MARKETING

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  • Marketing ROI

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    Measuring Impressions

    How many eyeballs will your ad or website attract? That’s the basis of measuring impressions—or the number of people who are exposed to your advertising message.

    When advertising in traditional print media, circulation numbers can help you estimate number of impressions. For direct mail, impressions can be estimated by the number of pieces you send. But remember that not all readers of a newspaper or magazine will see your ad. And many of your direct mail packages will be discarded unopened.

    For newer media, such as email, impressions are easier to measure. Note, however, that some of your emails may “bounce” and never reach the intended recipient. What’s more, some of your emails may never be opened.

    Here’s an example of how to measure email impressions.

    • You send an email to 10,000 email addresses.
    • Of those 10,000 emails, 1,000 of them bounce and are never delivered.
    • Of those 9,000 remaining emails that were delivered, 1,500 were opened.
    • All told, you received 1,500 impressions. If the cost of sending the email was $750, your cost per impression was 50 cents.

    When it comes to your website, an impression represents a page view to your website. You can measure these impressions by using the statistics program your Web host provides, or through Google Analytics, which is free.

    With Google Analytics, you can view total Web impressions, Web impressions by unique visitor, number of pages visited, how often each page is visited, average time a visitor spends on your site, and more.

    To generate traffic to your website, you may be advertising on other online sites. Either way, you will receive information on the number of impressions those ads receive and can to calculate how many of those ads are clicked to deliver impressions to your own site.

    For example, if you spent $5,000 on online advertising and received 20,000 clicks to your website, you spent 25 cents per impression to your own site.

    Finally, you may wish to measure impressions on social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and more. In a sense, each mention of your brand or product represents an impression. Several free applications can help you track these impressions. Although you may not be participating in social media activities, others may be talking about your product or brand, so these conversations may be worth tracking.

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    • For advertising in traditional media, keep track of the total circulation of the ads you run. If you run five ads in a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000, that’s roughly 500,000 gross impressions, but may not reflect the total number of people who actually saw your ad.
    • For email campaigns, keep track of the number of emails that reach their destination and are actually opened, which represents your impressions from that campaign.
    • For your website, you can use statistical tools your web host company provides to measure impressions. Or you can use Google Analytics for free access to more sophisticated measurement tools.
    • If you want to measure impressions on social media channels, one of these free tools can be an excellent way to get started.