Marketing occupies a very unique position in the overall direction of a business; as a department, it determines a large part of both where a company stands in the present moment, and where it is headed. Due to this, many marketing departments often find themselves stuck between sticking to their “tried-and-true” messages versus experimenting with new ad creative and copy.
It’s understandably tempting to keep on using what has worked best for your company – after all, it’s what has lead to your current success. However, there’s also the possibility that your ad creative will eventually become stale and unnoticed by your customers – thus prompting a desire to change things up. Or, perhaps even though you feel successful, there’s more to be gained.
Thankfully, the solution to this dilemma already exists – and it’s called A/B testing.
Why You Need to A/B Test
Marketing is neither an art or a science; it exists (and has long existed) as a strange melange of the two. On the one hand, there is very much a need to pay attention to the creative aspects of a marketing message, from the color palette down to the kerning of an email text. On the other, the practice of marketing is highly data-driven, particularly in an era where anyone can get a Google Analytics account for free.
A/B testing represents the intersection between marketing as an art and marketing as a science. Simply put, A/B testing allows you experiment with the creative aspects of your advertising and in turn make evaluations based on hard, verifiable data. If you change the colors of your Facebook ad and you see the CTR skyrocket, you know you’ve made the right decision; if you tweak the copy of an AdWords ad and you see traffic plummet, then it’s back to the drawing board.
The best A/B testing is done intentionally and methodically; furthermore, it’s most effective when done with a specific goal and timeline in mind. The timeline can be as short as a week or as long as a month; the test’s goal can be to evaluate the number of clicks that a given ad set receives, or just to see what refreshing your ad creative does to your incoming revenue.
Where to A/B Test
The exact areas in which you need to A/B test can vary depending on the format and placement of your advertising; that being said, there are still a number of common elements that should be considered for testing. They include:
- Ad creative
- Ad copy
- CTA buttons
- Subject lines
- Network placement
- Page placement
- Ad targeting
It’s always a good idea to ask yourself certain questions before beginning an A/B test. Before investing the time and money to run the test, determine your answers to the following:
- What am I testing?
- Why am I testing it?
- What are the KPIs of the test?
- What will I do once I know the results of the test?
It’s usually best practice to A/B test only one element at a time. Your test results may become skewed and difficult to interpret if you change more than one element of your ad at a time.
Let Us Boost Your Marketing Efforts
A/B testing is just one of many things you can undertake to solidify your marketing efforts – however, it’s unique in that it can provide demonstrable, measurable metrics to what otherwise might seem like a black box of advertising design.
At Envision, our team of marketers, writers, designers, and developers have the know-how to bring your marketing message to the next level. Give us a shout to speak with one of our team members.