Gut instincts can cost you time and resources

February 15, 2018
Ed Barret
Key Highlights
A/B testing is an especially useful strategy in the healthcare space, where marketers may only have a split second to capture a healthcare professional’s attention with a catchy headline or call to action.

Everyone wants to believe they write attention-grabbing headlines and use the best graphics and messaging to peek their reader’s interest. But figuring out which headline button placement, or color scheme will attract the most interest isn’t easy – and going on gut instinct is risky when every conversion counts.

A/B testing is a popular strategy among web developers to compare similar features on a site to see which one their audience reacts to so they can improve their campaign performance. It is a useful way to link response rates to various design elements -- and it is not just handy for websites.

Marketing professionals are increasingly using A/B testing to ensure that every aspect of their email campaigns is designed to capture their audiences’ attention and draw them through the content journey. It’s a strategic move that is paying off. You can use message testing and design features to help increase your open rates and drive conversions.

A 2016 Conversion Rate Optimization report found A/B testing is one of the most effective methods to drive conversion rate improvements. The report also found more than 90 percent of marketing companies either already use A/B testing (60%) or plan to adopt it (31%) in the near future because they believe it will help them improve conversions.

What do HCPs want?

A/B testing is an especially useful strategy in the healthcare space, where marketers may only have a split second to capture a healthcare professional’s attention with a catchy headline or call to action. 

A/B testing allows marketers to test different communication options to see which delivers a better result. For example, if you are hosting an event and want to send an email reminding customers to confirm their attendance you might test whether more people click on “Registration closes tonight!” versus “Only hours left to register!”

Nexus Marketing makes it easy to conduct A/B testing. You can send “waves” of emails with slightly altered messages, formats, or designs to random segments of the population to see which one has the greatest impact. One of the great features of Nexus Marketing’s A/B testing is that it delivers instant feedback. 

After the test emails are sent, the platform collects response metrics in real-time, and displays them in a colorful bar chart so you can easily see at-a-glance which version of your email is delivering a more positive response from recipients. You can use this real time data to refine your campaigns more rapidly. Knowing what’s working, and what’s not, can help give your marketers the confidence that the choices they are making will deliver the desired result.

5 lessons for success with A/B testing

  1. Define your metrics. To get the most value from A/B testing, think about your end-goal and how elements of your email affect that goal. If you want to improve open rates you might test your subject line, whereas if you want to improve click-through rates it may make more sense to test your call to action. Understanding the desired outcome ensures you test the element that is most important to the campaign.
  2. Do one thing at a time. It’s tempting to introduce lots of changes in test emails, but this will only cloud the results. Keep the test to one aspect of the email to be sure you understand what’s working.
  3. Decide how many people you are willing to test. If you are trying to improve conversions for a specific event or deadline, you may want to test a smaller targeted group to see what works best before blanketing your database; whereas if you are doing more general testing go bigger – the larger your sample size, the more accurate your results.
  4. Timing is crucial. Send test waves at the same time to avoid introducing external factors into your response rate.
  5. Watch the metrics. Nexus Marketing lets you see results in real time, so you can begin to see trends as soon as the campaign begins.

For more information on how to use A/B Testing check out Nexus Marketing’s handy step-by-step guide on how to use A/B testing and track results.

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