BitterStrawberry: Frequency capping and the way it influences your campaign’s performance


In the digital advertising context, you will use a lot of tools to create a campaign. One of the tools that has a great impact on your campaign’s performance is the frequency capping.

What is frequency capping?

Frequency capping refers to the process that limits the number of time the same user is exposed to a specific ad in a set period of time, preventing him to get overwhelmed, annoyed or stalked.

It is important to be visible but you have to be careful not to overexpose yourself because that can result in a decreased performance for your campaign. If you expose the user to your ad more than 3 times per day, you risk he will become blind and find your brand annoying.

If for example you choose this metric but your campaign has more ads or banners, the frequency cap of 3/24 h means that your customer will be able to see 3 impressions during one day, regardless of the ad it’s displayed. You can also set a rotation system for your ads based on CTR, performance or even random.

The same system can be applied to a group of campaigns as well. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that if you don’t want your prospects to ignore your banners completely, try not to make them intrusive or showing them too many times.

Who needs this tool when creating a campaign and how it should be used?

If you are a media buyer, it will be very useful to use the Frequency Capping tool, especially when you are buying on a CPM basis.  A media buyer main goal is to receive conversions, lead or sales, so using capping he can restrict the costs by paying only the impressions that are more likely to increase his ROI.

If your users see your ads but they don’t click on them, you can disable your frequency capping until the campaign it’s still profitable for you.

It will be great though, if you will be able to find out if the limited number of leads you receive come from a single affiliate or from all affiliates on the network you promote your offer. For this, it’s always recommended to talk to your Account Manager.

However, if you start a new campaign, don’t forget to check your performance changing all the time the frequency capping, especially if you have no data about your position. Also, it’s always better to start with a low frequency cap.

What can this tool do for you?

First thing first, it can save your media budget. If you optimize your exposure time so you will no longer pay for ads that fail to register your audience, that can lead to massive savings on the media budget. More than this, if you will deliver your ads based on time, it is possible that you will need fewer impressions to reach your cap, especially if your message is relevant for your target.

Secondly, it will help you controlling the number of leads. Especially if you are a newbie and you have a small budget to start, testing the market is necessary and capping can help you control your campaign performance.

Thirdly, frequency capping will help you monitor your spending and control your budget. If your campaign is bringing negative ROI and it will not result in highly-committed users, you can use the insightful data to determine how much you want to invest in that campaign, establishing a cap.

Last, but not least, you can test the traffic quality of your affiliates, checking how your product/service will perform on different traffic sources, imposing limits to the number of the new users you’ll get. Just in case your campaign delivers HQ leads, you can increase your cap.

Also, if you are used to retargeting, frequency cap should be measured and tested in order to determine how much is too much and what kind of capping you should use.

In conclusion, when you try to increase or limit your inventory or identify a period of the day/week/month or a traffic source where your campaign performs better, you can make some changes in the frequency of your capping. As long as you are careful with these changes when you are in a profitable position so you won’t start losing money.

The good news is that there are algorithms that can help you manage that automatically and most of the networks will notice you when you reach your capping. Nonetheless, if you still have questions about capping, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to talk to you!

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