Testing your website or online marketing campaigns is a critical step in remaining relevant online. Allowing website features, graphics, pay-per-click ads, emails or other elements to become outdated is not beneficial to any site. Ease of use is important online and it is essential that every company tests their website and online presence (including emails, etc…)in order to ensure that they are providing a good experience for the user while they are navigating the site. The most effective way to complete this review of online features is through A/B Testing.

A/B testing aims to identify changes to web pages and marketing campaigns that increase the outcome of a certain event happening, typically an event that is beneficial to online marketing endeavors. Two versions of a specific element are compared (two different emails, two different graphics, two different fonts, and so on) in order to identify which version is the best for that company and provides the most benefit. It is important that there only be one variable change within these tests, otherwise the results will not be conclusive. For example, if you are attempting to decide which type of email subject line will cause the most people to open the email, only the subject lines can differ. The send time of the email, the content, the font, and all other criteria must remain the same between the versions. A/B testing can measure the increase or decrease in conversion rates and the success of pay-per-click ads, among many other measurable online marketing factors.

A/B testing allows for evidence-based practice and leads to more effective marketing. Performing tests gives a company the ability to see the exact outcome of their online marketing decisions and then change those decisions if need be.  When running these tests, make sure you know what your measure of success is (time spent on pages, clicks on the email, etc). Also, ensure that you have a large enough volume of randomly selected people to participate in the test. While everything can be tested, you should only test things that could improve performance. Lastly, documentation of results is vital. This ensures that you have the data in a safe place that can be easily accessed and used again in the future when making other decisions about online marketing elements.

Here are a couple of A/B Testing Ideas for you to try with your email campaigns:

  •  What type of subject line style works best?
  •  Does time of day affect overall click rate?
  • What day of the week gets you better open rates?
  • What time of day works best for your promotional campaigns?

These are just a few tests you could perform in order to identify improvements your company can make in their online marketing endeavors. Does your company use A/B Testing to ensure that your hard work is paying off?

As a full service marketing agency, The Belford Group creates branding, websites, marketing, social media and search engine optimization solutions to assist our clients in finding and reaching their ideal audience.

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