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How to Be Sure Your Ad’s a Winner Before You Go Live

How to Be Sure Your Ad’s a Winner Before You Go Live

So many advertising ideas, so little time. What do you do when your organization wants to launch an ad campaign, but you can’t predict which ad will make people say, “Ooh!” We’ve spent a lot of time trying to solve this problem at SurveyMonkey and we’re excited to share some of our solutions with you.

Effective advertising: It’s all about testing ad concepts

If you’re like most marketers, you probably launch a couple of versions of your ads to a limited audience and use metrics like conversion or click-through rate (CTR) to determine which concept is best. But there’s a huge time, money, and development investment required to test different ads live. You’ve got to choose the right concepts to test, develop them for the test, execute the test, and wait for the results.

We knew there had to be a better, faster, and cheaper way to test ads. Previously, we talked about how we used SurveyMonkey Audience—a powerful tool aimed at targeting specific demographics—to test two banner ads with our target market and get quality feedback in just two days. Since then, we’ve been hard at work perfecting our survey methodology to develop a scalable, repeatable process to test ads (beyond performing a split test).

Recently, our team of survey experts developed a comprehensive concept testing framework that lets us quickly create sound concept test surveys for just about anything, including ads, images, book covers, product ideas—you name it.

Take the pain out of testing!

Learn more about how easy and affordable it is to test ads, images, and concepts with SurveyMonkey Audience.

Contact Us 

Ad testing in action

Using our concept testing framework, we now test our ad concepts before launching new ad campaigns to make sure we’re only spending money on the winners.

Last month, we tested five ad concepts for a LinkedIn Sponsored Updates campaign, targeting marketers in the United States. Our goal was to use our survey to determine which concepts could generate a click-through rate above LinkedIn’s benchmark for Sponsored Updates (0.2%).

With SurveyMonkey Audience, we sent a survey to 300 marketers in the United States to get their feedback before we launched the concepts. In a mere two days, we collected and analyzed all of the responses and quickly learned which ads were the most effective.

How we use concept testing surveys to choose effective ads

When we launched our concept test survey, we showed five different ads to marketers. They answered questions that measured intent, appeal, utility, and other important factors.

Here’s the ad that performed the best:

Concept Testing 1

And the worst performing ad:

Concept Testing 2

Our concept testing framework is designed to measure a variety of important metrics—loyalty, purchase intent, timing, recall, etc. We’ve developed a proprietary scoring methodology for assigning numerical values to responses and generating scores.

For our ad test, we chose to measure eight metrics. The end result was this scorecard that clearly declares a winner:


But just to be safe, we went ahead and launched all five ad concepts on LinkedIn to make sure our scorecard was as accurate as we expected. It turns out, that our top two ad concepts in our scorecard were indeed our top two performers.


Adding depth to your data

We also received some great qualitative feedback. Our open-ended questions helped us identify what elements of the ad copy resonated the most with marketers.

In a few words, please describe why you picked the advertisement you did as the MOST APPEALING one?

Qualitative feedback

Based on the feedback, we know the most appealing ad copy contains data points and is quick to read. As we roll out more concepts on LinkedIn, you can be sure that we’ll be relying on our concept testing framework before launching new ads!

Take the pain out of testing!

Learn more about how easy and affordable it is to test ads, images, and concepts with SurveyMonkey Audience.

Contact Us 

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