A/B Testing: What Is It & Why Do You Need It?


January 31, 2017 By

Cheryl Dykstra


How do you know that a piece of your marketing campaign is performing at its best?

The truth is that until you start testing various elements of your marketing campaigns – from ads to landing pages to email subject lines – you’ll never know what resonates with your audience the most.

A well-planned and executed A/B testing can take your marketing pieces and make them exponentially more profitable.

Read on to learn more…

Planning an A/B Test

Before you start testing, it’s important to choose an area to focus on. Taking A/B testing slowly will ensure you’re not changing too many variables at once, eliminating any way of telling what is working and what isn’t.

You can test virtually anything in your marketing materials: headlines, calls to action, body copy, images, etc. If you can change it, you can test it. Though it’s best to focus on the things that are most likely to have a big impact.

On your website, this likely includes:

  • Headline
  • Call to Action
  • Graphics Used for Sales Efforts
  • Sales Copy
  • Product Descriptions

For ads, this could include:

  • Images
  • Offer
  • Text

These are only two examples of marketing materials that can be A/B tested. Remember that almost anything can be tested and improved upon.

Even Small Changes Can Have Big Effects

One example for an A/B test on a text ad comes from Brad Shorr, Director of Content and Social for Straight North. He was testing PPC text ads and found out how even small changes can have huge effects.

Here was his A/B test:

A. Get $10 off the first purchase. Book online now!

B. Get an additional $10 off. Book online now.

The CTR doubled with option B. This outcome was shocking, even to him.

This example goes to show that until you test, it’s hard to know for sure what will work with your audience. A/B testing results can vary even within the same industry.

Here’s another example of A/B testing for call to action (CTA) buttons, this one from Francis Shovlin, from SEER Interactive:

They wanted to test the effectiveness of their CTA. They split the traffic to two different button designs.


After running the test for just over seven weeks, they were able to increase their form conversion rate by 11%. That was the only thing that changed on the page and it made a significant difference in their conversion rate.

How to Start A/B Testing

In this article, we only touched on a few of the ways you can utilize A/B testing for your marketing materials. If you are interested in learning more about how A/B testing could be beneficial in growing your business, give us a call at (407) 682-2222 or use the contact form below.

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