What Is A/B Testing And Why Should You Do It?

It’s imperative for all businesses to conduct marketing activities to strive for better-performing campaigns. We all want our conversion rates to be few performance points better, but we don’t want to make changes that can potentially make our campaigns worse. 
 
A/B testing gets you the best of both worlds.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, a.k.a split testing, is an experiment run to test the performance of 2 versions of the same webpage, email, content piece, or other marketing assets. As an example, you may have 2 near-identical landing pages with different calls to action to test the preferred call to action for your audience.

Why do you need to perform A/B testing?

You may have a website or campaign that is meeting your marketing goals, but these can always be improved. A/B testing is what gives you the data to determine what gradual improvements you can make to your websites and campaigns to optimize your marketing funnel.
 
You don’t have to make excessive changes to your marketing to perform A/B tests. You can test something as minor as a color or test something as major as a chunk of website copy.

What elements can you A/B test?

There are so many elements you can test across your marketing assets, which can make it difficult to identify which elements you should focus on. Take a look below to inspire what parts of your websites, campaigns, and content you can split test.
 
  1. Color of CTAs, backgrounds, and text.
  2. Images, audio, & video in your content or webpage.
  3. Subject lines in your emails.
  4. Font, boldness, and size of copy and headlines.
  5. The verbiage, voice, and sentence length of your marketing copy.
  6. Your call-to-action itself. 
  7. The layout of your webpage and emails.
  8. The number of fields in your form.
  9. The promotion of the discount you offer.
  10. The length of content.
  11. Incorporating testimonials, reviews, expert opinion, and media mentions.

What are the steps to A/B testing?

Now you have a website and maybe even the element you want to test, but how do you move forward? Follow the steps below to execute your A/B tests.
 
  1. Identify what you want to test (webpage, email, content,etc.)
  2. Determine what your goals are (clicks, scroll depth, opens, etc.)
  3. Analyze your data to establish a baseline.
  4. Choose an element to test (color, size, image, etc.)
  5. Choose your tools or methods for testing.
  6. Gather a meaningful sample size and split randomly.
  7. Design and launch your experiment.
  8. Give test enough time to accumulate significant data.
  9. Analyze and optimize.
 

What are some A/B testing tools?

At this point, it may seem that A/B testing is both very technical and very expensive to perform, but fortunately for you, neither of those are correct. You can utilize one of the many tools linked below to execute cost-effective A/B testing and optimizations to your marketing activities.
 
  • Google Optimize
  • Optimizley
  • Smartlook
  • Crazy Egg
  • Kissmetrics
  • Hotjar
  • Omniconvert

conclusion

It may seem like an overwhelming concept, but you don’t have to take this idea and A/B test every marketing campaign or marketing asset you have. Start with something that you feel comfortable testing, like an email subject line in your automated welcome series or your abandoned cart series. 
 
Then, as you gain confidence with your optimization tool of choice, expand your testing capacity to the rest of your marketing matrix.
 
What are you waiting for?

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