A Proven 4 Step Process To Testing & Tracking Winning Facebook Ads Images

A Proven 4 Step Process To Testing & Tracking Winning Facebook Ads Images

Written by: Joey Alter

Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching a small group of entrepreneurs & webinar enthusiasts about Facebook Advertising.We went out and had drinks as people usually do at these events, and one of the attendees there came up and told me in as many words:


“I’m spending way too much money on ads right now but I don’t know what needs to be done to make them profitable.”

This is a common pitfall for many entrepreneurs just getting their start with online advertising. They don’t know what they don’t know. And they don’t have the privilege or opportunity that someone like me as had. That would be the ability to work with over 55 different clients on Facebook ads in every vertical you can think about, across every budget level.

Luckily what seems like an extremely complicated and mystical decision making process is actually relatively straightforward and rote once you have proper web tracking in place.

Without proper tracking, the key metrics of your campaigns will be unavailable at best, or at worst, they’ll be wildly incorrect because of unattributed revenue, differences in attribution models between traffic/data source, or both.

Once your tracking is in place and your metrics is verified, your decisions on what to do next for your ad campaign becomes simple. Read on and you’ll see how to simplify your ad campaign decision making process.

The Right Way to Test a New Creative or Image with Facebook Ads

This beast of a flow chart is my attempt to systematize a more fluid creative testing process in ads manager. 


By the way, you can get your own copy of our lovely Creative Testing Flow Chart by clicking on the button below. That way, you’ll be able to track your own process more easily.

Here's Our Proven 4 Week Process to Test Any New Facebook Ad Creative

Up until now my process for creative has been a relatively static, four-week strategy.

  • Week 1: Test ad types,
  • Week 2: Test images or copy,
  • Week 3: Test the opposite variable,
  • Week 4: You have a control and perhaps you continue to test more specific variables (image overlays, CTAs, descriptions, display urls, etc.)

The above process beings with an ad type test but also takes into account key front end metrics and what they mean for your campaigns.

The Top 4 Tactics to Optimizing Your Facebook Ad Creative Tests and What to Do When They Fail

While there is an exception to almost every "rule" for ads, here are some commonalities I've found that should help simplify your decision-making process:

  • If the CTR is low, but the conversion rate is high, you need to test more image assets or video assets. In most instances image assets will drive CTR up or down.
  • If the conversion rate is low but the CTR is high, you need to test more copy (and most likely for a longer period). In most instances, you can increase your Facebook ads conversion rate by prequalifying your prospect in the ad copy.
  • If the relevance score is low and the negative feedback is high, you need to change the messaging on your ads.
    • If people are commenting that your product is a scam or the ad copy is misleading, you definitely need to change the copy.
  • If the relevance score is low and the negative feedback is NOT high, you probably need to change your audience targeting.
    • You may be showing ads to the wrong people. These folks aren't mad, they just don't find them relevant.

There are some other baselines about performance that are important to keep in mind. Facebook gives you some idea of what your front-end metrics should be with relevance score.

Here Are Our Top 12 Funnel & Advertising Metric Benchmarks for You to Compare Your Success Against:

  • CTR 2-3% blended for desktop and mobile (audience network & IG excluded)
  • Optin rate 25%-50% for lead-gen campaigns
  • 3% lead to sale conversion rate for lead-gen advertisers
  • 10% tripwire conversion rate or more
  • Minimum 1% conversion rate click to purchase for ecommerce
  • Minimum 20% open rate, 70% plus possible with regular list culling and segmentation
  • CPM below $30 for competitive lead-gen prospecting
  • CPM $10-11 for ecommerce
  • CPC $3-$5 for B2B
  • CPC $1 or less for ecommerce
  • 50% profit margin or more on ecommerce
  • 60% or less cart abandonment rate

I want to stress these are baseline metrics/industry standards. Once you start running traffic it should become abundantly clear what your specific baseline metrics are. Simply look at your previous performance, plus your site and funnel performance while deciding what to tweak.

Here's How You Track All These Tests So You Can See Definitive Results

We've talked before about what UTMs are and how to implement them in your Facebook ads for tracking. These tags within your Facebook ads allow tracking outside of your Facebook ads account and provide more accurate data than the variable firing of the Facebook pixel. So, check out the links above and implement UTMs to ensure you're getting the best data on ad clicks.

I will point out here that you need to add 2 very important components to your UTM parameters.

The first is the utm_content parameter. This lets you include the name of each ad. You should use a naming convention that makes each of your ads easy to track. You can include the date the ad was published, the product and the target market.

For example, utm_content=11-22-16-aerobrush-long-hair-blonde-model might indicate that this ad was published on November 22nd, 2016, was promoting the Aerobrush to people with long hair and had a blonde model in the creative. Now you know exactly which creative this tag refers to.

When you use this style of naming convention, you're able to track each of your tests with ease, using the Facebook Overview Dashboard inside of FunnelDash. You can drill down to which ads worked best with which audiences, and scale those campaigns for success. 

The second component is an additional UTM parameter that FunnelDash requires to be able to track your ads properly. You need to include the utm_ad=ADID parameter to your UTM parameter string so FunnelDash can find the ads your tracking and pull them in.

An ad tagged with proper a UTM parameter string would look something like this:

utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=adname&utm_term=adsetname&utm_campaign=campaignname&utm_ad=(insert Facebook Ad ID number here)

All of the bolded sections are the information you would need to fill in. Or you could just use FunnelDash's auto-tagger so you know it's done correctly.

Don't Forget to Download Your Creative Testing Flow Chart

Make your life easy. Download the Creative Testing Flow Chart so you have our testing method at your fingertips. Click on the button below to get your copy.

Do you have specific methods you use to test your Facebook ad images? Tell us about them in the comments.

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