Hat Trick Blog

What the is A/B testing and how can it benefit me?

added on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 11:24am

Tagged: Advice, Email Marketing, Goals, SEO, Websites

What the is A/B testing and how can it benefit me?
When you talk about digital marketing, websites, email campaigns and all of that jargon you may hear the words "A/B Testing" thrown around. In this post you will learn what A/B Testing actually is, how to use it and how it can benefit you and/or your company.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing or also know as split testing is the idea of creating two versions of something e.g. a web page or an email template. Once you have your two versions then you would send them out to different groups of people to measure which performs better. This will allow you to use the best version and should bring in more revenue and visits etc.

A/B Testing on a Web Page

Depending on your end goals, there are many different types of A/B testing you could try with a web page;

  1. Every other
    This one is easy. Each person that visits your web page is essentially an A or a B. The first visitor of the day would be A then the second would be B, and so on. This way 50% of visitors are seeing the A page and 50% are seeing the B page.
  2. Country
    Using certain code/software on your website you can fairly accurately guess which country your visitor is based in. Using this information would then allow you to show a more localized page which would hopefully engage the visitor more than just a generic web page.

How can using A/B Testing on a web page help me?

A/B Testing is a fairly affordable and hassle free way of learning about the visitors to your website. You can get fantastic information such as;

  • Where is best to place adverts e.g. where they have the highest click through rate
  • Where is best to place offers
  • General functionality of the website e.g. the flow might not be as natural as you think!

Knowing how your users use your website in invaluable and will teach you all sorts of things.

A/B Testing in an email campaign

You may or may not know but we offer an email campaign service called "Nobby" which has A/B Testing functionality built right in!

Figure 1 - Email Marketing A/B test results showing the winner

If you send out email campaigns then knowing how your users interact with an email should be your most important focus. A/B testing in Nobby allows you to set up two versions of the same email and track the results. This can give you fantastic insights such as;

  • Which subject line gets the best open rate
  • The "from" name and how that effects the open rate
  • The design of the email e.g. colours, images, layout
You also get some great features so you can fiddle and tweak the settings to get even more useful information! You can;

  • Choose the size of each group e.g. A = 30% and B = %70
  • Select a winner based on different metrics e.g. Open rate, click troughs etc
You can also test before you send the test! If you want to test out all of your settings and see how it will look to your customers / subscribers then Nobby has that feature.

A/B Testing in the real world

Let's see A/B testing in action and look at some interesting statistics;

  1. Google once ran an A/B test on which shade of blue would get the most clicks (buttons, links etc), it took them 41 different shades to find it! (click here for source)
  2. In President Obama's 2008 campaign they tested 24 variations of the home page to try and increase sign ups. Eventually they found the perfect combination and increased the sign ups by 40.6% ! This resulted in an extra 2.88 million email addresses (signups), which translated into roughly $60 million worth of extra donations. (click here for source)
  3. Veeam Software ran a single A/B test by showing one link with the wording "Request a quote" and the other link with "Request pricing". They made no other changes to the website only those words on a link. The phenomenal result was an increased click-through rate of 161.66% ! (click here for source).

You may have also noticed the A/B testing here on our very own site! If not, maybe give the site a refresh the next time you visit the home page?

I need A/B Testing in my life!

Ok so hopefully now you can see how A/B testing can benefit your website or email campaign we can get you started on the right track. Send us an email on thrive@hattrickmedia.co.uk or phone us on 01476 576 839.