I remember my first A/B test.
It was between two different email subject lines. The first subject line briefly described the contents of the email. The second subject line was basically the same, except I added the word “free.”
There was a lot riding on this test, too — namely my reputation.
I was new in my position, and during our first collaborative meeting with the web team, I’d pretty much put my reputation on the line.
The email copy was on display, and I had to take a second look when I read the subject line.
“We are sending that?” I asked.
Everyone looked at the campaign manager. He nodded.
“We need to change that,” I said. “We need to at least add the word free.”
He cringed. “Free? Ick.”
“It will beat that subject line’s open rates and click-throughs. I promise. Let’s test it. Please?”
Truth rather than opinions
One of the beautiful things about A/B testing (also known as split-testing) is that it can determine the truth of a matter based upon results — not opinions.
Maybe you are new to A/B testing and you need a primer. A simple definition.
I’ve got you covered.
Watch our 60-second video for A/B testing
Here’s our video for the definition of A/B testing:
Animation by The Draw Shop
And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:
Split-testing sounds like something you might find in a secret lab dealing with atoms, protons, and neutrons, but it’s actually a simple, methodical way to increase online conversions.
First, create two different versions of a landing page, where landing page 1 features headline A and landing page 2 features headline B. Then, send 50 percent of your traffic to version A, and 50 percent to version B.
Observe which version converts better and declare the winner. Take the winning landing page and test another element, such as with or without a video, different colored “Buy” buttons, or a simple sign-up form versus a complex one.
The elements you can split-test on a page are endless. And profitable. And the whole process, as you’ll probably discover, can become very addictive.
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And if you’re wondering, my version of the subject line with the word “free” won the split-test. Reputation saved — for the time being. 😀