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Here's How You A/B Test Creatives

When it comes to digital marketing, creating eye-catching and effective ads is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in understanding what resonates with your audience and drives them to take action. That's where A/B testing comes in. 

A/B testing, similar to email split testing, allows you to compare different versions of your ad creatives to see which ads get the most clicks. 

In this article, we'll walk you through the essential steps of A/B testing creatives, helping you unlock the full potential of your ads so stay tuned!

What Parts Of Your Creatives Can You A/B Test?

Marketers usually test different headlines or calls to action, but there are many creative elements you can experiment with and that’s exactly what we’re going to show you today.

The goal of A/B testing is to see what works best for driving conversions so marketers can make their campaigns more effective and adjust their strategies as needed. It might be a bit tedious, but it’s a proven (or data driven) way to find what works.


Try Different Subjects:

Experiment with various subjects in your images. For example, test ads that feature people, products, abstract designs, and even text-based images. See which types of images get the most clicks and engagement.

Test Image Sizes and Orientations:

Play around with different image sizes and orientations, such as landscape, portrait, and square formats. This will help you figure out which layout performs the best for your audience.

Static vs. Animated:

Compare how static images perform against animated GIFs or short video clips. Sometimes, a little movement can capture attention more effectively than a still image.

Evoking Emotions:

Use images that evoke different emotions like happiness, surprise, or nostalgia. Test to see which emotional responses drive more engagement from your audience.

Photos vs. Illustrations:

Try ads with real photographs and compare them to ads with illustrations or graphics. See which type gets more attention.

Color Theme

One Color vs. Multiple

Try using a single colour throughout your ad and compare it to ads with multiple colours. This will help you see which one catches the eye and gets more engagement.

Bright vs. Muted Tones

See how ads with bright and vibrant colours perform against those with darker, more subdued shades. Determine which colour scheme gets your audience to interact more.

Background Changes

Switch up the background colour of your ads while keeping everything else the same. This can help you find out if a simple background colour change can boost engagement or conversions.

CTA Button Colours

Experiment with different colours for your call-to-action (CTA) buttons or text. The right colour can make your CTA more noticeable and increase the chances of getting clicks.

Gradients vs. Solids

Test ads with gradient colour schemes and compare them to those with solid colours. See which style attracts more attention and gets better results from your audience.

Headline Copies

Different Tones

Compare different tones in your headlines. Use formal, casual, humorous, or urgent styles to see which one your audience connects with the most. This will help you understand which tone gets more attention and clicks.

With or Without Numbers

Try headlines that include numbers or statistics to those that don't. Numbers can add a sense of importance or curiosity and might make your headline more appealing.

For example, we’ve been testing out slash through prices for our clients and those ads have a pretty solid CVR!

Questions vs. Statements

Experiment with using questions as headlines and compare them to statements. Questions can get users intrigued and could lead to more clicks as they seek the answer.

Direct vs. Indirect

Test straightforward headlines that clearly state what the ad is about against more indirect ones that hint at the content. This will help you see if your audience prefers clear information upfront or a bit of mystery.


Storytelling vs. Straightforward

See how a storytelling approach in your ad descriptions compares to direct, straight-to-the-point text. Storytelling can get people to lock in, while direct text may work on those who want quick information.

Customer Testimonials

Try including customer testimonials or reviews in your ad copy to help build trust. 

Building trust or a bond may lead to higher conversion rates as people often rely on others' experiences before making a decision.

Think about it. As a consumer, would you buy something without reading the reviews first? Exactly.

Detailed vs. General Descriptions

Test ad copy that includes specific product details and features against more general descriptions. 

Detailed information can attract those who want to know exactly what they’re getting or professionals who are already aware of jargon and need more in depth information. 

While general descriptions might appeal to those who prefer a broader overview or don't have as much extensive knowledge.

CTAs (Call to Actions)

Different Phrases and Urgency

Try out various CTA phrases and levels of urgency to see which ones get more clicks. For example, compare "Buy Now!" with "Limited Time Offer" to find out what motivates your audience the most.

CTA Placement

Experiment with placing your CTA in different parts of the ad. Test it at the beginning, middle, and end of your ad copy to see where it catches the most attention and drives the most action.

PRO TIP: Make sure the CTA placement works on all devices, especially phones! Studies show that 50% of people prefer accessing internet on their phone. That's half of the population!

Button Shapes

Yes, you’d be surprised by how much a little button can make all the difference. Don’t believe us? Test it out for yourself!

Play around with different button shapes like round, square, or rectangle. See which shape stands out the most and gets people to click on it more often.

Landing Pages and Forms

A/B Testing Landing Pages

If lots of people are clicking on your ad but not converting, try A/B testing different landing pages. One page might be easier to understand or more visually appealing, which could lead to more sales/leads.

Detailed vs. Brief Descriptions

Compare landing pages with detailed descriptions against those with quick, to-the-point explanations. See which approach keeps visitors interested and leads to them taking an action.

Formatting Changes

Experiment with different layouts for your landing page or form. Sometimes, changing the format is just what you need. If people aren’t completing the form or making a purchase, it might mean they’re confused or lost. 

Test different formats to see which one guides them more smoothly to conversion.


Peak Hours and Time Zones

While all these are important, timing is also key for effective A/B testing. Knowing when your audience is most active can increase your ad's visibility. 

For instance, if you're promoting a new restaurant, it would be strategic to run your ads during lunch and dinner times when people are likely thinking about dining out. The ideal timing might differ depending on whether your restaurant is in a city or a suburban area, and the dining habits of your target customers.

Run Tests Long Enough

This is a mistake I often see people making. Sometimes, they rush A/B tests and don’t let them run long enough to really see which option works best.

For example, imagine you're testing different ad headlines for a new coffee shop. If you only test them for a few days, you might miss out on understanding how customer interest changes over time—like if more people click during the weekend mornings versus weekday afternoons. 

Running tests for about 90 days gives you a better picture of what’s really effective, giving you a strong basis for your A/B testing strategies.

Final Words

Testing out different aspects of your ads isn't just about changing things up—it's about figuring out what really connects with your audience and gets them to act. When you try different variations in images, colors, and CTAs, you can learn a lot about what works best.

In this article, we've shown you how A/B testing can work in making your ads more effective. 

Now with all these practical tips, go ahead and smash those creatives. Here's to boosting engagement, conversions, and achieving your marketing objectives with confidence and precision!


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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