Political Ads Convert 10 Times Better Than Run-Of-The-Mill Ads For Advertisers, Publishers, Study Shows

The 2020 election is about a year away, but political ads are seeing a much higher engagement rate compared with non-political ads.

Political ads have a conversion rate 10 times higher and a click-through rate (CTR) three times higher compared with non-political ads. Political ads on mobile phones see a 50% higher conversion rate and a CTR two times higher compared with ads on PCs and tablets.

“It’s mainly standards display ads that work best,” said Kerel Cooper, SVP global marketing at LiveIntent, which focuses on email.

LiveIntent conducted the study by examining political ad campaigns running on its platform, which reaches 250 million verified people monthly through email and other methods.

Cooper said the study found that aside from emails, the next best way to reach people is through ads in email newsletters.

With election season well underway, LiveIntent’s data found morning and afternoons were best for political ads with the most conversions occurring between 9 a.m. and 11a a.m. and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Sunday are the best days for conversions.

The worst time for conversions occur between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. Tuesday and Friday are the worst days. 

Most ads today are focused on general messaging and awareness. “As we move into 2020 and see the field narrow on the democratic side, we’ll start to see ads for candidates and campaign donations,” Cooper said.

GroupM recently released numbers relating to U.S. political ad spend. The agency estimates the ad spend will reach $9.9 billion in 2020 -- up from $8.7 billion in 2018 during midterm congressional elections, and up from $6.3 billion in 2016 during the past presidential election.

For content, political ad campaigns were most successful in newsletters devoted to Law, Government & Politics and Business, with a 50% higher conversion rate and 33% higher CTR, compared to the average.

These ad campaigns saw a 50% lower CTR and a 70% lower conversion rate compared to the average in Travel and Food & Drink newsletters.

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