Sep 22, 2022

What is A/B Testing in Digital Marketing?

Conversion Rate Optimization

Are you not achieving the results you want in your campaign? Learn what A/B testing is and how it can maximize your SEO, ads, and more.

What is A/B Testing in Digital Marketing?

Did you know there is a low-risk way to successfully market your business?

Remember those high school experiments where you control all aspects of an experiment and change only one thing, the independent variable, to test your hypothesis? Then you look at the results garnered by your change, the dependent variable?

That is split testing. A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, is defined as a method of comparing two versions of digital marketing against one another and exposing two equal but randomly selected sample groups to each campaign.

Holding all variables the same, you test only one feature of your marketing against group "A" and group "B". The benefit of this is it empowers you through knowledge of what resonates best with your consumers and provides feedback on your most effective and ineffective marketing output. Here you'll learn what is A/B testing and how can it help you improve your conversion rate.

What Is A/B Split Testing In Ads and Why Should You Implement It?

A/B testing requires a variable that two groups will be exposed to while holding all other aspects the same. It's important for digital marketing because it is a low-risk, high-return-on-investment form of marketing. It is especially advantageous for emerging brands.

For example, if you were to run an A/B test on your Facebook business page, which is an excellent and inexpensive platform to use for A/B testing, you would first determine what you want to test. This can be anything from an image to a caption. Say you decide to test your copy, or the writing that goes with your advertisement.

For this A/B test you would keep everything, this means the image, the time of posting, and the length of the campaign, whether it is a post or story. You would have an equal but random audience pool. The only thing different between the two ads should be the text.

Maybe for one you do a lengthy text, going in-depth on the post. For the other, you keep it short and simple.

Allow one to two weeks to have adequate impressions. Then, you can determine which caption performed best. Other tests that can be run in ads include: testing the image, the audience, video versus a still photo, or a call to action versus no call to action. Make sure to keep note of the performance.

Snowball Effect

With all the data you collect from running various A/B hypotheses you can create your "winning" advertisement. This will have the image, caption, and copy that performed best, combined to create your most powerful advertisement. It is a snowball effect because each ad rolls into the next to create this "winning" ad.

Once you've determined which advertisement is most successful, you can then run that ad on pricier campaign platforms such as YouTube or Google because you already know from your low investment testing it performs well. Or, you can stick to running it on a lower-cost platform like Facebook, but instead, keep it running for one month.

What Is A/B Testing In Email Marketing?

Mastering A/B testing in ads will set you up for successful email marketing. The same strategy applies here. Create two different email campaigns, testing only one variable.

Examples of things to test in an A/B email campaign include:

  • Subject line
  • Graphics
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Copy, tone (e.g. casual or formal in addressing)
  • Email layout
  • Time it is sent

To do this, create two slightly varying versions of the same email. Then send them out to your contacts, randomly selecting the groups, but keep the number of people in each group the same. Allow metrics to accumulate for at least one week and then look into statistics such as open rate, click rate, and conversion rate to determine which email performed best.

The main difference between an ad and email A/B testing is that the email split testing is free! Take advantage of getting conversions from the people who already support your brand and have opted in to an email.

Split Testing and Conversion Rate Optimization

Knowledge about split testing performance gives you the power to optimize conversion via digital marketing and SEO. Conversion is simply your consumer following through on the step you want them to take. If your goal is to increase email subscribers, run two landing pages and see which had the most sign-ups.

If the goal is transactions, send two abandoned cart emails and see which one outperforms. The higher conversion rate (complete conversion goal/total campaign interactions) of the two is your best conversion and the format you'll want to use until your next A/B test.

Once you find something that works, you still want to keep testing. Consumers and competition are ever-changing so you need to stay ahead and always be aware of what resonates most and grows your audience. It is also important to understand your buyer's journey so you use the right digital marketing medium at the right time.

ABCD What?

As they say, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Many business owners forget or don't have the time to strategize about all the different tests to run. While A/B testing is low-cost and relatively easy to implement, it does add to a never-ending to-do list for digital marketers and entrepreneurs.

Although easy and inexpensive, it is integral to A/B testing that you have a desired goal in mind for each test. Randomly changing variables without any strategy will waste time and money and prevent you from getting the results you need.

Still asking, "What is A/B testing? If so, we are here for you. At Seeyou Studios, we help marketers and businesses create strategic plans with organized tests that will drive results. Schedule a consultation to see if this is right for you.

Article Last Updated:
October 19, 2022

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