What is Split Testing?
Marketing can be a numbers game and split testing is no exception. Put simply, split testing (also known as A/B testing) is a form of optimization used by e-commerce websites and marketers that allows them to determine which variations of certain web pages or marketing messages are most effective at generating a conversion.
In its simplest form, it is achieved by displaying two different versions of a webpage or email marketing campaign to two different segments of your audience. For example, you might show half your audience one advertisement and show the other half a slightly different version of that ad.
You then compare how many visitors from each segment converted to your site or subscribed for more information via email. If one version significantly outperforms another in terms of improving your website’s performance, you have found a winner.
This process can also help you identify weaknesses in your marketing efforts—for instance, if one version of an advertisement generates twice as much revenue but only has a 30% conversion rate compared to another variation with lower earnings but a 40% conversion rate.
From here, you could either dump the weaker performing ad and focus on maximizing its better-converting counterpart or continue to run both ads with an aim toward improving overall performance.
So while split testing does have similar applications across all industries using digital media—whether they be building websites or crafting emails—it doesn't mean that every application is appropriate for every business.
Take note: some online advertising platforms support traffic splitting while others don't, so it's important to learn what tools best match your business goals before diving into complex experiments requiring multiple targeted campaigns.
Why Split Testing is Important?
You might think that your website is perfectly optimized, but you may never know for sure unless you test. The most effective way to optimize your online presence is through split testing—testing one change at a time so you can gauge its effectiveness.
But let’s be clear: there are no silver bullets when it comes to split testing. You won’t be able to find that perfect combination of buttons, images, or text that generates maximum results—but if you test enough elements, something will work better than what you have now.
Over time, once you’ve tested every element on your site and found improvements in each area, then it’s safe to say that your site is effectively optimized.
Types of Testable Elements
There are five core elements that you can split test. Website elements that are tested include landing pages, homepages, product pages, advertisements, and email marketing. Elements of your ad campaign you can split test include pay-per-click ads (PPC), banner ads, sponsored stories, and email marketing.
Elements of your email marketing campaign you can test include subject lines, opening paragraphs, calls to action, and offers. You can also test within different aspects of your business like testimonials or customer service policies.
Depending on what your goals are for each type of element, you'll want to choose different goals for each element before starting a split test. If you're looking to drive sales from an advertisement, for example, one goal might be lead generation while another might be sales.
To figure out your goal in advance, you'll want to brainstorm about what tactics have been effective in driving leads and sales for other companies that do similar work.
Then you can apply those same techniques to your campaign. As long as both variations in a split test achieve your desired outcome, either one will produce positive results.
However, keep in mind that it may be more difficult over time to grow leads from clicks if they're coming from an advertisement with less credibility than others because consumers will get used to seeing it around more often after several months or years.
How to Start a Split Test?
To split test, you need two identical elements of your marketing—websites, emails, sales pages, etc.—and you need a control group. For example, let’s say we want to figure out if tweaking our call-to-action button design makes us get more clicks.
On half of our landing page, we’ll have one type of CTA and on the other half, we’ll have another type. We won’t change anything else about either page: everything else will be identical so we can gauge exactly how many more people click on one kind of button over another. Let’s walk through it step by step.
The first thing you need is some measurable goal, something that shows ROI (return on investment). Let’s look at some examples: - Number of new leads generated - Number of new customers acquired - Revenue generated from increased customer spending - User signups for account upgrades
But wait, I hear you say, aren't all those different? Yes!
And that's okay because each one is measuring return differently! More signups don't equal more revenue; having someone pay month after month has an impact too. While each measurement is useful in its own right, they're not all useful depending on what business you're running or where you're doing A/B testing.
There are four basic components of any good split test: -
Identical Pages: If we're trying to see which version gets more email opt-ins, we'll make sure both versions use the same copy and design elements. Every single element should be completely identical apart from one bit. Some online tools will do much of this work for you, but it’s still worth double-checking when setting up tests with live traffic. -
Controlled Conditions: It’s easy to set up campaigns or launch pages on separate dates. It doesn't matter when people visit one site vs. another since you're able to track them separately later. For a true A/B test, though, everyone who visits your website during a campaign needs to see the same thing unless there's only one option being tested.
Your homepage would have some variation if it were part of a split test but your homepage always has content specific to you while visitors might land on different parts of your site depending on their preferences, interests, and browsing history. Things like your business hours, contact information, location, and address should remain constant across variations.
However, things like testimonials and quotes from happy clients would change. They may be unique to that particular landing page.
Measurable Outcomes: Look at any of these terms and apply them to your metrics: unique visits, percentage of returning users, time spent on site – these are all incredibly valuable data points if you're using Google Analytics.
Any kind of engagement data like average time spent per session could also be relevant as long as you can tie it back to bottom-line dollar amounts such as higher lifetime value rates. Because testing takes effort, time, and resources it's better used where possible on activities likely to drive overall revenue growth. So your test subjects and your goals should align as closely as possible. -
Scalable Results: You’re probably wondering why we mention that you have to have a scalable result or one that can be expanded further, from a split test. Think of it like a mathematical equation: if A + B = 1 and A = 2 and B = 1 then A x B must equal 3.
In other words, if adding 100 people to Campaign X is going to generate $1000 in revenue then adding 1000 people will generate $3000. Think of each experiment as a step along with a road map for future growth potential.
How to Analyze Results
One of your main responsibilities as a marketer is to test. After all, if you're not testing, you're not learning. And testing is imperative for online success—it helps you understand what’s working and what isn't with your website or marketing campaigns, leading to better performance over time.
The two most common types of tests that we recommend are A/B and multivariate tests (or MVT). Here's how they work: An A/B test compares two versions of a web page: version A and version B. If you change just one element on each page (such as font size or color), then users will see one version or another depending on which URL they visit.
You can use A/B tests to figure out things like, Which headline makes people more likely to sign up for our newsletter? Using MVT lets you run dozens of different tests at once by keeping certain elements constant while adjusting others.
For example, let's say our newsletter signup form includes three different headlines and three different visuals. Using an MVT lets us compare these six variations against one another, so we can quickly learn which combination drives more conversions than others.
What is Split testing in marketing?
A/B testing or split testing is a way of comparing two versions of a marketing message. In marketing, split testing is often done by varying small parts of an email campaign and determining which subject lines, from: lines and even individual words elicit higher open rates. The same technique can be used with web pages.
In e-commerce, one might test whether a buy button performs better on a green or red background, for example. On a website, optimization tests are run on different home page layouts or ad layouts to determine which ones generate higher conversion rates. Website traffic can be increased using A/B testing by showing two different offers on your landing page based on certain conditions such as demographic data collected from users.
This is commonly referred to as audience segmentation. An online store may decide that they want to encourage new visitors (without prior transactions) who access their site through desktop computers to purchase more frequently than returning customers, to boost revenue per visitor overall.
This may be achieved by running an A/B test in which returning customers receive familiar content but new visitors see a different offer that encourages them to come back later when they have purchased something for them not to abandon their shopping cart because it has been inactive for some time after adding several items without completing checkout.
To complete an A/B test multiple landing pages are created where each page would have unique content & layout tailored towards specific demographics or interest groups.
What is Split testing in email marketing?
With so many forms of communication, you can't rely on just one channel. One of the most effective ways to reach customers is through email marketing, but few businesses take full advantage of its effectiveness by split testing.
By creating different versions of your email and sending them out in an A/B test, you're able to see which subject lines get opened most frequently and which ones convert into sales or leads more often.
However, not every version has to be drastically different for you to see results; sometimes it's as simple as changing a word or two within your existing message. Once you start split testing your emails regularly, there are no limits on what kind of results you'll be able to achieve with your marketing.
Here are three areas where you should begin split testing right away 1) Subject Line 2) From Name 3) Opening Image; Split testing helps us quickly identify winning messages that drive higher engagement rates. It also gives us valuable information about our audience preferences, showing us their interests and allowing us to deliver relevant content they are likely to engage with before they even open your emails.
If done properly over time, these changes will give you valuable insights on how to further improve performance metrics throughout your entire funnel via email marketing. But don’t stop at newsletters!
While some business owners may only use A/B tests for customer acquisition purposes, others have found value in using them during their selling process too - increasing engagement all along their funnel.
Benefits of split testing
It is important that your marketing and communications reflect who your customers are and how they think. As your business grows and your product line expands, new customer segments will emerge.
Your message needs to reflect their unique wants and needs. Effective split testing enables you to continuously refine messaging so you can provide a more targeted solution for each of these groups. That means making better decisions on what content, offers, or calls-to-action resonate with each group of customers so you can keep them happy—and coming back for more!
Ultimately, when your people have a strong relationship with you and love using your products/services, they become advocates for your company in ways that pay dividends across all customer segments.
There are benefits from branding loyalty through word-of-mouth advertising; we all know someone who has talked us into trying something we normally wouldn’t (right?).
Ultimately, split testing makes every facet of marketing and communication easier; it allows you to personalize interactions and create relevant messaging at scale across channels and channels while engaging audiences wherever they may be looking for information related to your brand or business - online or offline.
Yes, split testing is hard. No, it isn’t as simple as just plugging a number into a calculator and calling it a day. But it is essential to find out what your customers want most, what they are looking for in your product or service offerings, and ultimately improve that offering based on what they tell you.
And if you do it right, split testing will make your business more money by producing better content for less money—and gaining you loyal customers who stick around longer because they feel like they’re constantly getting value from your brand. So don’t be afraid of split testing—you can do it, and do it well!