A/B Testing

Definition

A/B testing is comparing two alternatives of a web page or an app to arrive at the same conclusion. It is the key to check which page performs better.

Description

The testing in marketing is used where two copies of landing page, email, ad or other content is compared to see which brings more revenue. The image shows that alternative B yields more conversion than version A of the website.

The two alternatives are shown together and a statistical analysis is carried out to determine which of the twoo options perform better. Testing reduces the chances of guess work for website optimisation. Running A/B tests helps you to make data-driven decisions.

In digital marketing, you can have two versions of campaigns run for a webpage that can be compared to determine which performs better and faster. The dynamics of A/B testing involve the techniques to compare which of the two marketing plans is effective. The best of the two will be used first.

How A/B testing works?

For A/B testing,

  • You need to create a second version of the web page or app by making small modifications in the original copy.
  • Then half of your traffic will be shown the first version and the other half will be offered the second version.
  • After the alternatives are shown, the analysis of the two are made in terms of engagement and page experience. It helps the website owner to evaluate whether making the change left a positive or a negative impact.

5 Stages to the experimental framework for A/B testing

These are the 5 stages included in A/B testing experimental framework:

  • Gather data: You can use A/B testing to analyse which are the pages you need to optimise. These could be the pages with low conversion rates or high bounce rates. Utilise the data to improve the performance of the pages and attract traffic.
  • Establish goals: Begin with establishing goals. It is important to set up goals and standards without which you will not be able to judge which alternative was successful.
  • Create hypothesis: After the goals are identified, you need to create hypotheses to make one alternative that will be better than the current version of the app/web-page. Once done, implement the changes to get favourable results.
  • Create variations: Use software to make changes as expected. Check for the quality of the results.
  • Evaluate results: Start the experiment and let the audience participate. Their reactions and engagement is monitored to compare which of the two alternatives works best.

How A/B testing helps?

A/B testing can help marketers in:

  • Improving user experience while collecting the data on the results after the tests is conducted on the two alternatives.
  • Establishing why changes in some elements impact the user behaviour.
  • Getting a higher conversion rate over time.
  • Improve the sales lead quality and volume from the campaign landing page.
  • Knowing which versions attract more clicks, marketers can change the campaign. They can control the expenses.

It can help product developers in:

  • Demonstrating the impact of the new features or changes in the user-experience.
  • Optimising product on-boarding, user-engagement, modals and in-product experiences.

In digital marketing, for A/B testing companies can test their audience’s interest by posting a blog without a picture and one with picture or outbound links. It can be observed that the blog with the images and the links keeps the target audience engaged for a long time.

Example:

An email marketing company tried two versions of their ad. The company offered email marketing services and conducted A/B testing for their CTA button colour. Their copy looked like this.

The company realised that the CTA button that read “Try Now” in orange colour worked better. The Click Through Rate for the orange colored CTA was 38% way higher than 25%.

Company realised that testing one element at one time is good to make changes. It helped them take test on regular basis.

FAQs

Why is A/B testing necessary?

A/B testing helps companies collect data that can form the basis of their marketing decisions. The testing assists in improving the user experience and helps companies establish the basis of the campaigns. Testing allows the companies to gauge elements, changes in which affects visitor’s behaviour and which elements were just over-looked.
A/B testing is essential to:

  • Tracks minor changes and significant improvements: A/B tests allow you to evaluate the impact of changes. Like if you change the font, titles, and images on the website, it can increase conversion of sales. For example, Csek had a tagline on their website “Csek Creative is a Kelowna based digital agency that delivers the results that make business sense.” They changed it to “Csek creative digital agency that helps companies with their online and offline marketing needs.” It led to an 8.2% increase in CTR.
  • Cost-effective and low-risk: In A/B testing, you can make small changes in the elements you think are relevant to improve the user experience. It is cost-effective because by just changing 2-3 elements, you can decide whether or not to make the alterations. You can quickly change to the original design if you feel the results are not favourable and you do not want to hold to your decision.
  • Possibility to increase the traffic: When you make small changes to your website and observe a growth in the traffic, you can make it permanent. There is a high possibility of increasing the traffic with A/B testing.

How can you use A/B testing?

You can use A/B testing for your marketing activities and campaigns. These are the possible areas for which marketers or designers can use A/B testing:

  • Individual emails
  • Email campaigns
  • Multimedia marketing strategies
  • Website design
  • Paid advertising
  • Newsletters

What elements can you work on for A/B testing on your website?

You can work on these elements for A/B testing and observe which things bring higher conversion rates:

  • Layout
  • Images
  • Colour Scheme
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Heading and subheadings
  • Special offers

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