5 Tips for A/B Testing Your Ad Copy


There is a running joke that A/B testing stands for “Always Be Testing.” There is no perfect science to advertising, otherwise, there would only be a few marketing agencies. But because it is an imperfect practice, tweaking and changing a campaign will forever be an endless search for finding the right combination of elements that yields the best results.

However, it is important to have a good grasp on your A/B testing — you need to be in control and consistent. A/B testing results are only as reliable as you believe. If you are not testing early, often, and for a long enough period, then you can run yourself into making some ill-advised decisions.

In a case study by Hootsuite, it was estimated that bad ad copy can result in CPA being 2.5x more expensive per lead, compared to high performing ad copy.

“A/B testing is about finding new opportunities to optimize success even further. There is always room for improvement no matter the success you are seeing… When I think about best practices for A/B testing, it really comes down to the details and making small changes for a bigger impact.

Small changes are important as it’s hard to conduct comparisons when the identities of ads are completely different. For example, I usually will swap headlines first, before making any creative or text changes… My golden rule is that you always start with small changes to existing campaigns and big changes to newer ones. I also think it’s good to be aware of your sample size. An A/B test with an extremely small impression size might not give you the best results when scaled up. Be smart and resourceful, what the client thinks can lead to success is often not what gets them the best performance.”
Spencer Moore, Venta Marketing Paid Media Specialist

Tip 1: Small Changes Change the World

To hammer home Spencer’s advice, starting small is key to having success with your A/B testing. Altering multiple elements, or changing large parts of copy can be difficult to later discern what is causing the improvement — or lack of. Often times, it is the little alterations that actually result in the biggest improvements. Therefore, start small, and work your way through the various changeable elements, one at a time.

Tip 2: Emotion Can Be Your Best Friend

So many ads are filled with dry, lackluster copy. Consumers see this day-in-and-day-out. It’s stale and unmoving. Advertising is trying to motivate consumers to take action, whether that’s buying a product or attending an upcoming event. However, how do you spark that motivation? Playing with emotion can be a beneficial tactic for ad copy. Crafting text that leverages the human condition can cause individuals to take that next step. Creating a storyline that depicts a scene or image can help a product or service better resonate with consumers.

Tip 3: Don’t Oversell

When testing ad copy it is important to strike the right tone of voice. You don’t want your text to read like a sales pitch. That will (typically) result in low lead conversions. Today, consumers don’t like being oversold or complicated by fancy terminology and jargon. Keep your copy simple in it’s offering.

Tip 4: Be Friendly

There are several case studies out there that show how adding salutations to ad copy can significantly improve your conversion rate. A self-aware, conversational tone is trending upwards with consumers. Be creative, and try cultivating an approachable, real human voice. Consumers want to feel like someone is speaking to them, versus being advertised to by “ABC business.” Maybe try throwing in something different like:

  • Dear friends
  • Greetings!
  • Sir or Madam

Tip 5: The Feature and the Benefit

The feature-benefit tactic involves your ad copy first introducing a key feature to your product and/or service. Next, unroll that feature into the benefit for the consumer. Sometimes ads work by being more informational and playing the long game, but other times, short copy that highlights your key feature(s) and its direct benefit to the consumer, can work best.

Need A/B Testing Help?

At Venta Marketing, we are helping businesses meet their goals head-on. As leaders in the digital marketing industry, we know the ins-and-outs of A/B strategy and technique. Contact us today if you are curious about our services!