Designing a marketing campaign and running it before testing it can harm your brand image, push away potential customers, and affect conversions. That is why there is an A/B testing method.
What is A/B Testing?
This is a marketing experiment done to test the ad campaigns, mobile applications, blogs, web pages, emails, etc. This test is conducted by comparing two versions of one thing by varying just single element at a time.
Also known as split testing, this test allows you to give only the best. The A/B testing improves efficiency. The process can be time-consuming as you test the campaign by changing one element at a time but the benefits it offers are multitude.
A well-planned A/B test can bring in flourishing results and proves quite effective in marketing.
Elements of A/B Testing
You can change certain elements one by one to see which works better and what fails to impress. Here are the elements that you can change while conducting the A/B Test.
- Subject title, subtitles
- Text (its font, size, colour)
- Page layout
- Product descriptions
- CTA button
- Colour schemes
You can vary the above-mentioned elements and develop two variants.
How does A/B Testing Work?
We know the overview of how A/B Testing works. But let us see it in detail:
* Collect data
* Identify goals
* Generate hypothesis
* Create variations
* Run the experiment
* Analyse the results
A/B testing works randomly. It shows results that are accurate and based on them, you decide which campaign to run and how much budget you need to set.
The first step in the A/B testing is to collect all the data you have. Pick up one independent variable on which you have to work i.e., you need to change. Make different changes and see the results.
The next step is to identify goals. Although you will choose a number of metrics; it is important to choose a primary metric where you need to put your focus on. Choose a dependent variable and reach to the next step i.e., develop hypothesis.
Hypotheses is generated to see what possible results you can get. Then examine your results based on the hypothesis. Setting goals and hypothesis is utmost important. Without these, you may not set up the test in the most effective manner.
Next is to bring in variations, that too one by one. This is done by creating two separate groups; one is ‘control’ group, and the other one is ‘challenger’ group. The control version is already in use and the second version changes a single element.
Let us understand it with an example; for instance, you can show half of your visitors the landing page with the blue CTA and other half with the red CTA. Compare the versions and see which one results in more purchases.
This test is conducted by using different A/B testing tools.
Why Is It Important?
This is the only test through which you can determine which marketing will work the best for your campaign. If conducted properly, A/B test can make a huge difference in your ROI i.e., Return on Investment.
If you get to know that by bringing a single variation, your campaign performs three, or four times better, risking a huge budget and running the ad without testing it would be sheer carelessness.
Consistency is the key, works here as well. By testing the campaign consistently, you will see better results because at the end of the day, you would know what will work and what will not. Other than this, let us see other benefits that A/B testing has to offer:
Improves User Engagement
The continuous testing by changing variables helps you to know the user behavior.
This testing is the most efficient, simplest, and effective testing. This will tell you which content works the best to get in more conversions. What better than this?
Reduced Bounce Rates
When the visitors like the content, they stay on the page for longer time. The test is conducted to find which content and marketing material is the best for your campaign.
Even a small sample size can prove to be significant in creating a successful campaign. The results are immediate and you can act upon them as soon as you get the results.
You Can Test Every Element
Forms, text, images, CTA, every single element is testable. Apart from this, every other element of the app or the page can easily be tweaked and tested.
Through A/B testing you can avoid wastage of money that comes with running campaigns without testing them. You can take better decisions, avoid mistakes, that might not be possible otherwise. So, through A/B testing you reduce the risk of wasting time, money, and energy.
So, we can say you get full control over your marketing campaigns and strategies.
Now, that we know the benefits of A/B testing, let us see how the testing should be planned and finally conducted.
How Do You Plan an A/B Test?
Planning should be the first thing you should be doing. Planning is important because it helps in figuring out what you want from the outcome.
Two types of tests are conducted like, on-site and off-site test. If you run an on-site test, you might think of all the sales related elements on your website. For instance, you may test, headlines, calls to action text, calls to action location, pop ups, featured images, copy, and the number of fields in a form.
With off-site tests, you either test an ad or an email. When we test a copy to see which ad works well, you get to focus more on advertising. Once you know, your ad is working and showing results, you can put more budget into it. The same goes for the emails too.
Send two types of emails and see which works better. Do this at the same time and then measure the results.
In case of emails, you get to write more effective emails. Once you are aware of the marketing material you want, make a list of all the variables. If you have decided to test your call-to-action, you might even test the location, text used, the button color, and the surrounding space.
A/B testing involves proper procedure. It is done prior to taking the final decision. It must be conducted with utmost efficiency; else it may not turn fruitful.
How Much Time Does A/B Testing Take?
This is not a matter of a day or two. This test takes time. It is not an overnight project. Depending on the amount of traffic you get on the ad or on the webpage, you may even have to run this test for a couple of weeks. Just keep in mind that you would only run a single test to get accurate results. One at a time should be the thumb rule. Running a test for less time will only affect the accuracy of the results. This is because, you will not get to test a large number of visitors. The results may even get affected by testing it for a longer time because there are so many variables and it gets difficult to control them for a longer time.
The best part is that you can run the test again whenever you feel doubtful.
It is suggested to test one variable at a time. Give it enough time to run and after that examine the results.
Can you test more than once?
We can approach it in two ways. For instance, you just want to test your headline and you have three variations of it. In such a case, running the ad separately with each variable by splitting the visitors into three groups rather than two will still be called an A/B test.
If the ad is running well, you may even want to give it more days to run so that you can get enough results.
When you test more than one element at a time, for example, a headline, and calls-to-action button, it is referred to as multi-variate test.
The multivariate tests take time and are complicated to run. To get better results, you would need a proper team to monitor results, compile the data and analyze.
Multivariate testing can overwhelm you with the tasks, but it should not be avoided. There are multiple platforms that help in conducting multivariate testing. With the use of the right procedures, you will be able to handle the extra workload.
But to get more accurate results, you must carry the A/B testing.
A/B testing is crucial to get better results. But when you get results, you must even know how to analyze the results. The best way is to make sure you have enough data. To know which variation will perform better, you must have at least two weeks of data. Apart from that, use A/B testing significance calculator. Other tools are also available.
To get fair results, it is better to take help of the best lead generation company. The Big Unit in Australia, is one such agency. Reach out to them if you are looking forward to great conversions.