A/B testing lets you compare two specific factors within your ads to see which of them is the better choice for engaging your audience and driving performance such as click-throughs or conversions. And while PowerInbox offers resources that make it easy to get ads in front of interested consumers, taking some time to consider your ad analytics and tweak campaigns or placement in the template to drive continuously improved results can pay off big in the long run.
Here are five factors to consider when you A/B test ad placement so you can find the ideal option for your campaigns.
1. The Email Template
PowerInbox provides easy ways to input ad coding into your email templates. You don’t select the ad, but you do decide where it goes within your email. When the user opens the email, an appropriate ad — one that matches their click behaviors — is displayed. Where that ad shows up in your template can make a big difference on click-through, though, so consider trying different formats.
Are your users more likely to click on an ad that appears before your email content, or do they need to be primed for the click by scrolling through and engaging with your email first? Native ads, which appear within the context of your own content, tend to drive high click-through rates, but you can’t assume that’s true for every audience.
2. The Size of the Ad
Does your audience respond better to a large header ad or a discreetly placed smaller advertisement? You can draw some conclusions from past campaigns or make assumptions, but the truth is that you won't know for sure unless you test ads against each other. Begin by choosing the two sizes you think are most likely to perform best and run two ad campaigns. Keep all other factors as similar as possible so you can compare how the size of the ad impacted the results.
But don't stop there. Performing A/B ad testing to test ad placement is an ongoing process, so you might want to take the winner of that test and pit it against a different ad size to see if it still holds up. When you start testing ad size, you may be surprised to find your assumptions aren't as on the mark as you thought.
3. Audience Targeting
A/B testing lets you confirm that you're targeting the best audience for each campaign. PowerInbox does this automatically to help publishers make the most of their ads, but if you’re coming to the table with hard preconceived notions in mind, you could be reducing your options for monetization.
PowerInbox offers more than 170 categories to choose from. You can opt-out of categories that don’t fit your needs, but the more avenues you close, the lower your returns may be. Instead, consider leaving more potential categories open; you may be surprised by the results and what your audience clicks on.
4. The Number of Ads Placed
When faced with the question of how many ads you should place when running a campaign, you might think that the obvious answer is "as many as you can afford." But the opposite may actually be true, especially when you're placing ads in email. Too many of the same or similar ads begin to look like spam and annoy users.
Email subscribers and other users of free or freemium content typically understand the trade-off: They get good content in exchange for tolerating advertisements. Many will even click on and support relevant ads. But there's a line past which ads become too annoying and actually do more harm than good. A/B testing helps you find that line so you don't cross it, letting you increase click-through on the ads you do place.
5. Subject Lines for Emails
Not all testing is related to the ads themselves. When you're placing ads within an email environment, the reader has to open the email for the ad to be seen. A/B testing helps you hone your subject lines to ensure the highest open rates possible.
A/B Test Ad Placement: Final Words
When you A/B test ad placement, you may find surprising results. Or, you may simply get the peace of mind in confirming that your assumptions were correct. Either way, A/B testing is a cost-effective and proven method of improving online advertising efforts.
For more information about placing ads in emails and other channels, contact PowerInbox today.