test your ad creatives

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

April 5 · Chartboost · 4 Min read
Conducting a rigorous creative test can help you find the marketing message that fosters the highest user engagement and drives the best performance.
The Chartboost blog
User Acquisition

Find the answers you need

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.

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.

Algorithms are designed so that a creative with the highest IPM will receive the major portion of traffic. By adding too many creatives you disrupt the campaign from proper learnings and jeopardize its full potential to run properly. The easier and more obvious A/B test the better.

It takes at least two weeks to be sure about the results. Two weeks is the perfect time range because you get to see 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 are designed to engage users no matter their phone orientation. Limiting viewing options can affect your performance because it disrupts user experience.

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

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 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 testing new creatives. By adding new creatives to an existing campaign you won’t get any traction, as once an algorithm with highest IPM has been determined, it receives the majority of traffic, and new creatives are neglected.


Creative tests are an essential part of a healthy UA strategy. You can track different metrics when it comes to creatives, but you should always focus on IPM as it affects your campaign performance.

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