Would Don Draper have A/B tested?

Posted by Leah DeMasters on Oct 5th, 2017 in Marketing & Design

In the age of digital innovation, marketing experimentation is just one click of a mouse away.

Digital tools allow companies to test their campaign ideas quickly and relatively cheaply to measure their effectiveness across a variety of channels.

Long gone are the Mad-Men style, glory days of advertising, when companies would hedge their bets and spend millions of dollars on a campaign, only to see it completely fizzle out.

A/B testing in the digital world allows businesses large and small to test their marketing assumptions on a small scale before launching a on a large scale.

So, what is an A/B test?

Simply put, an A/B test occurs when two versions of digital content are compared to see which performs  better. This digital content can be just about anything, whether it be display ads, email subject lines, website copy, call to action buttons, the colors of your site, etc. The A/B test concept applies to basically anything and everything in the digital sphere that a company could ever want to test.

How do I go about A/B testing?

Email Marketing

One of the easiest ways for a company to begin A/B testing is with email marketing.

Begin by randomly selecting a small sample of your contact list and dividing the sample in half. Send two different email versions to the groups, and measure which version receives a higher open rate and click through rate. Then send the winning email version out to the rest of your leads.  Major email marketing providers like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor even offer a built in tool for testing subjects lines.  There is really no excuse for not testing your subject lines!

Paid Digital Ads

If your company pays for ad space online, whether it be on social media, AdWords, or display  ads, conducting an A/B test is a wise marketing decision.

Once again, create one or more versions of the online ad, and test the ad copy or imagery to see which resonates with your target audience. Running an A/B test for digital ads is a perfect way to test company messaging, taglines, and slogans. The A/B test also may be repeated various times to ensure that you are confident about your conclusions.

Website Content

One widely underestimated channel for A/B testing is a company’s website. Tools like Optimizely and Google Optimize allow companies to present differing versions of a webpage to users and compare analytics for each different view.

The optimization software also allows for the testing of non-text elements of the page, such as call-to-action buttons, website colors, images, and more. A/B testing can be conducted on a company’s website with infinite combinations.

So, why should I do A/B testing?

The main reason why A/B testing should be one of the main tools in a company’s marketing toolbox is the reduced cost. For example, after running an A/B test, a company may realize that the headline they initially thought would be the best for their next campaign email is actually incredibly ineffective.

The A/B test allows marketing failures to be made in front of a small audience, saving companies major marketing spend from committing these types of costly errors on a larger scale.

A/B tests also allow companies to quickly and easily refine their marketing messages, constantly improve, and understand more about their target market. With A/B testing, the possibilities are truly endless.

If you aren’t sure where to get started with A/B testing, get in touch with us! A/B testing is our favorite. We’d love to partner with you to test your assumptions and grow your business online.

 

Photo credit HuffingtonPost