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. Many of your direct mail packages will be discarded unopened.
For newer media, such as email, impressions are easier to measure. Note 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. You can then 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.