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Marketing & Sales
Jul 2, 2018

Reconsider A/B Testing

Sponsored Content provided by Jim Ellis - Vice President, Account Director, Signal

A/B testing isn’t making marketers very happy.
 
Once a promising solution to website optimization, A/B testing is now seen as faulty, time-consuming and difficult. While setting up A/B testing is easy with the right tools, getting the answers you need takes time, practice and expertise.
 
In fact, most A/B tests are never published because they don’t increase conversions! Marketers are seeing much more benefit from focusing optimization efforts on more modern, user-centric testing methods.
 
Here’s why you should reconsider A/B testing.

 
It Takes Time To Get Right

Each A/B test requires a hypothesis around how your variations will measure up to the control – and repeated rounds of testing to gain usable insights. It’s a time-consuming process best suited to helping you learn about your target audience with incremental steps.
 
But remember, true lifts in conversions come from understanding the user and serving relevant and valuable offers – something that may be more easily done with data and personas.
 

It’s Error-Prone

Did you know that only 1 out of 8 A/B tests have driven significant change? A/B testing is so wonky because you’d need to run tests until you reach statistical confidence – the probability that a test result is accurate. Note: Most researchers look for a 95-percent confidence level in order to reach a conclusion.

Otherwise, results may be influenced by random factors and produce false data. Calculating statistical confidence can be too complex for those of us who are not statisticians.

 
It’s Not For Every Business

Another reason A/B testing fails may be sample size. There are tools available for determining the correct number, but some estimates suggest that 25,000 visitors may be needed to reach statistical confidence, and smaller businesses are unlikely to have that kind of traffic. This is one of the reasons that Optimizely, one of the most popular A/B testing tools, is discontinuing its free platform in favor of one more focused on large enterprises.
 
Contact me today to learn more about understanding your key audiences – and making sure your websites are living up to their promise.  

Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.
 

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