Are you looking for a way to increase your sales, marketing engagement, and website traffic? Split testing, which is also known as A/B testing, is an excellent way to gradually increase these numbers without drastically changing your business overnight.
Essentially, split testing is a business term used to describe small changes made to marketing campaigns. These changes, or tests, are shown to consumers across email, social media, and your website. You’ll then measure your results to see if the changes you made had a significant impact on your metrics.
If there are improvements, keep the change and test another element of the campaign. The goal is to develop fine-tuned marketing material that resonates with your target audience and gets results.
Today, we are going to explore several split tests you can use across all of your marketing platforms.
Let’s get started!
Form Placement and Design
It’s safe to say that almost all of us use forms on our website. Contact pages, order forms, and on-site surveys all happen with a form builder. What you may not know is your form placement and design can have a significant impact on engagement.
There are several design factors that come into play. First, the number of fields you add to each form can determine how many people follow through and enter their information. Limiting basic forms like subscription boxes and contact pages to less than 3 fields can result in a 25% completion rate. When you consider that 6+ fields drop the completion rate down to 15%, it’s clear that design plays a prominent role in conversions.
You can experiment with different field lengths to see if reducing the information users have to submit to get their lead magnet, newsletter, or customer service query results in more people completing the entry process. It’s possible to add a fourth form if you want to add an optional question for segmenting purposes.
The location of your form can also impact conversions and overall engagement. Most research suggests that forms see increased performance when put above the fold. Of course, intent plays a role in this process. Think carefully about the goal of your form when deciding on placement. For instance, a customer support contact form may see better results at the top of the page, while a subscription box may see more traction when included in-line throughout your blog content.
Next, let’s talk about the importance of split testing when you contact your audience. The critical point to remember here is your most successful email marketing times may not align with when you get the most engagement on social media. Similarly, you may see a totally different peak response period if you’re using SMS marketing to send out push notifications.
Here’s a chart showing when businesses see the most email engagement:
The times listed here can vary depending on your industry and the type of email you’re sending to your audience. Pay attention to the open rate and engagement rate of your emails when you try sending them out at different times. Let’s say you see a 60% open rate at 8 pm, and a 30% rate at 6 am. When reviewing this data for your website, you can make smart decisions about the best time to send out your emails.
Customers may also respond to your social media posts more, depending on the time of the day. Over 3.81 billion people use social media worldwide, so split testing when you post content can help you dramatically improve engagement, website visits, and potential sales.
We suggest keeping a consistent posting schedule for two weeks. Look for sharp increases in likes, shares, and click-throughs and use those metrics to guide future posting decisions.
It’s not uncommon to see calls-to-action (CTA) in email marketing, website forms, and landing pages. Marketers use CTA to get more people to complete a specific action, such as signing up for an email list or gaining access to a lead magnet.
The reasons why you use CTAs will vary depending on your industry, audience size, and goals.
Tweaking CTAs can help you see a dramatic boost in social interactions and click-throughs. The key is to use actionable language that inspires the person reading your CTA to, well, take action.
There are several ways you can adjust your CTA for enhanced performance. We suggest changing the action words you use when enticing customers to take advantage of an offer. For example, instead of “Click here” you may want to try “Download my FREE eBook.” Depending on your audience’s intent, you can see a boost in traction and engagement by simply choosing the right words for your CTA.
Here’s the thing. You’ll never know what works unless you run split tests and experiment with different verbiage.
You can also test your CTAs by changing the color of the background. Research shows that red CTAs tend to outperform green by a whopping 21%. But results may vary. The only way to find out for sure is to change the color and try the change with 50% of your audience. If you see your click-throughs increase due to a color change, you can use that knowledge when developing future CTAs.
Headers and Subject Lines
When you click on a blog post or email, what’s the first thing you look at? Odds are, you check the header or subject line to make sure there’s a reason to open the message or read the post. Consumers feel this way when they get marketing emails or check out the latest content on your blog.
A/B testing headers and subject lines are an excellent way to improve your overall conversion rate while building rapport with your audience. People typically follow brands with a worthwhile value proposition and communicate their benefits through content, email, and social media.
Testing your subject lines and headers is a great way to learn more about your target audience and deliver content tailored to your customers’ needs. You can experiment with power words, headline length, and much more.
It’s also possible to test different personalization strategies through email. Studies found that personalizing your subject line can increase your open rate by 26%, which is excellent news for large and small companies.
You’ll have to look carefully at the most popular posts on your website and compare those results with your audience’s sentiment on social media. The goal is to make these elements match up, so users are more inclined to click your posts, which means more traffic and traction.
The goal of split testing is to boost the return on investment of your marketing campaign while building stronger relationships with your audience. You can tune your marketing strategy and connect with consumers when you understand what words and design decision influence their browsing and shopping habits.
It’s worth noting that all split tests should run for approximately two weeks before deciding how the change affects your business. You always want to base your decision on plenty of tangible data and feedback from customers.