Your brand is represented and recognized through your online assets and your online marketing strategies.
Whether it’s your website, social media profiles, or emails, it’s important to deliver a great digital experience to your customers and visitors.
A/B testing can make a huge difference on how well your online assets perform. When done consistently, A/B testing can improve the ROI and effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
To dig a little deeper into why you need to run A/B tests, I have provided my top 3 reasons, as well as tools you can use to optimize your website, and examples to prove that A/B testing does work.
3 Reasons why your marketing strategy needs A/B testing
1) Improve conversions to understand which marketing strategies work
A conversion can be a sale, a click on a link, a social share, or whatever you have considered as a conversion. With accurate A/B testing you can make a huge difference on your conversions. When you use controlled tests and gather empirical data, you can figure out exactly what strategies on your website, social ads, and email campaigns work best on conversions. When A/B testing your marketing initiatives on a consistent basis, you will always be able to improve conversions incrementally; which is better than not testing and never improving your conversions.
2) Provide a better user experience on your website
If you have created a website and have never ran an A/B test on it, your user experience probably isn’t the best. When you don’t A/B test, you’ll never know if the user experience is actually good or bad. Yes, you may be the best web designer on the planet, but what if an A/B test can prove that design isn’t everything when it comes to a user’s experience on your website? What if that button placement is wrong? You’ll never know if you don’t A/B test. Which is why you should always A/B test to improve the user experience of your website.
3) Improve engagement rates by testing your copy
Whether the copy is for your website, a social ad, or an email, A/B testing these assets will help educate you on what kind of copy works better. For example, if you’re unsure of an email subject line, you can run an A/B test on two different subject lines and the one that receives the higher open rate will be coined as the winner of the A/B test. If you’re running a Facebook ad, you can run A/B tests to test out your ad copy. Whichever ad copy receives the most engagement can be determined as the winner and the one that has the most engaging copy. But, when you don’t A/B test, you’ll never be able to improve the copy on your marketing assets, therefore missing out on improving engagement rates.
A/B testing tools that will help you improve your online assets
Now that you know why you need to run A/B tests, here are 5 A/B testing tools that will help you in optimizing your website.
Unbounce dubs itself as the, “DIY landing page platform.” It easily lets you build, publish, and test responsive landing pages. With its friendly, easy to use interface, you don’t need to have any knowledge of HTML when using Unbounce.
You’re able to run simple, yet powerful A/B tests to help determine what your audience responds to, and optimize your conversion rates. You can set up multiple variants of your pages, which can be split tested for as long as you require.
Unbounce also integrates perfectly with a variety of providers like: Awber, Hubspot, CampaignMonitor, Mailchimp, ConstantContact, Salesforce, and so much more.
Example of a KISSmetrics funnel report.
The A/B testing feature has three key functionalities: random assignments of current visitors to one of your variations, ensures the subsequent calls return the same variation to the visitor, and sets up a property with the name of your experiment. You can either integrate KISSmetrics with another A/B testing tool or into your in-house testing code.
Optimizely’s software helps you optimize your customer experience, go figure hey? The platform provides businesses the ability to run A/B testing, multipage, and multivariate testing.
Optimizely has a testing product for both desktop and mobile versions of your website, as well as a testing solution for iOS apps. With its visual point and click editor, it allows people with no coding experience to have a full range of customization.
The platform turns your creative changes into instantly generated and deployed code. The platform allows you to track engagement, clicks, conversions, sign ups, and any other conversion metric that matters to your business.
Optimizely is also great for collaboration. You can set up administrative and project management functionality and easily create additional user accounts.
With Maxymiser you’re able to build and launch tests on any public or secure page of your website. It is a powerful tool that helps you optimize customer experience by creating sophisticated campaigns.
Maxymiser provides simple A/B testing features all the way to sophisticated multivariate tests. With its rigorous statistical methodologies, it ensures the validity of the data, which gives you the confidence in trusting the results. For each online visitor, Maxymiser creates a unique customer profile based on CRM data, historic and in-session behaviors, and industry specific and customizable visitor attributes.
The Webtrends Optimize A/B testing tool will help you create the best site and customer experience by testing various assets on your site and analyzing these test results. When you use Webtrends, you’re provided with expert services that help you plan and implement your strategy because it runs on a full service model.
Webtrends provides cross-channel support for your website (mobile and desktop), email, social and ads. It provides you with faster results with less traffic required, and allows you to test across accounts and business units.
Does A/B testing work?
If you’re still not sure whether or not A/B testing is right for you, below are three examples of A/B test wins.
Test #1: The headline test
Your gut feeling might be saying Version A will have more signups—and you’d be wrong. In this test, Version B increased signups by 38% simply because the headline is shorter, the copy blocking is better, and the sub-heading bolded key features. If you have a lot of information to get across, think about breaking up a long headline with a shorter and more emphasized headline with a longer subhead text.
Test #2: The image test
Highrise, a small business CRM, tested their images that featured two different people. Jocelyn on the left, and Michael on the right. When you look at it, you’re probably thinking Jocelyn is going to win the test. But you’re wrong! The test concluded that Michael helped improve conversions by almost 5%.
Test #3: The form test
Rasmussen college wanted to increase student inquiries on their homepage which is why they ran this test. Version B, with the form built right into the pagel, ultimately increased student inquiries; unfortunately WhichTestWon was not able to reveal the exact lift but they conclude that it was both considerable and conclusive.
The winning version followed the approach of a more conventional, static homepage design, whereas Version A, used tickers and tabs and had a revolving window that showed different information and benefits. Although additions like these may be the approach most creative designers would go for, conversion optimization designers will know that it is not generally great way to go. Revolving windows tend to cause distractions, tabs go unclicked, and if you want to increase clicks, the less distractions the better.
Completing long registration forms are a massive deterrent anyways, which is likely the reason why the short built-in form won the test. With 73% of users preferring to register using their social information, it’s without a doubt that testing how people can fill out your homepage forms is a test you can easily run. The next move would be to implement social login with your regular login and learn about your audience’s behaviour.
What we’re trying to say is…
Your online assets deserve to be the best they can be and A/B testing can do that. When you test different variations of your website, social ads, or emails, you’re not only growing your business but you’re improving your knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work. You can take your learnings and apply them to different companies in different industries, and come out as the expert in the field of conversion optimization. And come on, who doesn’t want to be an expert in A/B testing? Finally convinced that you should be A/B testing? Good, then my job is done.
What’s your favorite A/B testing tool? Let us know in the comments below!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community