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  • Writer's pictureClaire

A/B Testing Defined

Updated: May 4, 2023

What is A/B Testing?

AB testing is a crucial concept in marketing that allows businesses to test and optimize their strategies. Essentially, AB testing involves running two different versions of an advertisement, webpage, or email campaign to see which performs better. Here's a breakdown of how AB testing works and some examples to help you better understand this important concept.

The Basics of A/B Testing

First, it's important to understand why AB testing is so valuable. In marketing, it's often difficult to know for sure which strategies will be most effective. There are so many variables at play that it can be tough to predict how customers will react to a given message or offer. That's where AB testing comes in. By testing two different versions of a marketing campaign, businesses can get a much better sense of what works and what doesn't. This can help them optimize their strategies, reduce waste, and ultimately drive better results.

Examples of A/B Testing

So how does AB testing work in practice? Let's look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Email

Email subject lines are a simple example. Imagine you're running an email campaign to promote a new product. You've written two different subject lines for your emails:

Subject line A: "Introducing our latest product - get it now!"
Subject line B: "Limited time offer: 20% off our newest product"
  • By using AB testing, you can send version A to one group of customers and version B to another.

  • By measuring the open rates and click-through rates of each group, you can determine which subject line was more effective.

  • Perhaps you find that version B led to more clicks and conversions. In that case, you would use that subject line for the rest of your campaign.

Example 2: Website design

Now let's say you're launching a new website for your business. You've designed two different layouts for the homepage:

Version A: a simple design with a prominent call-to-action button
Version B: a more complex design with additional graphics and content
  • By using AB testing, you can show version A to one group of visitors and version B to another.

  • By tracking metrics like bounce rate, time spent on page or registrations, you can determine which version was more effective.

  • If version A led to more conversions, you might use that design for your website going forward.

A/B Testing: The Final Word

Overall, AB testing is a powerful tool for marketers looking to optimize their campaigns. By testing two different versions of a strategy, businesses can get a better sense of what works and what doesn't - and ultimately drive better results.

For more Marketing Performance & Optimization lingo please visit our dedicated Marketing Glossary section.

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