The ultimate success of business endeavors can be measured in many ways, but ultimately the most important metric is return on investment. Your business can’t run without making money, and maximizing the returns on your investments is always a priority.
This is especially true when it comes to marketing where the goal is to leverage your marketing budget to increase sales. While the goal is obvious, getting there isn’t always easy.
Ensuring that a marketing campaign is making the most of its budget is an ongoing process that requires diligence and a healthy dose of trial and error to find what works. One of the best methods for maximizing the returns on an advertising campaign is through the use of A/B testing.
So, what is A/B testing?
A/B testing, sometimes called split testing, is a marketing technique that uses multiple versions of the same marketing materials which are shown to different segments of your audience at the same time to measure their comparative performance. In other words, A/B testing is basically a cage match where only the best marketing materials come out alive. The version that performs best gets put into circulation while you learn from the failures.
For example, you might use A/B testing in an email campaign and create two (or more) versions of the same marketing message. Then, you would measure the performance of the different versions of the email and compare their metrics to one another during your initial testing phase. This helps you learn what is working and what isn’t so you can refine your marketing materials to improve their conversion rates and increase your ROI.
Why should you do A/B testing?
A/B testing is a method to increase ROI from your advertising efforts, but there are more specific metrics that can be tracked for providing deeper insights into various aspects of the performance of your marketing materials.
For instance, A/B testing can be employed on the landing page for your website to see the difference that small changes might have on the performance of the page across metrics such as:
Bounce rate refers to how often users leave your site after visiting only a single page. A high bounce rate indicates that your landing page is failing to retain its visitors due to various reasons such as poor load times, confusing page structure, or failing to meet the visitor’s expectations, to name a few.
Average Session Duration
Average sessions duration is how long users remain on your site. The “right” length of time someone should be expected to spend on your site is determined by a number of factors like whether you host content you want visitors to experience or if your site is more centered around pure conversions.
Conversions can be a lot of different things depending on the goal of your marketing materials. A conversion for your landing page might be getting someone to subscribe to your newsletter, complete a sale, or initiate a download of content you host on the page.
These and other metrics can be tracked using A/B testing and comparing the performance of different versions across separate metrics to dial into exactly what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes something as simple as changing the color of a button can make a huge difference, but you’d never know that was the case if you didn’t test it out.
While the name A/B testing implies two versions, there is no hard limit to how many versions you can try out; however, using too many versions does make the process more difficult and potentially less successful.
Oftentimes, the best way to employ A/B testing is by comparing two versions that only have slight differences between them. This allows you to ensure that the results of the comparison aren’t muddied by having too many variations at once which can give conflicting information regarding what works best.
Make Marketing Work For You
Increasing the ROI of your ad spend isn’t always easy and maximizing the potential of all your points of contact is an ongoing process, but it’s well worth the time.
At Cardinal, we’re passionate about leveraging our marketing expertise to help other businesses find the audience they deserve. Get in touch with us to learn more about how marketing techniques can help your business grow.