Getting Started with AB Testing

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Uncertainty is a marketer’s best friend and worst enemy. It simultaneously forces us to experiment with proven processes to drive success and instills us with anxiety as we push the “send” button on that latest email campaign. A little scary? Sometimes.

Thankfully, as marketing technologies continue to evolve, uncertainty is gradually losing its anxiety-fueled grip on us marketers. How so? Through the magic of A/B Testing! By simply testing a variable on marketing assets, one can make better informed decisions to curb uncertainty and drive marketing success.

However, A/B Testing isn’t always as easy as “1, 2, 3.” It takes a little bit of experience and know-how to execute correctly.

Why Colour Test?

Color invokes feelings, which in turn sets the emotional mood for acceptance or rejection by the viewer. It’s a subjective and culturally influenced unconscious and involuntary response. Colors, when used in pleasing combinations, can attract attention and also make other elements easier or more difficult to comprehend – whether text, objects or images. Testing different combinations allows you to maximize the results you want to get,because site visitor behavior is unpredictable. The only way to optimize is with experiments!

Dynamic Color series. Abstract design made of Colorful fractal clouds and graphic elements on the subject of forces of nature, art, design and creativity

Image Testing 

Images convey more than mere text, shapes, and colors. They help set the tone — serious, playful, clinical, provocative — instantly establishing an emotional connection with the viewer.

Or setting up a barrier you may never overcome. Which is why testing different images to see which ones yield the best results can make the difference between a campaign that gets results or a total dud. Don’t just guess. Test.

Higher CTR doesn’t always win. You need to look deeper and analyze the more meaningful behavior to determine what really works better for achieving your goals.

 

Word Testing

Language is tricky. Shades of meaning hide around every corner. Cultural nuances abound. Verbal fads and memes come and go in the blink of an eye. Being sensitive to your ideal buyer persona’s mindset is crucial for successful communication, as is being clear about what you convey. That’s why testing different words and phrases can be some of the most complex tests you do in pursuit of achieving the greatest possible results.

Clearly set expectations. While middle and bottom of the funnel CTAs will generally see lower CTRs than more top of the funnel material, the CTR will remain consistent so long as expectations are clearly set.

Price Testing

In any ecommerce transaction, there are always key “moments of truth.” Moments when the decision to buy is on the line. Factors such as shipping rates, order placement deadlines, delivery time, cross- and up-sells, discounts, rewards programs, bonuses, etc. can make the difference between millions of dollars in revenue being abandoned in shopping carts, or not. Testing such variables is essential for increasing a company’s revenue. And they often present challenges that go well beyond just changing a few words or images on a CTA button or landing page – they can also impact a company’s fulfillment, order processing and/or other systems. Successful A/B testing requires clear and constant communication with your client at all times, so no one drops the ball and no customer gets trapped in an unforeseen glitch.

Key lessons: 

  • Overcome hurdles to the “decision to purchase” and conversion rates will soar.
  • Continuously test variations of your hypothesis to find the sweet spot.
  • Monitor the conversion rate of customers who start the checkout process, so you can more accurately test the impact of “moment of truth” decision factors like shipping cost and estimated delivery time.

Layout Testing

The ages-old debate about what’s better – graphics or text – is tackled yet again in this example. No two cases are exactly the same. Why? Because your personas, their expectations about your brand, their experience on your web site – they all contribute to your visitors’ responses. Testing whether a graphics-
only layout or a text-only layout is a clean and prudent way to gauge your visitors’ preferences for future CTAs that you will create.

simplifiedexamplelayout

We learned it’s better to include a representation of the offer in our CTAs and that background color matters. The text and button copy was exactly the same, but people didn’t seem to like the abrupt change in background color.

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