Home Affiliate Marketing & Advertising Smart CPM is here! Spend Less While Getting the Traffic That Fits Your Targeting

Smart CPM is here! Spend Less While Getting the Traffic That Fits Your Targeting

by Olly V
an introduction to smart cpm

How does Smart CPM help you spend less on traffic? This pricing algorithm automatically competes for the hottest placements and sets winning bids to deliver ads to your target audiences. And it will never exceed the bid you set. 

Here’s a drained but complete guide to how you can use this new pricing model by Adsterra.

Smart CPM by Adsterra: points to try

Let’s kick off with the basics. Smart CPM is a second-price auction model based on an intelligent algorithm. It enters auctions, picks bids, and wins ad views at a better price. The algorithm will repeatedly adjust the payout amount keeping it at the most competitive level. 

Top reasons to try

  • Start campaigns twice faster: smart algorithms will automatically assess the competition and set bids
  • Save precious hours on bidding adjustment
  • Spend safely, especially, when you’re on a budget
  • Get enough ad impressions without risks of overspending
  • Optimize traffic costs at the start
  • Get insights on how to selectively improve pricing in the future (Custom Bid).
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How does Smart CPM save your money?

You define the CPM cap, so as to say the maximum bid you’re ready to pay for 1,000 impressions. The algorithm starts seeking the best-matching traffic and bidding to win in the auctions.

The point is that you won’t have to refresh bids several times to ensure you’re getting enough traffic, and the bid required to win the auction will usually be lower than the cap you set.

See how it works:
Supposing your bid is $3,5. Your targeting is [US, mobile, Android.] Two more advertisers are competing for the same targets, and their bids are $3 and $2. Smart CPM will then place a $3.05 bid and win the auction. Still, you will be getting the same traffic volumes as if your payout was $3.5, but pay only $3.05. Profit!

We’re urging you to avoid overbidding at this stage. You only set the desirable cap, but not the highest payout possible.

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A brief how-to part: How to enable Smart CPM

From your account, hit Campaigns > Create and scroll down to the Ad unit and Pricing type section. Pricing types become active when you pick a preferable ad unit: Popunder, Social Bar, In-Page-Push, Interstitial, or Native Banner.

Let’s experiment choosing Popunder and next, CPM. Now please put a tick near the Smart CPM. This will enable our algorithm to bid for you automatically.


These are not all required settings, of course. Please ensure you’ve picked the right Connection, Device, and Traffic type before you jump to pricing models. And save this full guide to basic settings for a new ad campaign.

After choosing a pricing type, you’ll need to enter a price (or bid) for traffic. Bidding is enabled when you select a country to target. Adsterra will remind you that automatic bidding is ON and show the lowest possible payout for this target. Your payout should be higher than a minimum one to empower Smart CPM comptete for the best traffic.

The algorithm will always look for opportunities to place a lower bid needed to win the competition. And it will never get higher than your maximum.

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Smart CPM vs classic CPM: use cases

It’s time to compare the two pricing models. You’re familiar with CPM — it’s nothing but paying for 1,000 ad impressions. It’s you who needs to pick the most relevant bid manually. Not once. Your bidding tactics will change several times, and with each new attempt to outcompete other advertisers, there will be a risk of losing traffic volumes. But in this case, it’s you who holds the wheel.

Traditional CPM bidding specifics

  • Manual settings demand time and strategic craft
  • Traffic performance vastly varies, and you need to test traffic slices carefully
  • You can test new geos and traffic slices with minimum bids only
  • When you know exactly how traffic will convert, you can place a fixed bid and get exactly what you expect

Smart CPM

This bidding type offers you a more automated yet money-saving approach. Adsterra’s intelligent algorithm will choose the optimal bid an unlimited number of times. Risks are lower, since the whole process is automated. And you still can select the top-matching placements to add them to a whitelist later on (in case, you’ve set up a tracker, of course).

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Enhancing ad tests and optimization with Smart CPM

When entering a new market or testing a fresh traffic slice, you aim to get conversions faster and spend less at the start. Smart CPM is like a magic wand here: it will collect as many ad views as possible, keeping your spending under control. 

After running a test, you will only need to dive into stats to pick the most resultative placements to form a whitelist and launch a new campaign. Remember to add a token ##PLACEMENT_ID## for tracking placements when setting up your test campaign. Read more about the campaign setup stages in our expert guide.

What else? Campaign scaling can also become more effective. Scaling is about getting more traffic in terms of quality and quantity. When you scale, you nearly start testing new traffic sources again, which can be pretty risky. Well, Smart CPM will minimize potential pitfalls. It will discover traffic at affordable prices without burning your budget down. 

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Focusing on the best-performing traffic

Smart CPM fits perfectly for obtaining more ad views from high-performing ad placements. Let’s make it more clear.

After running ads for a while, you can collect stats on how different ad placements perform (in case you added a specific token in the landing URL, of course.) What you need to do is to increase bids for placements that bring you more profits.

Open your campaign from the My Campaigns tab. Scroll down until you see the Advanced Settings section. Find Custom Bid and hit SET UP. Here, you can enter the IDs of the placements (with or without geos) you want to get more traffic from and place an increased bid. This approach can drastically improve the campaign results, giving you greater ROI. 

Smart CPM will carry on bidding automatically, taking into account your selective bids. As an outcome, you will win more auctions and get more traffic from the placements with the best-matching traffic.

By the way, the trick works in reverse. You can fix minimal bids for sources that send the least profitable traffic. See all Custom Bid’s use cases.

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What to read to launch perfect campaigns?

You may now feel a bit confused looking for “what to start with?” And you’re right. This guide uncovers a small piece of campaign setup magic. Let’s fix it right now. Adsterra experts have crafted detailed guides to help you out at any stage of your marketing strategy within our ad network. Give them a read.

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To conclude

With Smart CPM, you pay the least possible price to outcompete your nearest rivals for traffic. But what if your competitors, all as one, will also apply Smart CPM? The same thing: our intelligent algorithms will pick the winning bid among the competing ones while not allowing any of the advertisers to overpay.

Summarizing, here are the core advantages you can now enjoy and benefit from.

  • Spend tangibly less time on bidding strategy
  • Control spending on traffic while getting the same volumes and quality
  • Enhance the efficiency of tests, campaign optimization and scaling
  • Use combo settings to control daily spending or selectively increase bids for the best-performing traffic sources
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