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Auctions / eCPM Optimization


Auction - or eCPM Optimization - is a delivery method with the goal of generating the most revenue for each ad impression.

This is different from lottery, in which the system looks at the eligible ads and chooses a winner at random.

For Auctions, when choosing what ad "wins" the placement request, Adzerk:

  1. Filters everything down to all eligible ads
  2. Based on historical data and current bids, calculates eCPM (aka how much each ad will make you on average for ever 1K impressions)
  3. Picks the ad with the highest eCPM

This ensures you are making the most money for each ad impression.

When Auction is Used

The Auction selection method is most effective when:

  • You have multiple advertisers with different bids
  • You've set the expectation that bid amount will impact volume (versus guaranteeing a certain number of impressions/clicks)
  • You are charging on CPC or CPA (versus straight CPM or flat fee)


Adzerk uses effective Cost-Per-Mille (thousand impressions), or eCPM, to calculate the value of each ad.

If charging on CPM, this is easy to calculate ($5.00 CPM bid > $4.00 CPM).

However, if you are charging on cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-action (CPA), then you'll want these numbers to be normalized into eCPM.

For instance, just because an advertiser is paying you a higher CPC doesn't mean they'll make you the most money. In this scenario, the $1.00 bidder makes 150% more for you than the $2.00 bidder because their click-through-rate (CTR) is so much higher:

So, Adzerk converts everything to eCPM, using the formula:

And then picks the ad with the highest eCPM for each placement.

Auctions / eCPM Optimization