What is A/B Testing in Digital Marketing (A Definitive Guide)

What Is A/B Testing In Digital Marketing (A Definitive Guide)

  • Nov 11, 2020
  • 1492 words
  • 6 minutes read
Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash 

You’ve got the best marketing tools and strategies, but there is one more thing you have to do after identifying the most effective techniques to boost revenue - and that is A/B Testing.

If you’re not doing AB tests, then, you’re missing a big opportunity for your business to earn more money.

Since businesses have different target markets, marketing campaign results could vary. That is why it is important to do AB testing to determine which of the strategies work best.

The AB testing allows you to determine further what specific marketing or ad campaign entices your customers to click-through.

If you’re one of those who shun away A/B testing due to the complexities its name implies, fret not today. Doing A/B tests is actually not as complex as it seems.

Let us dig deeper into what A/B testing really is, how it is different from split testing, what it is used for, and why it is important.

What is A/B Testing: Definition Explained

Image Author: Seobility , License: CC BY-SA 4.0

So, what does A/B testing mean?

A/B testing, commonly referred to as split testing, is a method used to compare two versions of a webpage, an email, an app, or other marketing assets against each other to determine which performs better.

A/B testing is a method of website optimization in which two versions of a page — version A and version B — are compared to one another. It is a technique used to measure which version of an ad copy, a design, or any content catches the customer’s attention.

By tracking the way visitors interact with the page they are shown, you can determine which version of the page is most effective.

How Does A/B Testing Work: Looking at the Testing Design and Process

Your A/B Tests start the moment you send out the two versions of the marketing asset you want to compare to two groups of audiences.

Your marketing asset could be an email, a brochure, a presentation, a video, a sales letter, blog content, an image or web content used to promote your products, services, or brand.

Once you send out version A and version B of your marketing asset, you can then start to measure their performance and compare which of the two works better. You can then see how the variations perform.

How do you exactly do this? How is A/B testing done?

How to Do A/B Testing

To effectively run an A/B test, you need to distinguish your version A and version B, and the variation you want to make between the two.

You have to choose which asset to test first, then, come up with version A which could be something that has performed well in the past, and version B with slight changes on one of the elements.

You then send the two versions to different types of audiences, may it be with demographics, interests, or roles.

You can then start tracking their performance if version A is outperforming version B or the other way.

To understand further, let us take a look at the A/B testing guidelines and best practices you can follow anytime as your roadmap to running your own A/B test.

1. Set specific objectives

You should always set goals before running an A/B test. You should always determine what do you want to achieve with the test. Do you want to increase traffic? Or sales maybe?

You should be able to lay your goals beforehand so you know which element to test and what changes to make.

2. Select the page you will test

Always start with your most important page. It could be your website’s homepage or a landing page. Whatever you choose, always make sure it contains all the necessary information a customer may need.

3. Choose an element you want to test

A/B testing allows us to test on a single element as a variation between the two versions. Make the test simple and the variation identifiable by testing a single element, may it be a call-to-action button, a headline, or an image.

Make sure though that the element you want to test is relevant to whatever metric you want to measure.

For example, if you are trying to generate sales, focus on your headline, or your CTA.

4. Decide the type of variant

Once you have laid out your goals, chosen your asset and element to test, it’s time to create a variant. Make only one change into the element you want to test.

If you are testing the call-to-action button, you can change the background color, the font color or the button size. 

5. Choose the best A/B testing tools

With the help of the most advanced marketing tools, you can immediately track the progress and performance of your A/B test. 

Make sure you invest in one of the best testing tools available in the market to streamline your tasks, as well as, to speed up the entire process of your marketing campaigns.

Some examples of A/B testing software

6. Design the test

Once you have determined what tools to use to run your A/B test, it’s time to design your test. Your design may vary based on the tools that you will use.

7. Run the Test

After making the variations, time to run the test by sending the two versions to two different groups of audiences.

8. Analyze the data and statistics

Once your A/B test is running, you can track its progress and analyze which of the two versions is performing better or if the two giving the same results.

Draw conclusions based on which type of variation won and which version your target audience likes better.

Type of Elements You can A/B Test

Image Credit: AB Tasty

There are different types of elements you can make variations of for your AB tests. These elements can either make or break your overall marketing campaign.

1. Headlines

Your headlines have a great role in getting customers to surf through your website, click on your email marketing or ad copy.

The headlines are what people first notice when they get to see any of your marketing assets. If the headlines won’t grab their attention, they won’t click on your assets or stay on your website. 

2. Call-to-Action (CTA)

Your CTA urges your prospects and customers to take immediate action. Your CTA should entice them to act on your offer now because it offers too much value at a limited time.

Changing the voice or even just one word in your CTA can influence the conversion rates of your campaign.

3. Video, Audio, and Images

You should know by now as a marketer that videos, audio files and images have a great impact when it comes to any marketing campaign, whether they’re on your web or on a copy ad. They are very important aspects you should also consider to test.

4. Content Size

One thing you could also test is the content size or depth of a topic. Some consumers prefer long-form content while some prefer a short form but contains direct-to-the-point information.

5. Product descriptions

If you are into e-commerce, product descriptions are one of the things you might want to test. You might choose between having it into an essay type or in bulleted points.

7. Social Media Proof

People nowadays greatly rely on social media, therefore, showing proof can also help you with increasing conversions for your website. Its impact on your business is clearly visible especially when it comes to displaying social media proof.

8. Landing pages

Your landing page is the most important thing for your business as it will be the determining factor if you will be able to get a sale or subscription. Therefore, it should also be the first thing you should test to determine which specific design or color attracts a customer more.

Why Do A/B Testing

Doing A/B testing can be a daunting task for some. But it is important to also understand its purpose and its benefits to the business.

So why do the A/B test?

With all the information stated above, you should have a clear idea by now that the A/B test not only helps you optimize your website but also helps you determine the best copy that attracts the right audiences.

A/B testing allows you to focus on the things that work for your business, thus, giving you more opportunities to increase sales and revenue.


So, is A/B testing worth it? Certainly, it is.

A/B testing is definitely one of the most powerful ways to determine which design is attractive to your potential customers and what copywriting technique drives them to make an immediate action.

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