Wacky Split Test Reveals Startling Results

Last May, I held a media buying workshop here in Toronto and had top media buying experts present the content.  One of the speakers was a good friend and ninja marketer Greg Davis.  I gave him the task of presenting on the importance of your advertising banners when doing any type of media buying.

One of the surprising tactics that he revealed was using images of sensual lips in your ads to increase the click-thru rate (CTR) rate.  He said that in his tests, it worked almost every time and it didn’t matter if the audience was men or women.

I have to admit that I was skeptical, so I put his recommendation to the test on Plenty of Fish ads.  I created a campaign for a weight loss related offer and included an image of sensual lips in one of the ads.

The results were surprising.

lipsI ran multiple ads with the only change in the ad being the image.  These ads were only targeted at women who were between the ages of 40 and 45.  Test after test, the ad with the sensual lips maintained the highest click-thru rate confirming Greg’s own tests.

If you click on the image on the left, it will open up to a full size graphic and you will be able to see the exact click-thru rate of each ad.  The lips ad had the highest CTR rate of 0.058%.  In some cases, this ad beat out other ads 2-to-1.  The closest ad (fast food image) only came in at 0.05%.

If you think about it, it doesn’t make logical sense because lips really don’t have anything to do with weight loss.  I think it is because the image of lips is eye-catching, which leads the prospect to read the ad.

Have you ever had weird results like this in your split tests?  Let me know in the comments section.

Also, I have reopened my Media Buying Sumo course, so if you haven’t had a chance to join you can by clicking here.  You will get access to the entire Media Buying workshop and the video presentations of all the speakers.

Best wishes,

Gauher Chaudhry


  1. Tim Cronin

    Sensual lips: Maybe. Duck-face: No way! LOL

  2. Wow very impressive, to say the least, considering lips and weight loss are two difference aspsects (non-related), but the fact that lips are eye catching would lead to more people reading your ads (as you already stated) – really makes a ton of sense.

    I’ll certainly keep this marketing strategy in mind – makes me want to setup some new campaigns lol.

    Think outside the box!



  3. Ryan Tai

    I think if you add a red colored lips would even better increase your CTR.

    Try and let us know.



  4. Hmmmm, different coloured lips? That would be great to test. Thanks for the tip Ryan.


  5. Bekim Bektesi

    Great tip, thanks Gauher. Ive tried weird images and have had higher CTR but the conversions did not necessarily increase..did you see an increase in conversions? I def need to try LIPS though…i wanted to click on your ad so badly right off this page , the urge is there for sure since lips are actually considered very sensual and can trigger an emotional response for both men and woman alike.. and the best part about it is that its not considered a “dirty” image, as you see on alot of dating ads (jeez I cant even open my facebook with my kids around anymore) . Im off to try this..thanks!

  6. Yes, I would like to know about the conversion rates as well…CTR and Conversions can be likened to : seeing the lips and kissing them !!! Big difference… LOL


    So… my curiosity piqued.. what were conversions like?

    Did an increase in CTR also increase conversion rate on the ad with lips?

  8. Tony/Roy, I will get you that conversion data.

    Should be interesting.


  9. david

    Hey Gauher,
    Please share conversion data.


  10. Jonathan

    As interesting as I think this is, CTR is only part of the story. I’ve had ads where the CTR was through the roof in comparison to other variations but the conversion rate was hideous.

    Also, I’m genuinely shocked you do anything with Greg Davis.

  11. Thanks for the tip Gauher & I’m sure there are so many ways to increase the CTR with photos with people too with these ads.

  12. Hi Gauher
    It’s just as well that you didn’t use the ‘pucker up’ pic in your email (OMG-what a turn-off!).
    The image in the ad is much more appealing and is no surprise to me that it got a better CTR.
    Certainly caught my eye-LOL

  13. Hey Gauher,thanks for your useful tips,i just get started to learn PPV.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.