A/B Testing has become an integrated part of how large businesses test their web page design and appeal to audiences. Its success over the past decade has created opportunities for smaller businesses to apply it successfully to both online and direct marketing efforts.
In a nutshell, the idea behind A/B testing is to create two or more versions of a web page or piece of collateral and then set up your website or your marketing program to compare the effects of each version by proportioning the traffic that reaches your website or receives your literature so that each version receives an equal percentage of visitors or recipients.
Here are some of the top reasons that A/B Testing makes sense for small business:
You learn what works and what doesn’t: Even if you have a largely static page, you will end up with a better understanding of how your content and/or design is impacting people. On the internet, tracking response through your website is instant and not hard to pull statistics for. Using those statistics in a comparison that reveals a winner in terms of driving more traffic allows you to build on that experience instead of assuming that one concept will fit everyone.
It is easy to do: Whether you are creating print literature or you are launching a campaign on your website, the production process will not be that different from what you are used to when you create just one version. Most hosting providers use software that allows you to easily add programs that will split your traffic and not compromise the statistics that you do receive.
The cost is not extravagant: Once you have set up your test bed online, the only real cost of implementing A/B testing is the extra design work and the extra analysis time to look over the statistics. Realistically, this does not add much to the cost of running a campaign. Conceptually, as a small business, it isn’t different than adding a company like AFN to be a funds provider in addition to your traditional bank, and then comparing to find out which company provides better service.
You or your design team will become stronger: Finding a strategy that enables your website to engage customers more will add to your knowledge of how to create sites, pages or campaigns that will bring your company better results.
You can use the results to validate your business plan: Most quality managers in companies rank different organizations by the level of quality assurance and control that they undertake when running a process. A/B testing certainly shows that you have more sophistication in your marketing design than if you were just designing campaigns and running them. That can come into play as your business looks at expanding or growing the pool of funds available for expansion. Revenue is king of course, but with lenders like AFN focusing more on business opportunity and results than your credit rating, showing a history of strong results that translate into revenue as a result of processes like A/B testing can be a positive when you apply.
Overall, A/B testing is one the most cost-effective ways of ensuring that your marketing campaigns are going to allow you to reap greater benefits. Making it part of your regular marketing activities can also send a positive message to companies that may fund you down the road.