Remember that old blood test to determine if your blood type was A, B or O?
That’s not what we’re talking about!
AB testing is a very simple model to determine what works best in communicating with your clients, customers and patients and with some basic marketing tasks.
Here’s an example of how AB testing works:
Let’s say you own a smoothie bar. You want to bring in some new customers and you know that sometimes coupons work to bring in new customers. If you can just get them into the door, they’ll be your customers, because of your delicious product, which is competitively priced, and of course your enticing personality.
But what kind of coupon should you send out electronically, a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) or a 50% off coupon?
Either option costs you the same: 50% of your income on the item. And each costs the same to send out electronically. So, how do you figure out which brings in more customers?
Pick two different time periods to run your testing, periods A and B. The two different time periods (weeks or months) need to be as similar as possible (the same season, not during a holiday, the same length of time, with the same store or office hours)
In the first experimental time frame (A), email or distribute the BOGO coupon. Keep track of how many are used.
During the second experimental time frame (B), run the trial the exact same way. Conduct the distribution procedure, but this time distribute the 50% off coupon. Send it to the same exact mailing group that you did before and again keep track of how many coupons come into your store.
Compare the results of Experiment A versus Experiment B. What did you learn? Did one work better than the other? Or was there no difference?
This is AB marketing. The costs remain the same, it is truly just how people respond to the variation in the marketing that differs.
Other ways to conduct AB Marketing:
- Play with the placement of contact buttons on your website.
- Experiment with wording on upcoming letters to clients and patients (particularly in emails.which cost very little or nothing at all).
- Timing of Facebook posts Do your clients seem to view or respond to your posts more in the mornings, lunchtime or the evenings? What about weekends?
- Make subtle or significant changes to the colors or graphics in communication, including outgoing messages, the layout of the website and signage in the store or office.
- You can utilize Google analytics to track exactly how people meander through your website after making an A version and a B version. You can even play with the order of menus and pages on your website to see if that affects how long people stay on your site and/or which pages they visit.
Sometimes you can get paralyzed with decision making. Instead, turn your decisions into experiments. This allows you time to research how your clients or potential clients respond before making further changes or taking on new marketing initiatives. AB testing allows you to accumulate data and make future decisions based on that data.