We break down A/B testing in digital and why it is imperative that your business implements it into your marketing endeavours. 

Is your current marketing campaign performing poorly based on your outlined objectives for the campaign? Do you want to understand how to better connect to and reach your consumers? 

You’ve come to the right place.

What Is It?

A/B testing compares two versions of your marketing efforts to a sample group in real-time. Changing one single isolated variable in your marketing efforts can enable you to gain insight into what you SHOULD  be doing differently. In turn, this could help you see an increase in ROI, leads, and reduce costs.

A/B testing is a useful tool as it provides key insights as to how your marketing efforts could see improved results in avenues such as an increase in users*, sessions*, conversions*, CPC*, and CTR*.

*users: people who have initiated a session.

*sessions: the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc.

*conversions: shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ads – product purchase, newsletter sign-up, called your business, downloaded your app, etc.

*average CPC: Average cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you’ve paid for your ad divided by its total clicks*CTR rate: Clickthrough rate (CTR) measures how often people click your ad after it’s shown to them, which can help you understand the effectiveness of your ad.

You can make minor changes in the following areas and A/B test against:

  • Using different wording
  • Enhancing keywords
  • Changing the text colour or background colour
  • Altering the layout of text and images
  • Switching the font 
  • Headings and Subheadings

A couple of examples of A/B testing are as follows: 


Altering the User Interface: 

Altering the colour or the layout of your user interface is an example where A/B testing can be properly utilized.  For example, you have a blog and your bounce rate is high and you can’t determine why that is. We will change your blog format, moving the writing and text around to be more visually appealing and readable to the eye. We will then perform an A/B test. 50% of users will see the original blog format (left), while the other 50% will see the adjusted blog format (right). Everything else will remain constant. Over two weeks of testing, the bounce rate has dropped for the right format and your user sessions are up. Proving that the altered blog format is more readable and intriguing in the eyes of the consumer.  Thus, moving forward, your blog should appear to all consumers in the right format. 





Changing your copy:

Changing your copy is a very broad example where A/B testing can be utilized. Let’s break it down a bit further. You can change your copy in a number of different mediums. For this example, we’ll use email marketing. 

In this example, we will be changing the copy of your email marketing endeavours. We will be sending out: 

A:  the original copy  “THE PERFECT GIFT” to 50% of the mailing list and sending out

B: the new updated copy “Don’t Miss Out On The Most Epic Gift Guide” to the other  50% of the mailing list.

Over the course of two weeks, our talented SEM/SEO team measures the number of people who opened each email. Based on that information they can extract key findings regarding which email performed better.  3000 people received each email, but version B “Don’t Miss Out on the Most Epic Gift Guide” yielded an increase in conversions. This is directly related to the messaging in the copy title, as it included a call to action evoking consumers’ fear of missing out. Thus, resulting in more people opening it and clicking through to your website and subsequently making a purchase. This information could tell you that your email marketing copy needs to include a more prominent call to action, evoking feelings from consumers as this is how they best respond to email marketing endeavours. 

Is It Worth It

Analytics and numbers don’t lie. If you’ve run an A/B test on various components of your marketing campaign, isolating key variables and receiving direct and quantifiable positive feedback on what consumers are more attracted to, it’s a no brainer. It’s inevitable that some campaigns are going to do better than others. By assessing your current strategy and making small changes, you could see some major changes over time that positively affect you and your business.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg for A/B testing. It can be further broken down based on a multitude of factors. We know what some of these terms and strategies can be kind of overwhelming, that’s why we’re here to help break it down for you. Thankfully, our SEM team are geniuses at this! If you still have more questions about A/B testing, its effectiveness, and how you can implement it into your next marketing campaign, drop us an email at hello@harvardmedia.com. We are here to take your digital marketing to the next level.