What is Sell Through Rate ?

Sell Through Rate is a sell side metric which is sourced and calculated from either an Ad Network’s Ad server or a individual publisher ad server and represented as a percentage. It represents the number of paid impressions sold divided by the number of ad impressions available for sale.

The Sell Through Rate formula is represented by;

(Paid impressions / Total impressions served) x 100 = Sell Through Rate %


Your website had 1,000,000 total impressions or “ad calls” for a given period. Only 870,000 of those impressions returned a paid advertisement:

(870,000 / 1,000,000 ) x 100 = 87% Sell Through Rate

The Sell Through Rate is a culmination of all digital sales options which represents “paid impressions”: such as

  • Direct Sold

  • Header Bidding / Prebid

  • Programmatic Guaranteed

  • Programmatic Deals

  • Programmatic Open Exchange

  • CPA / Cost Per Acquisition / Affiliate

  • CPC / Cost Per Click

Price Floor, network errors, internet congestion, sales cycles, timeouts and users leaving a web page before the ad is delivered to the page all contribute to why a perfect 100% sell through rate rarely happens.

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