As tempting as it may be to assume what will play well with audiences, marketers can’t always accurately predict what consumers will engage with. As with all things in life, we bring our inherent biases and assumptions to the table, which can cloud our projections.
That’s why so many marketers look to methods like A/B testing.
On paper, A/B testing is an excellent solution. However, in practice, marketers often find themselves frustrated by messy and inconclusive test results. According to a survey published in 2019, 70% of marketers reported that they only found their A/B tests to be successful 50% of the time. It can be challenging to track, measure and adjust the effectiveness of some campaigns.
To solve this challenge, we look to the professional “testers” of the world: scientists. In the same way scientists need to run measured experiments to test their hypotheses, so too do marketers.
Since it’s been a while since most of us took a chemistry class, here’s a refresher on the scientific method and how it can help your campaigns.
Tenets of the Scientific Method
The scientific method consists of five steps.
Define a question to investigate. At the first stage of the process, we collect the initial data that helps us form our guiding question.
For example, let’s say we’re interested in determining if a green or a red “subscribe” button will perform better on our landing page. Here, we might do some digging to discover what’s worked well in the past, and might even look into the psychology of what attracts people to certain colors. (Fun fact: We often see the color red in fast-food marketing because it affects our metabolism and subconsciously makes us hungrier).
Make predictions. Here is where we create our hypothesis. Based on the initial data collection, we predict what we think the answer to our guiding question will be.
To continue with our example, we might hypothesize that a green button will lead to more subscription conversions on our landing page across all audience segments. In this stage, most marketers tend to put all their eggs in one basket and run with an untested idea.
Gather data. At this stage, we test our hypothesis by running controlled and measured experiments.
We can gather information on which button is leading to more subscriptions through observation, data collection, heat-mapping, etc.
Analyze data. At this stage of the process, we organize our data. We use graphs, diagrams, computer algorithms, etc., to draw connections between points and observe patterns.
For example, maybe the green button is outperforming red in audiences under the age of 25, but underperforming in audience segments 25 and older.
Draw conclusions. Finally, we determine if we have proven or disproven our hypothesis.
Does the evidence we found support our hypothesis that green buttons will lead to more subscriptions than red buttons for all our audiences?
Why is testing valuable for marketers?
While it may seem like overkill to approach your A/B testing with this level of care and precision, doing so can have drastic impacts on your overall marketing strategy.
Ensuring you have control over your sample and can accurately track your results is paramount to obtaining the best outcome. Defining your variables is crucial, too.
With so much to track, measure, and analyze, many marketers settle for quick-fix testing. The whole process can seem like more headache than it’s worth—especially if you’re using multiple platforms to test and track your data.
That’s why we suggest A/B testing testing into your marketing stack. Native A/B testing allows for the highest level of control over your experiments by consolidating all your tests in one place. It allows you to connect your CRO efforts to your landing page creation process.
With on-platform A/B testing, marketers can track, measure, and analyze without the stress of platform-hopping, and with no need for the expenses associated with a complex marketing technology stack.
But even marketers who have native A/B testing dialed in can still get frustrated with their campaigns’ success. High bounce rates, low ROAS and conversion rates, and high CPA/CPC can be sticky, and sometimes it feels like no matter what tests we conduct, they’re not going anywhere.
Marketers often spend extra time and resources to test ad creatives and messaging, titles, copy, etc.—all while making the mistake of overlooking landing pages.
Don’t lose out on this opportunity. Landing pages are the first portal through which your consumer can directly interact with your brand. Creating conversion-optimized landing pages can make a world of difference in running high-performing campaigns.
Testing Landing Pages
Marketers are losing money left and right on ad tests by forgetting about their landing pages. Highly personalized ads aren’t effective when they lead to generic landing pages with CTAs that seem irrelevant to the ad.
In other words, even if you perfect your A/B testing strategy, you’re wasting clicks without ad-to-page relevance.
That’s why A/B testing personalized landing pages is critical to maximizing ROAS and conversions.
Of course, “scientifically” A/B testing all your marketing strategies can be a lot of work, and it’s not something you can implement overnight. That’s why we created Instapage. At Instapage, we are passionate about making this complicated process simple for marketers by bringing all of your landing page testing into one spot.
Understanding the pain and frustration of multi-platform tracking and messy data analyses, we’ve set out to make landing page testing and optimization as easy as possible for today’s busy marketers.
We have worked hard to make our platform easy to manage, simplifying the process for native A/B testing and consolidating your data and analysis into one easy-to-use platform.
Instapage’s built-in features make A/B testing convenient and easy to use, as it streamlines your testing and optimization all in one place. The platform’s Global Blocks make it easy to implement sweeping changes once testing has concluded.