I get this question asked ALL the time so let’s take a moment to consider our options. Here’s some ways to test your creatives systematically.
1) Timeline. More about that HERE
2) Payout based. Usually 1x-3x the payout you would receive each CPL or CPS etc.
3) Budget/Impression based. The only danger here is that you may under/over test an ad. For example, $5/day doesn’t get you much data. But if that is your budget, make sure that $5 is spent on a very small niche. Better to gain a lot of insight on a small group than to learn very little on a big group.
4) Relative Performance: Look at your set of ads, is 1 ad CLEARLY under-performing relative to the rest of your set? It’d be a safe bet to kill the ad before it hits any of the above mentioned thresholds.
It costs money to test. Everyone knows that but the danger of under-testing is just as damaging as over-testing so please make sure you’re spending your advertising dollars wisely. Do you test your ads in a way not mentioned here? I’m sure the community would love to hear about it, please leave a comment!