If you’re considering split-testing, also known as A/B testing, you already know its benefits. Whether you’re starting your first A/B testing campaign or you’re just looking for other ways to test your marketing strategy, there are some things you’ll want to know.
Split-Testing is Nearly Unlimited
Anything you can get data on is a candidate for split-testing. There are plenty of ways to get the data you’re looking for to increase your conversion rate. Whether you’re offering different benefits or discounts to people looking at different versions of your company newsletter, sales ad, or email campaign, or whether you’re testing body text or calls to action, or even if you’re testing the layout or images of 2 different email campaigns or sales ads. There are lots of different things you can test to see if they’ll increase conversions, but there are some drawbacks.
In All Things, Moderation
You don’t want to test too many things at once because it will lead to you not knowing which thing was more effective. If you’re testing a new sales ad layout, using the same images and copy will make sure you know it was the layout itself that increased your conversion rate. While you can test more than one thing at once, that’s referred to as a multi-variate test. They’re more complicated and costly to run. There are plenty of resources for multi-variate testing, but they won’t be addressed in this post.
There Are Several Ways to Test
If you have a particularly large email list, you don’t have to test the entire thing. Not doing so can save you money. Pick a reasonable sample size based on how much you’re willing to invest in your A/B testing and, if you’re using a service that will help you, make sure the emails they’re using for testing are chosen randomly for more accurate results.
If you’re trying an extreme change, you might want to consider making your sample small so that if it bombs, fewer people will have seen it. It’s still a good idea to make sure a few hundred people are in such types of testing for an accurate result, but it isn’t necessary to involve your entire email list.
Limited time types of offers are great for smaller customer pools because you can send out several of them to see which one is most effective, and use the most effective one in a later campaign for everyone.
Remember that the goal in split-testing is to gather data you can use to increase your conversion rate. Email marketing is already a great return on investment (ROI) so you don’t stand to lose as much if your marketing ideas don’t work as well as you’d hoped.
If you’ve been using the same email campaign for several months or years, you should already have a good idea of how effective your campaign is. This will give you a good baseline to see changes. The changes you’re looking for are in your conversion rate. A conversion rate jumping by 5% or so is considered successful.
If you’re using email campaign software, it likely already has built-in tools for AB testing. If it doesn’t have specific support for A/B campaigns, it isn’t difficult to set one up yourself. Just split your current email list into separate lists and then send a different version of your email to each list. If you don’t have software that can handle compiling the data for you, you’ll have to do this manually. In such cases, it’s good to export your data to a spreadsheet to help.
What Are You Looking For?
The rate at which people open your emails, click through to your site, and the conversion rate are all important data sets to help you determine whether your marketing campaign changes are more effective than your current plan. Conversion rate isn’t specific to the email itself. It’s influenced by your website, so it’s important to make sure that the information your customers see on the website is consistent with the information they received in their email. It’s important to consider split-testing your website occasionally as well to increase the number of conversions you get from people visiting your site from different starting points than your direct campaigns.
Split-Testing is a great way to maximize your ROI in an already cost-effective campaign such as email. While you might want to branch out from there into different forms of A/B testing, the information you can get from split-testing your email campaigns can help you save money in the future when considering more expensive testing options.