The Importance of A/B Testing 1

Whether your primary goal is building brand awareness, driving qualified traffic, nurturing prospects, driving leads or increasing revenue, one thing is certain – you should be testing. In today’s complex, digital world, marketers are always looking for an edge while getting their messages heard and testing has become an integral part of the strategy. How can you argue with results that are clear winners in resonating with your audience? Why continue using your gut instincts when you can use data? You never know what’s going to work with your audience until you test it. When I complete an A/B test with surprising results, it makes me want to run out and test everything. And that’s what everyone should do…test everything!

There are hundreds of reasons why you should A/B test your content. It’s proven to boost your conversions, improve your marketing ROI, and deliver an overall better experience for your users. When looking at all of the different options and variables, developing an initial testing strategy can be overwhelming, but once you get started, you won’t ever want to stop.

  • Test only a single variable at a time.
  • Define what will make the “winner.”
  • Develop a hypothesis.
  • Schedule the test.
  • Gather data, perform analysis and compare results.
  • Repeat with next test.

Before you know it, your traffic and conversion numbers will be doubling. Don’t forget to have some fun with it.

To make getting started a little easier, I’ve put together a list of options that can start to drive the testing strategy.

  • Calls-to-Action
    • Buy Now? Read More? Find Out More? Add to Cart? The options are limitless. Change the CTA text on your buttons to see which word or phrase drives the most clicks or converts the most visitors.
    • Vary the location of your CTA button—make some more prominent than others.
    • Test different colors, shapes, and sizes for CTA buttons on your banners, landing pages, emails, social posts and website.
  • Visual and Copy
    • Test different types of imagery on your landing page—people vs. products vs. illustrations are a good place to start. Or try stock images versus lifestyle photos.
    • Test different headline texts, adjusting copy to be straightforward, creative or silly.
    • Try a special offer, discount, or promotion to increase engagement and conversion.
    • Test paragraphs vs. bulleted lists.
  • Email
    • Test your subject lines by varying the length, copy and tone to see what best resonates with your audience and increases open rates.
    • Test personalized vs. un-personalized emails by using the recipient’s name in the subject or email text.
    • Find the optimal time to reach your audience by measuring open and click through rates on different days of the week and at different times.
  • Website
    • Test different messaging language to see which voices and styles resonate best with your audience.
    • Try different images (lifestyle, stock, animation) on your homepage to see what generates the strongest connection with your audience and drives further page views.
    • Try different call-to-action buttons and vary the location, such as “Download Now” and “Learn More,” to see which are most appealing to your customers and drives more conversions.
    • Test video, customer testimonials and client reviews against a more basic “About” page to assess the impact of social influence.
    • Test placement of social media buttons on your website to see which locations generate the most click-through rates and shares of your content.

Success in A/B testing requires dedication, creativity, and a commitment to experimentation. It’s important to keep the process continuous so that you are always optimizing your campaigns, using data to drive strategic development.

What have you tested? What result surprised you the most? Share your experiences in the comments below. Happy testing!


Posted by Crissy Trusan essential part of initiate-it’s digital team. initiate-it is a fully committed, fully prepared, full-service agency in Richmond, Virginia.