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I Googled A/B testing in marketing and didn’t find any good articles so I carved out two hours in my weekend and wrote this.
If you’re a marketer, especially a marketer who believes in the awesome power of storytelling, you will love this guide.
Why Marketers Need to Care About A/B Testing
The increase in digital spending has been astounding. 2021 was a record year for ad spending, with more growth expected in 2022.
Digital ad spending in the 🇺🇸 is at $284.3 billion. With such massive numbers the marketer who can get the highest ad traffic conversion rate will be the top dog. And to do that you need to A/B test like crazy.
Complicating matters a
little lot is Apple’s iOS 14 update.
Quick summary: Apple has restricted the marketing tracking on their ecosystem. For context, there were 1.5 billion active devices as of January 2020.
And users on iOS are more affluent. The median iPhone app user earns $85,000 per year, which is 40 percent more than the median Android phone user with an annual income of $61,000. That makes iOS users super attractive to marketers.
Apple Is Calling the Shots
Apple has made it very hard for marketers to use the standard set of marketing tactics on this group. Things like retargeting, which is where the marketer is able to show a special personalized ad to a past visitor of a site.
Marketers know returning visitors have a higher conversion rate so retargeting allows them to be targeted. Now Apple is limiting that feature.
There are also limitations on the number of site behavior triggers the marketer can track.
To dig deeper and fully understand iOS implications, read this excellent article.
All of this means the marketer can no longer rely on tracking the future behavior of the shopper. This means the only clear conversion signal available are sales that happen on the first visit generated by the ad click. The marketer needs to convert the visitor on the first visit.
This is really hard, and your best bet is to have a deep understanding of buyer psychology.
Marketers Aren’t Using A/B Testing Correctly
Most marketers consider things like this to be A/B testing:
Or maybe things like this:
I’m not saying these aren’t valid A/B tests but I am suggesting there are other marketing A/B tests that are more likely to get you that year-end raise you’ve had your eyes on.
Here’s my advice– instead of thinking of design changes focus your attention on ideas that better communicate why your product is special. Focus on your product’s sales pitch.
Why listen to me for A/B testing in marketing ideas? My name is Rishi Rawat, I’m a marketer, and have spent the last 12 years breaking my head to better understand why online shoppers behave the way they do. I know a thing or two because I’ve A/B tested a thing or two.
A/B Testing in Marketing: What To Focus On
There are many reasons to not focus on design based on A/B testing. The biggest reason is this– Design-based tests get a lot more scrutiny from leadership teams because they feel they need their fingerprints on design decisions. This slows down the speed of A/B testing, and speed is one of the biggest advantages for A/B testing in marketing.
Copy, the actual words used on the page, don’t get nearly as much scrutiny, which is ironic considering that copy is 2x more impactful. Unbounce.com analyzed 40,000 landing pages and found that the conversion impact of copy is 2x that of design. (source).
Oooh, one more benefit– design tests are also more expensive and complicated to develop.
You may be wondering, “Ok, but what about video? Isn’t video more impactful than copy?” If that’s a question floating in your head, read this post: Words Kick Video’s Ass.
Conversion copywriting is the practice of using words to influence shoppers to make a purchase. Don’t make the mistake of thinking copywriting is the domain of people who possess a degree in English. Knowledge of language has little to do with it. I, for example, am an engineer.
I look at conversion copywriting as a sales function. The marketer is using conversion copywriting to construct a sales pitch that is designed to get the buyer from interest to purchase. We’ll be talking about this in Chapter 3 of this series.
The Next Chapter in A/B Testing in Marketing
Now that we’ve completed the basics– congrats for sticking this long, btw– we’d like to share with you some fascinating CRO statistics.