What is Ad Recall in Digital Marketing?

There is a magical metric that a digital marketing agency leans on to deliver solid answers to their clients about the performance of their advertising efforts. It is called ad recall; it estimates how many people would remember seeing your ads if they were asked within a couple of days. This optimization feature delivers you to those individuals with high potential for advertising success! But how exactly does it work and should you use it in your digital ad campaigns? Grab a cup of coffee and let’s explore together.

How is Ad Recall Calculated?

You’ve probably heard of the term ‘impressions’ while dabbling in digital marketing. An impression is counted anytime your ad appears on a user’s screen, regardless of whether it was actually seen or not. Since this isn’t a very clear view of how well an ad is performing, ad recall is the way for advertisers to measure the difference between people who saw their ads and those that didn’t.

Impressions and clicks are the elements Facebook and Google use to calculate estimated ad recall lift. For ad recall metrics, you compare the number of impressions with the number of clicks. Low impressions with a high number of clicks mean your ad is being seen and being engaged with well. 

It’s actually not as simple as it sounds, but that’s where hiring a digital marketing agency with all their experience in this realm is usually the best choice.

How to Increase Ad Recall 

Advertisers spend billions of dollars each year on techniques meant to improve ad recall, but what actually works? According to research, there are four main factors: creativity, emotion, relevance, and repetition. Let’s take a closer look at each one.


The Smithsonian National Museum of American History has an advertising campaign slogan that reads, “If you didn’t know, now you know.” And while most people might think it’s a bit silly, there is actually some creativity to the statement. If people don’t remember your ad, then it’s not doing its job. 


Emotions play a huge part in the actions we take. Therefore Ad recall goes up when you have a catchy or urgent phrase. One of the most powerful phrases to use is “free shipping.” This will get people’s attention and make them more likely to remember your ad. “Last Chance!” is another example of a phrase that demands attention. Logic and reason aren’t always what drive decisions.


There has been a lot of research done on the topic of relevance and how it can help you appeal to customers. People are more likely to watch an ad, read an article, or even glance at promotional pictures if they relate back with what’s going inside them- which makes sense because then those ads would have some meaning! 


The more you see an ad, the better chance it has to be recalled. That’s because repetition is a key component of memory retention in humans. If you want your ads to have maximum impact on people’s brains, make sure they are seen enough for optimal memorization!   

Start Taking Advantage of Ad Recall Today!

The Ad Recall Lift metric is a powerful tool for marketers to understand which types of media their customers are more receptive towards. By utilizing the information provided here, you should be able to increase your ad recall. You’ll want to try different forms of marketing and advertising methods that might work best with whatever personality your company has. This will allow you to create an effective digital strategy that takes into account how people think as they move through the buying cycle – from the awareness phase all the way up until purchase.

We hope we have given you a good idea of what ad recall is and what it can do for increasing sales numbers. If you need more action in this area, you can approach a full-service marketing agency with your goals in mind and work with them to get your numbers where you want them. Lean on your marketing agency to develop and grow your quality inbound leads through digital marketing.

Here at zo agency, we work to build long-term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  Visit us today at

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