Top 3 Reasons Why A/B Tests Fail

Top 3 Reasons Why A/B Tests Fail

Last updated on September 28, 2016 by Fahad Muhammad in A/B Split Testing
Show Me the Top 10 A/B Testing Tips

Remember peer pressure?

The thing your mom told you not to give into but you still couldn’t understand why you couldn’t do what others around you were doing. It was something that was frowned upon by everyone when you were growing up.

Well, you’re all grown up now- and you might not realize it but being a marketer you’re surrounded by peer pressure. Not the bad kind though that had the potential to get you into all sorts of trouble but the good kind- the kind that brings conversions to your door.

Confused? It’s time to define this new and improved marketer peer pressure.

So, the old or more known peer pressure is defined as a phenomenon where your peers could encourage you to change your behavior to suit a certain trend or please a specific group of people.

Before we begin with the new definition, tell me this- what is your one goal as a marketer, to get conversions- right? And how is it that you get those conversions, by pleasing a specific group of people, in this case your customers. And most of the time you get to please your customers only by being pressured into doing something that all your competitors (or your peers) around you are doing. Everybody is starting an affiliate program- you get on it too. Your major competitors are starting a webinar series- *bam* you have your very own series, your fellow marketers are spending their time doing A/B testing *alakazam* you’re doing it too.

This is the pressure that keeps the market alive and the customers happy.

We really aren’t going to be talking about webinar series or affiliate programs though, what we are going to be discussing are A/B tests- specifically why you might be failing at getting more customers even after A/B testing your landing pages.

Reason #1: You haven’t started A/B testing

This is the one where you “d’oh”. Even though A/B testing has been an effective part of the marketing scene for quite some time now not every marketer is actually doing landing page testing. In fact according to econsultancy just 71% of companies perform tests.


So why aren’t so many companies testing, is A/B testing really not that important?
Actually, the opposite is true and the only way to explain this is by explaining what A/B testing is.

A/B testing is a great way to identify effective marketing strategies, such as website copy or landing pages. The mechanism behind A/B testing is a true depiction of its name as it compares two versions of an element (version A and version B) with each other against a metric that measures your landing page’s success. Both versions are tested simultaneously, then you wait for the results to arrive and in the end you just measure which version performed better on the selected metric and there you go, you now have in front of you your winning version.

For example, if you want to find out whether placing your CTA button above or below the fold will get you more conversions on your landing page, you’ll create two versions of your page, one where the CTA is above the fold (version A) and the other where it is below the fold (version B), let’s say the metric you want tested is your conversion rate. At the end of the test you compare which version got more conversions and then you have your winner.

Here’s a nifty graphic to explain the concept.


What most marketers fail to do with A/B testing is giving their tests a realistic deadline. You need to give your tests enough time to actually track the real results.

Reason #2: You only tested once

The best things in life shouldn’t come only once, right? The same is true for testing and your lifeline as a good marketer- testing your landing pages and your websites are the only way to move forward with lots of conversions and gusto. It’s better to determine a timeline for your testing; if you have a seasonal business, compare your tests at the same time each year so you get the right insights. If you want to have real changes in your conversion rates and want to get more customers every time then you better increase the frequency of your tests.

If you’re one of those fortunate marketers that already get constant traffic on their landing pages, well then you need to be testing quite frequently because this way you’ll be able to improve not only your proposition but also get to reinforce your brand.

Test and test often. Because a single test is unlikely to provide you with all the analytics you need tested.

Reason #3: You only test the most obvious elements

Testing the placement of your CTA button and a different headline are definitely important, however, you need to realize that these aren’t the only elements that should be tested. To get better conversions you need to think out of the box.

When A/B testing- think of other elements than just your lead capture forms and landing page images. Move forward with testing the layout of your landing pages, test out different colors for your pages- does changing the font have an effect on your conversions.

Test out load times and whether a shorter or longer landing page is better for conversions. Every landing page behaves differently which is why every test has a different result. See for example two A/B test results performed on landing page length.

The first A/B test result reveals that with a shorter landing page conversions increased by 36%.

this image shows an A/B test on the length of a landing page

While the second test showed that with a longer landing page conversions went up by 30%.

this image shows an A/B test on landing page length

Now that you know the main reasons why your A/B tests or the lack of them maybe costing you your customers you can now actually succeed in your testing efforts. The secret to getting more customers on your landing pages is out; always be testing!

Instapage provides super easy A/B split testing that you can learn more about by watching this short video.

Show Me the Top 10 A/B Testing Tips
Sign Up for a 30 Day Free Trial
Join 250,000+ other businesses who rely on Instapage.
Get Started