A Guide to A/B Testing
When you are trying to figure out which tactics work for digital marketing, it is commonly suggested that you run A/B tests. This can give you a better picture of what your target audience responds to and how to capture their attention better.
A/B testing can be used in a variety of ways. You can perform A/B tests on email subject lines, newsletter design layouts, social media ad call to actions, and more. When you are trying to figure out what works best for your digital marketing efforts, A/B testing is the best method.
How to Start an A/B Test
A/B testing is a great way to figure out if there are better ways to connect with your target audience. If you have noticed a dip in email campaign open rates or display ad click-through rates, it could be the perfect time for an A/B test.
Running and A/B test is fairly simple. First, you need to decide what you want to run the test on. For the sake of ease, we will use email subject lines. In order to perform the test, you need to create two different subject lines for the same email.
It is recommended that you use a subject line that was previously performing well and the create a distinctly different subject line to compare it to. Divide your email list in half. One half will get the A version with the old subject line and the other half will get the B version with the new subject line.
In order for the test to deliver usable results, deliver both the A and B emails on the same time of the same day to both the email lists.
What to Do After the Test
After you have performed the A/B test, you can analyze the results. If you were testing email subject lines, you would compare the open rate of the A group to the B group. If the group with the different subject line had a higher open rate, you now know that you should try some similar tests.
If the alternate version of the test delivered better results, it is tempting to go ahead a change everything to fit with that test. It is strongly suggested to not do that.
After you have seen the results, you should perform at least three additional tests to prove out the theory. If the other tests deliver the same positive results, you can then go ahead and apply what you learned from the A/B test to the strategy moving forward.
A/B testing is a vitally important part of every digital marketer’s wider strategy. When you A/B test, you get a better picture of your customers and what they respond to. Consistent A/B testing allows you to stay ahead of changes in your customers wants and preferences. This prevents your marketing efforts from falling behind and scrambling to regain lost customers.
A/B testing also allows you to consistently improve and innovate. Customers notice if you have been doing the same thing over and over and this can cause them to lose interest. A/B testing helps you stay top of mind for your customer.
How A/B Testing Can Help You
A/B testing is one of the most underutilized forms of market research. It is inexpensive, easy to execute, and give you real-time data on your current customers. It also helps you stay abreast of changes in the customer mindset ensuring that you can stay ahead of any marketplaces changes.
Proper A/B testing can make all the difference in your digital marketing strategy. The more you know about your customers, the better off you will be.
If you want to learn more about A/B testing and how it can improve your digital marketing efforts, check out my done-for-you system.