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A/B Split Testing - Why Is It Worth Implementing?

Ask yourself the question if it is possible to improve your online business. If the answer is yes, then A/B testing and related tools for split testing are most likely to help you achieve this goal. Although most internet marketers are familiar with the technology of carrying out A/B tests, far from every business runs split tests on a regular basis. Why is it happening? Does it mean that A/B testing doesn’t work? What information does split testing provide us with? Let us get all this straightened out.

What info can you access with A/B testing?

The hot-button topic of conversion optimization has led to unconditional popularization of A/B testing. It is the only objective way to learn the truth about the performance of various technologies and solutions related to the increase in economic efficiency for online businesses.

Thanks to A/B tests, you can expand your online business and increase your website conversion rates. Moreover, testing today is one of the most accessible and effective ways to increase conversions, improve customer experience, and make the website sales-oriented. It is an efficient tool to reach your business success. As an alternative solution, you can use A/B testing for email marketing to develop the most effective templates for lead nurturing. Split test results will allow you to understand how to email a person and do it right with no assumptions from your side but precise research results.

What is the advantage of A/B testing?

Optimizing your conversions is cheaper than generating traffic with a higher potential ROI. What is more, A/ B testing will bring you a more long-lasting and greater effect. With split testing, you will be able to:

  • Know everything about your visitors: the impact of the various components (elements) of your page on their behavior, needs, habits;

  • Eliminate the risk factor and subjectivity in making decisions and confirm all the optimization hypotheses with precise test data;

  • Concentrate your strengths (and money) on features that work best for your audience thanks.

Here are some examples of questions you can give reliable answers through A/ B testing.

  1. What elements of your pages affect your sales, conversions, or the behavior of your visitors?

  2. What is the optimal number of fields needed to fill out your forms?

  3. Should you introduce a particular new feature?

  4. Which headings are more effective for visitors?

  5. Which parts of your conversion tunnel have poor performance?

Once you obtain all these answers, you will be able to develop a highly converting landing page or email template.

What are the principles of A/B testing?

There is nothing complicated about A/B testing. All you need to know is the logic of the procedure and its principles:

  • Hypothesize that some kind of change (for example, personalization of the main page) will increase the conversion of the online store;

  • Create an alternative version of the website (“B” version) - a copy of the original version with the changes that may potentially lead to the growth of the effectiveness of the website.

  • Randomly divide all the website visitors into two equal groups.

  • Measure the conversion for both versions of the website/ page.

  • Determine the statistically significant winning option.

A good thing about this approach is that any hypothesis can be tested in this way. There is no need to argue or rely on the opinion of pseudo-experts. Instead, you can launch A/B split tests, measure results, and proceed to the next test.

How effective A/ B testing is?

Split testing is a marketing tactic that causes the most controversy. It seems that even people who have never been working with marketing have an opinion as to whether it works or not. So what is the consensus? Split testing turns into a waste of time if done incorrectly. But with the right approach, it can significantly affect your conversion.

Only 28% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rates. It is sad statistics, agree? But A/ B testing is an easy way to improve conversion rates if you know how/ when implement split tests and how to measure results you have obtained. However, the problem is that many marketers are not sure how long they should conduct tests and how they can adjust them for guaranteed accurate results.

Fortunately, you do not need to become a pioneer in this area. Many marketers and entrepreneurs have already benefited from A/ B testing, and we can learn from their stories. In addition, there are a lot of different tools that do most of the hard work for you. Many of them are often used to prepare the content for your test.

A/ B tests allow you to ask the right questions about specific changes on your landing page, in your application, or in any other source of content that you want to improve. But more importantly, they give your users the opportunity to respond to themselves.

What benefits can you get?

First, A/ B testing provides actual evidence for a hypothesis, so you don’t have to act on incredible assumptions if any. It is unlikely that your finance department will be impressed with your “assumptions” when it goes to planning a company budget. That’s fair enough.

Even the Obama team used A/ B testing during the presidential campaign, and they were able to collect around 2.8 million email addresses. This led to strong campaign funding (worth about $ 60,000,000) and a subsequent successful outcome. So, if tests work, then why aren't more and more marketers applying to them? In many cases, they simply do not make testing a priority, and it is not a success-oriented approach.

Despite the fact that the average increase in users’ response on sites increases by 13.2% due to split tests, 61% of marketers do not test headlines and topics. Around 74% of those who still do this spend less than an hour on such tests.

Studies show that split testing generates 40% more potential customers for B2B sites and 25% more for e-commerce sites. If you are already running A/B split tests, but you feel that you are not getting a return on your efforts, take a look at the main reasons why the split tests may fail:

  • You start with the wrong hypothesis.

  • You do not consider statistical significance.

  • Not enough conversions were involved in the experiment to make it meaningful.

  • You do not complete the test long enough.

Having dealt with these 4 points, you will be sure that your tests are not a waste of time.

What are the test objects?

The object of split testing can be any element on the page that influences user behavior:

  • Headlines

  • Subheads

  • Main text

  • Customer reviews

  • CTA text

  • CTA button

  • Links

  • Images

Objects of more complex A/ B tests are prices, special offers, the duration of free use of software, navigation elements, user experience, free/ paid delivery, and much more.

What is the optimal test time?

In order for the test results to be precise with no/ minimal margin of error, you should always pay attention to when you run the test and how long it is being carried out. Try not to run tests a few days before major holidays and on holidays/ weekends. Seasonality is also traced to the level of salaries: as a rule, it stimulates the sale of expensive goods, in particular, electronics.

If you wonder what are the factors influencing split testing, you should remember that it all depends on the specifics of your project. The main characteristics required to determine the duration of the experiment are the average monthly site traffic and the cost of your product. However, there are no specific guidelines and rules here, so you will have to rely on regularities.

The first nuance is that the higher the average attendance of a resource is, the longer the experiment should be. If your regular website traffic is 50,000 unique visitors per month, several thousand people should take part in the testing.

Secondly, the more expensive your product is and the fewer conversions you get, the fewer visitors you need to conduct an experiment. For example, if you sell expensive industrial equipment and make no more than 100 transactions per year, a few hundred visitors or 10 conversions are enough to evaluate the experiment.

Final say

Have you tried A/ B testing yet? It's time to do it. You are not alone. Those who have come this way have done most of the work and conducted the first experiments in this area. Just remember the “big four” factors that negatively affect split testing, and follow these rules in the process of carrying out tests:

  • Form the right hypotheses - no guesswork or intuitive decisions will help you;

  • Continue the test until you reach statistical significance of 95-99%;

  • Make sure that the sample size is large enough (at least 1,000 conversions);

  • Do not stop the test run too early.

Despite the fact that there are conflicting opinions on split testing, it is difficult to dispute the success many companies have achieved due to this technology. Some organizations completely ignore A/ B testing, which is usually associated with several erroneous tests. However, it doesn’t mean that A/B testing is a waste of time.

Keep up with the latest technologies and use them to build a strong and competitive business. Do not miss the opportunity to increase conversions and collect data you can effectively use afterward.

Author’s Bio

John Obstander is a digital marketing expert with extensive experience in brand promotion, campaign launch, lead generation, as well as traffic and conversion increase. John knows everything about email marketing and is working as an external agent with big international companies.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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