Sticky Ads – What’s the Uplift in eCPM, Ad Viewability, and CTR.

Impact of Sticky Ads

Sticky ads are one of the most common formats today and publishers — big or small run sticky ad units across their sites to maximize their revenue. As you’re here, we assume you are familiar with sticky ads and how to run it optimally.

In this post, we aren’t going to talk about the basics or why you should consider running sticky ads. Almost every publisher understands the benefits of having sticky or in-view ad units but it’s quite hard to estimate the uplift.  For instance, if we convert, say, 320×50 into a sticky ad, what will be the uplift in eCPM, viewability, and CTR? 

We know there’ll be some uplift but we don’t know what it’ll be. Besides, the impact varies based on the ad size in question. Not all sizes will get you the same uplift. Having, even the ballpark estimate beforehand can help publishers like you to make better decisions. And, that’s what we’re intending to help you arrive. So, let’s dive in. 

Methodology: We recently studied more than tens of millions of ad impressions across our publishers for a period of three month — to understand how sticky ads can perform better in terms of eCPM, CTR, and viewability. The impressions are from multiple properties and aggregated together for the study. 

320×50 

Highest Uplift Metric: CTR

320×50 is one of the popular ad sizes and in fact, it is the highest contributor to revenue on mobile devices accounting for more than 50% of the mobile ad impressions. 

When we make the most popular ad units sticky, here’s what happens: 

eCPM CTR Ad Viewability
10.77% 300% 35.00%

eCPM jumped by 10.77% and ad viewability by 35%. But CTR increases substantially — by 300%. 

728×90

Highest Uplift Metric: Ad Viewability

728×90, desktop leaderboard, is yet another size publishers tend to make sticky. Interestingly, making the size sticky doesn’t impact CTR at all. It remained more or less the same. That being said, ad viewability saw an impressive jump — it went from 54.95% to 89.88% within the three month period. 

eCPM increased by more than 10%. 

eCPM CTR Ad Viewability
10.40% No change 63.56%

300×250

Highest Uplift Metric: eCPM and Viewability

300×250 is perhaps the only size that showed improvement across all the metrics — eCPM, CTR, and viewability. Noticeably, eCPM increased by more than 80% for the ad impressions — partly due to the substantial jump in viewability. 

eCPM CTR Ad Viewability
87.70% 100% 170.67%

Sidenote: It’s not common to see 80%+ uplift in eCPM and we believe it’s mainly because of the change in viewability buckets. In our sample data, ad viewability was particularly lower (<50%) for regular ads and by making them sticky, we managed to increase the viewability substantially. So, bids from demand partners have increased, resulting in better competition and higher eCPM. You can’t expect to see the same results when your viewability is already over, say 70%. 

Snapshot

Here’s the snapshot of the impact of sticky ads on different sizes:

Sizes Highest Uplift Metric 
320×50 CTR: 300%
728×90 Viewability: 63.56%
300×250 eCPM: 87.70%↑ and viewability 170.67%↑  

Takeaway

So far, you’ve seen that eCPM, CTR, and ad viewability jumped based on the ad sizes. We hope you were able to precisely see the impact, rather than just assuming the %. On top of it, there are a few more interesting inferences for you to takeaway from this study. 

– If your viewability is lesser than 50%, it’s highly recommended to make the ad units sticky. We’ve seen the highest uplift, especially when the viewability went from less than 50% to more than 50%. 

– Sticky ads can increase the CTR, except for 728×90. We’ve experimented with several sizes and desktop leaderboard didn’t show any improvement in CTR. But viewability saw its jump. So, if you think your CTR isn’t up to the expectation, sticky ads can help you pump up the numbers. 

– The impact varies based on the ad sizes. For 320×50, CTR tripled but eCPM and viewability didn’t move up in the same proportion. On the other hand, for 728×90, CTR didn’t move up or down but viewability saw the highest improvement.

Before making an ad unit sticky, consider the size. Example: let’s say the size is ‘728×90’. Then, look at the viewability score. Is it above 80%? Then, you don’t probably need to make it sticky. Is it lower? Then, go right ahead. 

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