No matter the industry you’re in, your competitors are more than likely actively testing everything from your company. From the latest iterations of their landing pages in their marketing campaigns to the efficiency of a cybersecurity company’s penetration testing in protecting their systems—they’re always finding new ways to stand out. If you don’t stay current, they’ll get ahead of you and eventually steal your customers. However, if you’ve tried increasing your conversion rates and spying on your competitors but to no avail—you can change all these by split or A/B testing. It’s a user experience research methodology that lets you see the efficiency of one marketing variant over the other, allowing you to make your campaigns more effective than ever.
If you’re ready to begin seeing ‘real’ results from your marketing through split testing, here’s what you need to know.
Before Split Testing
Focus on One Variable at a Time
When optimizing your web pages, landing pages, or emails, you may find that there are several variables you’d want to test. However, to evaluate how efficient change is, you’ll need to isolate one ‘independent variable’ and measure its performance. Otherwise, you won’t know which variation was responsible for the possible changes. You can test several variables. Just make sure to make sure you’re split-testing them one at a time to avoid confusion. Although you’ll measure several metrics for each test, it’s best to focus on one metric before running the test. This factor will act as your dependent variable. After that, think about where you want your dependent variable to be at the end of the A/B test.
Make a ‘Control’ and Have a Variation to That
After deciding on your independent and dependent variable, and your desired outcome, use these details to set up an unedited version of what you’re testing as the “control.” For instance, if you’re split-testing web pages, the control will be the pre-existing and unaltered web page, and for landing pages, this is the landing page design or copy you’d typically use. From there, create a variation, whether it’s a website, landing page, or email you’ll test against your control.
During the A/B Test
Use an A/B Testing Tool
To start split testing any marketing variation you may have, whether, on your website or email, you’ll need to use a digital tool. These include HubSpot or Google Analytics Experiments, allowing you to A/B test emails, calls-to-action, landing pages, and web pages against your competitors’ and other users to see which would convert the most consumers.
Test Variations Simultaneously
Timing plays a crucial role in any marketing campaign’s result. When running A/B tests, run two variations simultaneously to determine what day, week, or month, is best to run particular marketing strategies. Otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of guesswork.
Get Feedback from Real Users
Although A/B testing revolves around quantitative data, this won’t help you understand why consumers take particular actions over the other. So, for the most fruitful results, besides running A/B tests, collect qualitative feedback from your users or clients. You can do this through surveys or polls.
After the A/B Test
If your split test results show that one variation is better than the other, then stick to that. However, if neither is better, you’ve just discovered that the variables you tested didn’t impact results, and usually means you should stick with your initial variation—or run another test. Remember that gathering leads and converting them is a continuous process. The best way to reach optimal conversion rates is by continually testing new and old marketing strategies through A/B testing.
A/B testing allows you to see what content and marketing your target audience wants to see, and each test can help you discover new ways to make your strategies more efficient. Remember, there will always be room for optimization—and conducting A/B tests following the steps mentioned can help you perfect your marketing to the littlest detail.