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How to filter and show the best ads in your Chartboost mobile advertising campaign

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I’m a big Chartboost fan. Getting to grips with all of the options available to a developer is a bit of a learning curve. The good news is their team are always on hand to help you. Chartboost allows app developers to control what ads get shown in their apps, to improve their app eCPMs. I wanted to find what ads that were showing most in my apps, but which were not getting installs or earning me much money. Not all ads will appeal to the demographic that plays your particular game.

HUGE thanks to Shannon in Chartboost for helping me to figure out how to do this :)

To get started, log into Chartboost, browse to campaign>analytics and type in the name of the campaign you want to analyse. Put in dates over the last week, and select ‘group by app’. The system will then generate results which are too large to be displayed in the web brower, and you will be prompted to download a CSV file.

Open this CSV file up in Excel. Now select the whole spreadsheet, and press ‘Ctrl+F’. Find all of the ‘$’ and replace them with a blank. This is a really important step as otherwise your money earned column will not display correctly later on.

Now create a pivot table.


Select all the content in the spreadsheet, and then (in Office 2010 for PC) you can create a pivot table by selecting “insert > pivot table” from the top menu area.


When the grey popup box appears, be sure and select the ‘new worksheet’ option.

Now that you have your pivot table created in a new sheet. You should revise the parameters to show Row labels: “App Name” and Values: “Impressions”, “Click”, “Installs”, and “Money earned”. You can select these in the pivot table on the right of the screen.

Go into the ‘row labels’ column, so drag them as needed to the ‘values’ column.

Then you need to change update the ‘impressions, clicks, installs, money earned’ to the SUM of. You can do this as in this screenshot, for each of the 4 columns.

So select ‘sum’ instead of ‘count’ for these 3 columns.

Highlight the ‘impressions’ column and click on the filter button in the top menu.

Now sort the ‘sum of impressions’ from largest to smallest. Then copy all of the data to a new sheet. This new sheet is where you will calculate the CTR, IR, and eCPM.

CTR= clicks/impressions
IR= installs/clicks
eCPM= (money earned/impressions)*1000

Below is a spreadsheet with these calculations put in. The cells highlighted in red represent ads that have been shown quite a lot in my app, which I’ve earned no money for. These would be examples of ads that could be removed from my ad campaign as they do not seem to be fitting it with my target audience. (Obviously this will be different for every app).

Have fun!

UPDATE: Having played around with campaigns over the past 10 days or so, by deleting non-performing ads I’ve managed to nearly double my eCPM. I also seem to have halved (or thereabouts) my impressions. When you start deleting out ads (I’m guessing which perhaps were global ad campaigns) it look like some countries might be seeing no ads in my apps. So instead of a low ecpm rate in those countries (and low revenue for me) I was getting 0 ecpm.

So I think unless you have someone fulltime or thereabouts looking at all this stuff AND can track it by country to make sure you are displaying the best ads you can everywhere, this filtering can be useful but only on a much smaller scale. E.g. take out ‘Top Girl’ ads in a racing game for guys. So I’m limiting the app filtering to a small handful of apps max for now.

Chocaholics – Thanks for reading this far! If you found this useful please do share this blog with your friends who could be losing ad money by not having filters in place.

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Kristjan K July 28, 2013, 3:52 pm

    just dont block any apps on the lowest priority level campaign.

    in that way you dont get ill preforming apps in the way with higher campaigns and you still make money with those others, since when they cannot display any higher ads they display the lower ones.

  • David Fallarme September 6, 2013, 8:54 am

    Thanks Elaine. You’ve given me some ways to systematically tinker with my campaign settings – I’m struggling to get my Chartboost results to stay consistent. It’s been a tough nut to crack so far.

  • Elaine Heney September 6, 2013, 9:57 am

    Good luck David :)

  • Doron David February 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Hello Elaine. I’ve been producing mobile apps for the past 3 years and have grown my portfolio to around 50 live ios apps, majority was done in 2013. I was looking to improve my chartboost ecpm and a friend directed me to your site. BEST INFO EVER!



  • Elaine Heney February 4, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Excellent, glad it’s of help Doron!

  • Doron David February 4, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Elaine – I meant to add this to the original comment – do you have any posts/suggestions on how to revive/refresh old apps?



  • Elaine Heney February 4, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Hi Doron, you can change everything in your app – from its icon, to position of screenshots, replacing screnshots, updating keywords, changing the category, updating the app itself… tons of stuff you can try. Good luck.

  • Frankie August 5, 2014, 9:25 pm

    Wow, thank you so much guys! I used to do this in my two previous jobs but I forgot about it, jeez I was burning quite some good imps on apps that didnt convert at ALL (checkin now with CB support directly since is very weird despite all the clicks received..)

  • Roobert October 30, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Jebus. Thanks for the info, but jebus, why can’t chartboost do this for you?

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