In how to create an A/B plan you will find that testing is a valuable marketing strategy because it allows you to test different content variations to see which variation scores better with an audience.
In other words, you can show different versions of a piece of marketing content to different groups.
Creating different versions of content is an excellent way to test the effectiveness of changes you make. For example, if you want to test a piece of content with a change in the headline, you can create different headlines and see which works better.
A/B tests help get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. You can use A/B testing to compare two different versions of a piece of marketing content, such as on your website. This might help you decide which one, or both, is best for your site.
How to Create an A/B Plan
Example: User Experience Test
You might want to test moving your CTA (Call to Action) button from the sidebar to the top of your homepage. This could increase its click-through rate.
Steps to Take Before the A/B Test
1. Identify Your Goal
Knowing these metrics is helpful for any experimentation and can help you understand how your test affects business metrics. It’s also important to look at which one is the most important before running a test, so you can know what to measure.
Think about where you want this dependent variable to be at the end of the split test. You might even state an official hypothesis and examine your findings based on this prediction.
Sometimes, it’s best to set up a test to allow you to measure the results and see how changes influence the metrics you are looking for. By doing this, you can predict whether your changes are worthwhile and know ahead of time if they impact your goals.
2. Determine Your Sample Size (Where Applicable)
Your sample size will be different depending on the type of A/B test you’re running, as well as your A/B testing tool.
If you want to run an A/B test to increase engagement or your messaging needs are complex, you will likely want to send an A/B test to an extensive enough list. There is no absolute “size of the list” that will be significant. Ultimately, it’s reliant on your target size.
If you’re a HubSpot Enterprise customer and want some help split testing your website or blog, you’ll appreciate the slider in HubSpot’s Audiences section. You’ll be able to test any sample size – even if it’s beyond the norm.
When testing out an idea that does not have a finite audience, such as a web page, you’ll need to let your test run long enough to get a large enough sample size to gauge the actual performance.
3. Split Your Sample Groups Randomly and Equally
You need to test with two or more equal audiences to have conclusive results when testing on a particular email marketing campaign.
If you use HubSpot, your A/B tests will be split automatically at the end of the campaign. This means no run-around to look for minutes down in a spreadsheet and you will get more accurate data from start to finish.
4. Decide How Significant Your Results Should be
Having a vital goal metric is key to making your decision. If you have the data, it will be easier to decide.
A critical aspect of the A/B test process is statistical significance.
Creating accurate statistics and research is hard work. It’s even harder when you rely on your intuition or what feels right to you. In this case, you want to make sure that your confidence level is as high as possible so that the results will be reliable.
Sometimes you should run an experiment with a lower confidence rate if it’s not necessary to have it as stringent.
5. Create a ‘Control’ and a ‘Challenger’
Now that you have your independent variable, no intervention has changed the version of the test of whatever you’re trying to measure. You’ll set up the control scenario with a completely different outcome in mind.
Testing a web page means looking at what is already on the page to assess everything in its current state. This does not change the page, add new content, or turn it into something you would use if it were live.
Testing your landing page lets you see if it is practical and appealing. It allows you to change the copy and design while still making sure they sell your product.
Design a website, email, or landing page that you can test against your existing one and see how well it performs after every change.
For example, by adding a testimonial to your landing page, you’ll be able to find out if it increases conversions. It’s best to set up the control page with no testimonials first, then create your challenger.
6. Ensure You Only Run One Test At a Time on Any Campaign
When testing multiple elements for a campaign, you could have inadequate returns or inconsistent ROI. You should always stick to one asset for any dedicated campaign.
For example, if you decided to A/B test an email campaign and a landing page simultaneously, you will need to A/B test these points separately or you won’t know what worked in your marketing strategy. It is easy to do by conducting what’s called a split-testing for each.
Steps to Take During the A/B Test
Here are the steps you need to take during the A/B test:
7. Test Both Variations Simultaneously
This is a good reminder of how many calendar-related factors you can have on marketing campaigns. Timing is always important, so keep this in mind with any marketing strategy you might be using!
For example, if you were to run Version A and B during one month, how would you know whether the performance change is caused by the different designs or the different months?
A/B testing provides insight into how a specific change will affect your website’s performance on different days. It becomes easy to determine whether or not a specific change is worth the investment.
While the optimal time for subscriber engagement varies widely, it’s always best to test. Find out when your prospects are most engaged with your message to keep them interested and coming back for more.
8. Use an A/B testing tool
To test how your website or email performs for customers, you’ll need to use a testing tool. You can use the features of a HubSpot Enterprise app or other tools to A/B test calls-to-action or emails.
For those who don’t use the HubSpot Enterprise system, you may want to try Google Analytics for on-site A/B testing. It lets you configure up to 10 versions of one web page and compare them with a random sample of 50 users.
9. Give the A/B Test Enough Time to Produce Valuable Data
You’ll want to make sure that you let your test run long enough to obtain a significant sample size. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to tell whether there was a statistically significant difference between the two variations.
Depending on your company and how you use the split test, getting statistically significant results could happen in hours … or days … or weeks.
One crucial aspect of running A/B tests is how much traffic you get. If you aren’t getting a lot of traffic, it’ll take longer for any changes to show up on your website.
Doing split testing can help you to polish your approach to your customers to create more conversions and ultimately that is what we all want.
I hope this has cleared up some questions about the time taken to put your work to the test. Learn how to create an A/B plan to test all aspects of your website to make sure that you are getting the results that you want.
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4 thoughts on “How to Create an A/B Plan – With Examples”
What are some elements of a webpage that may influence behavior of readers? I’m talking about elements of the page or text that may benefit from A/B testing. Maybe if you want to see read-through or click-through rates with various titles for the same webpage content? Do images really matter? What other elements have you tested in the past. I have heard of split testing before but have never implemented it myself.
You can really test any element on a page. It may be a title, some text, an image, or even your call to action button.
Thank you for your informative article about A/B testing! I have only dabbled in marketing but since it can be expensive, I am trying to learn everything I can. It was good to know about the Google Analytics option as I am not with Hubspot. I liked the idea of adding a call to action towards the top of the page also. One thing is for sure, once I get my marketing budget together, I need to make A/B testing a part of my strategy!
That’s a great plan, Randi. A/B testing is a really good way to check that what you are doing is working. Everyone does it and it doesn’t have to cost anything if you do it on your website.