What is Facebook Test and Learn?

By Tinuiti Team

If you’ve ever wanted to know just how much your Facebook ads really impact your bottom line, there’s a new tool to help you do it.

What is Facebook Test & Learn?

The recently launched Facebook Test & Learn feature allows advertisers to measure ad efficacy in two ways: on the campaign level and across their entire Facebook ads account.

Both can allow deeper insight into what’s working and what’s not from an advertising perspective, and when used properly, they should be able to help advertisers utilize their budget better over time.


Facebook test and learn

Test 1: The Campaign Comparison Test

Through its campaign comparison test, the Test & Learn feature can help you hone in on which campaigns result in the lowest cost conversions and, subsequently, the best use of your ad dollars.

Here’s how it works: You pick two similar campaigns to compare.

Try to choose ones that have one significant difference in them, be it design-related, content or even layout.

After you’ve designated the campaigns, Facebook will run your ads for a short test period, measuring and comparing the conversion rates of four different user groups:

  1. Users in your target audience who saw an ad from campaign No. 1
  2. Users in your target audience who saw an ad from campaign No. 2
  3. Users in your target audience who were prevented from seeing ad No. 1
  4. Users in your target audience who were prevented from seeing ad No. 2

Once the test is over, you’ll see a breakdown of which campaign resulted in the most conversions at the lowest price.

It will even tell you the exact amount of money you’re spending per conversion on each campaign, as well as your lift percentage, total number of sales and total number of conversions.

Now, if you’re thinking this is no different than the “cost per conversion” stat in your ad reports, think again.

Because the tool factors in users who were never actually exposed to your ads, it’s able to help you compare conversion uplift – not just conversions in general. Your cost per conversion rate isn’t able to do that.

It won’t compare your ad’s conversion rates to the conversion rates of other members of your target audience – people who didn’t see your ad but may have converted in that same time frame anyway.

Test 2: The Facebook Ad Account Test

You can also use Test & Learn to evaluate the overall efficiency of your Facebook advertising efforts.

Here’s how Facebook explains it: “By running this test, you’ll discover how much your Facebook ad account increases the rate at which people convert or purchase your product or service. You should ask this question if you want to look at the big picture of how your Facebook ads are impacting your business.”

To run the test, you’ll simply choose a conversion event you want to focus on, and the tool will tell you how many users saw your ads and completed that specific event over a certain time period.

Again, it will use control groups that were not exposed to your ads, so you’re able to see conversion uplift – not just plain old conversions.

The point is to tell you exactly how much in additional sales, revenues, downloads or other important conversions your Facebook ads are contributing.

It can be great tool for use in budgeting or for measuring efficacy during certain time periods – like sales, the holidays or other times when you’re running sales or special promotions.

How To Use Facebook Test & Learn

To use the latest in Facebook ads research tools, you’ll need to have the Facebook Pixel installed and configured.

Then, just log into your Facebook ad account, and you’ll find Test & learn located under the “Measure & Report” section of your advertising menu.

From there, you’ll need to choose which question you want answered: “Which campaign causes the lowest cost conversions to occur?” or “How many conversions are all my Facebook ads causing?”

facebook test and learn


Follow the prompts to name your test and set a date range for it to run. You’ll also need to select the conversion event you’d like to track; you can choose from purchases, leads, registrations, checkouts, add to carts, add to wishlists, searches, content views and more.

Once your test is done, the results will show up under the “Learn” tab. You’ll see an incremental efficiency section, which details how much you’re paying per conversion and your return on ad spend.

You’ll also see a lift results section that contains your lift percentage, your number of incremental sales throughout the test period and the total number of incremental conversions over the same time.

CPC Strategy Implements Facebook’s Test and Learn

After some research, we decided to give Facebook’s new testing feature a try.

The example described below was tested by Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager for an electronic retail brand currently advertising on Facebook.

Test Type: Facebook Ad Account Test

Test Timing: 2 weeks (Jan 19 – Feb 2, 2018)

Pro-Tip: This test can be run at any time, though you may want to consider running it periodically, such as once a month or once per quarter, to identify trends and compare conversions during different time frames.

It’s recommended that the test run for at least 4 weeks, and not less than 2 weeks, so that Facebook has enough time to gather data and produce results. You must generate at least 100 conversions in the time frame to get results.


facebook test and learn


Methodology: This type of measurement compares the conversions between a test group who has seen your Facebook ads and a control group who hasn’t seen your ads.

Below are additional details on how Facebook conducts the test:

– First, we randomize everyone on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network into two groups uniquely for your test. One group will be able to see your ads (the test group) and one will be held back from seeing any of your ads (the control group).

– We include people in the groups who are eligible to see your ads dynamically based on your targeting criteria and their activity on the platform.

– As we run your test, we include people who are eligible to see your ads in both the test and control groups. In the test group, your ads run like they normally would. Some of the people who are eligible will see your ads and some will not. In the control group, we prevent people from seeing your ads.

– When the test is complete, we calculate the incremental impact of your advertising by comparing the test and control groups.


The Results: 

Based on the time period, the Lift Results section provides a view of the campaign’s:

Basically, the Lift Results shows you how many conversions occurred as a result of people seeing your ads.

For this experiment, we found that:

– Facebook ads increased our conversion rate among people who saw the ads by 238%. What this means is the ads caused 131 additional conversions to occur that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

– There were 221 conversions in the test group. Without the ads, there would have been only 90.

– Sales in the test group were $19,523. Without the ads there would have been only $5,664.


facebook test and learn


The second results section called “Incremental Efficiency” shows the cost per incremental conversion and incremental Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

For this experiment, we found that:


facebook test and learn

The Takeaways

Test and Learn is a tool to help you better validate your advertising efforts.

Advertisers can use Facebook Test & Learn results to understand the overall efficacy of their ads, as well as your individual campaigns. For example:

Tweak your strategy and creative based on these results, and test again. Like the rest of Facebook’s ad research tools, Test & Learn just takes consistency and time, and it can help you hone in on a winning strategy.

To learn more about Facebook Test & Learn, email [email protected].

You Might Be Interested In

*By submitting your Email Address, you are agreeing to all conditions of our Privacy Policy.