Analytics

The Power of A/B Testing

Being able to track your data is one of the most important things you can do as a marketer.

Source: AndSim / iStock / Getty

Marketers make many decisions daily about promoting their company’s products or services. Decisions like:

  • Should your website have a lightbox or a sidebar for e-mail signups?
  • Should your Facebook ad use video or simply a graphic?
  • Should your e-mail funnel make a sales pitch in the third, fourth, or fifth e-mail?

Making these decisions can feel terrifying, as if one wrong move can push customers away forever. But with A/B testing, you can track the differences between your options and make strategic decisions that will help your company move forward.

A/B testing sounds fancy, but it’s actually incredibly simple. It’s just testing two variants against each other and tracking their differences. By running two options at the same time, you’ll have the clearest picture of which is most effective because any outside factors won’t be affecting results. For instance, if you set up your landing page with one layout (A) and another layout (B) and utilize a program like Optimizely to experiment with both, the data you collect will be clearer than if you had run A for a few weeks and then B. Different times of year, different social media posts, or different e-mails you’re sending could affect which pages people go to, unless you’re running them at the exact same time.

So what are the benefits of A/B testing?

First of all, it allows marketers to make better decisions. You can quickly learn things about your audience by running parallel campaigns, whether it’s e-mail headline preferences or different forms of Facebook ads. The more data you have on your customers, the more you’re able to attract them.

Secondly, A/B testing will help you save money. Instead of spending your dollars on advertising campaigns, copywriters, or boosted posts that don’t convert, you’ll know you’re getting the most bang for your buck. If all of your e-mails with capitalized headlines get opened, you know that the best use of your e-mail marketing platform is to create e-mails with capitalized headlines. More e-mails will get opened, and more customers will be served.

When implementing A/B testing, make sure your differences are subtle. If you have a lightbox with a call to action and a landing page with different wording, colors, and graphics, it’s hard to know what to tweak. Your tests should be as similar as possible to narrow down which detail makes the difference.

A/B testing gives you more information, which will inevitably lead to higher conversions. Instead of making decisions in the dark, utilize strategic testing, and make the best decisions for your business.