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The Ultimate Guide to Creative Testing


In my last blog, I spoke about my 🚀 Paid Acquisition Playbook that generated +200 Mio EUR in revenue.

Thank you for all the questions and great feedback on it.


Here is a simple, short summary of the framework I use on the acquisition side to scale brands faster and more efficiently. 👇👇


Now, let’s move to the topics of this week’s blog.

It’s one of my favorite topics in growth marketing.


Creative testing 🚀

This is one of the crucial areas that will make or break your ECOM success.

Specifically, we will talk about Meta’s creative testing, as most of the acquisition budget for a typical ECOM brand is invested in this channel. 

+ It is the one I love the most because of the incredible results it can produce.

“Nothing scales like Meta 📈”


Unveiling the Power of Creative Testing

Did you know that approximately 60% of the success achieved with Meta Ads hinges on the quality and efficiency of your creatives? 

That figure is already significant, but many experts believe it should be even higher. I am also one of them 🙂 

This percentage will likely continue to climb as AI plays an increasingly pivotal role in optimizing and automating media buying processes.



Media Buyers will need to transform into CREATIVE STRATEGISTS. 

Understanding the paramount importance of creative content, especially in the world of Meta ads, is crucial for marketers aiming for success. 

After seeing insights from 40+ 7-figure brands during my career and experiencing what upgrades in the creative department mean when scaling from 0 to 7, 8 and even 9-figures, I created a guide:


How to do effective creative testing 🕵️‍♂️

Now, let’s dive into into:

1️⃣ – Simplified Campaign Structure

Simplicity is key. Opt for just three campaigns:

  1. a) A main prospecting campaign for scaling 
  2. b) A creative testing campaign
  3. c) A retargeting campaign

*Lately, the fourth one has also become a key element of the structure, a scaling advantage+ campaign.

The main campaign focuses on scaling winning ads, while the creative testing campaign is dedicated to identifying those winners and migrating them to the main prospecting campaign or/and advantage+. 

This ensures a structured approach while allowing flexibility for optimization.


2️⃣ – Continuous Creative Testing:

The number of tests you conduct should align with your budget and goals. 

Typically, for budgets ranging from 20K € to 100K € per month, aim for at least 2 creative concept tests and 6-12 different ads per week. 

As budgets increase, so should the frequency and intensity of testing. 

For a monthly investment above 300K €, you will most likely need between 20 and 35 different ads per week.



3️⃣ – Types Of Creatives

Begin by testing marketing angles and hooks, often serving as your audience’s initial engagement point.

To make it as fast as possible and not to overspend on video production + post-production, I love to start with static photos first, where I test the communication with angles on the simple product photo or product + user.

I test 3-8 potential winning angles to understand the best engagement and conversion signals and then move into GIFs and videos.

4️⃣ – Structure For Testing


I recommend that you test videos and photos separately in ad sets.

So, I came up with two ways of creative testing structure:

  1. A) The proactive MB style 🦸

Inside one creative testing campaign, you are creating a new ad set for 

You are targeting your best audience for prospecting: typically, it’s either broad or, in some cases, an interest stack of relevant.

Make sure that it’s a scalable audience, so it’s not too narrow because you are looking for really scalable creatives you can invest a lot of budgets behind.


For photos, your structure is:

  • Dynamic creative with 4-8 pictures and 2 different headlines, or
  • 3-6 photos with the same angle in one ad set.


For videos, you will test either:

  • One video with 2-4 different hooks or thumbnails, or
  • 2-4 videos with the same angle in one ad set.


I see that it’s most effective to separate the ad sets by the angle that you are testing.

Here, you are setting up 2-3 creative tests every week.

  1. B) AI style 🤖

You are testing inside one Advantage+ campaign with 6-10 creatives inside one ad set, targeting the broad audience with a budget of 5-10x your target CPA. 

Here, you are refreshing the creatives on a weekly basis.

If you are wondering …. My preferred one is A 😁

💡 But test both and try the CBO creative testing campaign as well – lately, I have seen good traction with broad targeting for smaller markets with a <10 Mio population.


5️⃣ – Budget Allocation

Allocate a significant portion of your ad budget—ideally 20-30%, or even up to 50%—towards creative testing. 

Contrary to Meta’s suggested “learning phase” metrics, focus on achieving a meaningful number of conversions rather than fixating on arbitrary thresholds.

For me, the best combo is if I try to stick to is: 

✔️ 2/3 of creatives in creative testing are new concepts

✔️ 1/3 creatives are iterations from best-performers

When setting up a new test in the Proactive MB style of testing, I set up a daily budget of 2-3x target CPA.


👋 If you are an ECOM brand that is stuck or you want to scale beyond 7 and 8 figures, book a call with me to see if we fit. 

Only 2 spots open.

6️⃣ Naming Conventions

This is a super broad topic, but I want to mention it here as it is important to consider and implement it for better data analysis.


On the ad campaign level, I like to include:

👍 Stage of the funnel (prospecting, retargeting, *retention, *re-engagement)

👍 Type (Creative testing, scaling, evergreen, *audience testing, *copy testing)

👍 Style (ABO, CBO, Advantage+)

👍 *Product/category I am promoting

👍 *Country

👍 *Bidding 

👍 Date 

*For bigger, more structured ad accounts.


Ad set naming:

✍️ Gender(s) targeted

✍️ Age group

✍️ Stage of funnel

✍️Targeting option


✍️ Angle

✍️ Attribution setting (example 1dc = 1-day click attribution)

✍️ Date


Ad naming structure

here is the example: JK’s Naming generator template


I will also break it down even further in my future knowledge-sharing articles 🧠 so stay tuned.


7️⃣ – Post-launch Analysis

Evaluate creative performance based on key performance metrics such as cost per action (CPA), clickthrough rate (CTR), conversion rate (CVR), add-to-cart rate (ATC %), and return on ad spend (ROAS). 


Based on results, scale successful creatives, iterate on average performers, and promptly deactivate underperforming ads to optimize campaign efficiency.


I usually check the first results after 24 hours if there are any red alerts 🚨


The first round of optimization is done after 48-72 hours when you get some data.


I start analyzing the creative ads based on the cost per action. 


Here are three scenarios: 

  • Results are good 👉 You found two to three good creatives, scale the ad set in the creative campaign up to 50% to 150%. WHY? To make sure that the creative can stand the test of budget. Once you are confident, say 7-10 days later, move the winners to the scaling prospecting campaign. 


  • Results are average 👉 Nothing stands out, well then can you iterate to find the winners? What did you learn from this test? Was perhaps the hook good, but the hold and conversion rate terrible? Take the learnings and upgrade creatives for your next round.


  • Results are bad 👉 If the CPA is 2x of the average CPA. Turn it off ☠️


💡 Don’t turn off an ad set that’s giving great results. Keep running the creative winning ad set and push the budgets as long as the results are solid.

8️⃣ – Metric-driven Insights To Analyze Your Ads

Now the analysis work starts 👨‍🔬

Cost per action (purchase, add to cart, or lead) is the main lever to see if the creatives are good. 

But there are some secondary metrics as well. Let’s break them down.

Here are some I always look at: 


📊 Conversion rate (CVR)

Conversion rate tells you the effectiveness of ads and the platform. 


📊 Add-to-cart rate (ATC %)

Percentage of people adding the product to the cart to understand the purchase intent.


📊 Average order value (AOV)

You divide the revenue by the number of purchases generated to understand the value per customer you attract with your ads.

This can be a great metric to understand the quality of buyers: big spenders vs. discount hunters 💸


📊 Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

You divide the revenue attributed to your ad campaign by the cost of that campaign. 

It’s critical to understand the profitability of our spending. 


📊Clickthrough rate (CTR)

This shows how well your ads are performing. 

If your ads are above 1%, your ads are doing well. 


📊 Cost per 1000 impressions or Cost per Mile (CPM)

This tells you how well you are doing compared to the overall competition. 


📊 Cost per Click (CPC)

If the CPC is higher, then this means that the ad isn’t performing well. 


📊 Landing Page View Rate

Landing page views divide unique clickthrough rates. 

How many people who clicked on the ad went to the landing page? 

My number is above 70%. This means that the ad is generating enough curiosity to take action. 


📊 Frequency and impressions

These go together.

Impression: How many people saw the ad?

Frequency: How often did they see it?

Frequency should be 1 to 3 per ad set on a weekly basis.


The next three are specific to videos but definitely important to look at:


🎥 Hook Rate

The hook rate is calculated as 3-second video views divided by impressions. 

It’s a fundamental metric, but it helps us quickly see which ads are the most attention-grabbing. 

The benchmark for a great creative is 30% for your prospecting campaigns.

If you reach > 30%, you’re nailing the creative’s attention-grabbing part. 


🎥 Hold Rate

This metric tells you if the video was effective enough to make users actually watch till the end.

The percentage of people who watch 15 seconds of your video ad.

You’re nailing the creative if you’re achieving above 10% for your prospecting campaigns. 


🎥 Average watch time

Analysis of the average time people are watching your videos to understand what you can improve.


🧠Tip: Keep surprising, fast-motion cuts or ask questions in the middle of the video. 


9️⃣ – How to make iterations

Here are some practical ideas on what you can do when you find a winning creative and want to make more iterations from it.

  • Testing the headlines or text layer over 
  • Testing the hooks 
  • Adding a review or more social proof 
  • Testing the same creative with a different person 
  • Testing the new “primary text” and “headlines” 
  • Converting the image into a GIF or short video 
  • Testing new landing pages 
  • Try new formats like green screen, transitions, and other innovative formats with the same asset
  • Test with different thumbnails
  • Use a video/image for collection ads
  • Shorter vs. longer version of video 
  • Offer vs. no offer


🔟 – Key Takeaways

Remain data-driven and objective in your creative testing endeavors. 

Prioritize concept development and leverage customer insights for enhanced creativity. 

Remember, success lies in continuous experimentation and adaptation.

In conclusion, if your creative testing efforts yield less-than-desired results in prospecting campaigns, take notice of the potential of repurposing those ads for retargeting campaigns. 

With careful analysis and strategic adjustments, even initial setbacks can pave the way for future success.

And that’s a wrap for today’s ECOM growth community blog! 



Creative is your targeting and one of the main factors of ECOM’s success in 2024 and beyond. 

So, investing resources to upgrade this field will be one of the most ROI-driven actions you can do. 🤝


I look forward to reading your feedback on this – you can always send me a message on LinkedIn.

 P.S. Let’s talk if you want some help growing your ECOM brand and developing your growth marketing team.


Talk soon and as always …

Happy scaling! 🚀



Jure (JK) Knehtl

Founder @ JK GROWTH