Buying Ads On A CPE Basis

When should I be buying ads on a CPE basis?

The simple answer is: when you don’t want your ads to be ignored. If your ads have a consistently low CTR and are converting poorly, then it could be time to start paying for users to pay attention to them.

CPE campaigns can also be good ways to get users to watch videos within ads, or even generate leads. There are other campaign types that are geared to these goals, however, so only use CPE campaigns if you have some insight into why they are the best choice for your specific goal.

To run a CPE campaign well, and to make it better value than running other types of ad campaigns they need to be well thought out, and well designed.

Deciding what engagements are worthwhile, creating an ad campaign that encourages those engagements sufficiently and then analysing the results is a pretty big undertaking.

Therefore unless you have an ad agency or in-house marketing team it’s probably best not to dabble in CPE ads.


How do I manage a CPE deal?

Like a CPA deal, a CPE deal is best managed by supporting the publishers you are working with as well as possible. For a CPE campaign, this just means providing them with reports and being open with them about what engagements are being paid out on.

If you have the technology to let them optimise towards engagements, you should definitely deploy it!

As CPE campaigns have many things to track, it will almost certainly mean that you should use a third-party ad server to deliver your ads. This way your ads can be more complex, and your reporting can be in-depth.


If you have more than enough placements for your campaign and you want to improve efficiency to save on ad serving costs, try and improve the engagement rates. This means the number of people who see the ad and engage with it.

You can work out the engagement rate to optimise towards if you want to be efficient with your impressions. This would be the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions served (multiplied by 100 to make it a percentage).


CPE Formula

The CPE equation is:

CPE Equation or FormulaClick to enlarge

Cost Per Engagement = Amount Spent ÷ Engagements


What CPE price should I pay?

This is another reason why should only dabble in CPE campaigns if you have an ad agency or in-house marketing team as what is an engagement worth? The ROI is so variable it could drive you mad trying to work it out.

If you are running a simple CPE campaign that is just trying to show a video, then perhaps you can trace the value of a user watching the video, to the likelihood of them becoming a customer and work the value out that way.

In most cases however you are simply trying to improve brand awareness, and the value of that is exceptionally difficult to measure.

The simple answer would, therefore, be as little as possible.


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