A/B testing starts with selecting the right elements to test and then following each step of a testing workflow. It’s important that marketers complete the entire process before preemptively making any changes to their campaigns.
They don’t want to make assumptions and jump the gun, otherwise, they will make an uninformed decision and risk eliminating or altering an element that was actually working well to drive conversions. It goes without saying that this would be a big uh-oh! A/B testing, when executed in full, enables you to avoid this mistake altogether.
First, let’s discuss what to consider testing, and then, we will discuss how you test.
WHAT TO TEST
When it comes to A/B testing, you can test almost anything. With that being said, here are some general areas to consider and pursue:
Messages: Which message and/or copy resonated the most with our target audience?
Visuals: Which visual impacted the most conversions?
Within messages and visuals, there are countless elements that can be tested. In particular, marketers should look to test elements that they believe directly affect conversion rates and are high impact for your business. Here are elements for you to consider testing, broken down by channel:
- Buy now? Purchase? Check out? Add to cart? Change your CTA text on your buttons to see which word or phrase converts the most visitors
- Vary the location of your CTA button—make some more prominent than others
- Test different colors, shapes, and sizes of images for CTA buttons on your website
- Test gated content against non-gated content. Find out which gets more downloads and whether users are willing to fill out forms.
- Test how your content is displayed. Do users prefer to scroll down the page, or click through to another page to learn more?
- Test different headline texts. Try headlines that are more straightforward, goofy, or creative.
- Test paragraphs vs. bulleted lists.
- Test shorter vs. longer copy.
- Test different types of imagery—people vs. products and photos vs. illustrations.
- See how stock images stack up against images of your employees or customers in action.
- Test auto-play against click-to-play for videos.
- Test the order of your menu items in your site navigation.
- Test the display of your navigation bar. Do visitors prefer a horizontal or vertical orientation?
- Test the length of sign-up forms.
- Try a special offer, discount, or promotion to increase sign-ups.
- Try asking for different pieces of information in your form fields.
- Test different page designs and messaging for new vs. returning visitors.
- Test different content related to a visitor’s demographics.
- Create seasonal or location-based offers and test them on visitors living in specific locations.
Pricing and Shipping
- Test a free trial offer vs. a free demo offer for short-term and long-term conversions.
- Test annual billing vs. monthly billing on your pricing page. Which generates more subscriptions?
- Test the size and placement of your social icons to see what compels users to share more often.
- Test your profile images, cover image, and more to see what customers respond to.
- Test different images in social ads. See which one, or style, gets the best results.
- Test different types of social messaging on each channel to see what type of copy resonates.
- Test the “from” name.
- Test the greeting.
- Test the length and copy of your email subject lines.
- Test using imagery and rich media in your emails.
- Test personalized vs. un-personalized emails by using the recipient’s name, or other known personal data, in the subject or body of the email.
- Find the optimal time to reach your audience by measuring open rates on different days of the week and at different times.
- Try different displays and navigation options, such as blinds, buttons, and blocks.
- Try using different types of notifications— SMS, push, and in-app. Also make sure to test your messaging and offers.
- Test where an in-app message or push message routes to: a page on your website or a page in the app.
- Test rendering for mobile.
- Test the headlines on your paid campaigns to see what gets more clicks.
- Try changing the display URL on your ad.
- Try different conversion page variations— copy, image, CTA, and form.