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What is A/B Testing in Digital Marketing?

Remember being in the school science classroom and having to run experiments over and over again to find the best result, perhaps it was growing one plant in the sun and another in a cupboard. Well, that is basically A/B Testing.

What is A/B Testing?
A/B Testing is a user experiment where you compare two versions of the same content, to see what the most popular option is in completing the result you want.

The simplest digital marketing A/B test you can run is testing two different subject lines with your monthly email newsletter to see which one leads to the most newsletter openings.
Perhaps 5% of your total newsletter subscribers see in their emails the line ‘Exclusive offer for our VIP Members‘ whilst another 5% see the line ‘Exclusive deal for our VIP Members‘. The other 90% will end up seeing the winner of this competition.

This might seem fickle just comparing if users like the word ‘offer‘ or ‘deal‘ but it is something that is quick to set up and could give your newsletter a few more views and perhaps a nice sales bump too.

Other email newsletters A/B tests you can run include – testing which subject line leads to the most clicks to the website, which email newsletter design leads to the most clicks and which subject line or email design actual leads to the most sales.

Yes, design changes too can have a major impact on user engagement. Having a green ‘buy now‘ button instead of a red button could surprisingly be the difference that makes or breaks a successful campaign.

And this means you can also do a range of A/B tests on your website.

  • Test Landing Pages – Perhaps having your ads direct people to a subpage with more detail, works better than your main homepage
  • Test Images & colours – From the button colour to the background colour or the use of an image featuring a smiling face. A lot can change a person’s mind from deciding if you are the right business
  • Layout – Maybe that button should be in the top left corner, or on the right side under the banner nudged next to a nice block of text. This isn’t only about what drives sales, it is also about what is a good user interface making the process of buying a product logically simple for them.
  • The Text – You can even check different writing styles. Try a professional-sounding paragraph full of the lingo, against a no-frills short sentence.

If you think about it, A/B testing could be a never-ending operation that you need to keep tabs on. From trying every colour to getting the thesaurus out and trying all the appropriate synonyms; in your search to find what subject lines work best. You could even go and revisit some old tests and re-try them just to see if you were right or if people suddenly decide they like red buttons instead. It is also a game of psychology, understanding your users and manipulating them into doing what you want them to do.

Now, there are tools you can use to streamline the process of A/B testing without having to redo whole web pages or play with website code to change layouts. Or you can get in touch with the Beck & Caul team, and we will be happy to explore the world of A/B testing with you alongside SEO and improving your website’s user experience.

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