In this article, you’ll learn what split testing is, how to get started, and get 7 ad campaigns you can steal and start split testing on Facebook for real estate leads today!
We coach hundreds of real estate agents every month on how to generate leads online using LeadSites by Easy Agent paired up with Facebook advertising.
A lot of agents are having incredible success. Facebook is quickly replacing old-school techniques like cold calling as the BEST way to generate real estate leads.
So what are the agents who are successful on Facebook doing that that agents who are struggling are not?
The short answer is…
Facebook Split Testing!
If you’re running ONE ad — waiting to see what happens — then stopping…
You’re doing real estate Facebook advertising wrong!
See, to find a monster success of an ad, you have to run a LOT of ads to find out quickly what doesn’t work, what does work, and why.
What Is Split Testing?
Split testing is where you create multiple ads that are identical except for one variable.
For example you might run an identical ad to three different audiences.
In this case, you are testing which audience will be the best target market for this particular ad.
You might discover through this split test that 30-40 year olds respond 15% better to that particular ad.
That’s good information to know. It will help you get more out of your ad dollars going forward.
So let’s get to it.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to quickly and effectively split test ads on Facebook.
1. How To Set Up Facebook Split Testing For Real Estate (3 Easy Ways)!
There are a few ways to set up a Facebook split test. You can:
Set Up Split Test Ads Manually on Facebook
Create the ad you’d like to run. Then use the edit link to duplicate the ad, like this:
Once the ad is duplicated, hit “Edit Ad Set,” like this:
And change ONE VARIABLE in the duplicate.
If you change more than one thing and get a noticeable difference in results, you won’t know what actually caused the increased performance.
Now… Setting up split tests manually is a great way to get started, but it’s not scalable.
If you start running a lot of ads and split tests at once (which I highly recommend you do — the more ads you test, the faster you’ll find a big winner), they can become difficult to manage (more on this below).
Use Facebook’s Built-In Split Testing
Facebook now offers a built-in split test function. This is a great tool because Facebook does things automatically like randomizing your audience to make sure there is now overlap between the two audiences.
But there’s a catch…
Facebook will only let you run split tests this way if you’re willing to spend an amount of money and time that (they say) “will help ensure sufficient data to confidently determine a test winner.”
What this translates to is:
You must run your ads for 3-14 days and you must spend a minimum of $800 ($400 per ad).
If you have the advertising budget to do this, Facebook isn’t wrong. You will get better data if you spend enough to test your ads with a large audience.
BUT — Spending $800 every time you want to test an ad isn’t always realistic, especially for real estate agents who are just starting out.
If that’s you, either set up your split tests manually or use a service like Adespresso.
Sign Up For Adespresso
Adespresso is a service that allows you to split test thousands of ads quickly, easily, and inexpensively. It will let you test different ad images, different ad headlines, and different audiences with just a few clicks.
We use this service here at Easy Agent Pro for all of our Facebook ads (and they’re not paying us to endorse them in this post).
Here’s the catch: It costs $49 per month, so it’s an additional monthly expense.
But compare that to spending $800 every time you want to run split tests directly through Facebook… And $49 seems like a steal.
And the fact is…
If you’re serious about succeeding on Facebook, then you’ll need to eventually get serious about split testing your ads and constantly looking for your next big winner.
If that’s you, a service like Adespresso is a necessary part of marketing yourself effectively with Facebook ads.
2. Start Split Testing On Facebook For Real Estate (Test These 3 Things)!
Whether you’ve decided to set up a test manually, use Facebook’s split testing function, or sign up for Adespresso, it’s time to run your first real estate Facebook split test.
To do this, you’ll first want to pick a variable to test. Then, set up ads that are identical in every way except for that one variable.
There are three main variables you can experiment with:
When split testing audiences, you’ll want to duplicate your ad and set it up to go to different audiences.
Use the EXACT same image, headline, and text.
That’s the only way you’ll truly know that the audience was more responsive to the ad (instead of them responding to a more interesting image or more persuasive headline.)
Experiment with running the same ad to different age ranges, income levels, or interests. You can also use different lists from your own business to test different lookalike audiences (an e-mail newsletter list vs. actual clients who have done business with you, for example).
You can also test the creative elements of your ad. In this case, you’ll want to use the same audience for each ad, the same text and headline, but run ads with different images.
Be sure to try images that are actually different. That might sound obvious…
But you’d be surprised how many agents “split test” ads using three similar images of houses.
Instead, create a variety of ads. Use an image of a house for one, and then then try other things like an image of you (the agent), or an image of a happy couple buying a house. People like pictures of people.
Also, don’t be afraid to try something out of the box.
Some the best ads we’ve run on Facebook have used shocking images that were totally unexpected and attention-getting. (You can find images like that here. They are FREE to use for your ads!)
The bottom line is: You don’t know what works until you test it. With images in particular, you will be surprised at what gets the most clicks on Facebook.
To split test copy (the words of an ad), you’ll use the same audience and image, but change the “Headline” and “Text” portions of the ad. (If you want to get truly scientific, you can use the same headline and split test the text, or vice versa.)
It’s an advertising axiom that the headline and text of an ad can impact over 70% of an ad’s effectiveness. That’s definitely true on Facebook.
Short vs. Long Copy
This question has been around as long as advertising has existed. Professional copywriter Neville Medhora gives a memorable (and slightly politically incorrect) rule of thumb for this:
“Copy is like a woman’s skirt. It should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting.”
There are really two answers to the “long vs short” question:
You should say what’s essential and necessary without being boring. If you can say it in a short space, do it. But if your text needs to be a little longer to get your point across, then make your copy a little longer.
“Shorter is always better” isn’t always right. If you’re selling an expensive product that requires a lot of information and consideration to make a decision (like a house), sometimes a little more information is the right choice… As long as it’s interesting.
Ultimately, the answer is: SPLIT TEST.
Run two ads to the same audience, using the same image, but use longer text on one and shorter on the other.
See what happens.
Because even though most people preach “Shorter Is Better,” there’s always an exception. Like this successful ad that generated seller leads:
The point is, split testing lets you know what works for you. Instead of guessing or blindly following the advice of others, spend a few bucks and find out for yourself.
3. Optimize The WINNERS Of Your Split Testing On Facebook For Real Estate
Once you run multiple split tests, you’re going to discover that certain ads work better for you than others.
Once you find those ads that work pretty good… Make them great!
You do this by cutting the spending on the dead ads that did nothing, and investing that money on new split tests of the ads that work.
For example, if you created an ad that generated some buyer leads, you might take the text and image that worked and test it with new audiences. Or use the same audience, but run a variety of images and text to see if you can get an even better response.
Split testing is all about adapting a “beat the high score” mentality.
4. Steal These Facebook Ads NOW to Start Split Testing on Facebook for Real Estate
The fastest way to find ads that work for you is to start with ads that have worked for others and split test those to find the version of those ads that work for you.
Another agent’s ad and strategy might work for you just copied and pasted.
If it does? Great! You should still split test against that ad to see if you can improve it.
But if it doesn’t? Don’t be surprised. Most of the time, ads take at least some amount of adaptation and personalization to your unique business and market.
Think of an ad idea like a seed.
You can start with the same seed as someone else. But once you plant that seed in your own soil, with your unique weather and temperatures, all bets are off.
Identical seeds planted in New Mexico and Michigan will not grow the same because other variables come into play.
That doesn’t mean that seed “doesn’t work” for you.
It just means how you cultivate that particular plant has to adapt and evolve according to your unique environment.
Your market’s a little different and your clients want slightly different things.
You’re working with different price points and inventory levels.
It’s up to you to take the seed and figure out how to grow it in your market.
Having said that, here are some seeds you can plant TODAY:
1. Single-story homes to people over 60
Try running an ad that invites an over 60 audience to down-size and stop climbing stairs.
Offer an exclusive list of single story homes.
Run this ad to variations of the “over 60” audience, including a lookalike of those who have done business with you in the past, people over 60 who are likely to move, or people over 60 of a certain household income.
Try offering an exclusive list of the foreclosures in your area. This works well for attracting both investors who want to partner with an agent and buyers looking for a deal.
These ads work with varying degrees of success, depending on your market and what types of properties you focus on. Try variations of this ad including:
Selling foreclosures as a “deal” to first-time buyers.
Foreclosures as an investment to more affluent people interested in real estate.
Foreclosures as a fixer-upper opportunity to people interested in DIY home improvement.
3. Seasonal Information
Try offering seasonal information about your community that people opt-in to receive.
This is still worthwhile because it allows you to create lists of hundreds of people and begin building relationships with them for the long-term. Put these people into drip campaigns that build trust over time.
Below are a few ideas for easy, list-building wins. Create a landing page where people can give you their name and email in exchange for this information:
- Top 10 brunch spots for Easter Sunday
- 5 Best Pubs to Toast St. Paddy
- The 7 Best Viewing Spots In The City For 4th of July Fireworks
- The 3 Best Places To Eat Thanksgiving Dinner If You Hate Cooking
- The Top 5 Haunted Houses In The City
Create offers for free community information, and split test different audiences and creative elements to see what works best for you!
4. Run an Ad for a Specific Property
You can use both SEO and paid Facebook ads to feature and sell specific properties.
An easy way to get started advertising a specific property is to ask: “Who would LOVE this home?”
Come up with different interest groups that might love that specific home and split test different audiences.
5. Get Traffic to Your IDX Pages
While many of the other advertisements mentioned here require landing pages, this strategy involves sending people straight to a list of homes on your website, and then forcing registration with your IDX.
Split test different audiences including those who are likely to move, those who show in interest in parenting and family topics (Target those with growing families! They have a high urgency to get more space now).
6. Guides For Home Buyers or Sellers
One of the tried and true methods for lead generation is to offer a free guide for either home buyers or sellers.
7. Create Ads That Target Specific Interests
Here’s an example of an agent who targeted people interested in fishing for riverfront property.
What are you waiting for?
Pick an ad you want to try but don’t stop there!
Do what the Facebook advertising pros do!
Split test a wide variety of ads and…
Let us know when you find your next monster success!
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”