Every business aims for profit. However, profits are driven by sales and the latter is driven by advertisements. Every day, you can find a rising startup mulling over their ginormous cash burns on ads in order to attain those magical sales numbers. 

In the introduction stages, ad-spend aims at generating new leads while in the growth and maturity stages, the focus shifts to driving repeat sales. Regardless of the motive, in both situations, marketers must know how to calculate ROAs or the returns on ad-spend in order to know the effectiveness of the same. 

So, now here comes the question- What do you mean by ROAs? How To Calculate ROAs? What is its industrial standard?

To find the answers, let’s look at its definition.

What Do You Mean By ROAs?

Did you know that the digital ad spending in 2021 was USD 521.02 Billion! It is expected to reach USD 876 Billion by 2026. Therefore, marketers find it critical to estimate how effective this kind of cash burn would be. Enter ROAs.

Return on ad spend is a marketing term that calculates how much money your company makes from advertising for every dollar spent. In many ways, return on assets (ROAs) and another statistic you’re probably aware of, return on investment (ROI), are interchangeable terms. 

The investment on which returns are being tracked in this instance is the cash you spend on digital advertising.

ROAs, at their most basic level, analyze the efficacy of your marketing initiatives; the more your marketing messages resonate with prospects, the more money you’ll make from each dollar spent on advertising. 

It is beneficial to have higher ROAs.

You may assess ROAs in your Google Ads account at several levels, including account, campaign, ad group, etc. You may compute ROAs as long as you know your current spending and income levels.

How To Calculate ROAs Percentage?

People generally presume that ROAs are difficult to compute because it is such a significant and effective statistic.

However, it takes simple mathematics to compute ROAs. All you need to do is ratio your overall conversion value by the total ad spend the cost.

Return On Ad Spend = Revenue (Conversion Value)/ Total Ad Spend Cost

For Instance, if you spend 100 bucks on your ad campaign (total ad spend cost) over which you earn a revenue of 50 bucks, then your ROA will be 0.5 bucks. This implies that for every dollar, you earn half a dollar. 


Conversions vary greatly as we skip from one method to another. As marketers, we are responsible for designing acceptable conversion actions that accurately reflect the results of our advertising efforts.

CPA, or cost per acquisition, is a typical statistic employed to assess the effectiveness of a paid search campaign. Although very helpful for gauging conversion volume, it only calculates the average cost of a particular action.

However, not every conversion to the funnel is profitable, given that we apply CPA.

EXAMPLE: Suppose two companies, A and B, spend 250 dollars each on their campaign. However, company A earns 125 dollars for one conversion while company B earns 750 dollars. 

Thus, their ROAs are 0.5 and 3, respectively.

You can see how vastly the numbers vary for both the companies for the same number of conversions for an equal amount spend.

For a profitable business strategy, if your conversion costs you less than a dollar, then you are making losses. 

Per market standards, ROAs of 3-4 are acceptable and considered healthy for a running business.

How To Compute ROAs Using Conversion Values?

You must include conversion values in your conversion actions if you want to track ROAs and see this number in Google Ads. A flat value for each activity or a dynamic amount linked to a particular transaction can be used to set up tracking with conversion values.

Establishing dynamic conversion values is frequently a simple task if you are advertising for an e-commerce company. A simple adjustment to the website’s code is all that is needed to add the transaction-specific value to each conversion action on many current shopping cart platforms.

It would be necessary to perform a more manual or flat calculation if you are not in e-commerce and cannot benefit from transaction-specific values, such as most lead generation campaigns.

Assess post-conversion data in this situation, such as the rate at which you or your sales team converts a lead into a paying client and the typical revenue the customer generates.

How To Improve The ROAs Of Your Google Ads Account?

Once you set the conversion values, it is the best time to go to the next step- Optimization! 

Before choosing how to divide campaigns and ad groups, you should evaluate a significant amount of data while analyzing your campaigns.

This normally translates to at least 100 clicks for every campaign. However, you might want a larger data set for performance assessment if there are any seasonality issues or sudden changes.

As previously stated, you should segregate your account and campaigns based on a single or small set of related offerings. To achieve an appropriate mix of volume and return, these campaigns—whether they be Search or Shopping campaigns—should have products and services divided out in a specific way.

While the marketing with the highest budget has the most conversions overall, it also has the lowest return on investment (ROI) of any campaign with significant spending. In this case, the advertiser ought to examine the more expensive campaign in detail and see what is genuinely effective:

Spending a lot on keywords that generate no conversions

• Conversion-oriented keywords in the search

An enormous plus can be adding more context or intent to your keywords.

With this specific account, once could like to break out a larger, more expensive, more general campaign into more focused campaigns or ad groups that are more contextually relevant and produce greater returns!

Continue to check your impression share on your account to make sure that inflated budgets of ineffective efforts aren’t preventing these new, more effective campaigns from receiving clicks.

To improve your account, you can employ methods other than just analyzing search queries and daily expenditures. 

  • Consider your target market as you continue, and look over your demographic information. 
  • Do visitors to your website frequently browse around before making a decision? 
  • Website visitors should be added as an audience with observation and a good bid modifier.
  • Make recurring purchases from your customers? This time, add a customer list audience with observation and a favorable bid modification. 
  • Even better, consider using audience targeting in place of observation to develop wholly distinct RLSA campaigns!

Google Shopping and ROAs campaigns

Shopping advertisements differ slightly from search campaigns because there are no keywords; ideally, only a product feed is used. 

You can arrange shopping campaigns to optimize ROAs by segmenting the product feed into multiple campaigns and ad groups, utilizing exclusions for products that don’t fall into the right campaign/ad group. And if you have enough conversion volume, use a Target ROAs bidding strategy.

Additionally, you can construct shopping campaigns in a way that results in higher ROAs, just like the search campaigns we examined above, by using negatives to weed out ineffective search terms.

Shopping campaigns, which use photos from your product feed, offer higher visibility than text advertising, a higher conversion rate, and typically cheaper costs per click than text ads. 

Because of the above reason, if your campaigns are well-structured, they can be credible sources of conversions with high ROAs!

What Role Does ROAs Play In Digital Marketing?

When you’ve scaled your digital marketing to the point where you’re monitoring numerous campaigns, channels, and ad platforms and need oversight to determine which are the most successful and should keep getting budget allocation, ROAs are most helpful.

As we discussed before, you can use them at different levels and with different levels of granularity. To identify your best-performing channels or where the greatest likelihood of profitability lies, you might calculate ROAs on your whole ad expenditure before calculating per channel, campaign, and platform.

Before commencing any campaign, we advise determining a minimum ROA so that you can determine whether performance is acceptable or not as soon as feasible. 

Although determining this minimum is more difficult and depends on your app’s type, vertical, and growth stage, it may change as profit margins and operating costs change.

How To Calculate ROAs In Digital Marketing?

The answer to calculating ROAs percentage in any scenario remains the same, i.e., finding the ratio of revenue to ad spend.

You can also use ROAs with other crucial KPIs and metrics for mobile marketing. One can use ROAs in conjunction with PPC indicators like cost per click (CPC), cost per acquisition (CPA), and cost per lead (CLP) to give marketers a clear and comprehensive picture when deciding how to achieve goals.

How to Maximize ROAs without making losses?

Not every business model works the same. Even if your ROAs are low, with excellent strategies, you can increase your profits. Some companies start low intentionally to get the attention of the people. Once they voice out to their audience, they start with their plan B and make more profit than their competitors who earlier made more profit.

Thus, when you are starting out, setting a break-even point is necessary to ensure you don’t make more losses. But, how to calculate break-even ROAs? Let’s find out.

#1 Determine Break-Even ROAs

You must first determine your gross profit margin on an average to determine your break-even ROAs.

Start by totaling all your variable costs for a typical order; in other words, your per-unit costs rise in proportion to your order volume.

These could include but are not limited to: 

  • Shipping expenses
  • Payment processing costs
  • Discounts, and other incentives 

You can have your average order value from these, determining the gross profit margin.

Once you have the gross profit margin, you calculate the break-even ROAs

Break-even ROAs = 1/ Gross Margin Profit(in percent)

Example: Suppose after deducting all direct and indirect costs your profit margins come to 10% then:

Break-Even ROA= 1/10% = 10 

Now that’s pretty high, for such a business a ROA of 11 will be good but that of 8 will not be

#2. Assess Whether The Break-Even ROAs Are Sufficient Or Excessive

“Good ROAs” is a relative term. In one industry, a fair ROAs target might be disastrous. Your ideal objective also depends on a complex web of interrelated elements, such as your product, typical order frequency, and pricing point.

As seen in the above example, exact Break even ROASs depend on gross profit margins and can change from business to business.

Why Gain Is A More Crucial Indicator Than ROAs?

Early-career marketers may object to this, but no matter what ROA objective makes sense for your company, it shouldn’t be your sole or even top priority.

What Else Should You Prioritize If Low CPAs And High ROAs Aren’t A Top Priority?

The answer is: Gross profit margin 

By neglecting to prioritize profitability, many advertisers spend money on advertising efforts that they never get back.

In the end, a company cannot scale without making a profit unless it belongs to the less than 1% of startups that receive venture money. Even venture funders prefer to see a path to profitability for the investment portfolio firms.

For ROAs statistics, the gross profit margin provides crucial context. 

For Instance, an e-commerce company may see lower profits from a high ROAs associated with a significant discount or sale than from a lower ROAs associated with a full-priced item.

This fact is evident from the formula mentioned above, where break-even ROAs and Gross margin Profit Are inversely related.

Hence, if one keeps concentrating on maximizing ROAs at the expense of the profits, it will damage the short-term profitability and lifetime value.

Free samples, time-limited deals, and initial reductions are common tactics used by advertisements to grab consumers’ attention. They presume that the customer will test the product, fall in love with it, and continue to use it, but that isn’t always the case.

Discounts frequently draw less devoted, price-sensitive customers, which can harm the profitability of a sponsored social campaign and your overall LTV.

Example Situation:

Imagine you are running a cosmetic company and have launched a new series of foundations at a reasonable price of $95. As you know, endless brands are competing to get their conversions. However, customers will knock on the door if your business is true to its value.

However, some businesses might like to take things in another way. They may start campaigning for their new products, which is the right thing to do, but at low prices.

Offers like- 80% off on bulk or single purchase, unnecessary giveaways, running sales for a long-time, or selling products at very less cost can affect your business in the long term.

Reason? People will initially get attracted to the deals, and you will get a lot of conversions in the first phase with maximum ROAs. However, if this runs long, some might start questioning the value and quality of products and discontinue using them.

Your eagerness to sell can make things seem fishy and eventually push the loyal customers away. However, you still will have deal-seekers who can leave anytime as soon as you lift the prices and stop giving offers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Businesses Ought To Aim For Break-Even ROAs?

This is a widely used benchmark for businesses whose clients make occasional but not necessarily routine purchases from them.

In these conditions, breaking even on acquiring new clients and then turning a profit on their subsequent orders is sustainable. For Instance, DTC shoe and clothing manufacturers might aim for break-even ROAs.

Which Businesses Demand ROAs Greater Than 100%?

E-commerce businesses offering long-term purchases, such as mattresses or furniture, may find that profitable customer acquisition is essential. These pricey products are purchased by customers so infrequently that deferring profit until a new customer’s second purchase might put a business in the red for years.

Which Businesses Can Afford ROAs That Are Less Than 100%?

Businesses that offer consumer packaged items, such as daily contacts, seltzer, or paper towels that customers regularly purchase (and infrequently browse around for) can achieve ROAs of less than 100%.

The company doesn’t always need to break even on first orders; it can quickly recoup initial acquisition costs if customers purchase regularly enough at a low price.


If arithmetic, numbers, and revenue haven’t bored you, we hope you start getting ready to look at your account in more detail with revenue and profit in mind. ROAs need not be viewed as just an e-commerce metric.

Lead generation and e-commerce marketers can use this indicator to help them decide what actions will be the most profitable for their accounts.

Evaluating your goods and services is crucial to establishing an adequate margin when calculating the required ROAs for your conversion actions and campaigns.

After reading this, you ought to have a firm grasp of what your account’s ROAs data informs you about it and how to take action to optimize effectively. The ultimate objectives—increasing your income and enabling you to expand your business—might vary across your many campaigns.