Have you ever wondered if sending an email in the morning yields better open rates than an email sent in the late afternoon? Did you recently make a change to your product page based on best practices but can't tell if it's converting better? If you answered yes, then welcome to the wonderful world of A/B testing — where even a small change like text color or a more drastic homepage redesign can seriously affect your conversion rate.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is marketing science. You have a hypothesis, you test your hypothesis, you analyze the results, and you confirm whether or not your hypothesis is correct. For example, let's say you have a blue CTA on your product page, but you think a red CTA would work better. Your hypothesis is, "A red CTA will stand out more on my product page, thus increasing the conversion rate." You then change the color of your CTA from blue to red and make a note in Google Analytics to denote which day the change was made. After a set period of time (the bigger the sample size the better; that's just good science), you find that your conversion rate has gone up by .2%! Your conclusion — a red CTA brings in the money.
A/B Test ToolsHubSpot
HubSpot offers A/B testing for enterprise-level accounts. With the tool you can A/B test elements of an email such as subject lines, send times, email templates and the content within your email. Landing pages can be A/B tested as well. Having the ability to test anything from CTA color, copy language, to form length can mean the difference between a high-converting landing page or a landing page that doesn't resonate with your audience. As a HubSpot Gold partner, Human Marketing can help you navigate the A/B testing tool within your HubSpot portal.MailChimp
If you're looking for a way to send emails and want A/B testing capabilities, MailChimp is a great email client option. You can test up to 3 variations of send times, subject lines and content to see what converts better. When using this tool for one client, we tested multiple email templates and measured their conversion rates. Now, having one proven email template has streamlined the email creation process. We also tested whether putting the promo discount percentage in the subject line would affect open rates or if we had some wiggle room for creative subject lines. Testing what gets your contact list to purchase can shorten the average time between purchases and help you conserve email marketing resources.Optimizely
If you want to test changes to your website, take a look at what Optimizely has to offer. You can test even the smallest changes to entire page redesigns. We've used Optimizley to temporarily put banners on specific pages of our clients' websites during special promotions. What's amazing about Optimizley is it automatically gives half of your visitors test A and the other half test B. The built-in reports also show how well each test is performing and to what degree of certainty. If the report reveals with high certainty (70-90%) that test A is outperforming test B (or vice versa), you can make a quick judgment call topermanently implement the better version.
What should I test?
I've peppered in a few A/B testing examples throughout the article, but jumping in for the first time can feel overwhelming. It's important to remember that less is more. Let's say you get a little test happy and change the subject line, the send time and some content within email A. You get the results and find out email A had higher open and click-through rates. Awesome! But when you try to recreate those results for your next promotion, you can't pinpoint the game-changer. Was it the early send time? Was it the catchy subject line? Was it the clearer copy in the email? By testing one element at a time, you'll know exactly what improved or hurt your email. The same line of thinking also applies to your website pages. By testing one change at a time, you know exactly what worked and what fell flat.
Now that you know some of the basics of A/B testing, go forth and test, test and test some more! By continuously updating your strategy (and of course allowing enough time for your changes to mature), you can greatly improve your conversion rate over time. If you need more help increasing your conversion rates, contact us at any time. As one of the hardworking inbound marketing agencies Orange County has to offer, we know what it takes to create A/B tests that matter to you and your conversion rates.