What does Frequency cap mean in marketing terminology?

Frequency cap

A frequency cap is an important tool that marketers use in order to prevent overexposure of their promotional materials, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, to the same users. It helps enhance and customize customer experience, as well as maintain brand loyalty.

What is a Frequency Cap?

A frequency cap is a marketing tool used to limit the reach of campaigns and their impacts. This typically means limiting the number of times a particular message, offer, or advertisement is shown to a given user. With this tool, a company can limit the frequency of certain messages and offers, thus making sure they do not reach the same customer (or individual) too frequently.

The frequency of a marketing message is defined as the total number of times a particular customer witnesses, views, downloads, or clicks through a specific campaign. Frequency cap is a useful tool as, when used correctly, it can help marketers by preventing overexposure of materials, customize customer experiences, and maintaining brand loyalty.

How Does a Frequency Cap Work?

There are several metrics used in the online marketing field, like click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per conquest (CPC) that could be used to measure the effectiveness of a frequency cap.In order to set up a frequency cap for your campaigns, you will first need to assess which metrics you will use to measure the effectiveness of the tool, since different metrics might be more effective in different campaigns and objectives.

The frequency caps can be set up at different levels such as day, campaign, or user level. The day level frequency cap is used to limit the impressions of a certain campaign over a certain time period, such as a day or a week. The campaign level frequency caps limit the number of impressions to a certain number of campaigns, such as 5. The user level frequency capping limits the number of times a user can receive the same campaign message.

It is important to note that frequency capping should be used in accordance to legal requirements, such as the ones set by GDPR. Depending on the country, company’s need to update their privacy policies and make sure they are compliant with the local legislation.

General Guidelines and Best Practices for Frequency Capping

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1. Set Appropriate Frequency Caps

It is highly important to set the frequency cap based on the metrics chosen for each campaign. It should be in accordance with the budget and campaign goals, as setting it too high or too low might adversely affect the effectiveness of the campaign.

For example, for retargeting campaigns it is necessary to increase the frequency in order to reach the potential customers. On the other hand, for awareness campaigns, it is necessary to limit the frequency in order to maintain customer interest and loyalty.

2. Monitor Campaign Performance

Monitoring the performance of campaigns is essential to assessing the efficiency of the frequency cap settings. While setting up the frequency cap, it is essential to be aware of the results, therefore it is advised to maintain constant checking of the metrics in order to adjust the parameters if needed.

3. Adjust Frequency Capping Parameters

It is essential to adjust the frequency capping parameters if needed, as not doing so might lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the campaign. Such parameters include targeting, budget, duration, product, and age demographics.


Frequency capping is an effective tool in the online marketing field, used to limit the reach and the impact of marketing messages, offers, and ads to users. It is an effective way of maintaining and enhancing customer experiences, as well as making sure companies are compliant with local laws on privacy. Frequency capping should be used in accordance with the chosen metrics, budget, and campaign goals. Finally, it should be kept in mind that the parameters of the frequency cap should be monitored and adjusted as needed in order to evaluate the efficiency of the campaigns.