The 2 Ways to Determine the Right Frequency Cap for your Retargeting Campaign


It is every marketer’s dream to see advertising efforts culminate into increased conversions. Today’s digital world has bridged the gap between marketers and consumers so much, that marketers can now use handheld devices with innovative technologies and read their customers. Marketers are beginning to experience precision in prediction and present customers with what they need. Retargeting is one such way that enables marketers to follow their customers, wherever they go and entice them with products that they have shown interest in.
The key here is to “remind customers to react”. As much as retargeting helps marketers reach out to genuine prospects with customized sales messages, this method should be used with utmost caution.

The last thing you want is to cause banner blindness by shooting your ads too many times or even worse—irritate or annoy your prospects to the point that it tarnishes your brand image. If you manage retargeting, frequency caps are something you should be familiar with in order to not let your brand be associated with negative perceptions.

What is frequency capping?

Marketers need to find that sweet spot when it comes to displaying retargeting ads. Frequency capping is nothing but putting a limit on the number of adverts that your audience can see. Bombarding ads to customers every 2 minutes will not lead you anywhere. In fact, consumers will simply get annoyed and might even block you. You need to strike the right balance so that you can continually remind consumers about a pending action and also ensure that you don’t irritate them by encroaching on their privacy.

Frequency capping was often ignored up till now, when realized how it can affect consumer behavior. Like any lever within retargeting, frequency caps should be measured and tested to understand the ideal number of times a unique visitor should see your ad—otherwise, you’re wasting a lot of impressions.

There is no cookie cutter rule to determine that one ideal number. It is trial, error, and a whole lot of experience that can help you pin-point the closest numbers. The best frequency cap is the one that works best to drive results for your business.

Given below are two methods how to test and analyze the initial frequency cap for your retargeting campaigns. Let’s begin:

The Test Method

  1. Begin by setting up two retargeting lists similar to one another, but not overlapping.
  2. For both lists, set the desired cookie duration identically.
  3. Create two campaigns promoting the same assets, one for each retargeting list, and set the campaign to rotate the ads to serve evenly.
  4. Input the frequency caps you prefer in each campaign to test against and analyze. Continue playing around with the different frequency caps.

If you test only one retargeting list, you can change the frequency cap week over week, and then evaluate the results. However, the method may not be as clear cut as the four steps above.

Performance Results Analysis

  1. Run and export an ad frequency report for the desired timeframe from your retargeting platform.
  2. What you should have in the report: Data about Impressions, Frequency, Clicks, Spend, and Conversions or Revenue, and all other important metrics to measure success.
  3. Draw a pivot table that sets Frequency as the row label. Sum up the rest of the data points mentioned in #2 under the values section of the pivot table.
  4. If not present in the report, create the following fields in the pivot table to calculate: Conversion Rate, CTR, and Cost Per Conversion.

When it comes to retargeting, keep your focus on two aspects: Click Through Rate and Conversion Rate. By analyzing these factors you can choose the right cap for your campaign.

Author Bio: Melissa Patterson is a freelancer and has experience of over 6 years in ad technology solutions. She has worked in several process improvement projects involving multi-national teams for global customers. She has in-depth knowledge in handling campaign management for digital advertising. Her passion for writing blogs extends from topics like warranty management software to digital marketing campaign management solution and content management system.