Online Advertising FAQ

Just getting started with your online efforts? Have a question from a client you’re not sure how to answer? Have a look on this page. And if it’s not here, just send us a email – we’ll add it to the mix!

Questions about Advertising With Spot-On

What are the specifications for your online ads?

Spot-On serves your ads so we have one set of specs for all placements: static banners, animated banners, video pre-roll, interstitials and mobile ads. They are spelled out at our site.

Once Pinpoint Persuasion has my ad how long does it take to get up and running?

Once we have accepted your creative it can be up and running within 72 hours. We can often accelerate the approval process with publishers but some sites have additional reviews for political and advocacy which adds to the time between submission and launch.

How does Pinpoint Persuasion decide where to place my ads?

We don’t. You do. Before a buy is executed, Spot-On send you a detailed list of the sites where we think it should run and an estimate of how many ads will appear. We’ll use that final schedule to determine ad performance and billing.

Remember, you only pay for the ads that appear and Spot-On servers will measure all aspects of your buy – in real time.

Can you get my ads placed in a specific section of a website or on the page of a specific columnist?

One of the best way to make sure your ads are seen in a community, especially during a high profile event, is to reserve fixed ads that stay on a section of the website for a full 24-hours. These are effective especially effective for public affairs or lobbying efforts centered around a key vote or meeting.

Many websites have “native ad” placements, sponsorship opportunities, or special ad buys, for specific writers or sections. These need to be negotiated in advance and the creative specifications will vary from outlet to outlet.

What is “programmatic buying” and do I need it?

Programmatic buying is a way to use demographic or geographic targeting to find particular types of voters. Spot-On’s Pinpoint Persuasion team handles these types of placements for us using your targeting criteria.

Almost every campaign should have some programmatic buys included in its schedule. These placements extend a campaign’s reach and are the best way to hone in on specific types of voters.

What is “re-targeting”?

Almost all website visitors leave information about themselves at the sites they see. Retargeting take that information – called a “cookie” – and uses it to follow the visitor and show them more ads about the campaign.

Retargeting is a good way to show voters different creative messages as your campaign strategy evolves. It’s also a very good way to repeated reach your target audience inexpensively and quickly.

Why does are you telling me to run on websites that aren’t in my local area?

Spot-On’s schedules normally include a range of outlets, depending on their historic performance and your targeting needs.
When we include national sites or those not in your district, we will geo-targeted the ads on these outlets. The placements will only be seen by readers in the zip codes where you want the ads to appear.

So, for instance, a site based in New York City might show ads for a California campaign – but only to readers from California. Readers from New York City – or from Dallas or anywhere else – won’t see the ad.

What is a click-thru rate?

A click-through rate, or CTR, is the metric for measuring the number of times viewers clicked on the ad and went to your site. It is determined by taking the number of clicks and dividing by the number of ads shown.

Spot-On’s means for evaluating CTRs as one aspect of ad performance is in keeping with the industry standard.

For banner ads, static and animated, we use this scale:
0 to .05%: Problem, we need to get new creative or cancel ads on this outlet
.06 to .08%: Solid but we’ll keep an eye on things. Maybe some optimization – better creative, a change in placement – is in order.
.08 to .1%: Very good. We aim for a .1% across a buy when we book ads. This is the “getting your money’s worth” category.
.1% and up: Excellent. These are rates well above online ad averages. We are doing really well.
For video pre-roll we expect CTRs of .2% and higher with a minimum of 60% completed views.

Do my ads have to click through to a website?

Yes. Most reputable publishers want to know who’s behind an ad. When we supply them with a landing site, they are reassured.

Can I send traffic to a site I don’t own or control?

For most state races, yes, you can. Spot-On has secured a ruling for state races saying that its independent clients – those not affiliated directly with a race – can send traffic to the candidate’s site. Rules for federal campaigns – U.S. Senate, House and Presidential – have not yet been issued.

How does your billing work?

Unless you tell us otherwise, all our schedules are agency commissionable at 15%. And all online buys are cash-in-advance. For more information, see our Terms and Conditions.

What is Spot-On’s privacy policy?

We will never share any information about you, your clients’ ad buys, client lists, or any other information about you without your specific permission.

We may aggregate ad data to discuss the general trends of the political online advertising business, but no specific details about you or your clients will be shared with anyone without your permission.

Spot-On may contact you via email with special offers, site information, and industry news, but we will never sell or give away your email address or other information to any third party.

What are the terms and conditions for our purchase?

For information regarding refunds, make-goods and handling creatives. See our Terms and Conditions.

Insider Tip: Checking Up

Roughly 60% of persuadable voters go online to verify a campaign’s claims or a candidate’s record. Spot-On Ads makes sure your online ads find them.

Insider Tip: Analytics 101

The Spot-On Virtual Precinct Captain provides metrics throughout your campaign. You can also get a look at creative performance for in-house A/B testing.

Insider Tip: A Slate Card for Online

The Spot-On Virtual Slate Card is a great way for a caucus or cause to help a group of candidates. It’s an online ad buy that stretches ad dollars.

Insider Tip: Face Time

Smile! Voters respond better to ads carrying a face. Ads with people – usually the candidate – drive more traffic to your campaign site.

Insider Tip: Local Is Loved

Seven in 10 voters follow LOCAL news. Pinpoint Persuasion’s database of LOCAL news sites gets you in front of voters.