Testing—why does it simultaneously fill marketers with equal amounts of fear and anticipation?
If done well, testing is a marketer’s friend—and it can help you continually improve your campaigns and bottom-line results.
Let’s embrace it…but how?
The first step is to understand your testing options and which is best for you.
Here’s a quick overview of the five most popular types of testing…
Beta Testing – This is where you try one new thing. For example, for a new website, you can do a beta test that directs only 10% of the traffic to the new site. This minimizes risk and allows you to zero in on the experience of the 10% without jeopardizing your performance. It’s good when you want to what you want to test is risky.
Hold Out – This is the inverse of beta testing. It’s good in cases where you’re trying to prove marketing’s impact. A personal example is when a sales team I was working with doubted marketing’s influence in the sales process.So, we took the audience and held out 10% of it, treating the remaining 90% normally. We then compared how that performed vs. the holdout portion and learned that the “treated” segment performed significantly better than the hold out segment. This test proved the value marketing was providing to the sales team and its process.
A/B Split – This is a very common testing option, yet many marketers get it wrong. They often test more than one element at a time, which skews results. To do an A|B split test correctly, you can only test one thing, like the subject line or the offer. Keep in mind, your split does not have to be 50/50; you just need to ensure you can get valid results from each segment.
Multivariate Testing – If you have the volume to create statistically significant results, you can do this type of testing. It’s like doing an A/B split, but you can test more than one element at a time. You do have to make sure all of these streams have enough volume. And this type of testing gets complex fast. So, without a large, robust database, you can’t really do this well. (It also helps to have someone with strong analytical skills on your team, just to ensure you will get statistically significant results!)
Champion Challenger – This is not a scientific test, but it’s a methodology that’s used in demand gen. Once you have established your baseline results, you can set up a test to try and beat those baseline results. It’s not scientific in nature because the test is being done at different times—but it’s a great way to improve cost per lead and pipeline. At Revenate Marketing, we use Champion-Challenger methods by establishing baselines and then continuously pushing for better results.
Stay tuned for my next post on the ROI of testing, to keep this fresh in your mind.
In the meantime, please let me know what testing you’re currently doing. I’d love to know what’s working and what’s not. We’re in this together!