The cost of running an online ad is an invisible one.
But for millions of Americans, a click-through rate of less than 3% is a problem.
That’s because they don’t see it as a direct result of their clicking, according to a new study that’s shedding new light on why people sometimes pay for clicks on ads.
In a paper published this week in the journal Consumer Behaviour and Marketing, researchers from the University of British Columbia and the University at Buffalo used data from the online ad-tracking platform adspaces.com to show how often people click on ads, and how many times the ads are delivered.
They found that about 15% of consumers click on an ad once, then never see the ad again.
The researchers concluded that this is a “tricky” number that doesn’t capture all the hidden costs of advertising.
They say this number is important because consumers tend to ignore the click-to-pay signals and are more likely to click on the ad if they’re satisfied with the purchase.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re making an informed choice, said lead author Mark Moseley, a professor of marketing at the University and director of the business research department at the university.
“When we say we’re paying for an ad, we’re not telling you, ‘If you click, you’ll be charged,’ because we’re saying, ‘This is what we’re getting for your money,'” he said.
“We’re trying to get you to do something for us.”
Adspaces says it uses similar data to other leading ad-tech firms and estimates that about 70% of the online ads that it has tracked to date are click-on-click-to ads.
And the company said it has identified more than 1 million campaigns that have been associated with these click-tickets.
Moseley said people often don’t realize they’re paying.
“People think they’re getting a great deal because they’re clicking on the ‘buy now’ button, or because they get an email asking them for their email address,” he said, “or because they hear from an ad-serving agency about the campaign.”
Mosely said this is particularly problematic when the campaigns are targeted to low-income consumers.
“The ads we’re seeing have been paid for with money that’s going to help people with a really hard time,” he explained.
“And when we look at those ads, we see these ads are doing the opposite.”
The researchers found that the ads were delivering less than their cost to consumers.
In the case of a click through rate of 3%, the average paid for ad is only about 3 cents.
If a clickthrough rate was only 3%, an ad would cost $0.50 to $0 of revenue.
To better understand the issue, the researchers also analyzed ads for more than 200 companies with more than $10 million in sales or marketing revenue.
The ads were purchased in bulk, and they were paid for by a third party.
They analyzed the ads for the following types of impressions: clicks from search, social and email, and clicks on other content.
“The majority of the ad impressions we found were click-click to pay,” Mosely told FoxNews.com.
The researchers also looked at the total number of impressions on each ad, and then found that consumers typically click on at least 1% of all ads.
But this number varies depending on the type of ad: a search ad, a social media ad, or a video ad.
The study found that when a company was targeting low-to moderate income consumers, the cost to them was even more important to consumers than the click rate of an ad.
This was especially true if the ad was targeted to people who often spend more time on Facebook.
For example, in a social marketing campaign targeting a high-income consumer, a paid-for ad would be expected to generate a click to pay of about 3%.
That means consumers who spend more than 15% on social media ads are paying more for each click than low- to moderate-income Americans.
“If you are a low-wage worker who’s spending 15% or more on social, then a social-targeted ad is going to have a higher cost to you than a paid one,” Mearly said.
This means that low-paid workers and workers in higher-income categories are paying a larger percentage of their online revenue to advertisers.
The study also found that low paid workers were also more likely than those in higher income categories to be interested in clicking on a paid ad and to not consider the cost of the click.
The findings have a broad applicability to all kinds of online interactions, including advertising, according the study’s authors.
“I don’t think we’ve really looked at this before, but this is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society as we have to think about the way we pay for things like entertainment,” said Moselley.