What You Should Know About A/B Testing | Kangaroo

What You Should Know About A/B Testing

By Karen Gaudette Brewer    
Edited by  Samantha Weng

Even the best marketing ideas need to be measured. You want to know whether what you have is really that good. After all, you’re spending large chunks of money marketing to people who you want to win as customers. Business prospects and profits are on the line. These days, online marketing makes data analytics easy. You can monitor your campaign performance to see what works and what needs to be adjusted for the best results. Being able to change is great but making too many changes can quickly bleed through your marketing budget and leave you as lost as when you began.

The best marketing teams use A/B testing to map the performance of each ad to continually refine it into the final desired form. The “A” in A/B testing signifies your control ad image, video, copy, etc. What you do to that copy, any changes at all, refer to the “B”. The point of A/B testing is to make minor adjustments to advertisements and other marketing efforts to find the sweet spot we’re all looking for.

When A/B Testing Works the Best

The whole point of A/B testing is to see how the results of an ad change when you make it a bit different. Hopefully, the changes make it better. Either way, any changes generate relevant data you can use to improve your marketing strategy. If a change or new wording drives customers away or results in lower clicks or conversions, then you know it’s something you should stay away from in the future. On the other hand, if an alteration triggers a spike in traffic and purchases, you know you’re headed in the right direction.

The get the best results, A/B testing needs to be managed constantly. This isn’t something that works on autopilot. Algorithms on search engines and social media platforms constantly change, and you’re going to need to be actively adjusting your marketing strategy to get maximum results. The A/B method makes sure you don’t lose focus of where your control is and what kind of progress you’re making.

A Simple A/B Testing Plan

  1. A/B testing in marketing is sort of like conducting a science experiment. Your control is your baseline. You need to set specific goals for what any changes to your “A”, or baseline, should accomplish. For example, your goals could include:
  • Increased traffic to your site
  • More time spent watching video content
  • More email newsletter subscriptions
  • More sales
  • More likes, shares, and comments on social media

The list goes on. The point is, you want something with which you can measure your progress rather than setting general goals. 

  • Don’t Overcomplicate Things

Things can get complex with A/B testing rather quickly. If you’re new to this, take things slowly. Make your goals simple and within the realm of possibility for a beginner such as yourself. For instance, you can set a goal to increase email signups by 20% and tackle that task first before moving onto the next thing. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do too much all at once. You could get frustrated and lose focus.

  • Know What Changes to Make

When you’re thinking about what to do with your “B”, use common marketing strategies to make your ads more effective. Use things like calls to action (CTAs), try making more video content, create a survey, or start a newsletter. These are all things you can do relatively easily to yield concrete results. You can also try changing the tone, the length, or the content of your web copy. See how speaking a different way in your ads or speaking to an entirely new audience affects your performance. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Wherever you are in your marketing journey, A/B testing is a fantastic way to measure success and puts data behind the decisions you’re making. Tracking your progress is the best way to find what works fast and implement the right marketing decisions. It’s a learning process, so have some patience with yourself and your marketing team as you work to find out the right way to speak to current and potential clients. Finding the right ads takes time, but the payoff is huge.

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