6 Facebook Advertising A/B Tests You Can Run Right Now

A/B testing is done through having a control (previous creative that has done well) and a test (new ways of changing the ad itself or optimizing it on the back end).

So why A/B test on Facebook ads? Because it is a great way to find out what is resonating with your target audience. If you have just one image with one ad copy, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, and I think we all know how that works out in the end.

A/B testing can be as simple as changing the image by using the same copy or vice versa or as complicated as testing manual versus automatic bidding.

I am going to give you six A/B tests you can run on Facebook right now.

One-day conversion vs. seven-day conversion

This is fairly new to Facebook and worth testing. You will find this option in the ad set level optimizing for conversions like so:


After some preliminary testing with a few clients, at Elite SEM, we have found that ROAS (return on ad spend) with a seven-day conversion window has been the better performing one so far, but it is definitely worth testing out.

Calls to action

Calls to action can be placed in the copy of your ad or chosen as a button that goes on the bottom-right corner of an ad. Some of these options are “shop now,” “learn more,” “sign up” and “donate now.”

Some audiences respond to being told what to do, like “shop now”, while others prefer to be coaxed into shopping with a “learn more.” While all of these tests are quick and easy to perform, this one might be the easiest.

Image flip

This is one that I have been trying to test more with after reading a bit more into the psychology of internet marketing and how people’s eyes move around webpages.

For example, when a person in an ad looks somewhere, your eyes naturally shift toward that spot. Test it for yourself in the real world. Go to a heavy walking traffic area of town with a friend. Look up at something with a curious eye and have your friend count the people that do the same. I guarantee that nearly everyone that sees you will look where you are looking.

Try this with ads. Here is what I am talking about with image flipping:


Use the left one as a control and the right one as a test. The eyes facing a call-to-action button may guide the consumer’s eyes there and prompt them to click.

Promo code vs. no promo code

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You want to have a control ad with no promo in the copy or image versus a test with a promo in the copy. The outcome of this test will give you an idea of how your audience interacts with your ads. Are they clicking through because of the pretty picture, or are they actually reading the copy and then going to your website and using the promo code?

Text overlay in image

This one goes along with No. 4. The text overlay can be as simple as your brand’s logo or as advanced as a nice promo code with a percent-off promotion. If you really want to get granular with it, try placing the overlay in different spots on the image (bottom right, bottom left, middle, etc.).

Manual vs. automatic bidding

This one will probably give you the most bang for your buck of any of these tests. In the ad set level, you will find this in the bid amount option, which is the same spot you found No. 1 (see first image).

Facebook says that it is best to go with automatic bidding because the algorithm is smarter than you are, which I tend to agree with. But what if you have a cost per lead/purchase goal and you really want to hit that? Then I suggest testing automatic versus manual bidding to see which one performs more to your liking.

At Elite SEM, we test this more than anything else, since the results can have a huge impact on key performance indicators. One added incentive to this is that with automatic bidding, you can gauge what others are bidding in your industry.

With these six simple Facebook A/B tests, you will not only find out what your audience wants in terms of creative, but also gain an understanding of what type of bidding works in order to save your company time and effort.

Jackson Salzman is a paid social account analyst for digital performance agency Elite SEM.

A/B testing image courtesy of Shutterstock.