A/B testing is a core part of any successful developer's monetization playbook. To improve your KPIs, you should test just about everything - from rolling out new ad units and optimizing waterfalls, to determining your ad strategy using capping and pacing. By A/B testing changes in your monetization strategy, you can make data-driven decisions, minimize risk, and increase revenue. Here are 5 of the most important A/B tests you should run.

1. Test a new ad network

Looking for higher fill rates and even higher eCPMs? Integrate as many ad networks as possible so increase the amount competing for your inventory. The best way to know the value of adding a new network is by testing it out first. It’s important to assess whether the ad network would cause any technical issues, and whether the benefits are worth the effort.
The key metric to look for when A/B testing a new ad network is ARPDAU. You should also keep a close eye on metrics like eCPM, engagement rate, and retention.

You’ll be able to find these KPIs in the reporting dashboard of your mediation platform, and even run the A/B test inside the platform, too. For example, ironSource’s quick A/B test tool helps you come to a fast decision about your monetization strategy, with minimal effort. This means you can start increasing revenue as soon as possible, without wasting time on operational overheads.

Use ironSource’s A/B test to test a new ad network

2. Test waterfall optimization

Bidding is quickly becoming the default for monetization, but the industry is still operating in a hybrid mode that combines bidding with traditional waterfalls. Making sure your waterfalls are fully optimized is crucial for maximizing revenue - and A/B testing is the best way to achieve this outcome.

There are numerous waterfall settings that you can A/B test, such as testing a new waterfall for a country, different instance pricing, adding or removing instances, waterfalls for segments, and groups. Groups allow the flexibility to control your waterfall based on country and user segment - or a combination of both.

These settings can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Testing a new waterfall setup, for example, could bring in an influx of highly relevant demand for your ad space, so changing your price points on the instances in your waterfall could help increase competition for your inventory, bringing higher eCPMs and ARPDAU.

The quick A/B testing tool’s biggest pull is its ease of use: it simplifies what is often a complicated and time-consuming process, and lets you change anything you want from your mediation management page.

“Using the A/B test tool, we tried the new waterfall configuration before switching over completely. Doing so proved the waterfall suggested by ironSource performed better - in fact, that waterfall had a 52% higher ARPDAU.”

Alper Reka, Head of Monetization at Ruby Games

Use ironSource’s A/B testing tool for optimizing waterfalls

3. Testing different capping and pacing

A/B testing capping  cappingand pacing can also bring a revenue boost since it helps you find the ad settings that best maximize revenue. For example, if you see that users are highly engaged with a rewarded video placement that’s presented every 6 hours, A/B test the pace and present this placement every 4 hours. Because they were highly engaged with the ad placement, you can test showing the users more ads without sacrificing their user experience - ultimately increasing revenue.

Similarly, you can A/B test increasing the capping, or the number of ads shown in a session. If users are highly engaged with interstitials, you can test increasing the cap - they’ll see more ads and you’ll increase your game’s income. This process should be gradual, because increasing interstitials is a tricky balance - you want revenue, but too many ads can bother users and affect retention.

4. Test banner refresh rate

Adding bannersto your strategy ensures you’re monetizing every user, not just the ones who engage with rewarded ads. To maximize banner performance, A/B test the refresh rate. A 5 second refresh rate will allow for many impressions, but it might not have a successful outcome - it might move too fast to understand the ad content or distract users from focusing on the game. Also, refreshing too often might cause the banner to fail to load properly for the user.

Why not lengthen the banner rate? Users would more likely be more engaged and click on the ads, but then impressions would be minimal. Using the A/B testing tool, you can make specific and intentional changes that will slowly but surely find the sweet spot that keeps the user experience positive, while maximizing your revenues.

Use ironSource’s A/B testing tool to update your banner refresh rate

5. Update rewarded video reward amount

For rewarded videos, the A/B testing tool helps you determine the ideal reward amount - ensuring that you’re maximizing profits in your game by knowing just what to adjust. For example, if players aren’t engaged enough with a specific placement, it could be because they don't see enough value in the reward. To increase engagement, test a different reward amount or even a different type of reward, as long as you’re making one change at a time. Here, you should be most closely monitoring changes in ARPDAU engagement rate, and user retention. 

On the other hand, users who are actively engaged can also be seen as an opportunity to generate revenue. You can A/B test adding more placements similar to these popular ones and find the sweet spot where you maximize revenue and retain high engagement. It’s essential to be mindful of the game economy - if you’re offering more rewards, make sure they still retain their same amount of value.

Use ironSource’s robust A/B testing tool for testing new ad content

A/B testing is the easiest way to evaluate every type of change in your growth strategy. With ironSource’s A/B testing tool, the tech does the heavy lifting, automatically and randomly dividing traffic 50/50 into two groups, with the data presented on the monetization platform so users can view and analyze it all at once. Performance KPIs are totally transparent and can be broken down from day one, so you can track your results and end the test as soon as you’re convinced.

Learn more about our A/B testing tool here.

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