A/B Testing: Why you should be doing it.

25 August 2015, posted in Tips

A/B TESTING: Why You Should Be Doing It.

A/b testing

Your company has decided to run an email marketing campaign to inform new and existing clients about a new product or service you can offer. 500 emails go out and you watch your Inbox waiting for the response. And you wait. And you wait. And…..you get 1 response from a Company asking to be taken off your mailing list. Where did you go wrong?

“We should use the A/B testing methodology a lot more than we do today” – Bill Gates, 2008

So what is A/B testing? It is an experiment which as the name implies, has two versions, A and B. A and B are identical to each other except for one variant e.g. in an email marketing campaign, you could have the same content but the subject line would be different. Both versions are sent at the same time to over 500 people and the one which has the greatest click-through rate wins.

It’s a good idea to carry out several A/B tests before making a final decision regarding which campaign works best for you so before you start, make a list of the different variables you want to test and in which areas of your business they are in. The list is endless but here are a few examples:

AREAS FOR TESTING:

VARIABLES:

  • Call to Action
    • Change the button colour
    • Change where it is positioned on the page
    • Change the words e.g. “Call us now” or “Find out more”
  • Heading
    • Change the subject line to see which works best; this is particularly relevant in an email marketing campaign
  • Graphics
    • Change the position of the graphics on the page
    • Try an advertisement with or without graphics
    • Change the style of graphic; it might be that customers prefer a cartoon character
  • Timings
    • Change the day of the week that you send out emails or tweet
    • Change the time of the day
    • Change the frequency; marketing campaigns have to be repeated to be successful – up to 6 times for a flyer.

WEBSITES

A/B testing can also be carried out on your website by using Google Analytics. This is a free tool from Google that does what it says, analyses your website.   It is easy to use and gives you a great insight into what’s happening on your site which might explain why 70% of the top 10k websites in the world use it! By using Google Analytics, you will be able to find out amongst other things, when visitors visited your site, how long they stayed there, how many unique visitors you had, how many pages they visited and from what part of the world they were from. By analysing the data you can adapt your campaigns accordingly – for example you might find that most of your visitors landed on the news page. Conclusion? Keep writing articles.

And remember:

  • Only test one variable at a time
  • Carry out your tests simultaneously
  • Gather enough material to make it statistically relevant (don’t send it to just 10 people!)
  • Make a list of the things you want to test: don’t just test one thing, have a plan

And if your first A/B testing isn’t successful, keep going. You will wonder why you ever carried out campaigns in the past without doing the research first. Well-planned A/B testing is a great way of researching which of your online promotional and marketing campaigns work best for your business – and more business = success!

If you would like us to carry out A/B testing on your existing website or marketing campaigns or to design a website for you (Google Analytics included), give us a call on 01722 671 971

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