After developing a marketing strategy, it is helpful to to know how to maximize budget spending before launching. This can save money and achieve the desired results simultaneously. A/B testing benefits business of every size. This testing method can help create guidelines for upcoming research, graphic design and social media campaigns.

How it Works

A/ B testing, also referred to as “split testing,” is an experimental tool that tests at least two elements with one control factor to help determine which variable results in higher conversions. It is available within social media such as Facebook, Twitter and various email marketing tools to help discover optimal campaign performance.

Starting a Split Test

Applying this experimental tool to email marketing campaigns is a popular use to realize A/B testing benefits. Marketers often utilize split testing with newsletters to learn what could improve email conversion rates. Here’s an example of how this can be done:

  1. Take the email content and hypothesize what changes may improve performance, such as click or open rates
  2. Create two variations, A and B, where Version B has one or two changes from the original copy
  3. Use the same source of traffic to measure performance results
  4. Launch the A/B test long enough to to provide significant results
  5. From the results, use the higher-performing version to run against the entire traffic source

A/B Variables and Elements

After splitting the campaign into two versions, some of the possible test elements include:

  • Subject line
  • Modify script
  • Call-to-action link
  • Graphics
  • Launch time
  • Hide or make images visible
  • Modify link navigation

In order to gauge the best type of content for increased conversion rates, the control factor is typically the audience. Start the test by sending both versions of the campaign to a portion of the audience. Use the results from this sample size to decide verify which variable performed better according to the campaign goals. If email open rates are declining, test two different subject lines to figure out what type of text is successful.

Design elements for a split test tie in with the variables listed above. Keep in mind the fundamentals that help design an A/B test:

  • Duration. How long is the test running?
  • Goal. What needs improvement?
  • Audience. Who will receive the tests and provide data?

A/B Testing Benefits

After completing a split test, there are two possible outcomes. Either the results are inconclusive and too similar to prove the hypothesis, or one variation shows a statistically significant difference. Even if the results are inconclusive, there is data that shows how users are interacting with the control and variant. With results showing a clear winner over another, there is now more data available to analyze new conversions and why consumers might be engaging more.

Not only does a split test provide marketers the ability to gather more data about a targeted audience, but testing also boosts budget maximization. Running the campaign to the entire audience pool will leverage the time and budget spent by yielding the highest-performing elements.

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