Back to blog

Three Things To Do Before You Start an A/B Test


Three Things To Do Before You Start an A/B Test

An A/B test is when you test out two versions of a piece of digital content in order to see what works best for your audience. A/B testing provides marketers, designers and business owners with valuable insights into how your customers behave and interact with your content. 

In this quick guide, we talk about things you need to do before you start an A/B test for a landing page, website, e-newsletter or another form of digital content. 

Focus on one thing. 

There may be several different elements in your content that you want to test, but it’s crucial to take one step at a time and test only one variable. 

If you create two entirely different versions of the same content, with lots of different variations, you will struggle to pick out what changes made the difference when you come to measure your results. 

Focus on one variable. This could be the text on a call to action button, the main headline, using a video instead of an image or the positioning of a clickable element on the page. 

If you have a long list of variables you wish to test, prioritise them and select the one that you assume is going to make the most impact. You can always do future tests on separate variables later down the line. 

Set a goal.

It may sound obvious but having a clear goal in mind when you’re A/B testing a website or email campaign is essential. 

Without a goal, you won’t know what to measure. 

Some common goals for marketers may include an increase in website traffic, a boost in your conversion rate, a lower bounce rate or – if you’re an e-commerce business – a lower cart abandonment rate. 

Again, you may want to achieve all of these things, but by prioritising what matters to you most, you can get more out of your A/B test results. 

Decide how you’re going to measure your success.

Ask yourself: What needs to happen for me to choose one variation over the other?

Look back at the original goal you set and decide how significant your results need to be for you to take action. 

Is there a statistical threshold? 

“The successful version must have 10% more clicks than the other version.” 

Deciding how you measure your success is critical before you start an A/B test. 

Choose the right tool for your A/B test. 

There are several tools out there that support A/B testing.

Many email campaign software includes a version testing feature, including MailChimp and MailJet. This usually works where you send out a test email to a sample section of your audience and the highest performing email is then sent out to the rest of your mailing list. 

For websites, you could use a paid tool like Hubspot, or run an A/B test through Google Analytics. A/B testing for websites or landing pages usually works where half of the visitors to your site are directed to one version and the other half are directed to another. You can then look at the analytics from both pages to see which page is performing best depending on your original goal.

Want to discuss how A/B testing could improve your website? Talk to a member of our team today