AB Testing: What to Test With Split Testing and A/B Testing Tips

April 20, 2021

How can a marketer learn what copy, advertising, or landing page is most effective for their target audience? Without the ability to read minds, the best way to truly understand what resonates with your customers is through AB testing strategies. AB testing, or split testing, is the process of testing two similar concepts to see which performs better. After multiple AB testing revisions, marketers can end up with an expertly refined concept. 

The benefits of running AB tests are numerous including increasing conversion rates, growing brand awareness, reducing bounce rates, improving lead generation, and much more.

Another tremendous advantage of utilizing A/B testing is the fact that you can split test just about anything. Literally. If you can make multiple versions and slight changes, you can AB test it. Here are some examples of different elements of various marketing tactics that can be AB tested.

What kinds of concepts can you AB test?

When it comes to split tests, you can test changes big and small. From altering one word in an ad to customizing the entire color scheme of your branded links. We put together a list of examples of different marketing components and how they can be split tested on a large and small scale.

*Keep in mind that the first two concepts on the list are applicable to almost every aspect of a marketing campaign or project, including the remaining concepts on the list.*

1) AB Testing Colors

Colors are an integral part of marketing, advertising, and web design helping to draw focus, make text easier to read, create visual organization, and much more. These are a few of the different ways colors can be AB split tested in multiple facets of marketing and design:

  • Color intensity
  • Color pairings
  • Incorporating a variety of colors
  • Lack of color

2) AB Testing Text 

Similar to colors, text is a foundational element of marketing and design intended to inform and guide users making them a crucial component of any concept you’re working on. Check out some of the various ways text can be AB tested in marketing and design projects:

  • Font 
  • Color 
  • Size 
  • Capitalization
  • Utilizing underlined text, bolded text, or italicized text

3) AB Testing Content

Quality content is the foundation of many marketing tactics from ads to blogs to emails. Here are just a few examples of how content can be AB tested: 

  • Content length
  • Breaks in content
  • Headers
  • Replacing important words with more powerful synonyms
  • Rearanging the organization of the content
  • Emphasising text and quotes 

4) AB Testing CTAs

Call-to-action messaging and buttons can be incorporated into so many different marketing concepts making them an ideal candidate for AB testing. Here are some elements to test with CTAs:

  • The text designed to encourage viewers to interact with the CTA 
  • Colors for the button, background, and other elements
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)
  • Button style (shape, shading, 3D elements)
  • Placement of the CTA
  • CTA landing pages

5) AB Testing Images

Imagery has been an essential part of marketing and design for years but finding the right images for an advertising campaign, marketing design, or project can change the outcome dramatically. These are some ways marketers can split test images for a campaign or design: 

  • Image borders (border style, color, thickness)
  • Image sizes
  • Image filters
  • Testing different images against each other
  • Image placement on a web page, ad, or email
  • Adding text to images

6) AB Testing Videos

One of the most effective marketing mediums is video marketing because people love videos. But finding the right length, video clips, feature images, and more to really draw your users in can be challenging. Check out these examples of AB testing ideas for video production that will help you learn more about what makes your videos most effective:

  • Video length 
  • Using different cuts of the video
  • Video feature images
  • Video CTA overlays on YouTube
  • Music
  • Sound effects
  • Messaging
  • Subtitles
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)

7) AB Testing Web Design and UX

Visually appealing, easy to navigate, intuitively organized web design can be difficult to achieve, especially if you aren’t aware of what your target audience finds most desirable in a website. AB testing these website elments will help you better understand what your target audience finds appealing in a website:

  • Website structure
  • Website navigation
  • Design style
  • Imagery and videos
  • Color scheme
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)
  • Support widgets
  • Popups (style, timing, triggers, CTAs)

8) AB Testing Forms and Surveys

Online surveys and forms care key to lead generation, collecting crucial customer information, and gathering valuable feedback, so it’s important to split test how they are designed to make sure they are efficient and effective. These are just a few ways you can A/B test the components of a survey or form:

  • The number of fields in a form
  • Information requested in the form
  • The types of form functions (select all that apply, text boxes, calendar fields, sliders, 1-10 ranges)
  • Form/survey titles
  • The location of the form (landing page, social network, mobile)
  • Form submission buttons
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)

9) AB Testing Product Pages

The many eCommerce businesses out there know how important their product pages are for the success of their business and rightfully so, highlighting the need to make sure the design layout, visuals, purchase path, and information is optimized for the best conversion rate possible. Here are some ways eCommerce businesses can AB test different aspects of their product pages:

  • The layout of the page
  • How well product information performs in drop-down sections
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)
  • How reviews are displays
  • Product badges (Natural, Free Shipping, Sale, Free Gift)
  • Keyword usage (In the product description, product title, product specifications)
  • The product’s feature image or video
  • Where the add to cart/purchase button is on the page

10) AB Testing Emails 

Email marketing tactics have undergone significant change over the past few decades making them a great medium for AB testing campaigns. Check out some of the different examples of email elements that you could run AB tests on: 

  • Subject lines 
  • Use of images, GIFs, and videos
  • Email layout
  • Email color scheme
  • CTAs
  • Length
  • The time the emails are sent
  • The location of the unsubscribe option
  • Text style (font, size, color, spacing, capitalization, punctuation)

Tips for AB split testing

When you decide on the elements or projects you plan to AB test, new questions start to arise like: How long should I run the test? What quantifies as a success? Who should be my test audience? Those are all great questions and we put together some tips to try and answer these common questions when it comes to A/B testing strategies:

  • How long should you run an AB test? As a general rule of thumb, the length of any AB test should be at least 7 days long. What you’re looking for with any AB split testing endevor to indicate that enough time has elapsed are metrics that provide evidance that one test outperformed the other test. 
  • How can identify website elements that benefit from A/B testing? Use tools like website heatmaps to help get a better understanding of what you should test on a website and how a test is performing by watching how users interact with the site.
  • Who should be my audience for the split test? The target audience for your AB tests will depend on the type of test and the goal of the campaign. Usually you’ll want to target the same audience for each test unless the test you’re running is to determine how different audiences react to a marketing concept or ad campaign.
  • What metrics should I look for to indicate which test was the most effective? Depending on what you are AB testing, there are a number of metrics you can use to identify which test outperformed the other. Here are some examples of metrics to monitor during your AB tests:
    • Click-through rate
    • Open-rate
    • Impressions
    • Conversions
    • Leads generated
    • Engagement metrics (shares, likes, comments)

Every marketer, no matter what role, should take advantage of the many benefits of using split testing strategies to refine their campaigns, improve their website experience, or increase their customer conversion rates. If there are AB testing methods that you’ve seen success from that we didn’t mention, let us know in a comment and we’ll add it to the list!

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