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Split Decision: Use A/B Testing to Optimize Content

It’s a war of words. A faceoff between good and great. You could even dare to say it’s survival of the fittest. We’re talking about A/B testing, also known as split testing, a content marketing tactic that leverages two different versions of content, from text ads to Web pages, to demonstrate which version is the most effective with your audience. Putting out smart, catchy, forward-thinking content isn’t enough to create and sustain a competitive edge. You must ensure the content marches toward your ultimate goal. This means you have to find a way to close the loop between idea and action. By leveraging A/B testing to optimize content, you’ll have a keen insight into what drives customers.

Why A/B Testing Works

There aren’t many instances when you can successfully try out two things at once. We know that Mentos and Coke don’t mix, nor does drinking and dancing. However, with A/B testing, you can see what works and what doesn’t without regret, and then leverage the information for a full-scale campaign. Let’s say you’re launching a new website. Does your audience respond to hard-hitting stats or industry trends? Does humor or whimsy work best to grow a subscriber base? Will your audience be more interested in a promotion or a special benefit (free shipping, for example)? With A/B testing, you can quickly and effectively discover the answer to these questions and then craft the messaging, design, and channels accordingly. (Check out these examples of great messaging strategies for email campaigns.) There are many types of content that are conducive for A/B testing, and in theory, you can test almost anything, from font choice to color palette. The chart below illustrates some of the most frequently tested content types and elements, as well as the reason for the testing campaign.  

dcustom-chart A/B testing us a widely used tool for marketing campaigns of all types and sizes. The intel revealed from seeing what resonates with your customers is a goldmine—and it’s one that’s yours for the taking. What do you think about A/B testing? Tell us your thoughts on one of our social channels, herehere, and here.