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A/B Testing: Use This Method to Uncover What Really Works in Your Marketing Campaigns

We've all been there at some point in our marketing careers. An email you believed would perform exceptionally well falls short. A stunningly well-designed website isn’t getting clicks. The ad you thought was fire is hardly driving any conversions at all. Despite having strong hunches about an asset’s potential, it flopped. These moments underscore the significance of making data-driven decisions.

Today, successful marketers don't rely on intuition or best guesses; they utilize concrete insights—the type gained through A/B testing—to propel their campaign success.

Image of A/B Testing Email

In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of A/B testing and review the top elements you should A/B test for improved engagement rates on your campaign.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is a powerful data-driven tactic marketers use to optimize content and user experience by comparing reactions to two versions of a thing in order to determine which one performs better.

A/B testing involves creating two variations of an asset, version A (the control) and version B (the variant). They differ in one specific element, such as a headline, CTA button color, or email subject line. The 2 variants are presented to your audience and response rates to each are compared to determine which version is more effective.

A/B testing can be applied to a wide range of marketing channels and asset types, including:

  • Webpages

  • Emails

  • In-product messages

  • Content pieces

6 benefits of A/B testing

A/B testing offers a wide range of benefits that can enhance your marketing campaigns:

  • Improved engagement: By fine-tuning your content elements and prioritizing those with better response rates, you're more likely to see increased engagement with your campaigns. This will be reflected in your key performance indicators (KPIs) like your open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and others.

  • Hopefully, better revenue: As your campaign metrics (like those mentioned above) increase, so too should your higher level outcomes like quality lead generation, sales, average customer value, and ultimately, revenue earned.

  • Better audience understanding: Over time and with repeat testing across various elements, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your audience's preferences, enabling you to tailor your content and campaigns to their needs.

  • Optimized branding: Testing different branding elements will help you refine your company’s vision for self-expression and determine what resonates best with your audience.

Top 6 elements to A/B test

The possibilities of what to test are nearly endless. Here are some suggestions for easy places to start that have a high likelihood for meaningful impact.

  1. Headlines Copy: Test wording to see which phrasing or messaging angle resonates best. Font treatment: Test various fonts and evaluate how they affect engagement. Color: Experiment with different colors for your headlines and assess their influence on click-through rates. Whether or not there’s a subhead: Test the presence of a subheading below the main headline to determine if it enhances engagement.

  2. Images Image type: Test whether an image of a product, a person, or an illustration works best for your campaign.

  3. Call to action (CTA) Wording: Experiment with the use of action-oriented words, questions, or statements. Text treatment: Test font style and size. Determine whether a bolder or more subtle treatment resonates better with your audience. Capitalization: Try capitalizing the entire CTA versus using title or sentence case. Button vs text link: Determine whether a CTA button or a simple text link generates more clicks. Color of the button: Consider the use of color to align your button with the intended emotional response.

  4. Forms Form title: Test different form titles to see which combination of words encourages more submissions. Inclusion (or amount) of intro text: Experiment with varying the amount and content included in your introductory text. Test versions with no introductory text, a brief message, or a longer description to understand its impact on form completion. Number of required fields: Determine the optimal number of required fields. Find the right balance between capturing helpful information and minimizing friction.

  5. Subject lines Length: Test subject lines of varying lengths. Capitalization: Experiment with different capitalization styles in subject lines like sentence case, title case, and capital letters. Emojis: Test subject lines with and without emojis.

  6. Friendly Send-from name For most companies, your send-from email address is set. But you can usually influence your friendly send-from name fairly easily. Test which one works best by trying your full company name, a shortened version, an abbreviation, or even a person’s name from your team.

Data-driven decision-making, powered by A/B testing, is the key to running successful marketing campaigns. By refining your strategies based on real user insights, you can expect to see improvements in engagement and overall campaign results.

Need a hand? Let us help you achieve remarkable results for your marketing campaigns.

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