Test #015: The Impact of Ad Background Imagery on Clickthrough Rate

EXPERIMENT QUESTION: If we swap out the background image of our facebook advertisement with aN ILLUSTRATION of Martin Luther, can we better align with viewer motivation and, consequently, INCREASE clickthrough rate?


1517 The Legacy Project is a non-profit organization in Irvine, California dedicated to upholding the legacy of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible in as many ways as possible, as was rediscovered through the Lutheran Reformation in 1517. They provide oversight and powers a variety of theological resource platforms including a podcast network, a publishing house, an online Academy, a speaker network and an annual national conference.

When launching their online course 'Commentary on Galatians,' 1517 wondered if they could better align with viewer motivation in their Facebook ad promotion. They wondered: If we use an image of Martin Luther in the background of our ad image, can we increase the force of the value proposition as well as our ad clickthrough rate?

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This control version of the ad features an image of Dr. Rod Rosenbladt in the background–the professor who leads this course. Here are the observed results: 

Control: 15546 people reached, 663 clicks (2.96% Conversion Rate)






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This treatment version contains all of the same elements as the control version, except a different background image that portrays Martin Luther–the author of the Commentary on Galatians. Here are the observed results:  

12929 people reached, 385 clicks (4.26% Conversion Rate)




This experiment did not reach a 95% confidence level and, thus, is statistically insignificant. 

It seems the image of Martin Luther did not align or misalign with the user's motivation. And since this test isn't valid, we need to be careful of what–if any–conclusions we draw from it. It is an interesting test to note though, especially in light of our recent headline test that showed a 'Martin Luther-Specific' headline was outperformed by a headline geared toward the content of Galatians itself. The fact that it did not produce any significant shift indicates that Luther's agency in this course is of little consequence to the viewer.

Concluding thoughts: 

When first forming and revealing an offer to an audience, it's really important to watch and listen to their initial reactions. This includes not only their comments on the post, but also their unspoken engagement (or disengagement) with the ad and landing page associated with the offer. This test helps us also understand that one assumption may or may not prove true from an offer's advertisement to its landing page.

Grant Klembara