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How to Choose the Right DSP for Your Programmatic Advertising

How to Choose the Right DSP for Your Programmatic Advertising

5 min read  |  by Epom

With so many advertising platforms popping up every year, advertisers have the uncontested choice of traffic sources. One of the most popular options for buying impressions across the Internet is a mobile demand-side platform (mobile DSP). Even though DSPs have much to offer, not all of them can result in positive ROI for your business. So how do you choose the right DSP while also being successful? Let's figure out.

The rise of DSPs in programmatic advertising

Programmatic technology transformed the whole meaning of online advertising. Before programmatic stepped into the market, advertisers put a lot of effort into contacting publishers one by one, making complicated manual settings, and often overpaying for ad placements.

With the rise of programmatic, DSPs or demand-side platforms appeared. They simplified and automatized the process of media buying while also making it transparent and cost-effective.

Today the industry is overflowing with demand-side platforms (both large and small), and every DSP boasts its unique characteristics. It may be hard to find the one with specific features that are vitally important for your company and its promotion. This is why we compiled a checklist of necessary DSP features that will help you run and manage your programmatic advertising effectively.

Key things to consider when choosing a top DSP advertising platform

User Data

If programmatic is a car, the data is the fuel moving this car forward. It's difficult to overestimate the importance of data these days since brands are fighting for every second of the customer's attention. The only way to deliver the best user experiences and win new loyal customers is to show them your ads at the moment when they are most likely to need your product. Data will ensure that you reach the right people at the right time and place.

Demand-side Platform Targeting

It goes without saying that the more detailed targeting tools the DSP offers, the better. Before setting up your ad campaign, explore what is under the hood. If the DSP supports granular targeting options that enable framing your audience precisely, feel free to proceed with it.

Here are the basic targeting options the demand-side platform should offer:

  • OS

A possibility of adding lookalike audiences will be a considerable advantage of demand-side platform.

Whitelists & Blacklists

If you already know which specific sites drive the best performance, put them together and download a whitelist to your DSP account.

After going live, check which publishers bring zero results. Exclude them from your ad campaigns in bulk by downloading a blacklist of sites. Some DSPs block the worst performing sources automatically. For example, Epom self-serve DSP recommends to switch on the so-called "bidding rules" available in every account. When bidding rules are "ON", the platform automatically removes publishers that don't reach your KPI and helps you sleep easier.

Make sure, that your DSP represents transparent advertising and displays all connected publishers on your dashboard.


A huge advantage of advertising with DSP is that media buyers don't have to reach every publisher separately. By adding a whitelist to ad campaigns, it is possible to access hundreds of hard-to-reach websites through a single account.

Whether you are eager to boost your sales with mobile ads, or you still believe in the power of desktop advertising, the DSP has something to offer you. Most top demand-side platforms keep mobile and desktop inventory available. Only a few of them go beyond that and in addition to standard display ads these yield more video or in-app traffic. If you are certain that your targeted audience is more likely to spend time in game apps, search for the DSP that has exactly this type of inventory.

Instant analytics

As DSPs enable buying ad impressions in real-time, the performance reports arrive to the dashboard much faster when compared to ad networks. As an example, Epom self-serve DSP delivers fresh stats every 1.5 sec.

Instant analytics allows you to take urgent measures against performance drop, change the settings, narrow the targeting as well as forecast media spendings. This is something you will enjoy!

Automated optimization

After tapping into self-service advertising with dozens of offers, it'll be hard to control everything with manual optimization. Automated optimization is a tool that will keep an eye on your ad activities 24/7, as well as keep your marketing budgets and bids under control.

If you buy traffic on the Epom self-serve platform, the "Bidding Autopilot" feature will automatically optimize ad campaigns in a way which allows you to achieve your ad goals that were adjusted during the setup (for example, CPA, CPI, CTR, CR etc.)

Platform Fee

In terms of charging, DSPs are divided into two types: paid and free. Paid DSPs take a fee or a margin for using the platform's capabilities. They might also add an extra $$$ to the bid price for using their user's data. While buying inventory through free DSPs, you'll only get charged for the inventory. Start with the free DSP and see how it goes for your business.

Technical support

If you are a newbie to programmatic advertising, it's essential to have a big red "HELP" button in your self-serve account. This button should open a live chat with the technical support team who will help you sort out any questions in minutes.

Easy-to-navigate account

No matter how smart and complicated the technology is, the DSP dashboard should stay simple and intuitive for users. Before adding funds to your account, take a minute and look around. Are you navigating it with ease? If it takes you "forever" to launch a single ad campaign, ask yourself whether this platform is worth your time and efforts.

All in all, the demand-side platform is an irreplaceable part of the online advertising ecosystem today. Once you decide to scale your presence in digital, DSP is one of the first options to try. So keep searching and testing new platforms unless you find the DSP that will help your business steadily grow.

Unlock hard-to-reach traffic sources, set up ad campaigns and find your customers within minutes using Epom self-serve platform.

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