Too many marketers have low conversion rates. This is often because of a poor call to action, poorly optimized landing pages or a lack of effective pop-ups. It is also a result of many marketing professionals failing to properly utilize A/B testing in digital marketing strategy. The reason for this usually comes down to simply being unaware of the benefits of A/B testing, or of not being sure how to get started. Luckily for you, that’s where this blog comes in!
While there are several ways to boost conversions, such as drip and pay-to-click campaigns, the use of A/B testing is hugely popular among successful marketers and is easy to implement once you know the basics. So, read on to learn how to start using A/B testing in your own digital marketing strategy.
A/B testing (or split testing) is a vital and effective way to optimize digital marketing efforts and ensure you’re not wasting your advertising dollars. Many people associate A/B testing only with email marketing, but in reality you can (and should!) utilize it for many other forms of content — including website content, landing pages, gated content, online ads, etc.
A/B Testing in Email Marketing
So, why use A/B testing in email marketing? Because not everyone responds the same way to the same style of advertising. When you create an A/B test, you craft two versions of the same content. For instance, you might write two marketing emails or banner messages. You can then test the different versions over a period of 7-14 days. Once the A/B test period is over, you can analyze the conversions and other analytics to determine which one works the best.
You can also repeat the tests at a later date in order to further refine the results and optimize your ongoing marketing campaigns.
Getting Started with A/B Testing Marketing: Maximizing Your Results
If the above sounds complicated, don’t worry! A/B testing is more straightforward than it sounds. Let’s start by breaking it down into simple, easy to digest sections.
Begin by looking at your analytics, as they should inform your decision on which elements to test. And while analytics will not always allow you to hone in on minute details, they do provide you with other information that you can use to recognize poorly performing pages.
From there, you can look at the elements of the pages you feel could be causing problems. For instance, you might test:
- A headline
- Calls to action
- Website content and copy
- Video marketing
- Social and search engine advertising
- Typography, typefaces and font
- Copy length
- Newsletter content
Set Your A/B Testing Marketing Goals
For A/B testing to be effective, you will need an understanding of what might be causing the problem, as well as what you want to achieve. For instance, with low email open rates, you might feel that your email headlines or offers are not enticing enough.
Sometimes, you will already have a good sense of the problem area. For instance:
- Your personal branding is lacking
- Your messaging is unclear
- The call to action buttons need to be more prominent
Or, you might have a single goal in mind, such as:
- Getting more newsletter subscribers
- Increasing your email open rate
- Encouraging more organic traffic
- Getting more conversions from offers
- Email testing
- Seeing which headlines get the best response
Whatever it is you want to test, it’s helpful to start with a strong hypothesis. This can involve some trial and error, as there are several elements critical to a hypothesis.
One example to use as a guide is:
- The presumed problem
- The proposed solution
- And the anticipated result
Or to put it another way, try a different three-stage approach, which covers:
- Considering the conversion problem
- Looking at the proposed solution
- Creating an impact statement
To further simplify your A/B testing marketing, SharpSpring’s Automated marketing system has all the tools you will need. Here’s a tutorial that will walk you through our A/B email testing capabilities. Or look at this article to learn how to use A/B testing in email marketing.
A/B Testing Marketing: Questions and Considerations
The two most frequent questions about A/B testing are: for how long should you run an A/B test and what size should you make your sample group. The answers to these questions are, of course, open for debate and can depend on several variables. As a general rule, most marketing experts, including Neil Patel, suggest running your A/B tests for a week or two.
Regardless of how long you run the A/B tests, do not forget to run your variations at the same time of day and for the same length of time to create comparable results.
You should also be sure to test a large enough sample group. If your sample group is too small, it can lead to false positives. If you’re looking for additional guidance on ideal sample size, check out this helpful article for more info, or you can try an A/B testing calculator like this one.
A/B Testing Marketing Best Practices
Along with creating a strong hypothesis, there are a few other key best practices to keep in mind when creating your A/B testing strategy to optimize results. These best practices include:
- Using a control version
- Testing often
- Appraising your previous testing, so that you can make adjustments
- Understanding the elements you want to test and why
A/B testing marketing is a useful way to improve your marketing efforts and increase your conversions. The results of effective A/B testing allow you to hone your campaigns and personalize them to best effect. You can repeat A/B testing as often as you like and use the collected data to improve your marketing approach over time.
To find out more about SharpSpring’s automated marketing platform, which includes A/B testing marketing, visit our website today.