A/B Testing in Marketing

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Antonio Pršec

Content Writer

Creating a website or email marketing campaign is just the beginning. Once you set up your website, you will want to know if it helps or interferes with sales. A/B testing lets you know what words, images, videos, testimonials, and other elements work best. Because even the simplest changes can impact conversion rates. For example, one test showed that a red CTA button outperformed a green one by 21 percent based on 2,000-page visits.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is testing where you simultaneously compare two versions of a subject to see which one performs better. You compare subjects by showing the two variants, for example, A and B to similar visitors at the same time. The solution that gives a better conversion rate, should be chosen as a winner. Running an A/B test that directly compares two variations lets you ask questions about changes into your app or a website. And then you can easily collect data about the impact of that change. As you can see at the picture bellow variation A gives a better conversion rate. So, variation A is a clear champ here.

A/B testing variations and increase in conversions

Picture 1. A/B Testing variations

Every business website wants visitors converting from just visitors to something else. E-Commerce websites want visitors to buy products, SaaS companies want from visitors who signed up to pay their first subscription etc. The rate at which a website can measure this is its conversion rate. Measuring the performance of a variation A or B means measuring the rate at which it converts visitors to goal achievers. You can then determine whether changing the experience had a positive, negative, or no effect on visitor behavior.

What Can You Test?

Almost anything on your website that affects visitor behavior can be A/B tested. You can test variations of headlines, paragraph texts, testimonials, up to the CTA buttons, links, images, etc. More advanced tests can include pricing structures, sales promotions, free trial lengths, navigation and UX experiences, free or paid delivery, and many more.

Why Should You A/B Test?

A/B testing allows you to make more out of your existing traffic. While the cost of acquiring paid traffic can be huge, the cost of increasing your conversions can be minimal. On the other hand, if you increase your organic traffic, conversion rates can highly increase, for example. Therefore, it’s crucial to experiment with your strategies and other aspects of marketing in general. It’s also often used in a performance-based advertisement.

A/B testing allows everyone who use it to make careful changes to their user experiences while collecting data on the results. By A/B testing, marketers can learn which version attracts more clicks. Let’s say by testing the landing page, they can learn which layout converts visitors to customers best. The overall cost of a marketing campaign can be decreased if the elements of each step are optimized to work as efficiently as possible to acquire new customers.

Before the A/B Test, Pick One Variable to Test

As you optimize your web pages and emails for your marketing campaign, you might find there are several variables you can test. But to evaluate how effective a change is, you will need to isolate just one element. After you isolate it, you will need to measure its performance. Otherwise, if you have multiple variables tested, you can’t be sure which one was responsible for changes in performance.

During the A/B Test, Test Both Variations Simultaneously

If you were to run version A for one month and version B a month later, how would you know whether the performance change was caused by the different design or some outside factor that happened during a month?

When you run A/B tests, you need to run the two variations at the same time, otherwise, you may get distorted picture of your results. The only exception is if you’re testing timing itself. Something like finding the optimal times to send emails.

Conclusion

A/B testing needs to be a staple tool for marketers when they customize their campaigns or websites. As you can see, it’s very effective. Just look at how red CTA button performs better than green one! A/B testing is not a one-off activity. Trends change quickly, so run regular checks to test your results. You should do this for each new campaign or a product. You need to remember that not every test will work. Some elements you test doesn’t even have an impact on the customers. But you will definitely get some knowledge out of it, even though if it wasn’t effective testing. Prepare yourself to start again if you don’t get the response you desire.

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A/B Testing in Marketing was last modified: April 5th, 2019 by Antonio Prsec