How to Test Your Ad Creatives Like a Pro! – Do’s and Dont’s


Why do you need to test your ad creatives?

Creatives are a critical part of user acquisition that in many cases get overseen. Optimized creatives combine two strong dimensions that have an impact on your app conversion. The first one is the general positioning of your app (an ad unit is oftentimes the only way that an advertiser has to communicate its value proposition to a user!). The second one is the actual performance of the ad unit, in other words, how is the creative helping you convert from impressions to downloads and, eventually, to purchases. Because of these two reasons, it is crucial to test your ad creatives for optimal performance.

Conducting a rigorous creative test can help you find the marketing message that fosters the highest user engagement and drives the best performance of your app on the network. Healthier performance gives you more power over campaign algorithms which bring you freedom to scale, optimize and to find the best approach to your UA on Chartboost. 


What should you test?

The first thing you have to do before you conduct a creative test is to determine your goal. You can, for instance, test different ad formats and their impact on Post Install Analytics (PIA). Regardless of the ultimate goal, you’ll quickly see that it is closely conjunct to the main metric for our algorithm, which is IPM.

IPM – amount of installs per thousand impressions 

Once you determine the best performing creative in terms of IPM, you will be able to collect enough data on publishers to test out different types of creatives to then find the best approach that works for your UA. You can learn more about the role that IPM plays in your campaign performance on the network from my previous blog post ‘I’ve Got a $1 CPI, How Many Installs Can I Get?’.


The do’s and don’ts of running a creative test!

Now that you know the power of creatives and the goal that you want to reach, it’s time to reveal some secrets on the best way to conduct the test. When performing a creative test on Chartboost you have to understand that your main goal is to help our algorithm to work with your campaigns best.   

Below you’ll find a table with do’s and don’ts for the best creative test with explanations. You can also download our creative test guide where you can find testing schemes and useful tips.


Our algorithm is designed in the way that a creative with highest IPM will receive major portion of traffic. By adding too much creatives you disrupt the campaign from proper learnings and jeopardize your campaign form full potential to run properly. The easier and more obvious A/B test the better.


You need at least a week for the algorithm to prioritize a specific creative set and be sure about the results. A week is a perfect time range because then you get to test different weekly peaks and gather enough data regarding creative performance.


It’s important to have all the pieces of creative assets for a proper test. Creative assets on Chartboost are designed to make a user engaged with the ad no matter their phone orientation. Limiting viewing option can affect your performance, because it disrupts the user experience.


End Cards are as important as the ad materials that you have before them. Most of the advertisers tend to neglect this piece of creative asset. A good end card can double or even triple your IPM!


When doing creative test it’s important to understand that you have to optimize the algorithm to assign you the highest IPM possible. IPM based algorithm will look into broad number of publishers trying to find the ones that convert the best. Sometimes they may not be very relevant to your app, but the purpose of the creative test is to find the best creatives, not publishers. It will pay off in the future, as the algorithm uses historical data of the creative when it participates in the auctions. The broader your targeting is, the more impressions you will receive where our algorithm will determine the best performing creative.


For the sake of saving budgets some advertisers tend to run with small budgets. The problem with that approach comes from predictive eCPM model. Once you start running your ad, it is being assigned a predictive eCPM with which it participates in the auction. If you run with small bids your predictive eCPM also may be smaller compared to your normal bid. Whatever the predicted eCPM might be, it won’t necessarily be the bid amount you actually pay.


It is crucial to launch a separate campaign when it comes to testing new creatives. By adding new creatives to an existing campaign you won’t get any traction on them, as once an algorithm with highest IPM has been determined it gets the majority of the traffic, so the new creatives will be neglected.



Creative tests are an essential part of healthy UA activity on Chartboost. You can track different metrics when it comes to creatives, but you should always focus on IPM as it affects your campaign performance. In order to run a successful A/B test and have visual guidance that will help you understand the steps that you need to take when testing end cards and videos, see this creative test guide.

Feel free to reach out to your account manager if you have any further questions, and good luck with your creative tests!