A Guide to Effective and Improved Ads Testing

Ads testing is conducted by changing one or more variables to be tested while monitoring the effect on other variables such as purchasing behavior. This article describes the forms of ad testing and elements for ad testing. You’ll also learn how to effectively test your advertisements.

Forms of Ads Testing

Ad testing is the practice of testing ads with different prototypes to ascertain which ad is most effective. Advertisers practice these tests to determine the effectiveness of their ads. In some cases, ads can be tested by providing changes to the content.

Other times, ads are tested by changing the timing of the ad, such as changing the day or time it’s shown. The major forms of ad testing include:

1. A/B Testing

The A/B testing helps determine which ad best serves the advertisement campaign. In this method, you compare one ad version with another version with specific variables changed.

You can do this by placing two different copies of an ad into the same type of environment and then measuring the outcome. Collect the data for the two versions and compare the results.

For example, a publisher may want to compare two versions of an ad, with one having a picture of a child on the cover. The second version may have a picture of an adult. The data will be collected for each ad version, and the most successful versions may be used in future ads.

2. Pre-Test Survey

A pre-test survey is a tool that tests the effectiveness of a new campaign. The pre-test survey provides data on the aspects of a campaign that would make a new product effective. This allows the advertisement team to avoid potential mistakes in their ad strategy.

Several research participants are recruited to take part in the survey. They are then posed with questions about what they think of the product, the company, and the ad. This process is powerful because it informs the company about which elements of their advertising campaign might have an adverse effect.

3. Qualitative Testing

Qualitative testing is not just about finding the aspects that make an advertisement appeal to specific audience members. Qualitative testing tries to find out how people feel about the ad before arriving at a final decision. The data collected from qualitative testing sessions can be used to make predictions about the success of an advertisement.

Elements for Ads Testing

To carry out a successful ad test, you need to understand the various elements of your ad that can be tested. Some of these elements include ad copy, imagery, tone, and effectiveness.

1. Ad Copy

Ad copy is an important element to test. Testing will focus on the effectiveness of the words used in the ads. This will determine whether the customers would buy a product or service the ad copy promotes. When using the A/B testing method, you’ll create two different ad copies and get feedback on which one hooks and entices potential buyers.

2. Tone

The ad’s tone must put potential buyers in a good mood and spark their curiosity. In addition to making the ads tempting, you must show the product in the most favorable light possible. Doing so will attract more people to the ad and make them interested in the product.

With qualitative and quantitative agile research, you can ask viewers in multiple-choice or open-ended formats what kind of tone the advert conveys. With the result, you can determine whether the tone you want to convey is on track.

3. Ad Imagery

Ad imagery is another essential component to test. This is the photographic, visual, and graphical component of the ads. It shows the reader what the product is, how it’s made, and how it works. The A/B testing method can test an image versus a video or audio to determine which one performs better.

4. Effectiveness

You can test effectiveness using variations of the same ad. The effectiveness of an ad is estimated by an assessment of the click-through rate, conversion rate, and more. With the results, advertisers can spot and correct any mistakes. You can use the feedback to improve your ad in any way necessary.

You can also ask your test audience directly if they would buy your product or service after viewing your ad. If the answer is no, investigate the reasons.

How to Run Ads Testing

If you want to test ads, you will need to decide on the desired audience and which type of ads you will test. It is also essential to know how to run the test so that the outcomes can be collected and critically analyzed.

Start your ad testing by figuring out which form of advertising to use. Also, determine what element you want to measure, and what metrics you want to use to justify the test. With a simple plan, advertisers can get the data they need to determine the success of their advertisement.

1. Determine the Form of Ad Testing to Use.

Note the different ad testing types and learn which works best for you. After you have determined the kind of testing you plan to do, find an ad that works well with that testing method. Identify what elements you can test and how you can analyze the results. Make sure to include all steps necessary to run the ads.

2. Consider What Element You Want to Test.

It is essential to clearly define which elements you are testing and how you will measure the margin. The element to test for may be visuals, ad copy, tone, or effectiveness. For example, if you want to run A/B testing, you can only test one element (i.e., ad copy).

3. Pick the Metrics You Want to Measure.

Knowing what you want to measure and how to measure it are the critical factors to your success. The metric you measure will help you decide what makes one ad better than another.

Some ad metrics to consider are:

  • Purchase Intent/Conversion Rate or Click-through Rate. Does your ad motivate people to buy what you’re advertising?
  • Appeal: How appealing is your sales copy or imagery?
  • Relevance: Does your message fit your audience’s needs and wants?
  • Believability: Is your ad’s message credible?
  • Uniqueness: Does your ad differentiate other brands from yours?

4. Send Your Survey to Your Target Audience.

Determine your target audience and allow them to provide feedback on your ad. Your target audience will mostly depend on the method of ad you choose. For A/B testing, only a subset of your primary audience is required. You’ll need to divide this subset into two groups and send each variation of your ad to each group. For the pre-test survey, research participants are recruited to take part in the survey.

5. Analyze Your Result.

Analyze your results with your most important metric in mind. Your most crucial metric depends on your goal for the ad. If your goal is to influence sales, purchase intent can be used to measure the success of your ad. However, if your goal is brand differentiation, uniqueness may be the appropriate metric to analyze success.

A Guide to Effective and Improved Ads Testing
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash


Ad testing involves showing different ads to a sample of your target audience to get feedback. The feedback in turn helps you compare which ad achieves the highest click-through rate or media exposure.

It’s essential to use the benefits of ad testing to determine ads that work. With the correct data and focus, ad testing will enhance the effectiveness of your advertising.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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