What is Frequency Capping?

Frequency capping (also known as impression capping) is used in online advertising to limit the number of times an ad appears for each user.

In other words, it's used to prevent users from seeing the same ad over and over again.

Why is Frequency Capping Important?

Frequency capping is essential because it helps avoid the risk of over-exposure and negative customer sentiment.

If you don't set up a frequency cap, users may feel like they're being bombarded by too many ads from one brand or company.

Additionally, a cap can help improve your campaign results by minimizing banner blindness and increasing the CTR (click-through rate) and return on investment (ROI).

Besides, it can reduce the cost of your campaign while increasing its reach.

Best Practices for Frequency Capping

In most situations, setting a frequency cap for online advertising campaigns is recommended —except when running remarketing and brand awareness campaigns where the CTR metric is not crucial.

The best frequency to use for a given ad may depend on the type and goals of your campaign, as well as on available inventory.

Here are some tips:

  • Limit the number of impressions per day to 1-3
  • Looking at your results, gradually increase the capping frequency and pay attention to how this affects metrics like CTR.

How to Find the Optimal Frequency

The optimum frequency cap depends on the business and the product however finding the fitting frequency cap can be tricky.

You don't want to bombard users with ads they've already seen, but at the same time, you want them to see your message often enough that it will have an impact.

You can conduct a simple experiment to measure the effectiveness of different impression caps. Start by setting your cap at one impression per 24 hours and measuring CTR over the day. Then gradually increase your cap until you have found the optimal performance.

Frequency Capping under the GDPR and CCPA

Historically, ad servers generate a unique identifier that's stored in a third-party cookie or browser storage. This identifier is sent along with every ad request to an advertising server which keeps track of how many times this specific ad has already been served by matching the unique identifier with the ad server's database.

Using a unique identifier is considered illegal under the GDPR/CCPA law since it can be used to track users across the internet.

To be compliant, publishers must use a consent management platform (CMP) if they are subject to GDPR or CCPA regulations.

Adserver.Online supports any CMPs compatible with the technical standard of the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF).


To summarize, frequency capping is an essential technique in online advertising that limits the number of times an ad appears for each user.

This helps to prevent overexposure and negative customer sentiment, leading to improved campaign results, reduced banner blindness, and increased CTR and ROI. While setting a frequency cap is recommended in most cases, the ideal frequency depends on campaign goals and available inventory.

Effectively implementing frequency capping helps create a more meaningful connection with your target audience and maximize your campaign's success.