In the world of digital marketing today, campaign execution is fast and furious. What can't be rushed is taking the time to make sure that you are testing your content and media buying to ensure optimal results - that is where A/B testing comes in. It doesn't matter if, for example, your ad creatives are in yellow or blue, as long as you have a concrete answer as to what your customers want from your campaign - you're already on your way to achieving your marketing goals.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing, also known as split testing, compares two versions of the same digital marketing assets against each other to test which performs better. You can use A/B testing for your webpage, Facebook Ads, emails, and more!
What’s so great about this test is that it enables you to understand what works and what doesn’t.
How does it work?
To understand how A/B testing works, let’s take a look at the example below.
Your goal is to get more newsletter sign-ups on your website. Your current web design (in this case, to be referred to as “the control”) is performing decently, but you want to test if your new landing page (referred to as “the variable”) could get you more leads. Instead of jumping to a conclusion on which landing page would perform better, you run an A/B test.
You show Website A (control) to one group and Website B (variable) to another group. Remember to be patient as it takes time to run this test. Once you’ve seen the results, you can make a sound decision to either keep the old website or implement the new one. This way, you don’t discard what’s already working, nor do you miss out on something that could bring you better results! In short, A/B testing is the best way to eliminate “we think this would work” and have a solid “we know this works”.
However, keep this in mind that whenever you perform an A/B test, you should only test one element (or variable) at a time or else you would have a hard time figuring out what made the test successful. For instance, it is easy to know what causes Banner A to perform better then Banner B, if the only thing you’re testing is the ad copy. On the other hand, if you’ve written a different ad copy and have a different background colour for both ads you’re testing, you won’t be able to tell if it’s the copy or the background colour that had made the viewer click on the ad.
What should you be testing?
There are so many elements and channels to A/B test, but here are the ones that without a doubt, should be continuously tested:
Here are the two most significant benefits of A/B testing
- Email subject lines
- Webpages or landing pages
- Social media ads on channels such as Facebook or Instagram
- Calls to action (on all channels)
- Google Ads
- Video advertising on YouTube
- Best times to post on social media
- Increased Conversion Rates
For example, if you have a conversion campaign target to hit – you’ll need an ad that works to entice customers to buy your product or services. So how do you know what type of ad creatives or copy works? You’ve guessed right – conduct A/B testing. You will soon know which elements will guarantee increased conversions.
- Easy to Analyse
With an A/B test, you always have a clear goal – will variable A work better than Variable B. For instance, if your goal was to achieve more traffic through your Facebook ad – clicks and impressions are some of the metrics you’ll be looking at when the report is ready. And whichever ad creative has the highest goal value, that’s the new ad creative direction you want to push for in the future.
Using A/B testing means that you are making data-driven decision making in your campaigns. Testing empowers you as a brand or business to ensure that you are not merely looking at a report or creating campaigns – rather you are optimising your resources and spend – but most importantly making content that your audience wants to engage with.