Behavioral: Fewer Clicks, Higher Conversions

Debates over behavioral targeting’s effectiveness of continues, though data released by shows fewer clicks and more conversions.

Previous behavioral research has shown success in some cases, while current research tends to demonstrate benefits across the board. Analysis in the personal finance, automotive, and educational sectors returned similar results. Each saw a reduction in the click-through rate in targeted versus run-of-network ads, yet the targeted ads returned a higher conversion rate.

“We saw such a large increase in conversion rates, but saw click-through rates go down,”’s associate director of research, Lauren Weinberg, told ClickZ Stats. “It suggests that you’re increasing the value of the click, people who are clicking through the targeted impressions are more likely to convert.”

Advertisements for a personal finance campaign running July 1 to August 15 of this year were the subject of one test. With identical creative, ads were distributed across the network, and also to a personal finance behavioral segment. Click-through rates decreased with the targeted segment. Yet despite fewer clicks, the targeted ads achieved a 90 percent higher conversion rate per 1,000 impressions compared to run-of-network impressions.

An automotive campaign which ran from July 21 through August 25 this past summer garnered comparable results. The click-through rate was 64 percent lower for targeted impressions, though that campaign achieved a 323 percent increase in conversion rate per 1,000 impressions.

From August 5 through September 7, the network ran a campaign for an educational product. The click-through gap was 22 percent, but the campaign achieved a 105 percent increase in conversion rate per 1,000 impressions over the run-of-network rates.

“Behavioral shows insights into consumers that contextual can’t address,” said Weinberg. “[behavioral] allows you to break away from the clutter.”

The marketing services firm used its Optigence research platform to measure the effects of three campaigns run on its Audience LeadBack behavioral targeting technology platform. The three campaigns were targeted to personal finance, automotive, and educational users.

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