Split Testing with Facebook Ads

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  • Published on : Aug 15 2008

One of the best advantages to using Facebook Ads is their ability to send you a massive amount of traffic in a short period of time. Once you have some ads running with a decent click through rate, you can easily throw a bunch of new ads up to see what converts best. A couple of months ago I was running a weight loss targeted campaign that ended up serving over 30,324,503 impressions and 27,538 clicks. What I wanted to show you in this post, was how much of a difference an image can make in your advertising.

In the chart below you will see five of the images I was using in my ad campaign. The text for all five campaigns were the same, only the images were different.

2,637,259 Impressions
3,288 Clicks (.12 CTR)
3,205,582 Impressions
3,221 Clicks (.10 CTR)
3,858,594 Impressions
3,092 Clicks (.08 CTR)
3,962,476 Impressions
3,000 Clicks (.08 CTR)
3,260,100 Impressions
2,251 Clicks (.07 CTR)

For those of you wondering what the total campaign stats looked like, here are the figures straight from Facebook.

Without any real explanation, (besides what people prefer to click)… the top ad was pulling in clicks at almost double the rate as the bottom image in the chart. This just goes to show you how important split testing is. Not only should you be testing your “text” ad copy multiple times… but definitely your “image” ad copy!

Zac Johnson
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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  • http://jarretcade.net Jarret

    Great post Zac.

    I currently just started with FaceBook a few days ago and have split tested a few ads so far. They all seem to be getting the same CTR so I am still working on trying out different images as well as different ad copy.

    I just wish that you could modify the ad text and image without having to create an entirely new ad.

  • http://rishabhsood.net SEO Tricks

    Good post Zac, I started off with facebook few days back they are pretty good

  • John

    Were you paying CPC or CPM?

    I have no idea how you got those ads approved. It a pain in the ass on Facebook.

    • Stak Loaded – How to

      cpc … cpm is just a huge waste of time and money regardless of what you're marketing

    • http://www.wallerblog.com Jeremy Waller

      No kidding. I actually tried to create a weight loss campaign on Facebook. I went through 6 ads and couldn't get any of them approved.

      Any secrets here Zac?

      • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

        Facebook has recently changed their advertising terms and it's a lot tougher to get ads approved now. I would say to just keep changing ads around until you start getting them approved. It sucks, but it works.

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      This and all of my facebook campaigns are on a cpc basis.

  • http://www.neilsweb.com Neil

    haha so those are your ads! I was seeing them quite a bit for a while.

  • http://www.marketingfactor.com/ Miguel Alvarez

    How well does that type of FB traffic convert once it hits your landing page? (Does it convert at about the same rate as adsense traffic?)


    Miguel Alvarez

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Really depends on the offer. Facebook traffic seems like HIT or MISS.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/ Ultimate Blogging Ex

    this is an interesting topic. I know there are a lot of people that are interested in trying this but do not want to waste the money to try. How much is it to advertise for a month on Facebook?

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      No minimums. Just depends on your cpc amounts and how much you want to spend.

  • Rakesh

    That was a nice testing..so how was the conversion?? did you make any profit?

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      On this campaign, profit was around 30%. It performed much better in the beginning, then conversions kept getting lower.

  • http://www.jonathanvolk.com Jonathan Volk

    Cool Case Study! :) Thanks

  • Jon

    Nice case study.

    But which of these 5 images had the best conversion rate?

  • http://www.cdfnetworks.com CDFnetworks

    Thats a great CPC at .30 Wish I could get my ads down that low.

  • http://blogsavvy.net BlogSavvy

    Zac, thanks for giving freely, the information is very helpful for those jusst getting started with affiliate marketing. keep it up!

  • http://www.moneymakingscoop.com Chris Jacobson

    Explain this, Zac: As an experiment I tried using all of the images you posted above in a Facebook ad. All of them got disapproved because the image didn't meet the terms of use.

    The text was fine, just the image.

    Explain how you got any ads approved using these images…

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Facebook Ads are now more strict on the ads they approve. I would not expect these to get approved under their new terms. What they allow is not minimal…

      • http://www.affiliateconfession.com/ Affiliate Confession

        I tried using one of the images as well for a ClickBank product and it was a no go. I had 6 ads disapproved when using the 1st image and I even changed to a stone frickin' statue with great abs and they still wouldn't approve it.

        Maybe one day they'll get their heads screwed on straight.

        • http://www.affiliateconfession.com/ Affiliate Confession

          I guess I didn't clarify…that was on Facebook.

  • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

    This campaign was direct linking.

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  • http://internetbusinessdaily.net matthew berman

    also, would you mind sharing which campaign this was for?

  • http://www.theonlygreendirectory.com Green Directory

    Great Post again Zac — not much of a Facebook user, but definitely worth considering!

  • Tundra

    Haha, seems like the bigger the pecs, the more clicks it gets. Good case study.

  • http://nickthrolson.com/ Nick Throlson

    dam I gotta get in on face book make some money some great stats zac

  • http://internetbusinessdaily.net matthew berman

    have you been able to get these types of ads past their approval process lately?

  • Edgar

    you spend almost 9 thousand dollars, zac what is a good amount to spend before given up?

    I will hate to spend a thousand dollars and make less when do you know its time to stop?

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      All depends on your profit margins and how much of a margin you are comfortable with. It got to a point when the margin was dropping low enough that I just stopped the campaign.

  • http://thewahmblog.com WAHM Tara

    I know pics make a big difference, which is why may male marketers like ot use half naked women pictures, so I am wondering if your clicks were males or females…. Nice study!

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Mostly male.

  • http://www.ibusinesstalk.com ibusinesstalk

    DId you make money from this campaigns?

    by the way, I haven't got my t-shirt and sticker from ML signup…I am sure you are getting small but several hundred $$ from my commission..

    I want 2 t-shirts since you forgot mine…:P

    anyway, another great post..

  • yahoo web hosting

    Wow.Thanks for sharing. I'm not sure I'd have the kahunas to spend 8gs on a campaign. i was thinking about starting in facebook with 250bucks free, but it seems with the low conversion rate, i'm going to get killed and lose that 250 real quick.

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  • Samer Bazzi


    The last three posts have been excellent quality, thank you so much. Keep it up.


  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole Price

    What do you suppose made the difference? I cant really see that much of a difference in all of those photos.

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      It's amazing what makes some people click and not others… that's why we must split test non stop.

  • Internet Shopping US

    This is nice post by you..

  • http://www.WebTrafficROI.com WebTrafficROI.com

    I wonder what the major difference in the images are except for the colour shades.. that would impact clicks…Can you share the conversions from the different images ads , the less clicked ads could have better conversions….

  • Nicholas Chase

    Zac, Interesting post. I'm just starting with Yahoo Search Marketing and some Hub Pages adsense. May try MSN next week, lot's to learn. Respectfully, Nicholas http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Guitar-Hub

  • http://www.zakshow.com Zak Show


  • Project Wealthy

    Can you earn any money from advertising on Facebook?

    • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Definitely! It's not as easy as it was before to get ads approved, but keep working at it and you can still make good money.

      • http://mrjavo.com/2008/07/18/drive-traffic-to-your-blog-by-promoting-other-peoples-content/ Mr. Javo

        I tried to get an ad about fitness with a girl showing her abs and FB refused my add because I was showing "nudity images" =S, how could you show that???? tell me your secret! :twisted:

  • http://mrjavo.com/2008/07/18/drive-traffic-to-your-blog-by-promoting-other-peoples-content/ Mr. Javo

    Hey nice tips, thank you for sharing this experience. Certainly an image can attract more/less people, the impact will be different…

  • http://www.digitalwebtalk.com Webmaster Resources

    I am not able to get my ad approved for Search Engine Optimization Services!! :(

  • http://otooo.com Otooo

    It sure does make a difference – just like text PPC advertising – u gotta catch their eye

  • tfpromo

    Wondering if you could answer a question..When you launch one of these campaigns, at what point do you feel it will be a success? By that I mean, how many clicks in (without a conversion) do you decide whether to let it run or pull the plug…

  • http://www.evawhite.com Eva White

    Hmmm, nice pictures!

    BTW, nice case study too.:}

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  • Geneva

    thanks for the post on this zac, very helpful. I think the top 2 look like real guys/homemade shots, opposed to the bottom 3 airbrushed/mannequins.

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  • elmo live

    I should probalby just use my abs on my campagn..look a lot better than those!!

    Okay, enough with the jokes, deff test your images!!

  • digga live

    I’d like to try facebook ads sometime, I hear there strict. Anyone else have trouble getting there ads accepted?

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  • Eleonora

    Hack again?!

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  • http://www.papersonline.us Custom Term Paper

    havent heard about this from anyone else yet. but will surely give it a try now.

    i have a facebook account but i do not use it much. rarely i guess

    <abbr>Custom Term Paper’s last blog post..Un astudentessa racconta la propria preparazione agli esami universitari a Bari</abbr>

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  • oes tsetnoc

    Wow, I never thought that it can increase the traffic like that. Thanks for informing!

  • http://guildwarz2.org Guild Wars 2

    How much did you earn from that campaign? Was it profitable?