Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

I’ve heard digital advertising is hard. I don’t have a large staff to manage this for me. What kind of support does Storefront Digital offer?

First off, our product was designed for users of all levels of experience. It should take less than 10-15 minutes to create ads, choose voter targets, schedule dates, set a budget and checkout. If you do have questions, you can reach out to our team at any time. We also offer premium services for candidates who’d like additional advising or customization.

Can you discuss more about how the costs are determined?

Our costs for banner ads are priced at a $10 CPM, meaning you pay $10 per thousand impressions (times a voter sees your ad). That is a fixed cost. Variables that increase or decrease costs are a) the number of voters reached and b) the length of your campaign. On Storefront Digital, you can set your own budget based on how many voters you’d like to reach over a set period of time. You are in control.

What kinds of websites will my ads appear on?

We go to great lengths to ensure that your ads are seen on brand-safe websites suitable for mainstream consumption. Our filters guarantee that your ads will appear only on local and national websites that are campaign-appropriate and campaign-safe in terms of their content. Sites may include news, sports, entertainment, retail and more.

Because we target voters, not specific websites, your ads will appear on websites that your voter targets are viewing. In other words, once we target a voter that’s a match for your campaign, your ads will appear on the sites that voter visits, but only if those sites are deemed appropriate by our filters.

We use industry standard ad serving platforms including Google Doubleclick, as well as third-party tracking services like Integral Ad Science and Double Verify to ensure that all your ads are running properly and that they are not appearing on sites they shouldn’t.

Do I get to pick where these ads are seen?

Because we are targeting voters not websites — a vastly more efficient way to target people — you won’t be able to dictate where your ads will be seen. As mentioned above, Storefront Digital has taken extra efforts to ensure that your ads are seen on thousands of campaign-safe websites.

I don’t have a website. Can I still do banner advertising?

Yes. If you don’t have a website, there are many free or inexpensive platforms like WordPress that allow you to design and launch simple websites quickly. Or you can link to a Facebook or Twitter page.

Wherever you link your ads, we recommend providing a way for voters to interact with your campaign, whether that’s signing up as a volunteer, donating or joining your email newsletter.

Creating Ads & Campaigns

What file format should my photos be in?

For best results, we recommend PNG files. Also, to help ensure your banners perform their best, it’s helpful if you compress the files. Check out tinyPNG for an easy and free way to compress your PNGs.

Voter Targeting

How exactly are ads targeted to specific voters?

Storefront Digital uses an anonymous process called “cookie matching” to find voters online. Cookie matching is the process of taking offline data (like your voter list), and bringing it online to match your data with voter data. (Your data and voter data are kept private.) This means your ads will be matched, one to one, with an actual voter rather than an entire household (like IP targeting, for example).

How do you identify the voters?

We use a mix of third-party data partners to match the national voter file, so we can can serve ads to your exact voter target online, whether they’re on desktop, mobile or social media.

Am I able to target a specific voter, e.g. Jane Smith?

Our voter targeting database does a one-to-one match to the exact voter segments you select. We anonymize data for privacy reasons. Therefore, you can target voter demographics like “Democrats,” “women,” and “voters over the age of 50,” but you can’t target individuals by name.

How can you guarantee you’re targeting local voters in my community or region, and not someone in another zip code or state?

We’ve taken great care to ensure that your ads are being seen by the right people in the right place. To start, we use geo-fencing, which limits the geographic area in which your ads are shown. Secondly, we use a process called on-boarding or “cookie matching,” which uses the national voter file to cookie match voters in the file. This combination ensures that we are serving your ads to exactly the right voters.

Managing Ad Campaigns

How will I know when my ads start appearing?

We’ll send you a notice when your campaign has launched, along with examples of sites your ads are appearing on.

Thereafter, you’ll receive a weekly performance report via email with helpful metrics like total impressions, click-through rates (CTR) and metrics by banner size.

What is included in the weekly performance report?

The report will include the total impressions scheduled, total impressions delivered, ad clicks, clickthrough rate, performance by ad size, and a list of the top 10 websites on which your ads have appeared.

What if I want to cancel my campaign after it starts running?

When you pay for your order, it’s considered final. However, under special circumstances we will stop campaigns, and depending on the timeline remaining for each campaign, allow for a partial refund. We do have a cancellation fee of $100 per day for the remainder of the campaign. If you have paid for your order and want to stop your campaign, please email us as soon as you can at info@storefrontdigital.com.

Campaign Best Practices

How far in advance should I plan a digital campaign?

The perfect time to plan a digital ad campaign is when you’re writing your campaign plan. If that isn’t an option, digital ads can be effective when a) trying to increase your name recognition, b) during a time in a campaign where you need to show support or opposition to a specific issue, c) to show off a big endorsement you’ve received or d) during your GOTV phase. 

What is the most effective way to target voters?

It depends on how many voters are in the area that you are trying to target. For example, for any area with under 20,000 voters, you should broaden your reach to make sure the maximum number of people see your ads. If you are targeting an area with over 20,000 voters, we suggest using our data filters to hone in on your exact voter target. For example, if you know know you need to reach Democrats who are female, over 35, and likely to vote, our targets can help you pinpoint those voters.

When should I target absentee voters?

It depends on your budget and broader campaign plan, but generally, the answer is the earlier the better. Starting your GOTV digital campaign a few weeks before absentee ballots drop would be ideal.

How should I benchmark my campaign?

Look at multiple data points, not just one or two. For example, typically the standard benchmark is click-through rate (CTR). Within the political advertising, Google estimates the industry standard CTR at .04%. What we reiterate to customers is that CTR isn’t everything. Take a holistic approach to your campaign strategy. For example, branding yourself to your voters is incredibly important — if a voter looked at your ad and didn’t click on it, there is still value there. Other data points to review: Are you getting more referrals or visits to your website? Are they signing up for your newsletter? Donating to your campaign? Spending a lot of time? Are users visiting multiple pages? and so on.

Should we be running the same ad the whole time we’re doing digital advertising?

If you have the funds, we recommend creating 3-4 different digital ad campaigns, each using different ad creative (designs and messaging) throughout your campaign. For example, you could create a bio ads to introduce yourself, issue ads to drive home an issue that you’re running on, endorsement ads to lend credibility to your campaign and get out the vote ads to activate your voters to vote. The key is to make sure there is enough time and inventory to get all messages in before election day (our product allows you to set schedule and budget around available inventory, so you can better plan).

Social Media

Glossary of Terms

Ad Templates:

Professionally designed ads that you can customize with different messages, fonts, images, colors and more. See examples.

Banner Ads:

Graphics we place on websites that click-through to our customers' campaign sites.

Campaigns / My Campaigns:

Individual sets of ads targeted to unique sets of voters, for a specified duration and budget. These could be campaigns in draft form, campaigns that are live or campaigns you’ve run in the past.

Checkout:

Final purchase of items in your cart.

Conversions:

Number of users who completed a previously defined action, such as signing up for a campaign newsletter.

CPM:

Cost per thousand impressions. 

CTR:

Click-through rate. That is, the percentage of times your ad was clicked divided by the number of times it was seen.

Custom Ads:

You can upload your own banner ads or pre-roll video ads in addition to using our ad templates. We can also design custom ads for you.

Destination URL:

Website you’d like your banners to link to, such as your campaign site.

Frequency:

Average number of times someone in your target voter audience sees your ad.

Impression:

When an ad is shown to your target voter audience. Total impressions are the number of times banner ads or pre-roll video ads have been shown to voters on our list of targeted premium sites.

Likely Voters:

Voters who have voted in at least 4 of the last 8 primaries and general elections.

Max Available Impressions:

Number of guaranteed impressions based on your budget, and your campaign’s start and end dates.

My Cart:

Campaigns in queue to be purchased.

Orders / My Orders:

Campaigns that have been purchased.

Pages Per Session:

The average number website pages seen by site visitors.

Pre-Roll Video Ads:

Video ads that play prior to a user watching video content, commonly seen on websites like YouTube or Hulu.

Price Per Target:

Price per voter impression. 

Reach:

The number (or percentage) of people in your voter target that have seen your ads.

Run Dates:

Your campaign's start and end dates.

Sessions:

Total number of times your site was visited by users who clicked on your ads, and remained for at least one second.

Spend / Max Spend:

What you’ll be charged to run your campaign.

Targeting:

Selection of your audience who will see your ads, such as likely voters in your school district.

Targets:

Campaign settings to target specific voters by state, geography, zip code, registered vs. likely voters, gender and more.

Total Scheduled Impressions:

Number of times we expect your ads will be delivered to voters on our list of targeted premium sites.

Unique Users:

Total number of individual users who visited your website by clicking on an ad, and remained for at least one second.

Views:

Total number of times a pre-roll video ad has been viewed.

View-Through Rate (VTR):

Number of times a pre-roll video ad was watched (or completed) in comparison to how many times pre-roll video ad was displayed.