How to Cut an Underperforming Ad Before it Costs You

Veteran marketers have to make snap decisions about a campaign all the time. The budgets they work with would not be possible if most of their work was based on bad guesses. What do they see that less-experienced marketers don’t? The ability to cut an underperforming ad is something you learn, but it doesn’t have to be a lesson you pay out the nose for. Here are some tips on how to recognize an ad is potentially failing and cut it before it kills your budget.

Time Spent

One of the first places to check is the “time spent” metric within your analytics software. This important piece of data tells you whether the view you got was worth the money you spent on it. If the average time is less than five seconds, it may be a sign that something about you are buying low-quality media.

Time spent should also correlate with bounce rate, but may not in every situation. It’s possible to have a high bounce rate, but the people who do stay remain engaged. It’s just not likely, so these two numbers together should give some context to dig deeper.

Effective Cost Per Conversion

The next source is to investigate how much a conversion is costing you. The price you’re willing to pay per conversion will differ by campaign, and some campaigns may need some nurturing before they pay dividends. Your threshold for risk will vary here, but try not to spend more than what your conversion is bringing in. You can always tighten margins to improve profit.

Bio: Ted Dhanik has more than 15 years of experience in the digital advertising industry. As the co-founder of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik is passionate about technology and advertising. Ted Dhanik is a frequent guest blogger for AdAge and Venture Beat, among other publications.

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