A / B testing is a useful practice for all marketers. This technique is based on real, statistical data, and exposes, according to a scientific method, the right decisions to take to optimize your marketing strategy …
By presenting two different versions of a web page to a representative sample of visitors, you are able to know precisely which one works best, allowing you to refine the customer journey to encourage conversions. There are many tools for doing good A / B testing. Some are accessible to everyone, while others, more complete and more technical, may require the support of an expert or the development of internal skills. If A / B testing is not yet part of your toolkit, you will change your mind after reading the following …
A / B testing for your website
This is usually the first channel to be tested. Indeed, the web is often one of the first entry points for a brand and a means of quickly associating an image or a perception, positive or negative. Visual, design, choice of photos, ergonomics, navigation, menu organization, user experience … in just a few seconds a visitor can make a judgment, conscious or not, on your brand. So this is the first barrier to break down and you have to work on the content and the form.
This is where A / B testing comes in: by modifying elements of your site in a subtle way (for example, the location of a title, the choice of a color or the words chosen in a teaser) or more frank (layout, photo or ergonomics), you are able to know what works best. A modification not based on your intuition, but on real behavior.
A / B testing is about following visitors when they don’t tell you anything. They will not leave you a message with practical recommendations. If they don’t like your site, if it’s confused, messy, or poorly organized, they leave you. And that’s what you want to avoid.
If A / B testing requires solutions specifically designed for it, nothing prevents you from launching a campaign using Google Analytics for example. For that, you will have to create a second page to test and, by indicating your variables to Google, you will be able to conduct different experiments quickly. If you prefer a more flexible, easier and more integrated way, then you will have to turn to native solutions which are the real business.
A / B testing for your newsletter
If you run email campaigns occasionally or frequently, there is a good chance that you will use software specifically designed for the occasion, such as MailChimp for example.
Some of these software have advanced functions allowing A / B testing on your shipments. In general, it is possible to run a test campaign on several variables specific to a marketing email campaign, that is to say:
- The subject of your campaign : this is the first thing your contacts will see. So you have to make sure it is clear and punchy enough, depending on your target, your market and your objective. A / B testing on email allows you to send the same content, but with different objects to compare the impact of this on your opening rate;
- Username : It’s subtle, but it can have an impact. Between an e-mail sent from [email protected] or [email protected] and another sent from the e-mail box of a “real” natural person who speaks in your newsletter, there can be a difference important. The more transparent, humane and sincere you are, the more you will gain the trust of your community. It’s up to you to test it!
- The contents : layout of your newsletter, highlighting of certain sections, call to action buttons … you can create different versions of the same email to know which one performs best;
- The sending time : Depending on the time of day, you may have very different results. Choosing the time of a shipment is often based on personal assumptions. But how do you know if your habits can be universally extrapolated? With A / B testing, you can choose the best time to reach your contacts at the right time.
A / B testing for your blog content
Attracting visitors to your blog is one thing.
Getting them to stay there and read it is another.
Again, A / B testing can help. By testing the illustrative image, the titles of your articles or the summaries that encourage reading, you will gradually succeed in enriching your content marketing with an optimization overlay from which you can benefit.
There are different options depending on your approach, budget or goal. Chances are your blog will use the WordPress CMS. If this is the case, you can use the paid Spanish solution of Nelio A / B Testing which is fully integrated into the WordPress interface. Without leaving your CMS, you can easily optimize your content.
If you’re looking for inspiration for free, the Buzzsumo site can help you see what works elsewhere and use it to boost the impact of your headlines or articles. A kind of inexpensive “benchmarking-testing” which, if not statistically reliable, will always allow you to compare yourself with what works at an instant T and have a “trend” in mind.
A / B testing for your social networks
Strictly speaking, it is difficult to do “real” A / B testing on social networks, because obviously you do not have control over the site of the network in question. However, in the area of buying advertising space, particularly on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can create several ad variations that the system will automatically “A / B test” to identify the most relevant.
Launching a sponsored campaign without anticipating variations in your advertisements in advance is a mistake. You have a unique opportunity to do so and you should take advantage of it and not deprive yourself.
In addition, Facebook is currently launching a new feature to “split-test” your ads. The feature only affects performance ads (conversion, download of apps or lead generation), but it allows to obtain relevant data on your ads in real time without waiting for the end of a campaign.
Whatever your objective or the media used, A / B testing must be integrated into your tool kit if you want to optimize your content to sell better. A practice integrated into a continuous improvement process, A / B testing saves you time and money by knowing what to improve and how to improve it. In short, a real winning approach!