One key trait which sets digital marketing apart from traditional marketing is that the former possesses a great deal of measurability. Whenever digital marketing techniques are deployed, data is created in the process – this allows you to accurately measure and quantify the success and / or failure of digital marketing. As any digital marketing agency in Singapore worth its salt would tell you, data is king when it comes to measuring the performance of your digital marketing campaigns. There are multiple tools and technologies that help you to capture this data, with which you can easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing campaigns.
It is important to adopt a well-defined framework which measures, tests and evaluates your digital marketing activities. Suffice to say, data will remain a vital component as it will be integral in driving all the processes in this framework. Regardless of budget or what you are ultimately trying to achieve, you will need to collect data and translate them into information – specifically, into insights – that will help to refine your campaign’s performance and subsequently, maximize the success of your activities. In this case, this is where A/B testing comes in.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method which compares two different versions of a landing page; the results of this comparison are then assessed to learn more about the preferences of your target audience’s, in terms of the landing page they favor more. The outcomes you derive from A/B testing can also be used to help you formulate the necessary adjustments and improvements to your landing page, which then further improves your conversion rates.
How does it work?
When conducting an A/B test, you need to create two versions of the landing page or app screen. The second version will contain a few variations compared to the first: simple changes in sections such as the headline, different call-to-action buttons’ colors, or a dramatically design of the entire page. You then show half of your visitors the first version of the landing page (known as the control page) and show the other half the modified page (also known as the variation page). With these two pages, you will be able to measure and analyze the differences in reactions, and take further action from there.
The measurement and analysis of these differences are usually conducted by a statistical engine, and the results then presented using an analytics dashboard. By controlling and analyzing changes in the variables – for example, a different copywriting for a product description on the landing page – you can have results telling you objectively if these changes have a positive, negative or zero effect on the visitor’s behavior.
As with any statistical analysis, the accuracy, success and reliability of A/B testing will depend heavily on the size of the sample of visitors you are testing. A bigger sample, statistically speaking, will yield results which are more accurate. For smaller sample sizes, results can be highly skewed as the variances between the two groups (controlled versus variation page visitors) are magnified, thus giving results which may not be reflective of the actual situation. A bigger sample size will capture the responses from a large group, and definitely be a more accurate indicator of how your target audience is likely to feel. This also gives you the extra confidence in the certainty of the test results, which you can base on to make decisions for your digital marketing strategies.
Why is it important to A/B test?
A/B testing is a scientific approach backed by cold, hard data and takes the guesswork out of any digital marketing decisions you might be making. These decisions could be for your website design or copywriting optimization efforts; whatever the decision may be, you can be sure that it is made based on data. As such, your business decisions will no longer be based on what you think or assume, but on facts derived from the analysis and understanding of data. When you are able to measure the impact resulting from changes made to your landing page, you will then be able to make changes that can produce positive results.
A/B testing not only provides you with quantitative data, but also deeper insights into the behaviors exhibited by your customers. When you enlist the professional help of a digital marketer, you can apply the insights in the other areas of your overall marketing strategy. For example, your A/B testing might have yielded the result that a red call-to-action button is more frequently clicked than a blue one, you can use this piece of valuable information on other webpages that you currently manage or own. Perhaps you might have also discovered that a certain title elicits a more positive response than another title in the same newsletter; this then becomes another insight that you can leverage to make the necessary changes to the text in your other publications. In both cases, you have obtained a critical piece of information which can be readily applied to other areas of marketing without you having to repeat the test or analysis again. This helps save time and resources for you.
A/B testing allows your marketing team to adopt a scientific approach towards understanding your target audience’s behavior. From constructing hypotheses, collecting data and performing statistical analysis on the data, A/B testing is an empirical approach that provides you with conclusions based on cold, hard data. For instance, a B2B focused company might want to increase the number as well as quality of the leads it generates from its landing pages; to accomplish this objective, the company can conduct an A/B test by introducing landing pages with different headlines, images, call-to-action buttons, text, form fields and overall page layout. While it seems like there are many variables that can be measured, it is important to understand that getting the final look-and-feel correct is critical to the business’ success. Having a clear understanding of how visitors perceive different aspects of your landing page can provide a positive interaction experience, which in turn leads to increased conversions and sales.