Message Testing Philosophy

The goals of any ads are 2 fold:

  1. We want to serve an ad that catches the eye of our end user, and get the right kind of users to click

  2. We want to get users who are bad fits to self-select by not clicking

How Do You Perform a Message Test?

Our initial testing philosophy for messaging is to determine which type of messaging works best for our product or service, so we try to test out a couple different concepts.  We usually try to test an emotional appeal and a value proposition focused approach, but we can also test out a funny approach, fear based approach, or scarcity approach. The main point is we want to determine which general messaging category makes sense for us to follow long term.

Once we’re confident in the type of messaging that works, we then want to hone that in to the perfect messaging.  Our philosophy switches from testing larger ad concepts to testing as few variables as possible. We want to focus on testing a couple new headlines, or a couple new descriptions, but generally leaving all elements not involved in the test unchanged from the previous ad iterations.

If we are running massive scale campaigns with small pieces that we want to change, while maintaining a winning ad template, we occasionally will make use of Ad Customizers.  Ad customizers are a Google tool that allows you to pull ad copy into your ad using a data feed you upload, and then matching against the keyword, ad group, or campaign.

  • This is useful for geo targeting or simplifying our ad structure to work for multiple sub-categories 

  • If we create one template that works across different categories we can have the category names pulled from a feed

    • Customizing ads to mention geolocation in copy “Buy sneakers in” will pull in the location from the feed and add it into your ad based on the criteria you’ve set up

    • Customizing ads to mention the specifics they are searching for in copy “Shoes At The Best Price” will pull in the category of shoe from the feed based on the criteria you’ve set up

    • Customizing ads to mention the specifics they are searching for in copy “Shoes For Only $” will pull in the price of a shoe from the feed based on the criteria you’ve set up


Why is Message Testing Important?

We want to speak to users differently at different stages of the funnel, and we want to understand how users react differently when at different stages of the funnel. For new users we want to get people in the door on a trial, for people who have done a trial, we want them to upgrade. We want to focus on the three different areas, and address their needs separately at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.

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