Frequency capping

Frequency capping is used in online and display marketing. It is applied in situations where it does not make sense to repeatedly display a certain advertising medium to a user. With frequency capping, the number of impressions of the same advertising medium can be limited for a user – it defines how often the user sees an advertising medium (e.g. a banner or a layer). Capping also makes it possible to calculate the costs for display-campaigns more accurately, which are usually billed per thousand impressions (CPM).


You can limit the display to a single user in different ways:


  1. Impression-Capping: limits how often a user can see a campaign. For example, a voucher should not be displayed more than once.
  2. Frequency-Capping: limits how often a user can see a campaign in a certain period of time. Here you can set, for example, that a user should not see the campaign for three days after it has been displayed. 


Capping is made possible by marking each user with a cookie. In this way, it can be determined how often a user sees a certain ad.


When capping, it should be noted that this can have an influence on the success of a campaign. If, for example, a measure is shown too rarely, it is possible that the advertising pressure is missing and the user overlooks the campaign. If an ad is shown too often, the user often perceives it less strongly (also known as banner blindness) or feels annoyed by the ad. Here capping can be an effective measure to counteract banner blindness and possibly also the use of ad blockers (since the user feels annoyed by too many advertising messages and wants to block them all).


An additional form of capping is to determine how many users a campaign should be shown to. For example, the first 50 customers can be entered in a competition organized by a company. Here, for example, it is important that the pop-up with the voucher code is only displayed 50 times.

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See also: Search Engine Advertising