How Many Times Should You Show Your Ads Before They Block You?

Probably not a lot. But how can one tell how many times have the ads been shown to the same person? Ad Frequency is the answer! Ad frequency is a metric that calculates the average number of times an ad has been shown to 1 same person.

Before we share with you the secret number, it is important to understand why having a high frequency will have bad effect on your ad.

Ad Blindness

Ad blindness happens when web visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore advertisements. This happens when the brain recognizes certain position in the website that often contain ads (right column feed hello) or certain design of an ads. The brain then automatically filters them out.

When your ad frequency goes up, your audiences are more aware of how your ad looks like. This means ad blindness will happen and they will simply just scroll away when your ad appears, even in the newsfeed. This translate to wasted money and lower click-through rate.

People Will Block Your Ads

Imagine seeing your friend posting the same picture 5 times over, you would either be interested and gave a reaction or comment, or irritated and unfriended him/her. The very same thing can happen to your ads. Your audiences will start to dislike your brand and worst, they might hide and report your ad, resulting in Facebook charging you a higher CPM (higher cost).

The Secret Number

When frequency increases, so does the cost of your campaign. Adespresso conducted a study to determine how frequency affects the click-through rate (CTR) as well as cost per click (CPC).

“The graph below shows our results from analysing 500 campaigns over a few months.”

Photo credit: Adespresso

The higher the frequency, the higher the CPC and decrease in CTR. The tipping point to refresh your ad would be at 4.0 frequency before the cost starts increasing at a faster rate. This often happens due to small target audience size, oversized budgets or prolonged advertising period.

Our Take to Avoid High Frequencies

  • Ensure target audience size is reasonably targeted yet huge enough for the total budget. I personally like $1/day for every 10K audience size.
  • Split your budget into newer audiences or other campaigns.
  • Create a new ad
  • Exclude people who have converted
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