We are consumed by huge amounts of data every single day.
Yes, we meant to say ‘we are consumed’ rather than ‘we consume.’ We’re exposed to over 3,000 ads every single day, each one demanding a portion of our time. Our attention is literally eaten away by media.
As a marketer, how do you cut through all that noise and make an impact with your ads?
It’s all about A/B testing.
Once your creative team have come up with the campaign, it’s A/B testing that allows you to refine it, optimise it, and get the results you want.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is essentially comparing two versions of something to determine which one performs better.
These versions tend to only have one small difference between them: wording, headline image, call-to-action; something minor that could still make a major difference in conversion rates and user experience.
For example, changing the order of a pay-per-click advert can make all the difference. For example: “Get 10% off your first purchase. Book online now!” versus “Get an additional 10% off when you book online now”. The first is a lot more direct, but could also be seen as off-putting and aggressive. The second is more diplomatic but might lack the drive required to close a sale. The right option for your audience can be revealed through A/B testing.
What Should I A/B Test?
Everything you can, basically.
- Websites and landing pages. Experiment with wording, images and design, placement of CTAs, colours, features, and content. Do you have a header image or is it a slider? Do you have featured blog posts on your home page or not?
- Emails and newsletters. Most CRMs have inbuilt features that allow you to A/B test. Try testing out different subject lines, different days and times, different CTAs, and different designs.
- Ads. Depending on what kind of ads you’re running, you can experiment with the titles, body copy, image or video, and so on.
- Promotions. What’s more enticing to your customers: a discounted price, or the same price with a freebie thrown in? The only way to know for sure is to test!
Can’t I just change everything at once?
Testing one variable at a time helps you pinpoint which changes had an effect on their visitors’ behaviour, and which ones did not. If you change too many things all at once, you won’t know what worked – and you won’t know which elements to keep using, and which ones to scrap.
The idea of A/B testing is that over time, you’ll develop a deeper knowledge of the most effective tactics for your target audience, and you’ll be able to build more cost-effective marketing campaigns with greater and greater ROI.