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Don’t Discount the Value of View-Through Conversions

Published: November 14, 2013

Author: Judy Morimoto

There’s been much debate about view-through conversions (VTCs), which are “conversions” where an ad was seen but not clicked and the user converted later. Are they truly conversions? What kind of value do they add to a display campaign?
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As a consumer, I know the value of VTCs. For me, they create awareness of products I’ve heard of but am not familiar with and always remind me of the sweater or pair of shoes I forgot to purchase. I know better than to click on anything – paid search links, banner ads, or otherwise – and I think the same is true of many of the consumers in the U.S.
As a display specialist, I have been able to do extensive analysis, mostly through test and control methodology, on how to accurately attribute VTCs. In most cases, we saw that approximately 15-20% of all VTCs were incremental to the user being influenced organically by other marketing methods or not being exposed to an ad at all.  Granted, this analysis was primarily focused on remarketing, but I have conducted PSA tests – an industry favorite for testing the lift that exposure to an ad provides – on both prospecting and remarketing campaigns, and those tests have shown similar results. (This is with third party de-duplication and attribution methodologies.) Other PSA tests have shown that, on average, you can expect 20% more leads just by showing ads that don’t draw clicks.
After all the rhetoric, VTCs demonstrate value by assisting the conversion and creating demand for the product. I have found that the U.S. consumers may be a bit more hesitant to click on ads unless we’re fully committed to being cookied and followed all over the web. With that being said, the true attribution % for each client is left to speculation unless you can either run your own PSA test or employ a multi-touch attribution platform.
Have you drawn any conclusions about the value of VTCs? Leave them in the comments!

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