Guinness beer gifted us with the classic A/B Test back in the early 1900s. Their “Student” t-test was created to identify the best barley for brewing beer at Guinness. Excellent — we’ll drink to that!
Today, A/B testing continues to be the perfect way to monitor results of any marketing activity. Time after time, this form of “split testing” has steered our clients toward the most effective landing pages and every other marketing tool.
One marketing researcher reports that 21.5% of all their A/B tests have shown some statistically significant impact. That’s one in five – which is actually a good showing.
Let’s examine A/B testing to fully understand the benefits to healthcare companies.
Creating 2 versions of a digital asset allows you to see which one users respond to better. You might test a healthcare-focused landing page, display ad, marketing email , and social post.
In an A/B test, half your audience automatically receives “version A” and half receives “version B.” Each version’s performance is based on conversion rate goals including percentage of people who click on a link, complete a form, or make a purchase.
As with our Guiness example, A/B testing isn’t new. It’s been used greatly in the past to see which offers or products worked best. Advertisers have long used split testing to see if a television ad or radio spot would attract more buyers. Or, whether postcards were better than letters for direct marketing
Digital capabilities apply that same idea, but with more specific, reliable, and faster test results.
When growing your healthcare business, you might not know which marketing strategies resonate best with your audience. You can gain great insights via A/B testing — along with other conversion optimization strategies — to improve your approach and your content, to provide the best customer experience — and ultimately reach your conversion goals faster.
With split tests, aka A/B tests, you can compare 2 versions of content to identify which is most effective. Which do your users like, version A or version B? You want to check what happens when you change one element, so you create a situation where that one element changes — nothing else.
In the late 1990s, when the internet infiltrated the business world, A/B testing went digital. When digital marketing teams had the technical resources, they began to test their strategies in real time and on a large scale.
In the digital age, you will choose the factor that you want to check — like a Facebook ad with one image versus that same post with a different image. You can record bounce rates, time spent on the page, and as much other data as you can get.
You can test more than 1 variable at once. You might test the font you use, with and without images, and with the two different images. Or test 3 different article titles.
Why is A/B testing important to healthcare businesses?
When you apply data from A/B tests, you make the most of your marketing budget. Let’s say you want to test various approaches to drive traffic to your site using Google AdWords. The results from your tests will help determine which approach gets the most click-throughs. The data can help shape your campaign so there’s better return on investment (ROI) than with a randomly chosen approach.
The testing can be used multiple ways — even testing your home page’s font, text size, menu titles, links, and the positioning of the custom signup form. You would test these elements 2 or 3 at a time, otherwise there are too many factors involved.
You might find, after your testing, that changing 3 elements increases conversions by 6% each — that’s just how specific the testing results data will be. These are small changes your web designer can make in under an hour, but can bring in 18% more revenue.
When you use A/B testing to test Facebook ads, website pages, landing pages — any digital marketing tool — you can get more conversions per visitor. The higher your conversion percentage is, the less time and money you’ll require for healthcare marketing.
Bottom line: A/B tests will guide you in making small inexpensive changes to an otherwise costly healthcare campaign. With A/B testing, every aspect of the campaign can be as effective as possible.