Serving as one of the most efficient ways to uncover effective marketing strategies for your business, A/B testing is a controlled method in which you compare two versions of content to determine which best attracts respondents. Consistent A/B testing helps you narrow down your marketing strategies in order to figure out which ones are most profitable and successful in drawing responses. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy and RedEye nearly 74% of respondents who possessed a structured approach to A/B testing also stated that they had increased their sales. In short, A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of something to determine the best layout for any content that potential customers will encounter.

The Basics of A/B Testing

A/B tests generally consist of either an on-site test or an off-site test. While they may sound confusing at first, both types of tests differ in several ways. On-site testing includes sales-related pieces of your website while off-site tests are generally concerned with an advertisement or a sales email. With A/B testing, you can test nearly any of your marketing materials.  A great rule of thumb is: If you can change it, you can test it. Often, on your website, this consists of the headline, any marketing graphics, product descriptions, or even sales copy.

For example, you might want to test landing page A with advertisement A, and landing page B with advertisement B. As time progresses, you have the option to test landing page A with advertisement B. You can continue to repeat these variations until you discover the most effective combination. Along with web content, testing different promotional offers is also possible and you would utilize the same process. However, you need to ensure that you have methods in place to make sure that each person is always offered the same promotion.

Once you determine the materials you will test, it is essential to both predetermine a specific sample size and then run the test for several weeks. Experts often recommend allowing A/B testing to last two business cycles which will help you avoid skewed results. Along with determining the amount of time you will spend, you will only want to run one specific type of test at a time for the most accurate results. Because you cannot factor in any variables that might change on a day-to-day basis, the variations should also be run simultaneously to account for any differences in timing. Sometimes, statistic anomalies arise when you review your results, and when in doubt, retesting is always an option!

A/B Testing: An Easy Way to Improve Your Bottom Line

Ultimately, A/B testing can have a significant effect on your bottom line as it will provide you with concrete evidence to discover which content is actively converting views. By understanding which variation might work better than another, A/B testing will allow you to confidently institute marketing campaigns that truly attract responses, helping you justify spending more money on advertising.