Digital Jargon, Explained: Interpreting Ad Performance

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We know as well as anyone that the digital advertising world throws around a lot of jargon. The constant flow of acronyms, technical terms, and insider language can feel daunting to anyone trying to get into the space. So, we’ve launched this new series, “Digital Jargon, Explained,” where we will break down digital advertising terminology and explain – in layman’s terms – what it means and why it matters for your campaign. If you missed our first installment, be sure to check it out here.

We often get questions from candidates and campaign operatives about where their ads will be seen and how to best interpret their digital dashboards. So, in this blog, we’ll explore how your ads are measured, what the metrics actually mean, and where your digital ads will be seen. Let’s get into it!


An impression is the individual occurrence of your ad being delivered to a voter. So, if you have 109,480 impressions, that means an ad from your ad set has been delivered to your voters 109,480 times. Note that individuals could see an ad multiple times, which means your ad may have been seen by fewer than 109,480 people.


CPM is an acronym, which stands for cost per 1,000 impressions. This is typically how ads are priced, so if you have a $1,400 budget for your campaign, and a $10 CPM, you would expect ~140,000 impressions.

Landing Page

Every digital ad is clickable. Once clicked, it will take voters to the webpage of your choice – generally known as the landing page.

What does this mean for your campaign?

Landing pages are critical for campaigns and can be used to strategically enhance your voter engagement. If you run a number of ad sets with different creative messages, you can tailor the landing page to align with the creative. For example, if you are running an ad to talk about the endorsement your candidate just received from the mayor, your ad could click through to the endorsements page of your website to show off all of the other endorsements you have received, in addition to the mayor. If you are running a GOTV ad, it’s recommended your ad clicks through to a page where voters can find their voting location or more information on how to vote. Coordinating landing pages with your ad creative – and even targeting these ads to specific people based on interest or voting patterns – is a great way to reach the right voters with the right messages at the right time. 

Pro-tip: For best ad delivery, make sure your landing page is a secure site. To check, it should have an ‘https://’ attached to it! 

Click through rate

The click through rate is an important metric in the digital ad space. It measures the percentage impressions that result in a click on your ad and a trip to the designated landing page. The formula is ‘clicks’ divided by ‘impressions.’ If your ad had 109,480 and had 219 clicks, you would have a CTR of .2%.

What does this mean for your campaign?

The click through rate is a helpful metric because it measures how well your voters are engaging with the ad. Plus, you’re able to get a sense of traffic driven to your website from the ad. The industry average click through rate is 0.08%, but we have seen click through rates at SpeakEasy as high as 1.25%. Because most political campaigns can’t afford high-quality polling, it can be very difficult for campaign managers, consultants, and candidates to understand a campaign’s impact. We can track impressions and clicks on your ad, which can help your campaign gauge how many voters your ad has reached and the potential impact it will have on the voters.

That’s a wrap for this week, on Digital Jargon, Explained. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for any terms or topics you’d like to learn more about. We’re here to help and would love to hear from you.

Until next time, happy campaigning!

We are SpeakEasy Political, the leading tool for campaigns and organizations to easily create high-impact digital media and direct mail campaigns.  By leveraging innovative media strategies and our brand building experience, our tech powers Democratic candidates and causes up and down the ballot. SpeakEasy’s Consultant Studio was also built to support consultant teams with leading data, strategic targeting, and comprehensive ad tech to serve as your backend media buying operation.

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