ABCs of A/B testing

by / Monday, 09 September 2013 / Published in Uncategorized

A/B testing is a method of experimenting with different marketing techniques. There are two variants, A and B, a control and treatment just like in a scientific controlled experiment. The idea is to make minute changes within elements in your marketing campaign to test sales copy, website design, or pretty much any aspect of your marketing mediums.

In eCommerce a sales funnel is a great place to start A/B testing. You can implement A/B testing for each piece of your sales funnel. In order to give you a good idea of how to do that let’s say that there are four main parts to your online marketing campaign: social media, company blog, online newsletter, and your website/ landing pages. You can try different experiments with each one in order to figure out the best techniques in each area and build an amazingly productive sales funnel.


Social Media

People that are subscribed to your social media pages have already expressed an interest in your products, so your primary goal here should be to build a relationship with your customers. There are two types of posts you will be producing on social media. One is to get customers excited about new things you are working on while also gather feedback on what direction to take. The other type of post will be a CTA from time to time which will point users to a progressive step in the funnel such as signing up for a newsletter, checking out the website, or visiting a landing page.

To gauge effectiveness of your social media campaign you will want to see which posts are getting the most attention. For CTAs you’ll want to see what type of wording is getting the most clicks. But as an example lets focus on the types of posts that inspire responses from customers.

Come up with different interactive ideas (an A and B) that you can implement on your social media sites. Perhaps try a contest one month, and a poll the next month asking which new product your customers would like to see. Examine the number of participants from each project to determine which campaign was more effective. This should give you an idea on how to best get customers excited about your brand.

Online newsletter

Usually customers who have signed up for e-mail updates have either already bought something or are at the stage of serious consideration. The role of this marketing medium should be to introduce them to your higher dollar products and services and also update them on positive company changes. A lot of CTAs and a little bit of brand building. In general you’ll want to point them in the direction of your landing pages.

Let’s say for example your company has 4000 people in your e-mail database and you want to test two bits of sales copy which are written to encourage customers to buy something. So you run two separate e-mails, A and B, and send them to 2000 people each. Each one has an identical template but is worded differently and each one contains an A promotional code and a B promotional code so that you can track the sales from each one. This will let you gauge which wording of the sales copy seems to work best.

Website/ Landing page

You can also do A/B testing with your website by changing the design from month to month. Monitor customer’s activity, where they click on the page, and the conversion rate per visitor. Try different design elements and find out which tends to attract the most attention and swaying people towards sales.

For landing pages you could try the above method of sending two CTA e-mails containing a special discount. Only this time the e-mails will be identical because you wont be testing those, you’ll be testing the landing pages. Use different page designs and possibly different sales copy for each landing page that you redirect customers to. Find out which one works best.

A/B testing will help you build an amazing sales funnel

I hope this helps give you a good understanding on how to implement A/B testing with your business. By trying different things and implementing the strategies that work best you can build a killer sales funnel that generates you the highest possible sales. But trends in the market are always changing, so it’s a good idea to try new things as time goes on. This is a great tool to get started and try some things for yourself.

Leave a Reply