A/B testing is a research methodology in which, as a rule, two variants are compared (variant A and variant B, which gave the name to this test), and finally choose the best version for a given period of time. Variant A is the basic, source element, variant B is the element that has been modified.
For the convenience of conducting A/B testing, the following stages can be distinguished:
At this stage, it is necessary to perform a preliminary analysis of the situation in which you are now, to identify problem areas that need to be tested. Then, based on the data obtained, draw up an action plan, where the final goals of the study will be indicated, which will help to objectively evaluate the results in the future.
When the plan is agreed upon and you have a clear picture of what is happening, you need to create variants. Based on the main version that you have chosen for the experiment, you make a version with changes that, in your opinion, should improve the results.
After the variants are ready, it’s time to test them. The time and duration of the test must be precisely determined. It is worth noting that one version can work in one period of time, and the other – in another, so it is also important to take this into account.
Once your test is completed, analyze the test results. Determine the winning option. If the test remains unsuccessful, extract conclusions from it and apply them in your subsequent tests.
A/B testing is a universal tool that can be used in various fields of activity. As for marketing, let’s look at the most popular areas such as e-mail marketing and website optimization.
A/B Testing in E-mail Marketing
Engaged in e-mail marketing, every marketer strives to increase such indicators as open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate. The goal is not to send the largest number of emails, but to make these emails work. They should attract attention, arouse the desire to open them, and also bring profit, that is, conversion. To achieve all this, marketers need to constantly analyze the newsletter and test various options.
When you receive an email, you usually see three elements: sender, subject line, and preview text. At this stage, the marketer’s goal is to draw attention to his letter, since often the recipient simply ignores such letters due to a large flow of information. Therefore, already here you can experiment with different options using A/B testing.
If your open rate scores are low or falling, try other subject lines or preview text options. The same recommendations apply directly to the letter itself. As a rule, a standard e-mail consists of the following elements: header, body, CTA (Call-To-Action), and footer. First of all, you can change any of these elements, and also try to find a new approach to writing a letter, perhaps you will remove some elements or add new ones.
If you see that your changes are not working, move on, come up with new ways and test them using the A/B method.
A/B Testing in Website Optimization
A website is a more complex structure than emails. This means that there are even more opportunities for your creativity. You should pay attention to the two main pages of the site: the home page and the landing page, as well as the following key elements: headlines, design, navigation, forms, and CTA.
Headlines are what attracts the attention of visitors in the first place, so it must be memorable and informative, but not overloaded. Here you can try different fonts and writing styles. When designing a website, you should think about user convenience, not about how you present the picture. External attractiveness is an important part, but not the only one. It is necessary to try a different layout of elements and choose the most effective one.
Make sure that the navigation of your site is easy and accessible, visitors should not wander through the links like a jungle. Analyze how different pages are connected to each other and that the transition between them is not difficult. Each click should direct visitors to the desired page.
Forms are how prospects contact you, so their importance is very difficult to overestimate. Develop different types of forms based on the interests of your audience. As in e-mail marketing, when optimizing a website, it is important to pay attention to CTA. A/B testing allows you to test different versions of CTA, their placement on a web page, their size and color scheme, and so on. This will allow you to increase the conversion rate.
A/B testing can make marketing efforts more effective by pinpointing the most important problem areas that need to be changed and optimized. Currently, many marketing automation software, as a rule, can conduct A/B tests on an ongoing basis, so using this method will not make you spend a lot of effort and time, and the results will help improve your work.
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