You’ve got a great idea for an article, social media post or ad campaign and you have a hunch that it could be successful. But you don’t have any data to back up that hunch.
That’s where A/B testing, also known as split testing, comes in.
A/B testing is the most effective way to deconstruct a marketing campaign, to discover what is achieving results and what is not.
Essentially, it’s the only way to truly and definitively know which activities work and what your audience responds well to.
In an A/B test, slight variations are made to a landing page, social media post, a headline, call-to-action or advertising campaign, and the results of each variation are compared.
For example, you might run a promotion with three different headings: “Click here to win $20 off your next purchase!” and “Sign up for $20 off your next purchase!” and “Become a VIP member and receive $20 off your next purchase!”
A/B testing can help you refine your broad marketing strategies by showing which messages are most powerful, and it can also work at the micro level, revealing how variables like the use of exclamation points can sometimes make a significant difference.
You can test practically any variable, from times and days that email blasts are sent out, to most responsive social media platforms.
Split testing is a scientific approach to marketing
The great thing about split testing is that it’s a scientific method of measuring actuals.
Information gained from A/B testing isn’t clouded by emotion or hype from an over-excited marketing executive – it is empirical evidence.
And like a science experiment, it allows you to create and test assumptions.
Do you have an idea you think your customers will respond well to? Go test it!
A/B testing and the rule of three
There are certain rules that ensure the integrity of split testing and one is the rule of three.
Testing three variants at once has been found to determine effective outcomes.
For example, test the same blog post with three different headlines and see which is the most engaging.
It’s also important to keep all the audience variables as static as possible.
Try to target similar demographics at similar times of day and even same days of the week.
Limit your tests
Test one variable at a time.
Having too many variants can make it hard to draw a conclusion about which part of your marketing strategy is or isn’t working.
For example, if you are testing a blog post, change just the heading rather than the heading and the image.
By only changing one variant you can test that element, instead of being left wondering whether it was the headline or the image that was most effective.
Any split testing is pointless if it’s not followed up by regular analysis.
Drilling down to the details with your split testing will only shed more and more light on what is working and what is not.
Don’t assume that success in one marketing campaign means the same strategy will be successful in another.
Testing and analysis needs to be a part of every marketing plan.
Once you start split testing you will be surprised at what you didn’t know about your customers, and how easy it is to modify your marketing for better results.
Discover the benefits of A/B testing
Would you like to leverage split testing to find out what your customers want? We can help.
Give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or fill in the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.