We cannot emphasise enough on testing your Call-to-Actions (CTAs). As well-crafted your CTAs may be, only real world testing can determine the actual performance of your CTAs, based on how your audience reacts to them.
A/B testing is one of the most reliable testing methods for your CTA as it isolates one variable at a time. This allows you to optimise CTAs based on the performance of each one. With this, you get definitive conclusions on how every aspect of your CTA affects the response from your customers.
Let's find out how exactly you can go about testing your CTAs.
Steps to ensure effective A/B Testing of CTAs
Step 1: Create your content
Create your content. Then change one element.
Create the content which contains the CTA. This may be in the form of a webpage or email.
Need tips for writing your CTA? Read our article on how to craft your first killer CTA first.
Step 2: Change ONE element
Create a variant version of the copy, changing only ONE element. This could be the wording, the design, the placement or the colour or design of the CTA.
When creating a variant, always have a hypothesis in mind.
Why are you changing this element in this way? What effect do you think the change would have on the way the customer would react to the CTA?
By having a hypothesis in mind, you have a ready plausible explanation to be proved or disproved through the results of the test.
Step 3: Set up the A/B test
The most important step - Setting up the A/B Test
Set up the A/B test through relevant software.
There are different software available for A/B testing webpages and emails, some of which we have listed in our article, The Different types of CTAs and The Tools To Help You Master Them.
The main idea of the test is to send each version of your content to a sample of your pool of viewers. There are slightly different ways to do this for webpages and emails.
A/B Testing for Webpages
For webpages, your customers could visit your page multiple times. There are thus different ways to divide your pool of viewers into two.
- By Sessions
A viewer has equal chance of seeing either version each time they visit the webpage. This provides a very fair test for your CTA, but could be seen in a negative light for more visible changes due to a lack of consistency.
- By Unique Visit
A viewer that has visited the webpage will always be served the same version of the webpage each time they visit. This method requires a pool of audience for it to be accurate, and may be preferred by companies that place more importance on reputation and image.
A/B Testing for Emails
For emails, two small random sample groups of your mailing list are chosen for the test, and a version is sent to each group.
After a specified amount of time, the version with the highest CTR for the CTA is then sent automatically to the rest of the mailing list.
Important Tip: Ensure that all other non-content variables also remain the same, i.e. time. If your test was conducted in the morning, sending the best performing email in the evening may not yield the same result.
Step 4: Monitor and Optimise
Monitor the results of your A/B test, and use the insight gleaned when crafting the A/B test for your next piece of content with a CTA.
At the end of the day, remember this. A/B testing is an ongoing process that goes hand-in-hand with killer CTAs; There’s no one without the other!
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This article is part of the CTAs in Marketing series, where we share tips and insights on crafting compelling CTAs in the following weeks. To learn all about crafting CTAs that convert, check out our free resource: 'ABCTA: The Ultimate Handbook to Call-To-Actions (CTAs)'. Learn the fundamental principles of CTAs, and understand how to deploy them effectively for your business today.
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