6 Simple A/B Tests that Benefit Every Mobile Ad Campaign

6 Simple A/B Tests that Benefit Every Mobile Ad Campaign

April 3, 2014

Great mobile ad campaigns take work – even when they’re “finished,” because the only real way to know what makes one ad successful and another miss the mark is by showing it to your customers and letting them decide with each click of the mouse. “But wait,” you say, “I don’t want customers to see my ad before it’s perfect?” Sure you do.

It’s called A/B Testing, and it’s essential for every ad campaign you run. Avoid wasting thousands of dollars and weeks of time advertising the wrong message to the wrong people with these 6 Common A/B Tests for every native ad campaign:


1. News Feed Mobile vs. News Feed Desktop


This is the single most important factor for tailoring your native ad campaign, because how people view your ad determines how they respond. As of August 2013, 78% of Facebook’s daily active users in the U.S. were mobile. That’s 101 million daily mobile users, and that number is only going to increase. You need to test desktop ads against mobile ads to see which drives more conversions, then tailor your campaign accordingly.


2. Driving Mobile Conversions

If you discover that your target market is predominantly mobile, it’s imperative to optimize your signup forms and landing pages for those devices. A common problem is that many direct response (DR) campaigns, especially non e-commerce ones, don’t have mobile optimized signup forms. This means conversion rates (CR) hit rock bottom, while cost-per-clicks (CPC) stay low and click-through rates (CTR) remain high, leading to some confusing data. To keep your conversion rate up and cost per action down, create a mobile optimized landing page and test it, test it, test it.

3.Landing Pages

If mobile vs. desktop is the biggest factor to find your target audience, landing page copy and layout is your best way to tailor your message to that audience. Once you find the market, fine-tune your campaign with tweaks to language, tone, and design.

Try multiple color schemes. Experiment with active and passive colors, and mix up your use of negative space in a variety of ways with different landing pages. Run A/B/C/D/Z tests for all sorts of conversion funnels including multi-step landing pages vs. one-step vs. different imagery vs. different information requests, etc. You cannot overtest your landing page variations, so go nuts!

4. Gender and Age Segregation

Identify your ideal target demographic as fast as possible. Like we always say, start broad then get specific. If you divide up your market into larger groups (i.e. only targeting men or women) it gives you opportunities to test different messages and creative on unique age ranges within these larger groups to measure your effectiveness within a specific market.

If you’re diligent in A/B/C testing, you can refine that age targeting to a few small ranges instead of several decades, thereby lowering your CPA and CPC with increased CTR and CR. Your ads become more effective at a lower cost, and that’s great news for your ROI.

5. Creative Variations

One of the primary benefits of Facebook’s new campaign structure, which now includes three levels – campaigns, ad sets and ads, is simplified creative and copy testing across ad groups (basically different audience segments). Target a specific segment of people and test different creative and copy variations on them. Some creative will work better on one group, but will perform horribly with another. If you don’t find this out before launching a single campaign, your CTR’s will be much lower than they could be. Remember – high click through rates are a determinant of how well your creative is working, whereas CPC and other cost per action measurements reflect the accuracy of your targeting.

6. Call-To-Action Buttons

One simple but effective A/B test is to test different call to actions (CTA). With the introduction of CTA buttons in Page Post Ads, it’s never been easier to find which button has higher CTRs vs. CRs vs. overall CPA.

There are five CTA buttons for Page Post Ads (Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now, Download) and seven for mobile app ads (Shop Now, Play Game, Listen Now, Watch now, Book Now, Open Link, Use App). “Apply now” might have a lower CTR but a higher CR, “Learn more” might be the exact opposite. Some clients could use multiple variations. It’s important to know – not assume – what works best.

The Takeaway

It takes time to get substantial results that prove which ads are the most successful, so before you start, define a clear objective (conversions, sales, CTR, etc.) and measure it with one consistent metric – installs, registration, engagement, likes – over the breadth of your A/B testing. If you stay consistent in your measurements and varied in your creative approach you can discover some amazing things about the target market that you thought you knew so well.

Now hit the books! You have a lot of tests coming up!