A/B Testing: The Most Important Habit Marketers Should Adopt

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You may already have heard about A/B testing in online marketing discussions, but it’s more than just a buzzword. It’s one of the best and most reliable ways that marketers can increase conversion rates. 

A/B testing involves two (sometimes more) versions of a website or email. The test compares the performance of the control version (the original) and the variation (the test version) based on a number of chosen factors. The marketer will then identify which version performs better during the test, and adjust their strategy accordingly. 

Quantitative Data for Quantifiable Results

All A/B tests measure the effectiveness of some part of an email or website:

  • Call to Action (CTA)
  • Headline 
  • Product description
  • Layout/colors
  • Pricing
  • Promotional offer

To be truly effective, an A/B test should only differ in one or two aspects, so that marketers know to which elements customers are responding. For example, two emails might be identical, except for email A’s CTA being, “Buy while supplies last!” while email B’s says, “Limited time offer!” If the email A gets 2% click throughs, and email B gets 6%, then you know that email B’s CTA works better, and you can reuse it in future emails. 

A Great Habit to Keep

Since you’re only testing one or two items at a time, you need to be constantly running A/B tests and improving your online marketing a little at a time, like building a tower brick by brick. 

The beauty of A/B testing is that it delivers both short-term and long-term results. A single test could net you thousands of dollars in additional sales; and if you apply that to all of your future emails, how much more will you be earning? 

Testing can even uncover unexpected insights. One marketer was surprised to discover that having photos of people on his website instead of icons doubled his conversion rate. And this was discovered over the course of two A/B tests. 

But A/B testing is a never-ending process. Always keep testing and gathering data, because customer tastes can change, and marketing tactics need to keep pace. As long as you keep the testing habit, you’ll never get left behind.

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