What is an impression?

Glossary Impression

The definition of impression

An impression (also known as a view-through) is when a user sees an advertisement. In practice, an impression occurs any time a user opens an app or website and an advertisement is visible. It is not to be confused with an engagement.

Impressions vs. clicks

The difference between an impression and a click is simple — in fact, the definition is all in their names. With an impression a user only sees an advertisement. An engagement, or a click, happens when the user actually follows through and clicks on the ad. While engagements are ultimately more valuable, impressions are still an important metric for mobile marketers.

Why are impressions important?

There’s a simple explanation as to why impressions are important to mobile marketing: a popular method of purchasing advertising is by the number of impressions an advertisement generates. Generally charged on a Cost per Mille (CPM) basis, advertising formats tend to charge per thousand impressions. This means that it’s essential for advertisers to know how many impressions a CPM advert generates to understand campaign cost.

In a broader sense, impressions are important because they provide a simple representation of how many people are seeing ads within a particular channel. Calculating the number of impressions a campaign generates is also one of the simplest ways to ascertain how far an advertising channel really reaches. Knowing how many impressions an advertising campaign generates helps marketers generate a number of other marketing metrics too, such as Click-Through Rates (known as CTR). These metrics are used to calculate a campaign’s effectiveness, but require an accurate impression count to be successfully measured.

Impressions and Adjust

Adjust offers impression tracking as an opt-in feature. Our impression tracking uses a special attribution model which identifies the difference between impressions and clicks.

When an Adjust tracker is linked to an ad network in the Campaign Wizard, Adjust generates two tracker URLs. The first is for click-based attribution, and the second is for impression tracking. These can be integrated with your network partners to enable tracking for impressions and clicks. This gives you greater understanding of your app’s conversion funnel. To find out more, see our official documentation for impression tracking.

Impression tracking has a 24-hour attribution window, which means that a user who sees an ad for an app must install it within that period to be attributed to that impression. Installs that are attributed to users who generated impressions can then be viewed in the Adjust dashboard by going into ‘impression mode,’ which shows impression and click data together for ease of reference.

Impression-level ad revenue

Adjust also offers impression-level ad revenue tracking. With MoPub’s impression-level revenue data and Adjust’s reporting, publishers can tie monetization revenue to the source. This means it can be accurately compared with a user’s acquisition cost, giving marketers the insight they need in order to make informed user acquisition decisions.

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