Difference Between Versions:
Version A – Facebook ad with header copy stating “Healthcare!” followed by some benefits of purchasing health insurance through the selling company, Ditzo
Version B – Similar Facebook ad, but with header copy questioning, “Almost 18?” then outlining some of the benefits of getting health insurance through the company
Key Performance Indicator (KPI):
Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
Increase enrollment in a health insurance plan
Targeted Faceboook users
Almost 18-year old Dutch Facebook users
Ditzo - Dutch insurance provider
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Poll Results - The Best Guesses:
Which Facebook health ad won?
- Version B
- Version A
We are living in an unprecedented time. Never before has the world experienced such a crippling global health crisis.
According to this global health tracker, there are currently (as of Mar. 19, 2020) over 227 thousand cases of Corona virus (COVID-19), across 165 countries.
The health and safety of the world’s population is in question. And, extensive measures are being taken to slow the spread of this deadly virus. Beyond quarantines, social distancing, and self-isolation, COVID-19 is changing the way we work and function as a society.
The loss of lives is tragic and deeply saddening.
The economic losses are equally grim; it’s expected COVID-19 will cost the global economy $2.7 trillion.
For digital marketers, the changes are particularly profound. While some companies may benefit, many others are quickly losing traffic and subsequent conversions.
According to Neil Patel, the healthcare, finance, food, and media industries are seeing large spikes in traffic — and potential conversions — as a result of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, the travel, transportation, construction, and advertising spaces are taking major hits:
As a result, Neil Patel reports almost all industries — except for food, healthcare, media, and pharmaceuticals — have seen a sharp drop in conversions, since the Corona Virus hit North America:
The results may be particularly distressing, especially for retailers selling non-essential goods.
However, even in the darkest of times, the sun can always shine through, creating a silver lining for you as a digital marketer. Right now, the golden opportunity appears to be in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
Opportunities in PPC Ads
According to Ezoic, major players in the travel, entertainment, and fitness industries will be curtailing their online ad spend, due to the economic implications of COVID-19. That’s because pulling ads is one of the quickest and easiest way to cut costs.
As a result, there will likely be a drop in competition in ad auctions, decreasing pricing. Premium ad space will now become more readily available, for cheaper.
Looking at the situation from a PPC perspective, there may be a major shift in Cost Per Click (CPC) acquisitions. Once prized keywords held — and paid for by major players in major industries — could now become available to for a lot cheaper!
In addition to lower cost keywords, you may now also be able to upshift the rank, or placement, of your ads for a much lower CPC. The result will be a more favorable Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) for you.
The opportunities may be particularly promising for digital marketers looking to capture more customers, at a lower cost, through platforms like AdWords and Facebook.
Focusing on Facebook ads, it’s no secret that a well done, relevant, targeted ad can speak to your audience and motivate them to convert. But, what elements create conversions?
To explore this question, here’s a health-related Facebook ad A/B test.
The results from this study may give you insight into some valuable tactics you can to increase conversions, even during this very difficult health crisis.
The study was done by the Dutch digital agency, Greenhouse Group, for Ditzo, a Dutch insurance company that sells many types of insurance, including health insurance. Although the study was performed prior to the Corona virus outbreak, the findings and takeaways remain applicable today.
Test Details & Background:
In the Netherlands, every fourth-quarter, residents have the option of buying new insurance for the coming year. However, those turning 18 are obligated to buy health insurance.
Through targeted Facebook ads, this test focused on reaching those Dutch prospects, who were turning 18, and needed to purchase health insurance.
This test was part of an ongoing series. In previous studies, the testing team looked at what ad background color performed best. They found the bright blue background won.
In this test, the challenge was to determine the optimal the ad copy, to make the idea of purchasing insurance more attractive for a younger audience. It’s no secret health insurance isn’t the most glamorous topic. Nor, is it highly sought after by a young crowd.
The team, therefore, want to know what approach would work best to increase interest in health insurance: one that broadly brought up the benefits of health insurance? Or, directly targeted (almost) 18 year-olds.
The team speculated that by specifically targeting 18 year-olds, the right target market would be attracted to, attend to, and click on the ad.
However, they also acknowledged the targeted ad might not be descriptive enough to convert.
So, decided to test which approach worked best.
To test, the which Facebook ad would win, the team created two ad versions.
The first was a more generic ad. But, it stated the benefits of health insurance in more detail. The ad looked like this:
The other was a more targeted ad, but the benefits of getting health insurance were less descriptive. The ad looked like this:
The two versions were targeted at Dutch residents who were nearly 18.
Clickthrough Rates (CTRs) on the “Get health insurance” link and “Apply Now” button, were tracked across both versions.
The Real-Life Results:
Winner: Version B – the personalized ad was the age-old winner.
Compared to the generic version, the winning personalized ad generated 120% higher CTR on the “Apply Now” button. Additionally, clicks on the “Get health insurance” link skyrocketed 229%.
Results achieved 95% confidence.
How Trustworthy Are The Results?
Given the study achieved 95% confidence, the results are likely valid.
However, it’s important to note, no sample size, or testing time period, was reported, which could bring the study results into question.
Why did the age-targeted ad win? Well that may be an age-old question <groan>, there are likely a couple reasons:
1. Relevance and benefits convert
According to Widerfunnel, relevance is one of the six drivers of conversions (in addition to urgency, anxiety, clarity, distraction, and the value proposition).
When something is relevant to you, it meets your goals, or needs. And, therefore, it’s seems valuable.
In the targeted ad, the offer appeared highly relevant to the target market — Facebook users turning 18. Because the message was relevant, users were likely more receptive to the benefits offered, increasing their interest in the offer.
In contrast, the more generic ad didn’t appeal to a specific demographic. The headline “Healthcare!” was probably lost on anyone not looking for a health solution at that time.
The generic ad didn’t attract attention. The targeted ad did.
2. Relevance captures our attention and converts
Once a message has gotten your attention, it’s most likely to spark your interest, if the benefits are obvious.
From there, you may desire to attain the benefits, and take action.
This conversion flow is known as the AIDA model, and can be visualized through a conversion funnel like this:
In the case of the targeted Facebook ad, the ad copy specifically spoke to those turning 18. It garnered awareness with a question — which is a great technique for grabbing attention.
It then generated interested by stating several benefits, in a quick to read, easy to understand format.
And, since the product being advertised was not only desirable, but also necessary, it spurred action, leading to conversions.
In contrast, the more generic ad — that didn’t target the age cohort — likely didn’t generate as much awareness. Most users probably scrolled past it, without paying much attention. With little awareness, the conversion process ended.
This Facebook ad example shows that when ads are personalized, and highly targeted, within a user segment, like age, they can work well to generate conversions.
Tangible Takeaway & Immediate Application
One of the great benefits of Facebook ads is the ease at which you can segment and target specific user groups.
When your ad is personalized, directly speaks to the cohort you’re targeting, and clearly expresses benefit, you can more easily attract attention. Garnering attention is the first step in getting your prospects to take action.
Within the health care industry, application of these techniques may be particularly important during the COVID-19 health crisis. Key messages, especially from government organizations, need to capture attention and reach the public.
This GuessTheTest case study — by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — shows another beneficial conversion technique is increasing the clarity of your copy, through simplified wording and numerical statements.
Taken together, healthcare organizations, and you, can apply these techniques to increase ad effectiveness.
Doing so now may be particularly fortuitous, as larger corporations pull back on advertising spending, opening the market for other organizations to create high-converting ads, at a lower cost per acquisition.
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on this perspective? Where do you think digital display advertising is headed during this unprecedented time?
Share in the comments section below.
Poll Results - The Best Guesses:
Which Facebook health ad won?
- Version B
- Version A