The one thing that keeps marketers up at night is whether their campaigns are performing at the optimum level or not? Is it the best they could do or could they have made it better? Whether your digital marketing campaigns are performing as well as you had hoped or not, we all know that there is always room for improvement. The difficult thing to determine here is how. How can we improve our campaigns and achieve more? Which element should we focus on?
This is when you really need A/B testing.
WHAT IS A/B TESTING?
A/B testing is not something new. It has been around for decades. It was here even before social media and even before the internet. Doctors have been using A/B trials for centuries. Even Google used A/B testing to find out which shade of blue would go better in its campaign.
Even marketers have been conducting A/B testing on television and newspaper ads. Once these tests were done, they would try to analyze those tests and then make the necessary changes.
A/B testing is sometimes also called split testing or bucket testing. Simply put, it is a method of taking two versions of a landing page, an app, even a single element of a landing page or a marketing campaign, comparing them against each other and then finding out which one is better. Most of the digital agencies like Webby Giants are using this technique in their design, development and marketing projects.
It is an experiment where two or even more variations of the same element are shown to users at random and then the results are checked against the objectives to find out which one performed better.
WHY IS A/B TESTING IMPORTANT?
It is extremely beneficial for marketers as it takes all the assumptions and guesswork out of campaign optimization and allows you to make informed decisions based on the results. Best practices can only get you so far and with only broad and generic strategies. When specifics are concerned, the need to test different ideas before implementing them becomes greater.
That is why A/B testing is important, as it allows you to actually experiment with your campaigns in front of your real target audience and gives you concrete data which you can use to make your decisions. This way you can ensure that your marketing goals are being met and you can improve your growth rate.
It’s not mandatory to A/B test in the beginning of the campaign, you can do it any time you want. A/B testing is useful before starting any campaign, but it is more beneficial during the campaign as you get to fine-tune your strategy along the way and make the necessary tweaks to achieve maximum results. With constant use, you will see a drastic improvement in your achievements.
WHAT CAN YOU PERFORM A/B TESTING ON?
You can use A/B testing across multiple channels like:
- Email marketing
- Mobile advertising
- Website pages
- Landing pages
- Banner ads
- Social media posts
- Marketing campaigns and more.
Even if you have selected a channel, you don’t have to apply the test on a broad and generic strategy. You can be as specific as you want and evaluate any and all elements based on your needs.
Here are some of the items that you can test:
- Sub headlines
- CTA buttons
- CTA text
- Email subject lines
- Other graphics
- Ad copy
- Color scheme
- Pricing structures
The dilemma now arises that with so many elements to test from, how do you decide which one to test? You can do it randomly, but it is best if you have some kind of structure to your testing.
Analyze the results of your previous campaigns and find out what elements would you like to improve. Find out how visitors are coming to your website and what they are doing, which top web development companies are doing when they are working on their client projects. Which of your pages are they spending the most time on? For email marketing, check the open rate of your emails or the click-through rates and conversions.
HOW DO YOU A/B TEST YOUR MARKETING CAMPAIGNS?
The very first thing that you have to do is to identify which of your elements you would like to test. For example, if you are working on a webmization.com, you can select an element above the fold, or a landing page for the website, a CTA, or any other element that you think needs improvement. Analyze the data to find out if any of the elements are not performing as you want them to. Once you have a number of elements, rank them according to your need and start with the element that you have given the topmost priority to.
Now create two versions of that element. Make sure that you have some metrics that will help you track your tests. It could be more sales, more comments and shares of your post, more subscribers for your newsletter or anything else.
You need to have a timeline for your tests. How long would you run your A/B test? Depending on your marketing campaign, it shouldn’t be too short or too long.
Once all these things are done, run the test. You can only test one element at a time. This way, if there are any changes in the results, you will know which element is responsible for it. Run both the versions of the element at the same time and make sure that all the factors affecting both the elements are the same. This will include demographics, group size, and other similar variables.
Once you have run the test for the allotted period of time, compare and analyze the results and make the changes accordingly. If your tests are inconclusive or if the variations are not a lot, then change your assumptions and run again.
BENEFITS OF A/B TESTING FOR DIGITAL MARKETING
A/B testing provides exceptional benefits for digital marketing campaigns. Some of them are:
Decrease in Confusion and Assumptions
As mentioned above, A/B testing provides you with the ability to make decisions based on hard facts and statistics instead of doing guesswork. You will know exactly what your audience will relate to and what they won’t. You can target them better and guarantee sales and conversions.
Continuous Improvement over time
Before A/B testing, marketers would make their decisions based on their hypotheses and assumptions and wouldn’t be able to check their decisions until after the campaign was over. With A/b testing, you can constantly improve your performance and get closer and closer to your goals.
This is the end result of your A/B testing. The more you test your elements, the better your performance, the better ROI you will see at the end of the campaign.
Knowing all these facts, we can safely say based not on assumptions, but on facts that A/B testing is a lifesaver for marketers and can positively affect digital marketing campaigns. You get to improve your performance, and reduce wastage. Not only will it bring more ROI, it will also cut your costs and increase your campaign’s reach.
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