What Is A/B Testing In Marketing, And Is It Really Worth The Effort?
Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. It helps businesses to promote their products and services as well as build and maintain healthy relationships with customers. Considering the amount of time and resources it takes to run a successful marketing campaign, it is important to ensure that your marketing efforts will bear fruit. Successful marketing also means removing the guesswork from the process to maximize your investment.
Even as you execute your marketing campaign, you will need to track progress and measure results to establish how well your strategy is performing. Marketing testing can help you to identify the best marketing channel to reach out to your target audience. It is also a great way to identify what works and what does not, effectively allowing you to improve your campaign for the best results.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing, also known as bucker testing or split testing, is a scientific methodology to marketing that allows you to compare two versions of a webpage, app, email, or any other marketing asset against each other. This marketing tool involves comparing just one varying element in the two versions to establish which one performs better. Since the variants of the page are shown randomly to users before the data obtained is used to make decisions, A/ B testing is essentially an experiment. The process depends on statistical analysis to determine the particular variation that will work better for a given conversion goal.
Although A/B testing has been around for some time, it has evolved as technology advanced. With the internet becoming an integral part of the business world, A/B testing in the digital age allows you to test more than one variable at once. For instance, you can run the test on your homepage’s text size, the font, the position of the call-to-action button as well as your links.
You can also evaluate the impact of several changes that do not cost much to implement. By making data-driven decisions, you will be able to effect minor changes that will lead to major improvements in your marketing campaign. While you can try different techniques and strategies, marketing should not be a game of trial and error.
When looking to optimize your website, A/B testing transforms your campaign from one based on what you think or assume to one that is premised on what you know. As such, you can launch and run your market campaign with confidence. You will also be in a better position to avoid guesswork and any other costly mistakes. In the end, every change you make to your marketing campaign will produce positive results.
How Do You Perform an A/B test?
Today, data is at the core of almost every business decision made. With the numerous ways of getting information without having to rely on your instincts, business leaders are increasingly making their decisions based on evidence. As such, it is necessary that you know how to perform an A/B test. Here are some steps to guide you:
Decide What You Want to Test and Why
The first step would be to decide what you want to test and your reason for testing it. When doing this, you should ensure that you define how you want to evaluate the performance of the feature you are testing. Evaluation involves describing the success metric you will use to decide the winning variation.
You should then create variations against which to compare your webpage, headline, app, or marketing asset in question. It is advisable to ensure that the versions have just one varying element. Having one varying element will make your work easier when it comes to identifying the required changes.
Run Your A/B test
To run the test, show your different versions to users at random to establish which one performs better. Since several other factors can influence the success of one of the versions, randomizing the process helps to minimize the chances of other factors driving the results.
Promote the Winner to the Next Control
If you want to make the process thorough, you can run more complex tests that involve the creation of several variations of your control page. Once you have compared two versions, you will promote the winner to the next control. This process is repeated until you find the variation that delivers the best results.
Interpreting the Results
As much as you may use software to do the calculations and hire a statistician to interpret the results, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the output.
Understanding your results makes it easy for you to decide whether to go on with the control version or switch to the new version. How you interpret the results will depend on the success metric you defined at the start of the process.
Are A/B Tests Worth the Effort?
When used continuously and consistently, A/B testing can benefit both your business and customers. Here are some of the benefits of this scientific experiment that make it worth the effort:
Improved Content Engagement
A/B testing helps to ensure better content and improved user experience by testing elements of a marketing asset. These may include colors, fonts, headlines, language, imagery, and call-to-action. You will test one change at a time and use the winning changes to update the experience, depending on their impact on users’ behavior.
Higher Conversion Rates
In A/B testing, you have a simple yet effective way of determining the best content and features to convert visits. You will know what works and improve on it, while at the same time identify what does not work and correct it. In a nutshell, higher conversion rates will ultimately lead to increased sales and growth of revenue.
Reduced Bounce Rates
This process enables you to identify the best combination of elements to attract users and keep them on your site for longer. With improved user experience and valuable content, there is a good chance that more visits will result in conversions. The end result will be a high return on investment.
Using A/B testing helps you to avoid committing costly and time-consuming changes that will not be effective in the long run. Most of your decisions will be well-informed, ensuring you avoid mistakes and enjoy more positive results.
Even with a relatively small sample size, you can obtain insights relating to changes that are most engaging for users. As such, it is possible to optimize your site, apps, and low-converting pages quickly.
Planning Your Marketing Campaign
There are many components that make up a successful marketing campaign. While it is clear that A/B testing plays an important role in your marketing strategy, you need to know when to run the test. Working with an expert will help you to avoid costly mistakes that will hurt your brand. BizIQ offers effective marketing solutions and local SEO packages that help small businesses to increase their visibility and grow. Talk to us to learn more about our products.