Top four reasons to start AB testing today

In recent years, the pressure applied to marketers has grown significantly. Year over year, goals are handed down and marketers are expected to do more with less. This trend often leaves marketers scrambling to find new ways to meet these goals. What’s more, in today’s digital ecosystem, with an abundance of options, visitors have come to expect an experience that is relevant and personalized towards their specific needs when they engage with your brand. When those needs are not met, visitors may leave your website, landing pages and mobile experiences for your competitors, resulting in a significant loss of revenue.

To meet the demands of their visitors as well as hit their lofty goals, a optimization tactic marketers are more frequently gravitating towards is AB testing. AB testing, one of many tools available in the marketing optimization wheelhouse, is the scientific process of comparing the performance of two or more entities, typically web pages, funnels, landing pages or ads to determine which version performs better for a given set of goals (e.g. conversions, revenue, form submissions, etc). Given the fact that all AB testing software uses a statistic-based engine, marketers are able to easily make informed decisions before launching their best performing experiences to visitors.

Through the continued application of AB testing, marketers are far more likely to achieve their goals and improve the success of the digital experiences they are responsible for managing. To help you understand how AB testing can help you achieve your goals, we have compiled a list of the top 4 reasons why you should start AB testing today.

1. Improve performance

Data-driven AB testing can have a significant impact on all of your online metrics including bounce rate, user engagement, conversion rate, revenue including average order value and more.  Regardless of what metric(s) you aim to improve, when applied, AB testing helps you quickly identify the best experience for each one of your visitors.

In a nutshell, AB testing empowers marketers to quickly design and go to market with several versions of a page, a page element or an entire experience and quickly understand, in real-time, which version is improving your various metrics. We are in essence allowing visitors to provide instant feedback on which version of the experience makes it easier for them to complete their goals rather than assuming we know the best experience for them or simply implementing what the HiPPO (highest paid persons opinion) asks of us.

2. Mitigate risk

Companies spend a significant amount of time and resources designing and revising their digital experiences.  Unfortunately, the result is often poor performance, a poor customer experience and more time and resources spent making additional revisions, costing the company thousands of dollars.

AB testing helps you avoid unnecessary risks by allowing you to test your new experiences before they are released to the majority of your visitors. AB testing helps mitigate risk by giving you the ability to control the amount of visitors exposed to your new experiences (also known as throttling) as well as provides you the ability to make iterative changes over time rather than bombarding your visitors with major, wholesale changes.

Throttling

Throttling allows you to dictate how much traffic is exposed to an experience at a given time. Rather than exposing 100% of your visitors to a new experience,, AB testing allows you to stagger the release over time, for example day 1 – 5% of total traffic, day 2 – 20%, day 3 – 50%, etc.  Staggering the experience overtime gives you the ability to constantly keep a pulse on how your new experience is impacting your customers, metrics and overall performance.

Iterative testing

Iterative testing, also known as evolutionary design, is the process of introducing your visitors to changes, through the use of AB testing, in smaller increments.  Instead of a single major change (e.g. a complete redesign), you have the ability to test smaller, incremental changes overtime. For example, test 1 – navigation, test 2 – page layout, test 3 – imagery, so on and so forth.

3. Validate technology

Companies are constantly investing in new technologies to give them better insight into their customers, enhance their data or improve efficiencies, however those investments often times come with a cost, typically in the form of decreased performance or loss in conversion rate. AB testing enables marketers to quickly test or validate the technology before committing to adding it to their digital properties full time. OpenText™ Optimost has helped hundred of clients validate technologies such chat, credit card offers at checkout, upsell/cross-sell modules, user feedback tools, credit monitoring services and more.

4. Improve personalization efforts

Personalization is becoming more of the focus and for good reason. As we mentioned earlier, success is based on getting the right content in front of your visitors at the right time. However, who is to say what the right content is? Moreover, what works for one audience may not work for another. Therein lies the problem. Marketers exploring personalization for the first time typically target their known audiences with content they believe is best for that specific audience without having any hard data to suggest whether it is the right fit or not.

AB testing paired with personalization helps you ensure the content you are targeting your audience groups with is indeed the best possible content. Instead of throwing out content you believe is well suited for your audiences, apply AB testing to validate your hypotheses – you will be rewarded accordingly.

At the end of the day, AB testing is helping thousands of marketers improve overall performance of their digital experiences, mitigate risk, validate technology and improve their personalization efforts through controlled, data-driven testing. Moreover, it is very likely that many of your competitors are using AB testing today to get a competitive edge. The longer you forego AB testing, the more likely it is for your competitors to succeed and capture the market.

Here at OpenText we pride ourselves on building successful testing practices within our client’s businesses. We would love the opportunity to kick-start your program.

If you would like to start testing today or simply learn more, get in touch with us via the contact form on the page here.

Robert Brennan

Robert is a marketing optimization professional with over 8 years experience in developing and executing optimization strategies. He has executed hundreds of experiments for top tier brands that blend art and science, resulting in significant business impact. Robert blogs on all things marketing optimization related - including how to build effective strategies, the use and impact of data, as well as testing best practices.

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