The Value of A/B Testing
By: Andy Nolan
February 12, 2021 | Digital Advertising
What Is A/B Testing
A/B testing is a type of experimentation used in marketing to compare two various elements of a marketing campaign and learn which is most effective. A/B testing allows marketers to better understand their target market, their behaviors, and more efficiently spend their money.
Think of it as a winner-take-all boxing match! When set-up and managed appropriately, an A/B test is very effective in learning what works and what doesn’t.
3 Important Considerations
1. Only change one variable at a time! To understand which fighter is the grand champion, it is necessary to only have two fighters in the ring at a time. This will allow you to know which item is actually contributing to the differing results. If you have multiple changes happening at one time, you will never know for sure which one is actually leading to success or failure. It’s called an A/B test for a reason, folks. This isn’t an A/B/C/D/E/F/G test.
2. Split Budget Evenly – This ties into #1. If each campaign isn’t getting the same amount of love (budget), it’s an uneven fight! Many platforms like Google Ads and Facebook have tools in place to keep budgets even when creating an A/B test.
3. Give it time! Many platforms have a learning phase of 2 weeks or more, but you should leave the test alone for much longer if you can. The more data you have, the more confident you can be in the results. 5 leads vs. 4 leads isn’t very significant. One easily could have fluctuated one way or another. 300 leads vs. 65 leads is though! You can gain confidence in your champion as those margins grow over time.
Things to Test
- Landing Page – Learn what copy and layout of your website is most likely to lead to a desired action. Ideas:
- Ad Text/Copy – Learn what message/phrasing/CTA is most effective in leading to a Click or Conversion
- Imagery – For social and programmatic ads, A/B tests can be set up to see which image is best at grabbing the attention of a scroller and enticing them to click through to your website.
These are just a few of the options to consider. The possibilities are endless. If you have two items and you’re not sure which would work better, throw them in the ring and test them out.
Steps to Success
1. Choose What You Want to Test – whether it’s an option above or one of your own, have a game plan. And remember, only one variable, please!
2. Set Goals/KPIs – Decide how you will measure success. Lead Volume and Cost per Lead are often the most important metrics to a business, but there are other data metrics to keep an eye on as well. If testing ad copy or targeting, click through rate and average CPC are great metrics to know which is more likely to lead to a click and/or which leads to a higher ad quality score (cheaper!).
3. Create and Enable the Test – Every platform is different and some are easier to implement than others. But at the end of the day, make sure you have two campaigns that are exactly the same minus the one variable, with the same budget, and set to start at the same time.
4. Monitor closely – Be patient. We know it’s hard. Keep a close eye on the test to make sure it is performing how you expect and staying within budget. It is okay to make small optimizations and changes, but if you do make sure you are making the adjustment to both campaigns.
5. Analyze Data – Keep an eye on your desired KPIs. After obtaining a significant amount of data, it is time to name a winner!
6. Take Action – You put in all the hard work, don’t let it all go to waste! That’s like having a 12-round boxing match and not giving the winner their prize! Once you’ve determined a winner, make the changes full-time in your campaign to continue driving great results.
A/B testing is a fantastic way to learn what works best for your particular campaigns and goals. When implemented and managed properly, you can quickly take your marketing to the next level. An “always testing” mentality will keep your campaigns fresh, effective, and lead to success. Ready to get going? Our team at Oodle is posed and ready to help you drive the results you need.