What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is a type of product/marketing experiment that involves presenting two or more versions of a product or digital asset to different users at the same time to determine which version has the greatest impact and will better drive sales growth. It is also known as bucket testing or split testing.
Products or digital assets that can benefit from A/B testing include marketing emails, social media posts, digital ads, mobile apps, website landing pages and product designs. An A/B test may involve reducing/increasing the number of fields on a checkout form, adding/removing a video thumbnail to a newsletter, or adding/removing testimonials from on a product page.
One section of your audience gets ‘version A’, another gets ‘version B’, another group receives ‘version C’, etc. The performance of each version is evaluated against pre-defined metrics such as product purchases, link clicks and form completion.
To create an A/B test:
- Develop a hypothesis. That is, users are more likely to be responsive to a particular change in a digital asset.
- Test one element at a time. Do not test two completely unique versions. The versions should be quite similar. Vary just one element at a time to determine what change leads to improved results.
- Define a goal such as grow conversions, increase form submissions, reduce bounce rates, decrease abandoned carts and lift page traffic.
- Randomly assign the versions to your target audience.
- Determine a test schedule. You should not run the test indefinitely.
- Analyze the results and make appropriate changes to your product or marketing.
- Repeat the cycle with a new element. It allows your campaigns to be on a trajectory of continuous improvement.
While A/B testing is today most associated with digital assets, it’s not a new concept. Before the Computer and Internet Age, direct mail marketers used this technique to determine what offers were most popular. Digital assets only made the assessment process quicker, more accurate and easier to customize.
Why You Should Consider A/B Testing?
If you are starting a new business or launching a new product, it can be difficult to tell what strategy will best resonate with your target audience. A/B testing lets you try out what you consider the most viable strategies so you can fine tune and roll out the strategy that will deliver the best customer experience. You can see firsthand the impact of tweaking seemingly small yet significant details.
A/B testing allows you to better understand your customers and accumulate useful insights that you could apply to future product development and marketing campaigns.