Before jumping into 3 ways you can use A/B testing in your blog’s marketing strategy, I want to quickly address what A/B testing is and why it is so useful.
You can think of A/B as an experiment to increase your conversion rate. It is a proven way of testing a hypothesis. At its most basic level, it is the identification of two variables, named A and B. You want to test these variables while keeping all other factors constant. For example, you might be wondering what color appeals most to the users’ eye, which title is more engaging. You also may want to know what post would receive the most engagement. You can utilize this using A/B testing to find out.
While the name indicates an observation of two variables, A/B testing is not at all limited to only two variables; you can test several variables. That being said, it is important to keep in mind that the more variables you test, the harder it will be to clearly see which one has a higher engagement rate.
Important of A/B Testing
A/B testing is extremely important in understanding whether a hypothesis is valid and correct. Confirmation bias about whether something may work can easily interfere with one’s marketing success. While working at Google, I often noticed that people would propose an idea for a solution to a problem. Unfortunately, they would often fail to have any data on whether the fix would eliminate the root problem.
At the end of the day, the benefit of A/B testing is that it is a clear, nearly undisputable way of isolating variables in order to see how they influence the resulting product. From there, you will be able to adjust for the variable with a higher rate of performance.
In this article, I will include 3 unique ways that I use A/B testing in my blog’s marketing strategy.
1) A/B Testing Through Email Marketing Campaigns
Your email subscriber list is an important part of your blog, so you may want to maximize your email read through rates. The first way you can use A/B testing in your blog’s marketing strategy is through email campaigns. To provide some context, email campaigns are emails that you send to a group of people in order to market something to them. Campaign Monitor describes them further saying that, “An email campaign is a coordinated set of individual email messages that are deployed across a specific period of time with one specific purpose, such as downloading a white paper, signing up for a webinar, or making a purchase with a provided coupon.” In other words, this type of marketing campaign is a way of getting content to people by way of an email.
A/B Testing Email Marketing Example
So how can you use A/B testing when it comes to email campaigns? Let’s say you have email addresses of 50,000 people that you would like to send a marketing email to. Since you want to have people actually click on these emails, you want to test the effectiveness of a specific headline in getting people to do so. This is where A/B testing becomes handy.
In this example, to A/B test this audience, I would first create 5 different email headlines. From there, I would send 2,000 emails using each individual headline, totaling 10,000 emails. When the data from this test comes in, revealing why the headline had a higher open rate than the other emails, I can determine which headline had the highest statistical significance and send an email using that headline to the remaining 40,000 emails.
In order to determine statistical significance, I suggest using an online calculator that specifically calculates statistical significance in determining the winner of an A/B test. I personally use Neil Patel’s A/B testing calculator, but there are a million of these calculators out there.
Here is an example of what an A/B testing calculator looks like:
2) A/B Testing Through Ad Campaigns
You may be using Google Adsense to maximize your revenue, but haven’t touched Google Ads to get users to your blog. Advertising campaigns, like email campaigns, is another effective blog’s marketing strategy to get your content to people. When trying to find out which ads generate more engagement than others, Google Ads may be a great service to use. Google Ads makes it easy to test whether one ad converts for clicks more than another ad. Additionally, Google Ads also allows you to set up multiple ads to determine which one will have a higher click-through rate (CTR).
Note that it may be more beneficial to you to measure the success of ads in your A/B test by observing their conversion rates. This is because while an ad might have a higher CTR, it could have a much lower conversion rate, meaning the ad’s overall effectiveness is low. I use Google Analytics and pair it with my Google Ads account to determine the conversion rate.
Below is an example of how you can test different ads using Google Ads and observe their CTR. For our Chapter 13 repayment plan blog post, we may try providing the same exact text for an ad, but have a different URL, so that we can compare email subscriber list changes from one ad to another ad.
3) A/B Testing Through Quiz Campaigns
Quizzes are the ultimate way of interacting with customers to directly gather data about what they like or do not like.
At Ascend, we provide a bankruptcy means test blog post to help people decide the best relief option for them. A/B testing is particularly useful if we want to test whether the introduction of new questions or changes to existing questions will lead to more users using and completing a specific quiz. For instance, in our Chapter 13 repayment plan post, I tested two different landing page experiences using A/B testing. I tested whether it is better to take the users to two separate landing pages.
To measure the conversion rate of the quiz with the two different experiences, I used analytics software that allows you to see a clear representation of the conversions for different variables. Analyzing your data with this function is very important. I was able to locate the drop-off point in our quiz and work on that. Using the results from Interact, I entered it into the A/B test calculator. The calculator was able to see which one was the most statistically significant.
In conclusion, A/B testing should be a crucial part of your blog’s marketing strategy. It is based completely on actual data from users. A/B testing allows you to test your hypotheses and tangibly see if they are accurate or not. It can be used effectively in email marketing campaigns, ad campaigns, and quiz campaigns. A/B testing has been helpful for me in every aspect of marketing. It has been especially helpful when it comes to quiz campaigns. I am able to clearly see what questions help the quiz perform better. It also shows me what aspects of the quiz are better than others in providing more engagement.
The real beauty of A/B testing is it is not only a one-time thing. You can continue going back and testing new variables to see which one yields the most effective engagement. You can continue to measure existing variables to see if things have changed and adjusted accordingly.
About the Author
Ben Tejes is the co-founder and CEO of Ascend and digital strategist of Saved By the Cents where he leads digital blog marketing strategy and execution. In his free time, Ben likes to go on adventures with his wife and three young daughters.