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What Are Say-Through Rates?

April 29, 2021 Sarah Cavill

The increasing popularity of interactive voice advertising and audio formats from social media platforms has led to the introduction of new metrics called say-through rates (STR). Like click-through rates (CTR), STR measures engagement, but for voice ads instead of clicks in emails or ads. Peter Vahle, forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence, calls voice an “ad format to watch,” with positive signs from say-through rates a reason for advertisers to stay familiar with the format and watch for developments. 

What Are Say-Through Rates?

Say-through rates are a measurement of verbal engagement with voice ads.

When Pandora introduced voice ads, it needed a way to measure customer engagement and interest for the format. Enter STR. “Say-through rate is Pandora’s standard first-party metric for measuring verbal engagement with voice ads,” explains the music streaming service. According to Pandora, STR measures ad recall, purchase intent and the demographics of engaged audiences. 

Should Advertisers Consider Say-Through Rates When Making Advertising Plans?

Yes, say-through rates will be an important measurement as voice ad campaigns grow in popularity.

As noted on a recent eMarketer Behind the Numbers podcast, which featured a discussion of STR, consumer excitement can mask how effective an ad format may be in the long run. STR data should give advertisers more insight into voice campaign performance and their audiences. Plus, as machine learning and artificial intelligence with interactive voice ads get better, consumers will be able to reply to ads to tell brands when they aren’t interested. The future of interactive voice ads even includes conversations. STR metrics offer another set of data points that can improve targeting and inform ad spend. Measurement of voice ad effectiveness will become increasingly important with the uptick in audio formats from Facebook and Twitter and many advertisers eyeing opportunities in this growing social trend. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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