60Half-bannerLeftside or inside small spaces in the article
120x240Vertical bannerSidebar
160x600Wide SkyscraperSidebar
200x200Small SquareSidebar

2. Interstitial Ads​

Interstitial ads are interactive, full-screen advertising that covers the interface of their host website or app. This ad format appears between content and can show up in natural transition points like moving to another game level or opening a different page.

Full coverage is what sets interstitial ads apart from other ad formats. Because of its full coverage, the user will have no choice but to look at the ad, even if only for a few seconds.

Ads that perform best with this format are videos and interactive media, like game or app samples.


The image above is an example of an Interstitial Ad.

The timing of the close option depends on the ad type. Non-video ads have an immediate close option (whether a Close button or an X at the corner), whereas video ads require users to wait for at least 10 seconds before they can be closed.

Interstitial advertisements come in responsive sizes, so they appear properly, no matter the resolution of the device being used.

3. Video Ads​

If there’s an advertisement format that could appeal to people who like to consume content, it is video ads. Video ads allow the user to digest information without having to read time-consuming text while maintaining attention and keeping their interest.

There are three major types of video ads, and these are:

In-Banner Video Ads

In-banner video ads are banners with videos embedded in them. These ads use the space provided by banner advertising (usually 300 x 250 pixels, but more platforms are expanding to other sizes) but deliver a dynamic viewing experience instead of simply offering up a still image. Since the size is small, users have the option to click on an icon to expand the video.

Consumers don't have to click a play button or wait for a video to load when an in-banner video ad appears. The sound is typically muted even when the video starts playing, so the user's in-page experience will not be reduced. Once the user's attention is captured by the movement in the video, he can opt to turn the sound on.

In-Stream Video Ads

In-stream video ads rely on the content, and they can play before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll) or after (post-roll) the streaming video being watched by the user.

You can only skip the ads if they are long; but if the ad is short enough, the publishing video platform will usually require you to finish the whole video clip.

This ad format is often used to monetize content for video publishers. But because it could appear intrusive for users, advertisers should use this opportunity wisely with short and sweet messages.

Out-Stream Video Ads

Out-stream videos are a new way to advertise on the internet. They work similarly to in-banner video ads, but they have more freedom of placement and do not require an ad unit like banners or popups for them to function properly.

Outstream videos can be found anywhere from articles, social feeds (like Facebook), product pages - basically any place where you see text that's accompanied with a video player is possible for out-stream advertising space. These types of adverts require a player from where it’s hosted (YouTube for example) in order to play.

They play the moment their placement appears on the screen and stops the moment the user scrolls down and hides it from view. While an in-banner video ad takes on the size of the banner placement, an out-stream video ad is responsive and takes on the video player’s size.

Native Advertising​

As the marketing frontier becomes more competitive, marketers need to think of creative ways to introduce their advertisements without annoying internet users. Most of the time, viewers think advertisements are nothing more than an intrusive element to their viewing pleasure. If you want to increase your sales without annoying users, you can go for native advertising.

Native advertising is the least intrusive ad format as it blends in nicely with the look and feel of the publishing website. It fuses so well with its environment that it doesn’t come off as an ad at all, except for the required “Sponsored” or “Ad” words placed close to the ad.

What are the benefits of using Native Ads?​

  • Native ads provide excellent visibility. There are millions of publisher websites out there, and authoritative ones are in the thousands. You can be sure to find a publishing website that is relevant to what you are trying to promote.

  • It prevents ad blindness. Since the ad blends perfectly with the rest of the webpage, users will not immediately dismiss it. The ad itself will have enough time to show its appeal or value to the user.

  • It has one of the highest click-through rates (CTR) and engagement rates because it appears more relevant or valuable to the user than other forms of digital marketing, like banners.

Types of Native Ads​

While ads in search results and social media are also technically native ads, these two are all different dimensions of their own. So for the sake of uniformity and to avoid confusion when you are looking for traffic providers for a specific ad format, we will only include a list of native ad formats common in native ad traffic networks in this list.

1. In-feed Ads
Infiltrating the content feed are in-feed native advertisements that weave in between articles, blending in seamlessly. They usually appear on blogs and news sites with "infinite scroll" features, which have become popular for mobile screens.

2. In-app Ads
As the name suggests, these are native ads displayed naturally within apps. These can be recommendation ads and in-feed commerce ads that appear seamlessly within the game or application.

These can also be full-page interactive ads that allow users to engage with or play (if it’s a game). Interactive ads have higher engagement than typical image or video ads.

The audience for this ad type is mobile users since apps are typically installed on mobile devices.

3. Content Recommendation Widgets​

This is the most common native ad, and you can easily find this in popular news, lifestyle and business websites like CNN, People Magazine, and Entrepreneur. These are the recommended stories that are shown right after the article or at the sidebar.


Except for the “Sponsored” or “Ad” words, no one would think of them as ads.

4. Branded Content​

These are publisher-hosted content or articles posted on the publishing website itself. It can be a press release, a review, an advertorial, or an actual article coming from the advertiser, with the goal of promoting the brand or business. These are ads because the publisher gets paid for posting such content on their website.

Visit our recommended list of Native Advertising platforms.

Search Engine Optimization​

Ever wonder why some businesses appear on the first page of search engines such as Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, among others? This is because of SEO.

For the uninitiated, SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique utilized to get more organic traffic from search engines.

The strategy is a combination of the following:

User intent​

This involves understanding what people are searching online, the words and phrases they use to search for something, and presenting the answers they need through content.

Search engine preference​

Knowing your audience’s intent is one side of SEO, but knowing what the search engine’s preference is the other. How does the search engine choose the results? How does it track and monitor your website? These are some of the questions you need to answer when optimizing your website and content.

What search engines look for in websites changes every time there is an update in their platform. One criterion is consistent, though, and that is the page’s usefulness for the end-user.

Kinds of SEO​

There are two kinds of search engine optimization. You can utilize both on your page to get the best output, though it is also possible to rank and get traffic by using just one. These are:

1. On-Page SEO

Also known as on-site SEO, on-page SEO is a tedious, time-consuming process. The goal for most people who have taken up this task is to make their page more visible and easier to find in Google searches while also making the content appealing so that readers will enjoy it (or find it useful) themselves.

On-page SEO revolves around improving the content, optimizing the title and header tags, adding internal and outbound links, adding meta descriptions, and more. In essence, it is everything you do on the page itself.

2. Off-Page SEO

"Off-page SEO" is a term used to describe all things done outside of your website. This has the potential to affect how high you rank in search engine results, so it's important for anyone who wants their site to be found by people online and to be seen as credible or authoritative enough when searched.

For example, optimizing your site with off-page SEO would mean getting backlinks from high-ranking sites and lots of shares from social media. These are some of the trust and authority signals that search engines are looking for.

Understanding Search Engines​

Search engines are like online libraries but mechanized: it scours billions of websites to come up with a possible answer to the users’ queries at any given time.

This becomes possible because of the technique commonly referred to as “crawling and indexing.” The search engine algorithm then ranks the results that match the query through a process called ranking.

If your website has a combination of words or phrases that may answer the query, the search engine will rank your webpage according to relevance. If your website can provide the best answer to the question and if their signals show you are an authority in this matter, your page will be placed on top of the results page.

The higher your rank, the higher your chances of getting clicks and traffic to your website.

The downside to using SEO is that it is not immediate. It takes months of consistent quality content to earn you the traffic you expect. If you want your page to receive search engine traffic immediately, you can choose the next marketing type.

Sponsored Search Results or Pay-Per-Click Marketing​

If you think search results can get you more traffic but don’t have time to optimize a website (or even create one), then you can opt for Sponsored Search Results. This is where you pay search engines for them to include your website in their search results.

This paid Search Engine Marketing technique follows a Pay Per Click payment model, which means you pay the search engine every time your ad is clicked. For this reason, many people also call it PPC.

But before you hit the jackpot with PPC, you still need to put a lot of work into your campaigns. First, you need to research and choose the right keywords for your campaign. Next, you need to set up a landing page and optimize it for conversions. Finally, you need to create a campaign and test ad creatives.

Many factors determine the success of your PPC campaigns, which include the following:
  • Keyword research and relevance. This means you need to make an applicable list of keywords, ad text, and tight keyword groups.

  • Quality of landing page. You need to craft a persuasive landing page containing relevant content and a clear call to action.

  • Quality score. Search engines such as Google rate the quality and relevance of the PPC campaigns, landing pages, and keywords that you use. Even if you are buying traffic, they still want to make sure that they are sending their audiences to pages that can help them find what they are looking for.
If you have a good Quality Score, you can get more clicks at a lower cost. If you have a low-quality score, your ad will get little traffic for a high price, or it may be rejected.
  • Creatives. If you want to have more conversions, you need to develop an enticing text-based ad creative. Split-testing is key to finding the best-performing one.
Search engines have billions of traffic from around the world as people are always using them to find answers. This makes it a great source of traffic for your campaigns. Nevertheless, it is still a competitive landscape with strict rules. One wrong turn and your ad account can be frozen for good, so make sure you read through all the requirements before running one.

Text ads are the most common of search ads. A PPC text ad contains the following:
  • Headline - up to 30 characters per headline. Some search engines allow two to three headlines per ad.
  • Description - up to 90 characters per description.
  • Display URL - this can be the URL of your landing page or the offer page.
Aside from Text Ads, other sponsored search results include:

Call-only Ads or Click2Call Ads
This allows users to click on the ad to initiate a phone call or VOIP call to the advertiser.

Product Shopping Ads
This takes users directly to the eCommerce site or app.

App promotion Ads
This is typically used for mobile searches so that users will immediately be redirected to the app download page.

Check out this list of recommended search ad networks.

Contextual Ads​

Contextual ads are those that appear based on the context or content of the publishing website. This type of advertising automatically evaluates the content and metadata of a webpage and matches it against advertisers’ needs.

For this to work, ad networks use a keyword or domain targeting filter.

There are different kinds of contextual ads, and these are pop ads, zero-click ads, and text ads. Let’s discuss each one further.

1. Pop Ads​

Also called On-Click Ads, pops are full-page ads that open up in a different browser or tab the moment the user clicks on any part of the publisher’s website.

There are two types of pop ads based on how they appear, and these are:

As its name suggests, pop-up tabs or browsers open on top of the active browser. As it opens on top, it immediately captures the audience’s attention but also leads to a poor user experience since it interrupts the user’s activity. This is why many browsers, including Google Chrome, banned the practice of pop-ups. Still, a few traffic providers offer them.

Contrary to what pop-ups do, pop-unders open beneath the active browser, allowing for a better user experience. The user only sees them the moment he closes the active tab or browser.

Pops are paid on a Pay Per View basis, or PPV, which is why many also call pop ads PPV ads. They are among the cheapest of traffic types available today, with some ad networks selling them for as low as $0.0001 a pop.

Run-of-Network (RON) pop traffic is even cheaper since these are not filtered by keywords, so if volume is what you are looking for, choose RON.

2. Zero-Click Ads​

Zero Click ads are full-page advertisements that don’t require the user to click on anything. Instead, the user is automatically redirected to the advertiser’s landing page without him realizing it.

These are also called domain redirect ads and direct navigation ads, and they initiate when any of the following happens:
  • The user types a misspelling of his intended website destination on the URL bar;
  • The domain registration of the intended website has expired;
  • When the website no longer exists.
Similar to pops, direct navigation ads are paid per view.

Visit our list of recommended PPV traffic networks.

3. In-Text Ads​

The concept of In-Text Advertising is that certain words will be underlined and hyperlinked, calling the attention of the user reading the page. When the user’s mouse hovers over them, a small box will open up showing ads related to the word or phrase.

It is also known as Inline advertising. The ads which pop up can range from related products to advertorials. It has a Call to Action button within the small pop-up to encourage the user to visit the offer’s landing page.

If you chance upon a website whose content has phrases or words that have double underline, then chances are it is a publishing website for in-text ads.


The payment model that in-text ads follow depends on the advertiser, although it typically uses CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Social Media Marketing​

Social media marketing is the process of establishing a social connection and engaging with your target audience to promote your brand, product, or service. This means promoting on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, TikTok, LinkedIn and more.

There are two ways to gain traffic from social media, and these are by:

1. Organic Social Media Marketing​

Gathering engaged users and encouraging them to interact with your business page is the main goal of social media marketing. This requires publishing relevant posts consistently, as well as analyzing the performance of your posts to see which types your audience engages with more and at what times of day.

The hope of businesses using social media marketing is to widen their reach by prompting their followers to like and share their content.

2. Social Media Ads​

If you want to reach more users and would like to receive traffic to your website or offer quickly, then you can opt for social media ads. These are paid promotions that appear in the target user’s feed.

Social media ads are great for promoting products and offers that require a very specific demographic, especially since social media platforms are able to acquire the demographic information of their users and segment them accordingly.

Because the ad looks native to the platform, social media ads are sometimes considered native ads.


(Image from Wordstream)

Social Media Ad Formats​

The ad formats vary from one social media platform to another, especially since their feeds are different from each other. Available social media ad formats are as follows:

Text Ads
This is the simplest form of social media post that you can promote. It simply contains text but can also include a link. In Facebook, text ads can be promoted using the Boost Post feature.

Image Ads
This is the most common type of ad. You simply place an image accompanied by either a long-form or short-form text. You can include a CTA button to send users to your website, or you can use this ad to just enhance your social media page’s presence.

Carousel Ads
With carousel ad formats, you can show up to 10 images or videos at a time. Each individual image can have its own link and CTA button so that the user doesn't have to scroll through them all one by one.

Standard and Dynamic Product Ads
Standard product ads allow you to feature individual products that you select. On the other hand, Dynamic Product Ads enable you to display products based on user interest and demographics. Hence they change dynamically from one user to another.

If you have some data of users visiting your website with the help of tracking pixels, you can use dynamic product ads to retarget them and display products they have already shown interest in.

Collection Ads
These are essentially product ads, but instead of showing just a few products, you are able to advertise a full range of products based on a specific collection or category.

Interactive Ads
Interactive Ads are a new form of digital advertisement that blends the latest technology with interactive features. These ads often seek to engage audiences beyond clicks by asking for feedback, answering questions and polls, as well as tilting photos 360 degrees so people can explore them from all angles. The longer they stay on an ad, the better recall rates and higher engagement scores.

Some types of interactive ads include instant experience, messenger ads, story ads, and conversational ads.

Lead Form Ads
Lead ads are a powerful tool for building your list of interested customers. That way, you can send them newsletters, promotions, and other follow-up services like email reminders about upcoming events.

The advantage of using lead form ads in social media is that fields are usually pre-filled with the user information that the platform has already collected. All the user has to do is click on Subscribe or a similar CTA.

Video Ads
Video is the most consumed media format today, which makes sense why video ads are pretty effective in social media. Not only is video advertising captivating, but it's also preferred by many over other ad types such as an image or text-based advertisement.

This type of marketing has been doing well with Facebook users who collectively watch three billion hours worth of videos per day. They're perfect for grabbing the attention you want to keep while delivering your message effectively, too!

Such ads on social media platforms include pre-roll, mid-roll, and in-feed video ads.

3. Influencer Marketing​

You might have encountered celebrities or some well-known personalities on social media channels who are promoting a brand, product, or service. They are called influencers, and what they are doing is commonly known as Influencer Marketing.

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing in which you pay an influencer for promotional posts about your brand. It’s also known as “influencer advertising” or “word-of-mouth marketing” and can be used by any company with any product–not just startups or new brands.

One of the main advantages of influencer marketing is better engagement than branded social media posts. As individual influencers have their followers and can post content directly relevant to their audience, the engagement rates on social posts with an influencer endorsement are generally much higher than those from a brand’s social media page.

For example, a post by an influencer on Instagram with 1,000 followers will have much higher engagement than one from the brand’s official account with 100,000 followers–simply because the influencer has built up a closer relationship with their audience as compared to your brand page.

Think of it as a commercial ad delivered on social media.

You can contact influencers and cut a deal with them directly, or you can use Influencer Marketing platforms to search for the right influencer based on the platform, audience demographics, and audience interest.

Incentive Ads​

An incentive ad is also known as rewarded ad, loyalty program, or gift-based ad. This is when a business, influencer or app encourages the user to download an app, watch a video, play a game, or buy something from an online store in exchange for discounts, rewards, cashback, virtual currency, and more.

This ad type is not readily available and requires direct deals between advertisers and publishers. However, app and website owners who have consistent users/viewers can use their own incentive ads to deliver traffic to affiliate offers.

Email Marketing​

Most of us have received emails from different companies selling their products, services or simply introducing their brand. This marketing strategy is commonly known as email marketing.

Email marketing is a method of promoting a business or an offer through an email blast. Aside from usual responses to inquiries and order confirmations, some advertisers send an email to keep regular and potential customers updated about their products, services, and even new offers.

If done correctly, this can keep customers interested in future product releases, among others. Conversely, it can also annoy them to the point of unsubscribing if you send too many messages.

To start with email marketing, you first need a list of email addresses to market to. You can obtain this through the following methods:
  • By manually collecting email addresses on your website using email subscription forms;
  • By running lead ads;
  • By buying a list (not recommended).
If you don’t want to collect email addresses on your own and don’t want to purchase an email list, you can opt to buy Solo Ads.

What are Solo Ads?​

Solo ads are emails that promote an advertiser’s brand or offer, sent not by the advertiser but by a list owner to his subscribers. All the advertiser needs to do is provide the email content and pay for the email blast service.

Advertisers pay the solo ad seller based on the number of subscribers who will receive the email or the number of clicks the email gets. These transactions are done directly with solo ad sellers.

Push Notification Ads​

Push ads are those that appear like regular notifications on the user’s device. It is a popular traffic type right now because of the low incidence of fraud and bot traffic. Subscribers are asked to opt-in to receiving notifications first before they actually receive one, ensuring that the traffic you get from this ad type is 100% human.

What do Push Ads Look Like?​

If you use a smartphone, you have surely seen at least one push notification in your lifetime. Remember the alert that says you have one like, share, or message in a small banner format at the top of your phone's screen? That's a push notification.

Turn these alerts into marketing messages and you get a push notification ad.

A push notification ad consists of the following:

1. Ad Title
This is the main ad text which has a maximum of 30 characters, including emojis and spaces. It is usually shown in bold text.

2. Square icon image
This is a small image with a size requirement of 192 by 192 pixels. It is displayed to the left of the ad title and description and is a great way to attract the user's attention.

3. Ad Description
Not all networks have the ad description in the push notification ads, but when they do, the maximum character count is 45. The text is displayed in regular size beneath the ad title.

4. Rectangular image
This is another image that can help attract the user's attention, although not all push services offer it. If the platform of your choice has this, the size requirement is 492 by 328 pixels.

5. Button
Similar to the rectangular image, a button is an optional element and is not always available in every advertising network. It is only applicable for desktop traffic since push ads on mobile have the inherent functionality of being clickable, and users know that instinctively.

A bonus option is a dynamic token that you can add to your ad title and description. Like the last three elements, the ability to place dynamically changing tokens depends on the platform. The most common dynamic tokens that can be used are country, city, and device name.

Push Notification Ad Formats​

Push notifications come in three main types: classic push messages, iOS Calendar Push Notification Service, and in-page push ads. Let's break down what they all mean for you as a business owner or marketer looking to get into push campaigns.

1. Classic Push Notification Ads
Classic push messages are specific alerts that can be delivered at any time so long as your users have given permission beforehand (this means nothing more than opting into the subscribers' list).

It appears as a notification banner at the top of a mobile device or at the lower right corner of a desktop computer. They're guaranteed to be seen if the user has left push notifications enabled on their device, but they can't be seen if push notifications are turned off.

The downside to this type is that it cannot be delivered on iOS devices due to the limitations set by Apple.

In the current market, the classic format has the highest volume available for push ads, and you can be sure that you will find this format whichever push ad networks you join.

2. In-Page Push Ads
This type of push notification ad format appears at the bottom of a webpage on browsers opened on mobile devices and at the lower right or left corner of a webpage when the browser is opened on a desktop.

They're guaranteed to be seen because they show up even if push notifications have been turned off on the device level. It is also better than classic push ads when it comes to reach, since In-Page Push Notifications can be shown to users who use iOS devices as it is website-based and not app-based.

The downside to this format is that there still aren't a lot of publishing websites that display in-page push ads. As such, this type falls just second to the classic push ads when it comes to volume.

Almost all push notification ad networks have the in-page push ad format in their arsenal. If the network you are trying to join does not have it in their platform, it's a sure sign to look elsewhere.

3. iOS Calendar Push Ads
The most recently developed format is Calendar Push, and these push notifications show up as reminders sent by the native calendar app on iOS devices.

The upside to this ad format is that not many iOS users have seen a push notification app; hence the chances of conversion are relatively high. Because of this, though, the CPC rates are a bit on the expensive side.

Not a lot of push traffic networks have iOS Calendar Push; it is still quite rare in the industry. If you want to choose this ad format, you are better off looking into traffic providers whose main focus is push notification ads.

Check our list of recommended push notification ad networks.

SMS Marketing​

SMS is a great way to communicate with potential customers; they are delivered quickly, are easy to create, and can be sent at any time of day. Research by Gartner shows that SMS open rates can go as high as 98% compared to email marketing’s 20%.

SMS Marketing works similarly to email marketing in the sense that you need to have your own subscribers’ list to send promotional SMS to. And just like email marketing, if you don’t have your own list, you can pay solo ads sellers to send promotional SMS for you.

You can use these SMS promotions to collect your own subscribers’ list or send users directly to your offer.


(Image from

SMS Ads need to follow a strict compliance requirement to prevent the sender or business from being banned from sending SMS messages to anyone. One of the most important requirements is to include an easy option for the user to opt out of future marketing messages.

Each message can go for up to 160 characters. Longer messages will incur extra charges.

There are two kinds of SMS messages you can send, and these are:

SMS Message​

This is the standard message that contains only text and even a clickable URL. It can be a one-way message wherein the advertiser sends the user a message and ends there, or a two-way message where users can reply and have a conversation with the advertiser.

MMS Message​

An MMS message is one that contains media, such as images, GIFs, audio, and even short videos. This is great for showing product images to increase engagement and works well for remarketing and cart retrieval.

Audio Ads​

These types of ads are typically used in audio streaming services and podcast platforms. Audio Ads play before and after a specific number of songs or even in between podcast shows. Because the popularity of audio streaming is just on the rise in the past few years, there are only a handful of platforms that deliver audio ads.

Platforms that use audio ads include Youtube Music, Spotify, Amazon’s Alexa, Soundcloud, and more.

Podcast Ads fall under Audio Ads as well. Podcasts have three slots for audio ads, and these are:
  • Pre-roll - can be 10 to 30 seconds long;
  • Mid-roll - can be 60 to 90 seconds long;
  • Post-roll - can be 10 to 30 seconds long.
This ad type is best used to enhance brand awareness. It can include a corresponding ad description, image, and Click to Action button, though the availability of these elements is dependent on the platform.

Mobile Ads​

Mobile ads are advertisements that appear on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. This is basically any of the ad formats above, except that it focuses on and is optimized for mobile devices.

Popular mobile ads types include in-app ads, push notification ads, mobile banner ads, mobile video ads, mobile in-feed native ads, and so on.

Adult Ads​

An adult ad is not really a separate ad type but is a collection of ads focusing on adult traffic inventory. Because of the restrictions set on specific offers, traffic providers found it prudent to separate adult traffic from mainstream ones to prevent issues with advertisers and brands.

The most common adult ad formats include pops, banners, video ads, push notification ads, and native recommendation ads.


In terms of choosing which channel to work on, there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your own marketing strategy and what works best for you and your offer. While some marketers are completely ignoring specific channels (or maybe not even having a presence in those platforms), others are playing it smart by testing other ad types little by little.

If you have never done any sort of testing with affiliate marketing before, then I advise that you try the various types of traffic generation channels out. This way, you can get an idea as to how each one works, what kind of ROI it generates, etc., before making a final decision on which ones to ignore for good.

Once you find one you are comfortable with, it won’t hurt to try another one while still using your main ad type. This way, if worse comes to worst and your main traffic source disappears, you still have a backup.