Experimentation is at the heart of digital marketing success in almost any area, from paid advertising to content production. Marketers are constantly pushing the envelope to innovate in a way that brings measurable results to their organizations.
Modern marketing technology allows us to run experiments on many areas, from buying behaviors and customer preferences to information delivery techniques and specific advertising messages. A/B testing, or split testing, has been used for decades to improve customer satisfaction in B2C businesses. In the last few decades, technology has allowed B2B marketers to run powerful, sophisticated experiments leveraging analytics and machine learning. By some measures, more than half of all B2B marketers today use A/B testing as their primary conversion rate optimization (CRO) method.
On a basic level, many organizations could improve their websites and drive more customers to their products and services by using A/B testing to identify what works and doesn’t. However, with so many tests available to run, knowing which ones will give you the best return on investment (ROI) can be difficult.
We’ve compiled a list of the top four A/B tests for B2B marketers that can directly impact ROI through increased conversion rates.
Form Names and Text
You’ll likely use forms in conversion elements at every point in a funnel. The names of your forms and the text within them can impact conversions more than you may think. A/B testing can help you determine which form of words and text are most effective in getting people to convert. Try testing different fonts and header placements to see if any are more effective than others. You could also switch up the order of fields to see if visitors prefer to fill out one before the other.
This small change can make a big difference in your conversion rate. Remember not to change any form fields for existing clients or customers so drastically that people who already have an account with you are redirected back to fill out their information again. Also, remember that less is more: asking too many questions might scare away potential customers. On the other hand, adding new elements to a form may show visitors that you really understand their particular issues, pushing them closer to converting.
Different hues can evoke different emotions in your website visitors, which impacts how users interact with your website or app. Try different combinations of colors and see which ones result in the most conversions. According to researchers, blue is often associated with calming safety and trustworthiness, while red is associated with urgency and excitement. Green is typically associated with nature and growth.
You want your funnel pages to be visually appealing to potential customers, but you don’t want to go overboard. You can turn them away with too many bright colors or combinations that clash. A/B testing can help you find the perfect balance of colors for your website. A few specific areas to test different color combinations include background, text, button, and form field colors.
Also, remember not to go overboard on changes in a single experiment. Try to test just one color against another (e.g., red vs. green) by changing just one element at a time to measure each change’s effect on your conversion rates.
Asking your visitors to take action correctly can differentiate between a successful conversion and a bounced visitor. But what words should you use in your call-to-action? That’s where A/B testing comes in. Marketers can try out different phrases and see which ones get the best results.
Generally, you shouldn’t overuse generic terms like “Click here!” or “Go.” Visitors are more likely to convert when they know exactly what you’re asking them to do. Ensure your CTAs include clear directions about what will be on the other side to avoid confusion and frustration over unmet expectations.
Emphasizing the benefits of your product or service in your CTA can be another powerful way to increase conversions. People are always more likely to take action if they know what’s in it for them. For example, if you’re promoting a case study that shows how your accounting software streamlines a firm’s operations, instead of using “Download the case study,” try something like “See how [Client A] saved 30% on staffing costs.”
Though it’s something of a cliche by now, when it comes to conversion rate optimization, a good picture really can be worth a thousand words. A/B testing can help to find the perfect image for your funnel. One way to A/B test images is to divide them into categories, then test pictures in each category against one another.
For example, you might choose categories like:
After that decision, you can test images of the same category, then compare how images in different categories perform. This is just one option – the specific level of detail you want to A/B test with your images will depend on how many visuals you have and the nature of its placement in the funnel. In other words: you may not need to A/B test every image you send out in your weekly newsletter, but you might want to be more thorough when it comes to testing the one image you include on a critical landing page in your funnel.One way to A/B test images is to divide them into categories, then test pictures in each category against one another. Click To Tweet
A Final Note on A/B Testing
Though A/B testing is undoubtedly popular and can be effective, it comes with its own drawbacks and dangers. As we’ve covered previously, you shouldn’t consider A/B testing as a panacea that will fix all the issues with your campaign. We’ve worked with many clients who gathered little to no valuable data from A/B tests, despite waiting many weeks or months to collect data. A/B testing can also be difficult for newer ventures that haven’t yet had enough time to build up a sufficient traffic baseline to be statistically significant.
That’s why we suggest using A/B testing strategically as a supplement to your CRO efforts. We believe that for modern B2B marketers to achieve the greatest success from A/B tests, it’s essential to move past “experimentation 1.0.” Marketers should consider their customer’s holistic journey and optimize each stage in concert with one another, using personalized insights and data about their preferences and habits whenever possible.
Are you looking for some assistance with integrating A/B testing into your funnel? Maybe you’ve already been running A/B tests for a while and haven’t seen the definitive data you were hoping for to direct your campaigns going forward. FunnelEnvy specializes in helping all types of B2B clients make A/B testing and other CRO experiments much more effective through the use of personalized solutions custom-built for a specific audience of sophisticated decision-makers.
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