Want to improve the performance of your BookBub Ad campaigns, but you’re unsure where to start, what metrics you should be measuring, or which parts of your campaigns need improvement? This post is for you! Below, we explore the BookBub Ads dashboard, define key campaign stats, and show you where to find all the information you need to assess your campaigns.
Before we dig in…
Keep your goals in mind
It’s important to set up each ad campaign to accomplish a particular goal so when you review your results, you can figure out if the campaign was successful based on what you wanted it to achieve.
Advertisers’ goals often fall into three camps:
- Exposure: increasing awareness by getting your book in front of a large number of readers
- Sales: generating a high volume of downloads or unit sales
- Revenue: spending less on your ads than you make back in book sales to achieve a positive return on investment (ROI)
In this post, we’ll cover which stats to track in your BookBub Ads dashboard for each of these goals.
Let’s start by familiarizing ourselves with the dashboard and defining key campaign stats.
Defining BookBub Ads stats
Your campaign stats update every hour once your ad is live. When checking results, focus on the stats that are most relevant to your goals. Here’s what each one means and when you should pay attention to it.
What it means: One impression is one instance of your ad being displayed to a reader, which means one opened email or web page. We serve ads on BookBub.com, but the vast majority of your impressions will serve in emails, including the daily Featured Deal emails, Preorder Alerts, and more. You can see the breakdown of website vs. email impressions on each ad’s Details page, which we explore below. Learn more about winning impressions and how our auction determines when to show which ad to which readers.
Why it matters: No matter your goal, your first priority should be to make sure your ad is winning impressions. Without impressions, there can be no clicks or conversions to book sales. And the more impressions you have, the more reliable the rest of your data will be.
When to focus on it: If your goal is to maximize exposure of a book or author, you want to make sure you’re winning lots of impressions. More impressions means more visibility with BookBub readers! But this is also the first place to look to assess other goals, too — as your ads start gaining meaningful impressions (we recommend at least 1,000), then you can start focusing on things like clicks, conversions, and costs. Check out these tips for how to win more impressions.
What it means: The number of readers who have clicked on your ad.
Why it matters: Getting a reader to click on an ad is the first step to making a book sale. Clicks also provide valuable information about both your target audience and your ad creative — if clicks are low, it could mean you’re targeting too broad an audience, your image isn’t engaging enough, or your creative isn’t the right fit for the audience you’re targeting.
When to focus on it: If your goal is to maximize sales or revenue, you’ll want to see lots of readers clicking on your ads. Total clicks can also help you calculate conversion rates, or the percentage of readers who actually purchased a book after clicking on your ads.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
What it means: The percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks.
Why it matters: Similar to total clicks, the CTR tells you how well your ad is engaging its audience, so it can vary dramatically from campaign to campaign depending on your ad image and targeting. Unlike total clicks, CTR allows you to compare engagement between different ad campaigns that have served dramatically different numbers of impressions — you would expect a campaign with 10,000 impressions to have more total clicks than an ad with 1,000 impressions, but you can directly compare the CTRs of these campaigns to understand which is engaging readers at a higher rate.
When to focus on it: If you’re looking to maximize engagement with your ad, or you’re running test campaigns to identify good images or targeting (more on this later), you want to focus on CTR. So, what is a “good” CTR to aim for with BookBub Ads? It depends on a few factors (book price can impact click rates, for example), but many advertisers have told us they aim for at least 1-2%. CTR is often more important for advertisers using CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding than CPC (cost per click), since a higher CTR makes CPM campaigns more cost-effective. For more context on how other advertisers think about CTR depending on their campaign goals and set-up, check out our case studies and our annual best BookBub Ads roundups. And here are tips to increase your CTR.
Effective CPM and Effective CPC
What it means: Effective CPM (eCPM) tells you the rate you’d pay per 1,000 impressions of an ad, while Effective CPC (eCPC) is the rate you’d pay for each click on your ad.
Why it matters: These stats provide you with two different ways of understanding the value and the cost of a campaign. Your CPM or CPC bid determines the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for impressions or clicks, but you’ll often pay less than what you’ve bid. The eCPM and eCPC show you the rates you’re actually paying for the impressions and clicks that you’re winning.
When to focus on it: If you want to make sure your campaigns are earning you more than you’re spending, use the eCPM and eCPC along with sales reporting from your retailers to calculate your ROI. If you’re using CPM bidding, look at eCPM to understand what you’re paying for impressions. If you’re using CPC bidding, you’ll want to focus on eCPC to see how much you’re paying per click. Learn more about running profitable ad campaigns.
Remaining Budget and Budget Spent
What it means: Budget Spent shows how much you’ve spent in total on your campaign. Remaining Budget indicates how much more you could spend on this particular campaign based on the budget you set when you created your ad. You’re charged for an ad only after you get impressions or clicks, so your Remaining Budget represents potential money you could spend on a campaign, not actual currency sitting unspent — so if you pause a campaign, you simply never get charged for the remaining budget. For a campaign with a set date range, the Budget Spent and Remaining Budget amounts should add up to your total budget. For a continuous campaign, Remaining Budget will reflect today’s daily budget, and Budget Spent will show how much you’ve spent over the entire course of the campaign.
Why it matters: These two numbers help you keep track of how much you’ve spent and how much more you could invest in each ad.
When to focus on it: Decide how much you’re able to spend on your ads, then keep an eye on your budgets and allocate an appropriate amount for your most successful campaigns. We recommend starting with lower budgets ($5-10 can be enough!), then increasing them once you’re happy with your results. If you set a total budget for the full span of your campaign, regularly check the pacing of your ad spend. If your ad wins enough impressions or clicks to spend all of your budget before the end date you selected, you may want to increase your budget!
Different ways to view your BookBub Ads results
My Ads page
This is the home page of your ads dashboard, where you can view, compare, filter, and manage all your ads. The table is set to Live by default so you can see your active campaigns at a glance, but you can filter by different campaign statuses or date ranges, as well as search for particular campaigns. You can sort by different stats to quickly see your top-performing ads, expand each ad to see stats broken down by retailer or region, and pause or archive campaigns to more easily review the ones most relevant to you right now.
Use the Aggregate Stats tab to view rolled-up stats from all campaigns in a particular time window — for example, how much you’ve spent across all of your campaigns in the last month. This is also where adding a book to your campaign at the “Choose a Book” stage of creating an ad becomes useful: Under Stats by Book, you can quickly see your total spend, clicks, and click-through rate for all campaigns for a specific title.
Back on the My Ads page, use the Select Action drop-down next to each ad to make changes to a campaign or see more in-depth reporting for the campaign. Select View Details from the drop-down to dig deeper into results, which we sort into three tabs:
1. Daily Stats: While the Live Ads page shows an ad campaign’s total results within a certain time period, the Daily Stats tab shows how your ad stats are changing over time. This is displayed as a chart, where you can see changes in specific stats (CTR, total spent, clicks, impressions, CPM, CPC) over particular time ranges. Below, the breakdown of all the ad results by day is another way to visualize how your campaign is changing over time.
2. Aggregate Stats: Here you’ll see the campaign’s overall stats to date, similar to what you’d see on the Live Ads page, as well as all stats broken down by individual author targets. If you’ve added multiple author targets to a campaign, this is where you can see the differences in results between those different targets. This page also displays results by ad placement (impressions served in emails vs. on BookBub.com).
3. Ad Details: This is where you can review all the elements you set up for this campaign.
You can also download spreadsheets of your BookBub Ads results from the Daily Stats or My Ads pages to do more customized analyses and comparisons between campaigns. Click Export CSV to download the data from that date range to manipulate and play around with however you’d like.
What to do with this data
We recommend waiting to draw conclusions about a campaign until you have at least a few hundred impressions, and ideally around 1,000. Then, it’s up to you whether you’d like to edit your live campaigns or pause them and create new ones to make changes. Any updates you make will go live immediately!
If your ad is performing well based on your goals, select Edit Ad to increase your budget or extend the length of the campaign. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how long to keep a campaign running — just as long as it continues meeting your goals! Some advertisers will also regularly edit their author targets on longer-term campaigns.
If you’re not pleased with your results, one of the best ways to improve your ad performance is by running tests. Select Copy Ad to duplicate a campaign and change just one element at a time, like the image or the target audience — this is the element you’re testing. Run a few low-budget ads, then compare the results to see which one had the highest CTR or lowest eCPC.
Because you can customize your campaign in limitless ways, it may take some time to hit the right combination of bids, targeting, and creative variations for your particular books. Don’t be discouraged if your first few campaigns don’t immediately drive as much engagement or as many sales as you hoped. Test campaigns are learning opportunities and critical to long-term advertising success! Learn more about how to adjust your campaigns to get better results.
If you have any questions about how to interpret your BookBub Ads results or improve your ad performance, contact us and we’d be happy to help.
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:
Click to tweet: This is so useful — @BookBubPartners shared a walk-through of the BookBub Ads platform and how to assess your results! https://bit.ly/3UeQw4o
Click to tweet: Not sure how to interpret your BookBub Ads results? Here’s a super clear guide to using the dashboard and which stats to focus on: https://bit.ly/3UeQw4o #BookBubAds