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Inbound Marketing Blog

    The Value of A/B Testing: What Is It and How Can It Help You?

    Posted by Brittney Ervin

    Discover the Value of A/B Testing for Your Company


    As a company, it’s important that you invest considerably in your website, creating something that reaches and appeals to your target audience and offers relevant information and efficient navigation.

    In the same way, you want your marketing strategies and ideas to appeal to your audience, to engage them and draw them in. When you create a particularly successful web or landing page, email campaign or offer, you increase the odds that a mere visitor will become a conversion. A successful online marketing strategy also helps you hone in on the design, content or offers that your audience finds especially appealing, helping you cater your future efforts towards elements that have been quantifiably successful in the past.

    So it’s been established that good web pages and content are tantamount to appealing to your audiences and increasing conversions; the next questions might be, how do you know that your campaign or strategy is experiencing its full potential with your audience? How do you know that another method or strategy wouldn’t be more successful?

    An easy, affordable method for determining which strategies and marketing decisions are engaging and attractive to your site visitors (and which aren’t) is A/B testing.

    What is A/B Testing?

    A/B Testing is the process of offering multiple options, for a web page, landing page, or design, to different portions of your audience and tracking each portion’s reaction.

    For instance, you could create two separate landing pages, each with a different design and or different premis, and allow 50% of visitors to see one and the other 50% to see the other. Then you can track each group’s reaction and engagement with the page they received. When one page gets significantly more engagement, you know that it’s of more value to your customer base.

    A/B testing can be as grand-scale as offering two different campaigns or as small as offering two different headlines to see which gets the most clicks. Each aspect of testing allows your brand to gain insight into the viewing, engagement and purchasing habits of your audience.

    What Can You A/B Test?

    As we touched on in our previous section, A/B testing can be done on virtually any aspect of your online marketing strategies.

    Here are a few things that are popularly A/B tested in the marketing world:

    • Timing: If you want to find out what time your target audience is most likely to open or engage with a campaign, consider sending it out to one section of your email list in the morning and to the other section in the afternoon or vice versa. This test will help provide you with insight into the times that your audience is most likely to be at their computer and surfing their email.
    • Design: This is a time-consuming and often frustrating foundation for A/B testing because it requires a design team to do twice as much work for a little insight into an audience’s reactions. However, there are simple tweaks design teams can include to make their A/B tests effective without requiring hours of extra work in the design room. Careful implementation of a new design could prove wildly successful, as well, especially when it’s based on quantifiable testing results.  
    • Visual Elements: Adding visual elements like extra photos or explainer videos to certain landing pages or web pages has proven very successful in A/B tests for some companies; doing so could provide information what best grabs your audience’s attention.

    Each of these A/B tests can help yield valuable information about your audience and how they interact with or react to your brand.

    What is the Value of A/B Testing?

    Wyatt Jenkins at the Harvard Business Review recently said, “Modern tech companies have figured out that data is their product. Whether you sell a service, a product, or content, what you really do is create value for your customer base—and every interaction with your product is a measurable amount of value.”

    The idea that everything you do as a company and brand should create value for your customer base ties directly to the value of A/B testing; not only does A/B testing allow you to see, in the short term, how successful a campaign or strategy or design can be with your audience, it also allows you to gather long-term and highly valuable information about how to create value for your customers.

    A/B testing provides you with quantifiable, statistical information about what your customer base and online audience finds valuable.

    A/B testing allows you to become a sort of scientist in the realm of marketing to and appealing to your customers; when you’ve gathered quantifiable evidence that your customers open emails more at 6 pm than they do at 10 am or when you know that certain designs were disastrous while others were particularly successful, you can begin the process of honing your strategies towards success, rather than deploying a campaign or design and hoping for the best.

    When you have the hard numbers to back up your ideas, you can expect more success and better connection with your customer base. A/B testing is a great route towards gathering the information you need to get started.  

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    Topics: Lead Gen