Lets talk about what the term frequency cap means and why it is important to set it properly for online advertising campaigns.There must be an ad that you see online all the time. It may follow you around the web as you’re browsing, or appear repeatedly in the ad breaks of your favorite online TV show. Either way, it may be amusing the first or second time, but after the seventh or tenth time, it’s just plain irritating isn’t it?
Well, it’s the same for your customers. Once they’ve seen your ad more than a certain number of times – (the rule of thumb in the online advertising community is that 3 exposures seems to be the magic number), it’s unlikely to produce any more significant measurable results, whether they’re clicks, view-throughs, conversions, or intent to buy. When you move beyond that magical number, you are basically decrease the volume of your media dollars. (Note: naturally keep in mind that I am speaking in overview general terms for most online ad campaigns and there's an exception for every rule based on unique campaign parameters.).
What is a frequency cap?
In a digital advertising context, ‘frequency capping’ is the process of limiting the number of times an individual is exposed to a single ad or campaign. Traditionally, the digital marketing community has followed the “Rule of 3”, which suggests that it takes 3 exposures before a user takes action or remembers a brand, but any more than 3 exposure a day is potentially over kill.
Why frequency capping?
You want to be visible, but you don’t want to overexpose yourself, which is why it’s always advisable to use a frequency cap. One or two visits to your website doesn’t mean that prospects want to start seeing your ads everywhere. In fact, overexposure can quickly result in decreased campaign performance. Prospects may ignore your ads completely - a phenomenon known as banner blindness, or they may begin to think of your brand as just plain annoying.
The frequency cap is also used to avoid annoying your audience with extraordinary ads / floating ads or pre-roll video ads. Although these ad types perform particularly well for advertisers, they are more intrusive than other types of ads, so showing them too many times can make turn off potential customers quickly.
Our advice would be to cap your ads at 3 per day, and be strategic with how and when you serve them, bearing in mind that many prospects visiting your site are still in the research/ window shopping phase, or just not yet ready to buy.