Split testing (or A/B testing) is the practice of running two strategies simultaneously, identical except for one element. The purpose is to determine which technique is more effective for your campaign. Whilst this is typically used to evaluate the effectiveness of ads on pay-per-click advertising, it can be used to test everything from website copy to email subject lines.
How can split testing benefit me?
Find out what your customers are thinking
No one can read minds, but with split testing you can get pretty close. By running tests on something as simple as button colours, you can review what people are interacting with more effectively, and what leads to more conversions.
Avoid marketing faux pas
You’ve come up with a fantastic idea for a marketing strategy, but how do you know it will be effective? By split testing, you can simultaneously run your current campaign alongside your new one, reducing the risk. If you put all of your faith in a new strategy and it fails, it can be difficult to rebuild the standing your previous campaign built.
It applies to anything and everything
No matter what part of your marketing strategy isn’t working quite the way you want to, you can split test it. Not enough people opening your emails? Split test it. Not getting the conversion rate you want from AdWords? Split test it. Are some landing pages performing better than others? Split test it. Split testing can be (and should be) applied to all aspects of a digital marketing campaign.
Is split testing really that great?
Yes. Next question.
But seriously, split testing is fantastic, and is widely acknowledged as a great practice to improve results. The best thing about it is how simple it is. You are simply putting two differing factors against each other to see which performs better. If you’re not happy with the results, you can run the test again. If you are happy with the results, you can start a new test, evaluating another factor. You can even evaluate several factors at once.
The possibilities are endless, and split testing produces very clear answers to the question, “Is my marketing really working?”.