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A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Marketing Strategy?

Have you ever considered using A/B testing? And have you thought, “Man, that sounds like too much work. Why bother?”

Listen, I get it. Small businesses owners are too busy, and we really don’t want to add anything else to our plates (and yes, that includes me).

But dismissing A/B testing means you’re missing out on one of the best things that ever happened to your marketing. I’m not exaggerating.

Before we go any further, though, let’s talk about what it is – just to be sure we’re all on the same page.

A/B testing is simply trying two variations of one thing to see what performs better.

Once you see what works, what your audience cares about, and what they’re more likely to click on, you’ll see an uptick in leads, sales, and ultimately, business growth.

We’ve seen this happen with one client recently, a very cool e-commerce company based in Washington, DC. By A/B testing their email subject lines, open and click-through rates have gone up significantly, and for the first time ever, sales have come directly through their emails.

3 ways you can use A/B testing

Email subject lines

Email marketing platforms make this super easy. When you’re setting up a new campaign – like this month’s newsletter or a promo – you can choose to create an A/B test.

Here’s how it works: A random selection of recipients is pulled and the group is split in half. Half of the test group will receive one email subject line, and the other half will receive the second subject line. The email subject line with the most opens goes the rest (the majority) of your list.

You can experiment with:

  • Using emojis
  • Including the recipient’s first name
  • Word choice
  • Offers
  • Asking a question versus writing a statement
  • Highlighting one topic over another

The list goes on!

Landing pages

A landing page on your website is typically used for a special offer that you’re promoting via social media and/or email. The page is not accessible via your website’s menu; people can only get to it by clicking on a button in a social ad or email.

You (or more likely, your web developer) can set up two landing pages on your site that are nearly identical. You can test:

  • Headline
  • Specific offer (15% off versus a freebie with your next purchase)
  • Page layout
  • Copy (Including a testimonial or customer story versus none)
  • The specific call-to-action (Sign Up versus Buy Now)

Social ads

You can really get creative with social ads, because now targeting comes into play. You can create so many different audiences by slicing and dicing location, age, gender, and interests. You can also choose to only target friends/followers/those in your network.

Outside of audience, the elements you can play around with include:

  • Headline
  • Offer
  • Colors
  • Images
  • Video
  • Copy
  • Call-to-action

Excited to try A/B testing? Awesome! We’re excited for you.

Feel like you need some guidance to get started? We’re here for you – just shoot us a note, and we’ll talk through what might work best for you.

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