Test, test, and then test some more. How to conduct effective A/B tests

A/B/X tests can be extremely helpful when it comes to understanding what works and resonates with your target audience. Companies use them to improve their ads and websites. But in order for your A/B tests to work, you need to stick to some rules that we’re outlining in this post.

Here’s a typical scenario – you want to run an advertising campaign, but you cannot decide between two banners for it. Which one will work better? Well, you don’t know until you test it. That’s what A/B tests are about. The premise is very simple – you have two versions of the same asset (e.g., a landing page or a banner), and you need to test them with your recipients to find out which one is more effective (gets more views, clicks, and conversions). These two versions are called control (A) and variation (B). That’s why this form of testing is sometimes called split testing.

Once you figure out which version is more effective, you can focus on it and implement it in your marketing materials. And then… Test some more. The truth is, A/B testing is a never-ending story – there is always something that can be changed or improved regarding your marketing or your website. That’s why these tests are sometimes referred to as A/B/X.

Why A/B testing is beneficial

Primarily because this technique allows you to understand your target audience better. If some changes on your website could lead to more conversions, you should implement them, right? Secondly, A/B testing enables you to collect feedback on how those changes affect your company’s results. This way, you know what’s going on, and there is no risk of ruining your conversions for unknown reasons. With A/B testing, you keep track of what’s going on with your website or your ads.

Now, imagine you’ve already conducted several A/B tests, and now, your website is almost fully optimized to what your customers expect. The result is apparent – they are more eager to interact with your company, and you get more orders and more subscriptions.

Put shortly, A/B testing makes your website or ads exactly the way your target audience wants.

A/B testing: Best practices

Of course, A/B testing can be less or more advanced, but, in every scenario, there are some best practices you need to adhere to:

  • Define objectives: Every test you run must be purposeful. Here’s an example: A specific change in your banner can affect views but not clicks. So, what do you want to optimize for? Views or clicks? Probably clicks, so that’s what you need to measure. Every test you run should have one specific goal.
  • Test one thing at a time: The general rule says you ought to test one variable at a time. Going back to our banner example, one test should be devoted to its font, one to its colors, one to its copy, and one to its button. This may seem overly detailed, but this way, you can understand which elements had the biggest impact on your asset’s effectiveness. Keep in mind that A/B tests are all about keeping tabs on what’s going on with your marketing materials, so you ought to know how changing font affects CTR.
  • Randomize recipients: For A/B tests to be fully effective, they should be run on a random group of people. You cannot decide to test version A on people from London and version B on people from New York. There are A/B testing tools that enable you to run fully randomized tests, and that’s what you should do. What’s also important is that if you’re testing two versions of the same thing, make sure each version is displayed to 50% of your recipients.
  • Gather enough data: You need to give your A/B tests some time; 10 views are not enough. You should gather at least 500 views of each version. Measuring clicks and conversions earlier will give you incomplete (and, therefore, potentially wrong) results.
  • Check other elements: Views are one thing, but more factors can be at play. For instance, you should consider factors like the day of the week, time of day, and seasonality before you draw any conclusions. If, in your specific situation, there are other factors that can influence the results (e.g., the operating system of your users’ devices), it’s a good idea to take them into consideration. It may turn out that Android and iOS users have different preferences, and that’s something to analyze as well.
  • Document everything: As we said earlier, the whole point or running A/B tests is to find out what’s going on with your marketing assets. That’s why you should monitor and document everything. You don’t need to keep super-specific records, but you need to know what’s been done so far and to what end. Good A/B testing tools will provide you with such information in an automated way.
  • Never stop testing: Trends and customer behaviors can change over time. That’s why it’s important to run tests almost all the time and continually improve your assets. If you don’t, after a few months, you can see that the effectiveness of your ads is going down. Perhaps something has changed in the way your customers/users perceive your ads. Without A/B testing, you won’t know.

Start A/B testing with iPresso

We fully understand the value of A/B tests. That’s why our system enables you to run such tests and in more than one way. First off, you can go to your account settings and simply enable A/B testing in the settings panel:

If you need to know more, take a look at this article in our Help Center. With this option on, our system will randomly pick one of the variants and run tests for it. iPresso will also give you access to statistics so that you can verify which version was more effective. Additionally, you can adjust some aspects of your A/B tests, e.g., the frequency.

Secondly, you can set marketing automation scenarios to test different versions of your marketing assets. You simply have to create two different marketing automation scenarios for two different versions of your assets and let them do their job. 

With A/B testing in place, you will be able to improve not just your marketing campaigns but also your website and your emails (you can test different subject lines to see which one gets a higher open rate). And since you can run such tests non-stop and pretty much for free – it’s definitely worth it!

Would you like to give iPresso a shot? If so, you can start with a free trial. We invite you to sign up for such a trial and see how iPresso can make your work easier. All you have to do is send this short contact form, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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