If you are a digital marketer, what and how you test your marketing efforts can mean the difference between success and failure. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, you might just as well be throwing your marketing spend in the trash. Split testing can tell you determine what is driving your marketing success; however, it’s sometimes difficult to choose which variables to test.
Here are the five most important variables every digital marketer should be A/B testing:
The headline of your content is, arguably, more important than the content itself when it comes to capturing your visitor’s attention. If you don’t have an attention grabbing headline that makes the reader want to continue reading, you might lose them. The only way to know which headlines work and which ones don’t is to do an A/B test. Here are some tips for writing attention grabbing headlines:
- Invoke emotion and/or controversy.
- Use informative headlines that include lists or start with numbers.
- Use How-to titles and guides.
- Include call-to-action words.
- Use a combined formula for producing effective headlines.
You should also test different layouts and designs for your marketing material, as well as your website. Move the different elements around the page, then test the performance of each to see which one does better. Some helpful layout testing tips include:
- Try different types of content above the fold.
- Make sure the page can be easily scanned.
- You don’t want the elements of your page competing against each other.
- Move your call-to-action requests around and make sure they stand out.
- Include visual cues that move the visitor’s eye through to your call-to-action.
- Avoid sliders and animations on your website because they disrupt eye movement and compete with your call-to-action.
There are plenty of studies on color psychology and how it affects human behavior when it comes to marketing, including how well your content builds trust and converts. For example, did you know that men respond to different colors than women do? This is just another great example of why you have to create each piece of content according to your target audience. Split testing allows you to test out multiple colors so you can choose the one that is going to drive more conversions from your target audience. For more information on color psychology, Kissmetrics has provided a detailed guide that explains how your marketing may be influenced by your color choices.
4. Call to Action Buttons
Test your call to action buttons for color, size, shape, location, and verbiage throughout your content to see which ones result in the best click-through rates. Mix-up the variables, combining the different combinations, then use the ones that work the best for that particular piece of content. For example, you should make sure they are:
- Visually appealing.
- Brief, no more than five words.
- Action-oriented and begin with a verb such as “Download.”
- Placed in an easy to find location.
- A contrasting color from the color scheme.
- Large but not too large.
- Clear and easy to understand.
5. Timing and Frequency
Send out your content at different times of the day and different days of the week to determine the best day and time to send your messages. Here are some examples of things to look for when testing the timing of your content:
- What time of day do your tweets get retweeted more often?
- What days of the week show more Facebook engagement?
- When is your email marketing most effective?
- On what days do your blog posts generate the most views?
Additionally, you should also test the frequency of your messages. This is extremely important as well because if you send your messages too often, you risk your audience unsubscribing. And if you don’t communicate with them often enough, you risk losing them to someone else. So this step is vital to your success.