Inbound Fundamentals: The ABCs of A/B Testing

A couple of weeks ago, I was sent a link to a blog post. “Check out the CTA at the end of this post. I love this!” said the client. I agreed, the CTA had some really nice features that were worth a bit of pondering. Later that day, I opened the link again to take another glance, and the CTA had changed. It still had some of the same basic elements, but the copy was a little different, as was the design.

The publishers of this blog post were using a method called A/B, or split, testing. This concept is at the core of Inbound Fundamentals.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the ABCs of A/B testing — how to do it, and where you can put it into practice.

How to Leverage A/B Testing

The wonderful thing about A/B testing is that when your team is split between the copy or design of an inbound marketing piece, you don’t have to choose! You can use both, and quite easily.

a/b testing discussionLet’s say you design a landing page. You’ve created the copy, the form, the button, and even included an image. You present it to your team for input. As it turns out, Lisa wants to reword the submit button to “start my free trial now.” She also thinks the image should be placed in a different spot. Shawn loves the page as is.

The good news is that many platforms allow you to test both versions in a 50/50 split test. For example, in Click Funnels, it’s as easy as cloning the existing page and then simply changing the elements that you’d like to variate.

For HubSpot Enterprise customers, the process is equally as simple. You can find directions here, in HubSpot’s Academy (which, by the way, is a great resource for inbound fundamentals).

Be sure to track the success of each page so that you can narrow down what works and what doesn’t.

Where to Use A/B Testing

Landing pages aren’t the only place you can use split tests. Here are a few others places to give A/B testing a shot:

  • CTAs
  • Your home page
  • Emails
  • Pop-ups

Within each of those, there are various elements you can test out. These include:

  • Form buttons — copy, color, size, and font
  • Images — variations of the image itself, as well as size and placement
  • Timing — timing of pop ups, timing of email sends
  • Copy — subject lines, sales copy, length
  • Placement of elements — halfway down the page, at the bottom, left, right, etc.

a/b testingWhatever changes you end up making, always monitor the results of your test. And remember that A/B testing is not a one-shot deal. You can continue to narrow down what is working and what isn’t.

For instance, if you start with testing the copy on your landing page, and are able to narrow down which version works best, you can continue to improve your page by next testing other elements, such as the image or form button.

This process might seem lengthy at first. However, after time, you’ll better be able to nail down exactly what resonates with your audience and eliminate the rest, leaving you with an inbound marketing plan that gets results!

inbound marketing