In many of our prior posts we’ve discussed the importance of tracking the performance of your marketing. If you don’t know how well your marketing is doing, and you’re not trying to fine-tune it over time to get the best results, you’re not maximizing the investment you’re making in your company. Now, it’s great that you’re investing in your business, but the idea is to get the best return on your investment. This post should help with that, especially if you’re new to marketing.
One method of fine-tuning your marketing is A/B testing. A/B testing or “split” testing is an experimental approach to design which tries to identify elements in your marketing which increase or maximize a desired outcome or result. Possible outcomes are numerous, such as the submission of a form on your website, a phone call or other direct contact from your customer, a click-through in an email newsletter or landing page, or even a purchase. We’ve talked about these outcomes as “valuable contacts” in prior blog posts, in which we’ve also stressed the importance of setting them up as conversions/goals in your analytics. This will help you monitor marketing performance as well as determine how and why a customer came to find you and/or contact you.
With A/B testing, two versions of your marketing are compared. They are identical except for one variation that you think might impact a user’s behavior. The possibilities for what you change are numerous. Here are just a few:
- the call to action language or button
- different fonts or combinations
- text and background colors
- layout changes, placement of content on the page or piece
- different images
The goal is to figure out if one version outperforms the other. If the results are significant enough, you know which element should be used going forward.
Many people think A/B testing can only be used to test online marketing, but this just isn’t the case. Your print marketing can also be tested using this method. For example, rather than sending 2000 identical postcards to everyone on your mailing list, you could send 1000 postcards with your current layout and another 1000 with some element modified. To track the performance of A vs. B you’d simply need to include different information to help you collect and analyze the data, such as different landing page URLs (and QR codes that redirect to different landing pages) as well as phone numbers.
Give A/B Testing a try and let us know if it helps you improve your marketing ROI. If you need some help, you know where to find us!