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The Scientific Approach to Improving Conversion with A/B Testing

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As marketers and businesses in general, can any of us truly say that we are using the absolute best version of every marketing tactic in our arsenal? I think not – and those that can are few and far between.

For the majority of marketing’s lifetime as a professional discipline, decisions, content direction, design, and strategy have largely been influenced by opinion and gut feel. While going with our gut can create a good jumping off point, it is not the key ingredient for a solid, ongoing marketing strategy.

Do any of the quotes below sound familiar?

“This email subject line should work best.”
“I think it should be red instead of blue.”
“How many form fields should we use?”
“This content might resonate with our audience better than that.”
“Are you sure we should say Free Demo instead of Complimentary Consultation?”
“What should we try to improve conversion rates?
These are just a few examples among thousands that we experience everyday, and that is exactly why we need to utilize a scientific approach to take the guesswork out of marketing. Luckily there is a simple method at our disposal that can provide clear direction, continuous improvement, and a real positive impact on the bottom line of your business – A/B split testing.

DOYO Live proudly announces that we’ve added Alex Foley to our speaker lineup. In this engaging presentation, Alex will walk you through the theory and history behind A/B split testing, where to use it in your business, best practices, and some tools available to help kick-start your new marketing best friend.

As a Consultant at NR Media Group, Alex manages multiple accounts and helps drive inbound marketing and HubSpot strategy/execution for his clients. As an inbound and marketing automation specialist, Alex understands the strategies necessary to succeed in today’s evolving business and consumer landscape. In addition to his primary client responsibilities, he also assists with NR Media Group’s own marketing efforts and regularly contributes to the blog.

Alex graduated from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business with focuses in Finance and Professional Writing and has over 6 years of digital marketing experience. In the past, Alex has helped to create strategic content and product-launch strategies for numerous Fortune 100 brands including Sprint and Humana. In his free time, Alex loves to play sand volleyball, embarks on scuba diving adventures and frets over the fate of all the Game of Thrones characters that he connects with.

Connect with Alex on LinkedIn and Twitter.

DOYO Live - A digital marketing and interactive design conference will take place on August 3, 2017 in Youngstown, Ohio!

Published in: Marketing
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The Scientific Approach to Improving Conversion with A/B Testing

  1. 1. The Power of A/B Split Testing Presentation By: Alex Foley August 4, 2016
  2. 2. My pain point: “I’m not sure how to best open up my presentation at #DOYOLive.”
  3. 3. HYPOTHESIS 1: ENTHUSIASTIC, CONFIDENT; WWE TYPE My hypothesis: The crowd may need to be energized! Pro: Crowd attention and energy Con: Potentially make a fool of myself
  4. 4. FUN FACT…
  5. 5. HYPOTHESIS 2: RIDE THE POP CULTURE WAVE My hypothesis: A Pokemon Go reference can’t fail, right? Pro: Widely known and top of mind Con: Some folks may already be sick of the Poke-mania
  6. 6. The Results?
  7. 7. VOTE ON MY NEXT TEST • Justin Bieber • Drill Instructor • Trump
  8. 8. WHAT WE WILL LEARN What is it? Why it’s important? Best Practices The New Wave of Website Development Resources
  9. 9. How Marketing “Used to” Be Done
  10. 10. HOW MARKETING “USED TO” BE DONE Source: isha.sadguru.org
  11. 11. 87% of Marketers Consider Data Their Most Underutilized Asset. -Teradata 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey
  12. 12. What is A/B Split Testing?
  13. 13. A/B Split Testing: testing a hypothesis by measuring the performance of one version (A) against another (B) in an equal sample size.
  14. 14. In reality – it is the scientific method
  15. 15. Why is this important for us as marketers?
  16. 16. It keeps you thinking, it keeps you sharp It is the formula for continuous improvement You don’t have to be right the first time It can give you an edge on the competition
  17. 17. It directly impacts the bottom line 74% of companies who take a structured approach to conversion (including A/B testing) have improved sales Source: Econsultancy and RedEye 2014
  18. 18. Modern Origins
  19. 19. TAGUCHI’S LOSS FUNCTION—A CAR PART EXAMPLE Bad Car Part Take Car to Dealer Dealer Staffs Accordingly Time Wasted on Preventable Problem Missing Work to Deal with Repairs
  20. 20. YOU MIGHT SAY THIS IS… THE BUTTERFREE EFFECT!
  21. 21. THE FOUNDATION OF TODAY’S LEADING COMPANIES
  22. 22. THE BASIC A/B TESTING METHODOLOGY A/B Learnings Define Goals and Hypothesis Test a variable Analyze and Conclude Record Findings
  23. 23. The Golden Rule of A/B Testing: Only test 1 variable at a time!
  24. 24. WHAT SHOULD I BE TESTING? • Email subject lines • Email preview text • CTAs • Colors • Size • Copy • Lengths of copy • Types • Sales copy • Buy now vs. learn more vs. x • Headlines • Font • Font color • Bullets vs. no bullets • Amount of content • Amount of choices or CTAs • Page templates • Layouts • Heavy images or video vs. text • Email personalization tokens • Pricing • Pricing copy • Form aesthetics • Images – size, positioning, type, # • Email sending times • Email senders • Persona-based content • Number of form fields • Form field wording
  25. 25. So…everything?
  26. 26. THE CONUNDRUM – WHERE TO START!? • Start with your goals and identify primary influencers • Start with your leading hypotheses • Start with key assets that underperform • Start big and go narrow
  27. 27. A/B Testing —the Basis for Growth Driven Design
  28. 28. TRADITIONAL WEB DESIGN 1.5 - 2 Years 1.5 - 2 Years 3 Month Redesign Legacy Website Project Budget $25,000 - $250,000 3 Month Redesign Website V01 Website V02 Project Budget $25,000 - $250,000 Impact Time
  29. 29. THE GDD DIFFERENCE Impact 1.5 - 2 Years 1.5 - 2 Years 3 Month Redesign Launch Pad Website Project Budget $25,000 - $250,000 3 Month Redesign Time Website V01 Website V02 Project Budget $25,000 - $250,000 Gained Opportunity Gained Opportunity 11/29/201 6 31
  30. 30. LOOK AT YOUR TOP-VIEWED PAGES
  31. 31. BRAINSTORM AND HYPOTHESIZE
  32. 32. UTILIZE HEATMAPS AND USER SESSION DATA
  33. 33. UTILIZE HEATMAPS AND USER SESSION DATA
  34. 34. A/B Testing Software
  35. 35. A/B TESTING TOOLS
  36. 36. A/B Testing Without Tools
  37. 37. It is an imperfect science, but it is quite doable!
  38. 38. MANUAL TESTING
  39. 39. CREATE A TRACKING SPREADSHEET
  40. 40. HOW LONG IS LONG ENOUGH? It depends on: • Overall traffic • Traffic to that asset • The scale of data for your business Pro Tip Test it! Find your benchmarks.
  41. 41. USE A CONFIDENCE CALCULATOR
  42. 42. A Client Case Study
  43. 43. Our Hypothesis: 3D book covers will drive more clicks than flat book covers
  44. 44. Flat Image 3D Image Success Metric: % of views to clicks
  45. 45. THE RESULTS MAY SURPRISE YOU Slight difference in views to clicks Bigger difference in clicks to submissions
  46. 46. An A/B Testing Case Study – Sim City
  47. 47. AN A/B TESTING CASE STUDY – SIM CITY
  48. 48. MULTIVARIATE TESTING VS. A/B TESTING A/B = testing 1 variable Multivariate testing = testing many variables and combinations of those Ideal for high traffic websites Source: optimizely.com
  49. 49. A MULTIVARIATE CASE STUDY – 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN Success metric: sign-up rates 24 total combinations: 4 button – 6 image multivariate test Hypothesis: video media elements will perform better Source: blog.optimizely.com
  50. 50. A MULTIVARIATE CASE STUDY – 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN The Results • Hypothesis disproved • 40.6% improvement rate • 2,880,000 additional emails • $60 million in donations Source: blog.optimizely.com
  51. 51. A REVIEW OF KEY CONCEPTS • A/B testing is not an option, it is a must to stay competitive • Only test one factor at a time per hypothesis • You must be patient and wait for a significant sample size before drawing conclusions • You are never done with A/B testing – don’t settle • Track the results! Set regular times to update and revisit your findings • Make it part of your culture and daily thought process
  52. 52. RESOURCES • How to Test Your Landing Pages infographic • The A/B Test Calculator and A/B Testing Guide from HubSpot • The A/B Test Flow Chart – print this out and hang it up! • Hotjar – a free heat mapping tool • 71 A/B Testing Ideas • 10 A/B Testing Tools • Growthdrivendesign.com • http://hubs.ly/H03W7hV0
  53. 53. Thank You!

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