One way to describe A/B testing is to compare it to the product marketing version of natural selection, the evolution of the “survival of the fittest.” Using A/B testing, one company was able to increase their customer registration by 33% just by removing several customization options on their website.
Basically A/B testing is when a base email is made and two versions of it are sent out, each with minor differences. The results of each email are tracked to see which one does better. Of course this helps focus your outreach on more effective and powerful solutions to maximize the value and impact of your emails, but it doesn’t just stop there.
A/B testing ensures that your marketing will ALWAYS stay on top of what your customers want and how they shop. And the best part is that all of the data you get when customers make a choice is tracked and saved so that you learn more about what your customers really want. So not only do you get improved responses and opt-ins from your emails in the short term, but in the long run you will have a much stronger view of who your customers are so that you can further suit your business to match your market.
This constant data about what really appeals to your customers can help you design your product better to really suit your market and help you be aware of the context of marketing. Remember, it’s not about the product that you have and all the great features that it comes with (although a great product with solid features is essential!), improved sales is all about the benefits that your customers get when they come to you. Marketing is all about showing your customers that they get what they really want by using your products – to create a burning desire and interest to do something or achieve something with your product.
Think that A/B testing isn’t worth the time or trouble? One of the pitfalls of an inexperienced marketing team is that they often produce a marketing campaign based on what they feel is an attractive offer for their customers rather than what the customer will really respond to. This is just hit or miss. A/B marketing takes the one-sided company view out of the picture and replaces it with real, testable, verifiable data from the best possible source: the customer.
Earlier we made a post about AB Testing explaining briefly what it is and how it is done. But without marketing experience, the creation, testing, and analysis portion of A/B marketing can often stutter and slow down when immediate results aren’t easily realized. Sometimes what a business feels its strong points are is not always the same as how the customer sees the brand.
For example, the marketing team in an online sports apparel store created a great looking customer portal and registration screen. They had a lot of options on the registration page for new visitors to log in and customize their browsing experience. The registration included email options so that users could get the best offers based on the personal information they could choose to submitted.
But when the A/B testing team created a new form with fewer customization options, it tested 33% better against the original form! While the first form had been made thinking that customers wanted more options and better service, A/B testing actually revealed that customers wanted a simpler, faster, and smoother web experience.
This just goes to show that even marketing professionals will never stick with their first intuition when reaching out to a customer. Maximizing customer response and sales revenue can only be achieved by constantly refining and improving your presentation and putting aside feelings in exchange for facts.