Frequency and Creatives:

When you browse online, you might have seen the same ad multiple times. It’s okay if you like to see it even it is shown to you multiple times. But Majority of the online users are not interested to face this kind of scenario where repeated ads are shown to them.
This may frustrate and affect the browsing experience.

Showing the same ads to the same users leads to ad fatigue. This makes ads less impactful.

In Programmatic and any other channels, showing duplicate ads to the same users wastes a lot of media budget spend and may affect user experience. This makes the user get annoyed by repeated ads and prevents them from converting.

This may even lead to negative effect on Brand image and users might show less interest in your brand when compared with other competitors

To manage and control this, Frequency capping comes into the picture.

In Digital Advertising, Frequency capping is a campaign setting in the platform by which you can control and limit the number of times consumers see your ads online. This avoids ad fatigue. Simply, limit the number of impressions served to a unique user which excludes them from seeing a duplicate ad

As a buyer, how often do you want to message the same user as per the campaign requirement and goal? If frequency capping is managed better way this avoids wastage of ad spend and over-exposure.

Frequency capping is the first basic standard criterion on which Ad-Tech platform looks at the time of evaluating whether the live campaign should bid or not for any single available at any time as per the setting in the platform


How do you set a Frequency cap ?

Frequency cap setting controls users on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly basis. It also depends on the strategy and type of audience you are targeting.

Example: If you want to show your advertisement capping one user a week, you set this to the line as “1 impression per one week”. Once the ad from this line is shown to one user, then the ext impression is redirected to another user. The frequency capping setting says the system has already met the limit and not to bid till next week to the same user.

There is a difference in setting up the frequency cap, which seems to be the same level of delivery.

For example:

Case1: 7 impressions / one week
Case 2: 1 impress / 1 day

Bothe seems to same.

But there is a chance of serving a single impression in a single day itself.

The above completely depends on how you want to optimize the campaign

For the same requirement, you can use case 1 to improve performance. Case 2 for improving pacing.


In Programmatic and other media channels, by implementing frequency capping, ad messages can be distributed to all kinds of users for the given campaign targeted audience with the planned budget.

These increases Reach within the scale budget which improves ROAS and overall efficiency.

By Analyzing frequency capping, buyers can achieve proper implementation of it to avoid showing the same ad to the same user multiple times

If the frequency capping is met, then the same impression is redirected to another user till they meet the frequency cap for the campaign. This process follows.

How does frequency capping work?

Concerning the delivery of a campaign, to increase spend, frequency capping is the first thing to look at.

By increasing frequency capping, the number of times, Impressions delivered to users increases. This increases delivery and pacing too.

In Dv360, Frequency capping can be set at campaign, IO, and line item level. It can be controlled from a higher level to a lower level. Once the higher level frequency is met, the lower level cannot extend further.

This means that the IO level frequency cap restricts and limits no. of impressions served by all lines under this IO.

With lower frequency caps, you can test your campaign to reach a wider pool of Global Inventory and users too.

Frequency and Purchase Funnel:

In the Purchase funnel, when you go from high to the low stage, frequency capping can be increased

Example: For the Awareness stage, you can maintain frequency capping as low as possible so that campaign reached a wider range of online users.

When it comes to Retargeting, you can maintain frequency capping as high as possible so that ads are shown to users aggressively expecting they are active at this stage

How do you work towards the frequency parameter in the campaign?

Pull reports and see performance of frequency at each level of the campaign

See how the campaign is performing with a lower frequency and high frequency


Frequency and Retargeting:

In the Prospecting stage, setting low frequency leads to reaching a wider range of new audience

In Retargeting stage itself, setting frequency depends on various cases and depends on the user’s type of action on the page
Case 1: He visited only the home page – use low frequency
Case 2: Searched for products on the page, didn’t take any action further – use more than above stage
Case 3: Added to cart, went to the payment stage, etc – use high frequency and high bids if possible as best practice

In Remarketing stage, users are more likely to convert when they see ads frequently.

Case 1:
With the high volume of remarketing lists and a high volume of users who are likely to convert
Set the frequency between medium-high
Pacing setting – ASAP
Reaches greater section of retargeting volume and encourages conversion

Case 2:
With a high volume of remarketing lists and a low volume of users who are likely to convert
Set the low frequency
Pacing setting – ASAP
Reaches greater section of retargeting volume and limit wastage since most of the users, in this case, are unlikely to convert

Case 3:
With a low volume of remarketing lists and low volume of users who are likely to convert
Set the medium frequency
Pacing setting – EVEN
Make sure to reach the majority of users by limiting spend and ads to show to avoid wastage

Frequency and Recency:

You might have seen few ads in the last 24 hours. Just think which is the latest ad and then second latest and follows

Ads which you have seen recently, are more likely to remember than past ones.

Recency means how long ago did the user visit the page on the website and how recently was a cookie added or refreshed on your list

So Recency is all about this.


From an Advertising perspective, users who have seen recently are more likely to convert than others

Or in another way, users are more likely to convert when the ad is shown the first few times they see the creative

If the user hasn’t seen the creatives many times and also they haven’t seen the ad a long time ago are more valuable to advertiser and can be bid higher.


Frequency and Recency targeting can be set at any level of the campaign hierarchy

As the frequency and recency change uses value impressions differently.

The bid is increased for the users who are likely to click or convert and bid less for the users who are less likely to click or convert

Recency is inversely proportional to Bidding and Frequency changes


The top stage of the funnel –

for lower recency (hours) – Medium bid and Frequency value

for Medium recency(1 day) – low bid and frequency

for high recency (more than 1 day) – lowest bid and frequency

Middle of funnel

for lower recency (hours) – High bid and Frequency value

for Medium recency(1 day) – Medium bid and frequency

for high recency (more than 1 day) – low bid and frequency


Low stage of the funnel – likely to convert

for lower recency (hours) – Highest bid and Frequency value

for Medium recency(1 day) – high bid and frequency

for high recency (more than 1 day) – Medium bid and frequency

Frequency, Pacing & Bidding :

When the campaign is underpacing, Bid and Frequency one of the two main factors which buyer can take advantage of them to bring pacing under control

If you notice line item losing impressions, the win rate decreases because of various reasons. Along with the bid, buyers need to increase frequency to serve more impressions. Then adjust them accordingly till the campaign reached 100% pacing

As the consumer moves from a higher level to a lower level, also increases the chances of taking action to next level at any point in time.

Both frequency and Bidding can be increased, at each stage of the funnel position to make consumers move to the next stage.

Higher bids and higher frequencies as you move down to funnel

In DV360, the Impression lost chart shows if the line item is losing impressions because of frequency setting

Even though the lines are getting bid requests, since the frequency cap is limited, this may be the reason that the line item didn’t get a chance to win

Frequency Cap Best Practices:

Cross check and how you are limiting frequency at IO and LI level

The pacing setting should be aligned with frequency capping. If you set ASAP, then set one per hour.

Hourly frequency set makes a line to spend aggressively and be careful on this setting


In DV360, if you set lifetime means, it considers 3 months of duration.

Regarding Private deals, frequency capping might affect majorly since it has a significant effect on reach. In case if publishers do not pass cookie id in bid requests, with frequency for the lines Bid requests are filtered out automatically. Monitor the performance and set it accordingly

You can pull the report by IO level and LI level frequency to check which one works best.

When you are duplicating line items make sure, you adjust frequency capping as per the campaign requirement. There might chance of an unintentional increase in frequency. In this case, Bid multipliers can help to avoid creating multiple line items and can optimize within a single line item


Frequency capping is mainly used to optimize in terms of pacing and CPA goals


Advertisers and Frequency capping:

Advertisers can track users across the platforms and apply frequency cap at a user level

Advertisers who work with multiple partners can analyze which frequency works best to drive ROI and take optimization decisions accordingly

How often you can use frequency capping in the capping?

Adjust frequency capping by testing with different frequency caps. This might improves CTR and ensures ads reaches wider audiences

So, you can adjust based on performance and at that moment

In Automated bidding, the algorithm takes into various variables which include Frequency capping to determine bid price.


Frequency capping is valuable for any Programmatic and other media channels campaigns to serve ads more effectively, efficiently and have control on spend too as desired.


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