When you will be about to launch any digital marketing campaign for your business, your brand, for your product, to get more sales, to get more brand awareness, or to just get more sales, it will be an obvious thing that you will be spending many hours or you might even spend tens of hours in doing the research before you launch the marketing campaign.
But even after the tens of hours spent in the research, still your marketing campaigns often result in failure, and you might wish at that time that there was might a way which you could use in order to find the best marketing strategy and have the least amount of chances of failing.
But is there any?
Yes, there is one and it is called A/B testing.
Confused about its name, or you are not familiar with it, and you are worried that you might not be able to go with the article since your lack of familiarity with A/B testing, well do not worry as I have got you covered.
What do I mean by A/B testing?
Define A/B testing, there are a lot of definitions on the internet, some include various other things while others exclude them, but here I am going to represent the simplest one that will be easiest for you to understand.
In A/B testing, you are testing two different versions of your marketing campaign or anything that is a part of your marketing campaign and relates to it, and then you see which version of the marketing campaign performed better than the other. One version of the marketing campaign can be taken as version A while the other can be taken as version B.
The two versions that you will be testing in A/B testing will be shown to two different parts of your audience, which will mean that your audience will be divided into parts, and each part will see a different version of the marketing campaign.
A/B testing can include testing various elements, or campaigns such as testing different Landing page versions, different website versions, different emails, and different pop-ups to find out which one of the many versions performs the best.
If you’re wondering how many versions of the campaign are tested, well generally two versions are tested such as testing two different versions of a landing page.
To give you an example of A/B testing which is often done and also can be very useful to you if you ever do it, is that you test out two different color themes of your landing page or of your Pop up.
Let’s say that you are confused about choosing the color theme of your landing page or you are just wondering whether changing the color theme of your landing page will provide you with better results, presume that you are confused about whether you should add a green-themed color to your landing page, or you should add a blue colored theme to your landing page and do not know which one will perform better.
What you can do here is that you do A/B testing and test two versions of your landing page where in one version the color theme of your landing page is green while in the other one, the color theme of your landing page is blue.
Now you will run the A/B test for some time, and then you will see results and will know which version of your landing page performed better, if the green-themed landing page performed better, then you should continue with it and give up the blue one, if the Blue one performed better, you should continue with it and give up the green colored theme landing page.
A/B testing does not only limit to just testing two different colors of the landing page but it can be used to test little things as well such as text.
However most of the time, A/B testing is used to improve marketing existing that you have already tested out, in such methods, the two elements that you will be testing will not be random, rather one will be random and the other will be one that you have previously used or you are familiar to it.
It can also be taken as a control or an experiment group, the control element will be the one with which you are already familiar, and you know what kind of results will it bring however the other one which is the experiment element will be the one that you are not familiar with and want to know whether it will perform better than the first one or worse.
In this way, you will be able to continuously improve your marketing campaigns with time rather than just sticking to one campaign all the time while you could have added better elements to your campaigns to get better results. even if your A/B testing does not provide positive results with the controlled element, still you will learn a lot of data and in the future, you will have more knowledge which can result in adding elements o your marketing campaigns that will improve it drastically.
Why A/B testing is important?
Now since you are familiar with that A/B testing is, and you can now also relate A/B testing with the practice use that you can have with it, There might be some other questions in your mind about why A/B testing matters and why is it important that you should be giving your time to it?
Well, to give you an idea of how important A/B testing is, it can single-handedly improve your revenue by multiple times.
Imagine that you do A/B testing with an ad campaign, and then you find out that one version provided you with 3 times better ROI than the other, and then you continue with the strategy which performed better, you would be getting 3 times more revenue that you were getting before, all possible thanks to A/B testing.
And I do not think that there is any business on this planet that does not want to get more revenue out of their marketing campaigns, in the short term or in the long term.
So if the amount of revenue that you generate matters and is important to you which obviously it will be, then A/B testing should also be important to your business since it can drastically improve the revenue that you generate from your online business.
However, revenue is not the only thing that is affected by A/B testing and can be improved by doing it. there are a lot of other factors as well which A/B testing affects and those factors can also be an important element of your marketing strategies.
One of the big factors which can be improved with A/B testing other than revenue is the understatement that you have with your audience, you might not understand this phrase at first but I can simplify it for you.
If you are thinking to launch a new design for your website but you are a little confused about whether that new design should be a little smooth, a little bit, or whether that new design should be strong, hard, and not look cute, well then by doing A/B testing you will find out which works better, and therefore you will know the taste of your audience, you will know what type of designs sit in the heart of your audience and which type of design does not.
If you are about to run an ad campaign, but you are not sure which type of subject line will provide you with the best results, then just A/B test various subject lines for your ad campaign and in the end, you will find out which subject line performed better than the other and by how much.
Without A/B testing, how will you be able to test different versions of the same campaign, and if you could do it, it would have taken way more time, way more effort to properly collect data and then calculate that data, while there will also be some lack of accuracy as well.
Testing out different price points with A/B testing has proved to provide huge revenue improvements to companies, you might be surprised that in A/B testing, where a company just decreased the price of their product by one cent improved their sales drastically.
A/B testing is also great for improving the conversion rate, adding and testing things for centering the visitor’s attention on the part of the website where you want them to focus.
Bounce rate is another thing that can be improved with the help of A/B testing since a huge part of your traffic will just bounce off your website which is not only terrible for conversions but also for SEO, you can fix that with A/B testing by displacing some elements, adding new elements and overall making changes to your website and A/B testing will provide you results whether your changes were successful in improving the bounce rate.
Without A/B testing, you will just be shooting arrows with closed eyes.
things to test in A/B testing
As you have been reading this article, you would have found out there A/B testing is not only limited to testing limited things, as it can be used to test any different versions of a campaign, however, there are some which should be your top priority when testing or doing A/B testing, and I am going to mention them below.
It is best to test things that will have a big impact on your website rather than testing those small things on your website which even if you can improve them drastically will not have a drastic effect on your website and you will end up spending a lot of time on those elem4ents which you should have spent on these elements which can have a drastic effect on your website.
Out of all the different elements that you have on your landing page or on your website, the Headline is one of the first things which will be seen by your visitors, and also it will be the point that will make the first impression of your visitor which can be as important as a deciding factor between a conversion and a bounce.
The headline can be that thing that can make the visitor think about doing the action that you want him to take, it can be as small action as giving the email address to a little big action such as purchasing a product.
Bad headlines will not only decrease the conversion rate but also increase the bounce rate, as well as decrease the user engagement with the landing page or with the website.
That is why it is crucial that you do A/B testing with your Headline and find out which works the best to decrease the bounce rate, increase the conversion rate, and increase the interest of the visitors in the product that you are selling or in the offer that you are showing to them.
CTA or as you may call it call to action to a large extent shows its definition by its name as it calls the user to do an action, which can be anything depending on you.
It is usually in the form of a button and invites the users to take the final action and complete the action.
in other words, CTA is the place which e will be responsible for completing the conversion rate, and if you have a bad CTA on your website, it will mean that you will not be able to complete most of your website conversions.
Since everything on your landing page has a sole purpose, and that purpose is to somehow get the visitor to click on the CTA button, and if the CTA button is not good enough to get the visitor to click on it, then the whole effort that you put in all the elements of your landing page will be wasted.
Whether your purpose is to collect email addresses, or your purpose is to invite the user to sell the product, the importance of the CTA button on your landing page and its effect on the conversion will be the same.
It should be clear to your how important it is to A/B test your CTA button, test its placement, its position on the landing page, the text in it, its color, and everything related to the CTA button.
Different properties of buttons
On your website it is a common thing to have different buttons for the visitor to get on the various pages of your website, they are a great way to increase the time a visitor spends on a website and get the visitor to dive deeper into the website.
But it does not matter how many buttons you have, what matters more is the placement, size, and other properties of those buttons which will decide how positive or negative effect will they have on your website.
It is vital to test out the position of those buttons on your website, see from which position they work the best and from which position they have the least effect.
The size of those buttons also matters, and you should test out different sizes of those buttons by A/B testing to find out the ideal size that you should have for various buttons on your website.
Their design can also affect the results, so A/B testing the design of the button can also be a wise step to do in order to get better results.
Nowadays, graphics is a common thing to see on a landing page or a website, however, different graphics can provide you with different results.
Soe graphics might do a better thing in relating with your product but others might not, in the same way, some graphics might be able to attract visitors in a better way than the others.
This is why it is important that you do A/B testing with the graphics that you have on your website or on your landing page.
You should be testing out different kinds of graphics, with different designs and you will find out that they will provide you with different results, some will provide you with better results but others will not thanks to the A/B test that you did.
Graphics are not the only visual that you will have on your landing page or on your website, there will be a lot of other visuals that you will have on your website in order to get the visitors engaged and images will be a major part of it.
Like graphics, Images are also a way to connect your audience with the product that you are trying to promote or at least get the conversion, some images will do a better job in doing this, while others might be able to make the visitor connect with the product or the conversion that you are trying to make.
But how will you find which images work better than the other, well b A/B testing, you will find out which type of images work better than the others, and this will also be the reason you will be able to understand your audience and see which type of images they like, and of which type they do not, which will also help to get even better results in the coming time.
Number of fields to fill
Whether you have a landing page or a pop-up form, it is a common thing to have fields so that visitors can fill in the information, does not matter if you just want to get his email address or you are selling something.
Now how many fields you should add to your landing page in order to collect the email address and other important information such as the first name of the visitor who is giving you their email depends upon a lot of factors.
Adding too many fields to your form can end up dropping the conversion rate, which will mean that you will end up collecting fewer emails than you would have been able to if you had required fewer fields to fill for the visitor in order to sign up.
However, only including one field or very few fields are also not good on the other hand since even though you will end up collecting more emails, you will have way fewer data about those email addresses which will make it very hard for you to market to those email addresses as compared to if you had required them more fields to fill.
Now the question is, which route should you take, should you include more fields to get more data about the emails but then sacrifice the number of emails that you collect or you should require as few as possible fields for the visitor to fill in order to collect more emails but sacrificing the information about those email addresses.
Well, there is no clear answer, and to find the answer you will need to do A/B testing of these two variations and see which variation works better for you.
The sweet spot is to ask for the first name and for the email address but then can also cause a drop in the conversion rate if we compare it to only asking for someone’s email address.
Pop-ups are another very vital element of a website, as they perform a vital role in collecting email addresses.
However Pop-ups also contains a lot of variations between one another, and some work better than other but how will you find out which type of Pop up will work better for your website than the other?
Simply by doing A/B testing, just test out different types of Pop-ups, and then by doing A/B testing you will find out which type of the Pop up worked better for you, and then you can continue with it.
When testing Pop-ups, you should be testing the design of the Pop-ups as they can also have a good effect, not only on their design but their color as well, their size their position, and other such elements.
These elements that I mentioned which should be your top priority when doing A/B testing are done on your website, but there are a lot of other things as well which should be your priority when running A/B tests but they are not found on your website rather off of it.
The biggest of such elements are the ads that you will be paying to run, and therefore will be as important to the A/B test as your own website.
The other important element to test with A/B testing which is not found on your website is your emails which you will be sending out to your email list to sell products or for other marketing goals.
In ads, just test out two different versions of an ad and see which one provides you with more sales and with better results.
And in email, just test out different variations of an email like subject line, email body, and other metrics and then find out which is better than the other thanks to A/B testing.
Things you need to do A/B testing
Before you start any kind of marketing campaign or anything with your online business, you must have a goal in your mind that you are looking to achieve with launching that campaign and the same goes for A/B testing.
You should have something in your mind, a type o goal that you will expect to achieve by doing A/B testing, it can be to find a better solution than you currently have, or it can be to find out whether making some changes will be a better or the worst thing for your website.
There will be a lot of things that you should have prepared before you start an A/B test and I am going to mention the below
Which element that you want to test
Before you make two variations of something, first decide what you are going to test with A/B testing, is it the subject line, is it the image, is it the CTA button, or anything else, you should first decide it
The two variations that you want to test
Ofcourse this is these of A/B testing, and it will be the reason that you will be doing A/B testing in the first place, so you should have two different variations of something to test, it can be two different variations of your website, landing page, your email or of your ad or of anything. One variation should be that you already are using, and the other one should be the newer one with which you are not familiar and you do not know how will it work for you
Tools to run A/B testing
You cannot run A/B testing on your own, you will need tools to run A/B testing, that will gather all the data and will overall run the whole process for you which would not have been possible without using the tool for you. I will mention some tools that you can use to do A/B testing later in this article
You should also decide that how long you are going to the A/B test, depends more on the amount of traffic that you have rather than your own references, the more traffic that you have, the less time it will take you to finish the A/B testing and vice versa, you can say that the time taken to finish to A/Btesting is inversely proportional o the amount of traffic that you have.
The final step will be to run and launch the A/B testing after you have set it up.
Time taken by A/B testing
As talked about this earlier, it largely depends on the amount of traffic that you have to your website.
However, if you want a general number, you should run A/B testing for around a week if you have traffic somewhere between 15k-20k, and the lower the traffic, the more time you will need to run the A/B testing.
Do not make the mistake of running A/B testing too short as then you will get inaccurate data in the results which can ruin your marketing strategies, even more, be patient A/B testing is a long process and cannot be done in an hour in a night.
Is A/B testing limited to testing only 2 elements at a time?
Yes, you can test more than 2 variations of the same element at one time, but you should not test different variations of more than one element at a time as then you will not know what caused a change in the results.
To explain this, testing three or four different variations or colors of a CTA button in single A/B testing is an efficient method, but testing different variations of headlines, CTA buttons and images is not the best idea.
Best tools for doing A/B testing
There are a lot of tools that you can help with doing A/B testing, but if you want to do A/B testing for your website or for your landing page, then Leadpages should be your best choice.
However, if you want to do A/B testing with your email marketing strategies, then you will need to use other tools such as Constant contact.
Analyzing the data of the results
After your A/B testing has finished, the tool that you used will provide you with analytical data which will show you the results that you got with the different variations of the A/B test, and then you will be able to know whether variation A worked better or worse than the variation B.
If the results that you have gotten are not clear, then you should most probably run the test for some more time so that you can get some more clear results and can make future decisions easily and more effectively.
A/B testing is important and should be of your marketing strategy as without utilizing it, you will not be able to find the best marketing strategies for your business.
A/B testing is not only limited to testing ad campaigns rather it is also used to test different variations of the landing pages, websites, email marketing, and many other strategies involved with your business.
In this article, I have covered all the topics and questions anyone will have regarding A/B testing from its basic definition to the time it will take and at last the tools that you will need in order to execute A/B testing.
If you have any further questions, you can ask me in the comments and I will be more than happy to answer them.