When and How to Use A/B Testing

A/B Testing is one of the most powerful tools in an Internet Marketer’s toolbox. It can really help a business see more leads coming in with less spent on advertising. It is one of the tools that separates the really effective marketers from those who are not. Think of a huge internet retailer and the chances are high that they use A/B testing all the time.

A/B Testing Is A Very Effective ToolWhen Do You Need A/B Testing?

Almost every business can benefit from A/B testing somewhere in their marketing efforts, but here some situations that really show a great possible gain from A/B testing.

  1. You have an online advertising campaign and you are getting lots of clicks, but no one is signing up on your landing page.
  2. You have an email newsletter and you aren’t getting a very good open rate – less than 20%.
  3. You are sending emails and people are opening them, but you aren’t getting the response you want after that (clicks, downloads, video views, etc.)
  4. You are getting clicks on your ads and sign-ups, but you suspect you can get a higher sign up rate percentage.
  5. You aren’t getting any clicks on your advertisement and you don’t know if it’s the offer, placement, copy or some other factor.
  6. You have an online store.

A/B testing can be used for email, for pages on a site or even advertisements. It allows you to try different “variants” or versions of your digital marketing and discover which is more effective.

How A/B Testing Works

  1. You create a baseline or original version of your marketing. This is your control in the test. Then you create another version with changes you think might help the ad perform better. The changes might be to the placement of elements on the page, the color of the submit button, the images used, the size of certain elements, or any combination of these.
  2. You determine the criteria for success in the test and set that up as a goal. If you want more people to contact you, filling out the form might be your criteria. Or you might desire more clicks on a link, more sales or more downloads. Whatever your criteria, you can usually figure out a way to measure it.
  3. After you have your variants, the A/B testing software automatically serves both versions to your audience. Ideally, it divides the audience by the number of variants and serves them all equally. So, if you have 2 variations, half of your audience will see the original and half will see the variant.
  4. The software records the results. It keeps track of how many people completed your goal for each variation. After you have enough results, you can tell which of the variations performed better. This, then, is the version you roll out to all customers.
  5. Ideally, you start testing again. Find another thing to test on and create a new variant. Over time, the changes you make will probably be less drastic and the improvement you get may be smaller percentages, but in this way you will find the most optimized (and therefore more effective) version of your marketing.

A/B testing really isn’t that hard to implement. It often just depends on finding the right software solution which allows you to test the kind of marketing you need to test.

Do you use A/B testing for your business? Can you think of any ways it might benefit you? Let us know in the comments below.

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  2. […] As with all things in the online space, testing and analytics are the key to making a truly great user experience. Test any changes you make and test everything about your pages to make them as effective as possible. You might notice that sites like Amazon are constantly making small changes to the shopping experience – they aren’t making these in a vacuum. They test to get the best conversion rate possible from their shopping customers. And you can do the same thing. You can see more about testing in my article here. […]

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