A/B Testing Part 1: Definition and Value

A/B Testing Part 1: Definition and Value

To help you comprehend what A/B testing is all about, and how does it relate to your lead magnets and sales funnel, we will start by giving out the simplest example. A/B testing is all about breaking communication barriers. Of course, it is a question of a consumer psychology, but this technique is primarily a way of filtering out the unnecessary and unwanted features of your business website that drive the sales away. That plus creating and customizing the features which will keep the sales growing. It is about providing a not-so-simple answer to your consumer’s question: Is this the product that I am looking for?

If you have basic knowledge of A/B testing and know how funnels work, feel free to skip our story of Bridge and Ice Cream and simply scroll down to Basics of Your First A/B Test section. If you need a comic reference and a metaphor to fully understand how most technical processes work – join the club and keep reading.

The Never-ending Story of Funnels and A/B testing:

The Bridge and The Sunday

Let’s assume that you’ve found yourself on a bridge which separates you from your future client. You are standing confidently on one side of the cliff while your prospect hesitantly observes from the other. Between the two of you there is a bottomless pit of failure. To get your client to join you on your side, you have to convince him that the bridge between the two of you is safe and secure. In fact, you have to convince him that your side is where he wants to be in the first place.

Your bridge is perfect, it shows no signs of wobbling and it’s welcoming all who are interested in your services or product to join you on the other side. This is actually a sales funnel and a client’s journey towards your product. In a perfect world your client examines the bridge, and since you’ve designed it flawlessly he decides that he can trust you and cross it.

Now, you realize that there are a hundred of other bridges and equally confident bridge builders such as you are, waiting for those same potential clients on the other side. With this wide range of options, prospects are assured that your bridge is probably secure and they feel even bored with it. They start visiting other bridges and probably feel overwhelmed with all the choices.

This is where you start implementing A/B testing. There is certainly a need, but with a variety of choices many prospects simply wonder off looking for better options and totally forget about your bridge. You have to offer something more, you have to develop your journey, your bridge and win over your clients. You’ve done your research of the audience and decide that you have a lead magnet that will draw their attention.

So you step out on your bridge and plant a big Sunday Ice-cream cup right in the middle. One of the prospects notices it but chooses to ignore it. He is probably even a little bit puzzled with the fact that he just spotted a bowl of ice cream in the middle of the bridge. Then you return to that bowl of deliciousness and put a big, round cherry on top. Your effort finally shows signs of improvement and a prospect decides to step on the bridge and dig into that bowl of ice cream.

You’ve reached a conclusion – to get your prospects this far, you don’t need just ice-cream, you need a cherry on the top of it as well. Now you start devising a strategy to lead your prospect further down the funnel, or down the bridge. Basically, this is how all internet marketing actually works – links and offers in a great variety of choices. The trick is in finding out which ones work for your business the best.

Basics of Your First A/B Test

To summarize the overly excessive story you’ve probably skipped, A/B testing is simply a great method of determining which marketing strategy works for your business in particular. It is like posting out two ads and finding out which one brings more leads and eventually sales. Sounds simple? Well, it is far from it. If you are thinking about designing landing pages yourself, and monitor thousands of results, consider opening up a CRO agency. It is a full-time job and involves a lot of analytic research combined with the psychology of design. This is how to start planning A/B testing to add value to your website.

Of course, this part is firmly concentrated on conversion. However, if the rest of your website looks spammy, that’s just an extension that you will have to tune up and bring it to perfection.

If you are running an on-page A/B test you will have to think hard about your sales-related features. This means that you will want to alter your Calls To Action, your design, and even entire lead magnets depending on the market that you are targeting. Focus on every element in particular.

For example, if you are testing your CTA, try to switch the location of it. Alter the text, don’t make it as simple as SUBMIT FORM, try implementing something like GET TO US NOW. Notice how that color red keeps calling out to you? Even the color of the CTA button is influencing your conversions and, although this may seem as funny as our Bridge and Ice Cream story, you can measure which design delivers more sales in a precise percentage. However, creative approach is still required, it isn’t all exact science.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about off-page conversions, you are probably testing out a sales email. The basic principles are the same – choose two designs, acquire data, keep the one which delivers more leads and eventually more sales and keep testing. Once you become aware of which one of your ads delivers the best results you will be able to focus your investments in this ad alone and continue to promote it. Remember that it is very important to test both versions at the same time so that you could have an actual insight how separate designs perform under the same circumstances.

Be advised your sales funnel can never be perfect. It shouldn’t be because you will always strive to gain more, and there is always a way to tweak it and re-run it once again.

Why Bother With A/B Testing?

If you’ve stumbled upon this section by accident, please scroll up and read our little story about the Bridge and the Sunday. A/B testing is the key factor that will influence your bottom line significantly. Unless you are trying to create a demand – there is always a way to fulfill the needs. You have an opportunity to enter an open market. You are offering services or products through the entire world wide web! Do you know how many people are online at this very moment?  There are more than 3.240.200.000 internet users today, imagine how much of those numbers are the members of your target market? How much prospects are reachable right now? What percentage of them can you successfully convert? Don’t you feel excited? You should, with A/B testing you hold the key to their wallets and their commitment, so keep testing.

In our next part of A/B tests, we will provide you with actual advice and proven examples of which designs work for which market in particular, and how to test your ABC variations continuously.

Author:

Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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