How do you know if your email campaign or landing page work effectively toward achieving your marketing goals? How do you know what to optimize within your inbound marketing strategy?
The most effective way to test any campaign or strategy is an A/B test. It's a simple concept that can have a significant impact on your property management marketing strategy.
Plus, testing helps you save marketing dollars by testing with a smaller audience before rolling out a strategy. Here's what you need to know about A/B testing and how to use it to fine-tune your business growth strategies.
What is an A/B Test?
A/B testing (or split testing) is a structured evaluation of two variations of a campaign, email, landing page, or another marketing strategy.
When applying a test, you can test just about anything:
- Which subject line variations result in more opens
- Which links generate more click-throughs
- Which Calls-to-Action (CTAs) generate more leads
- Which images work best
- Which email or landing format is more user-friendly
- Which times of day work best for sending emails
A/B testing sets up an "either/or" situation that creates a clear "winner" between two variations of the same element within a piece of content or campaign.
You don't have to guess about what works best. Your audience tells you! After all, your users are your goal.
You might think you have a great strategy, but if you are creating engagement and leads, you need to listen to your consumers and adjust.
How Do I Set Up An A/B Test?
There are three main components to a successful A/B Test. Plan your strategy and goal, set up the test, document everything, then track the results.
1. The Strategy
Never test without an end goal in mind.
- What's the goal?
- What is your audience?
- What's your variation?
- How will you track and report results?
Use testing to fix a broken strategy or part of your website. Or, use testing to improve something that's already working well.
Find out if a small tweak or a completely different approach can generate better results.
2. The Set Up
It's critical to set up your test campaign in a way to answer all of your questions from the strategy component of your A/B test.
- Choose Your Audience. Start small. You want your broader audience to receive the very best final product. Test on a smaller audience, then roll out with the winning strategy.
- Split Your Audience 50/50. Make sure it's a random split. This is critical. If one half of your test has any bias toward better performance, you've skewed your results.
- Change only one thing between variations. This is also critical. Your A/B test measures the different response to only one change in your content. If you have multiple variations between Version A and Version B, your results won't tell you the one thing that made the difference in response between the two test audiences.
- Test both variations at the same time. If you're sending an email with a Subject line test, send both versions of the email at the same time. Version A goes to audience Split A while Version B goes to audience Split B.
Sometimes, the simplest things generate big changes in performance. Other times, a significant performance improvement requires a bigger change.
Find the winner between the two variations, then test the next best variation to continue optimizing your results.
3. The Documentation
All of your work with the strategy and setup for your test is useless if you don't document what you've done.
Develop a consistent documentation plan for all tests.
- Document the strategy
- Keep good notes about your split audience. While the selection of the audience into Split A vs. Split B needs to be "blind" (or random), you'll need to know who received Variation A versus Variation B to track the results.
- Document how you plan to track and report the results.
You'll need to reference your testing strategy and results to evaluate performance and determine next steps. Keep good notes!
4. The Tracking
Know the metrics you're evaluating and the tools you need to apply to get the information you need. Depending on what you're testing, choose the right tool.
Hubspot makes it easy to design, set-up, track, and report on your A/B testing campaigns. When you use Hubspot, you'll avoid common A/B testing mistakes while developing a useful testing scenario from the start.
Let A/B Testing Show You The Way!
Don't waste property management marketing time and money guessing about ways to improve your lead generating strategies. Investing the time and resources in an excellent A/B testing strategy will speed up your inbound marketing performance to help grow your business.
Rent Bridge is a Certified Hubspot Partner with access to the best A/B testing tools and resources. Contact us for a free consultation about testing and optimizing your marketing strategy.