Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
May 24th, 2017

What is Split Testing and Why is it Important for Your Marketing 

If you read my last article, you’re familiar with my belief that marketing is like a science experiment. One of the reasons I believe this is based on the fact that you never really know how your target audience might respond to a given piece of content. You might assume that a certain title or photo might grab attention, but you just don’t know until you run the piece. I’m often surprised when the content we thought would be a home run falls flat, and another piece that we felt just “okay” about ends up resonating with the target audience and takes off.

So, with that in mind, what can you do to increase the chances that you will hit a home run more often and minimize your strike outs? One way is called split testing. This is a simple method of creating essentially the same piece of content in multiple formats. You might create the same basic piece of content and create various forms with differing titles, images, taglines, etc. Below you can see the same Facebook post with two different featured images and taglines. The underlying post is exactly the same. These were run recently and targeted to the same audience just days apart for the same amount of time and with the same budget, and the results were monitored.

Here is the interesting part. The ad on the right produced results that had nearly a 34-percent better link click-through than the ad on the left. Once we have run a split test like this and monitored the results, we can determine which format is performing best and place the remainder of the ad budget for the campaign that is producing the best ROI. This allows us to get the best results for every dollar spent for our clients. Instead of guessing, we can run the ads and let the market tell us which one resonates at a higher level.

This is another reason we really like marketing online. You can monitor the results in real time and make adjustments on the fly. This is impossible with some traditional marketing channels such as mailers and the like. In those formats, you have to make the best choice you can on the ad and hope for the best. There is no changing it once you have approved it for that run. If it doesn’t speak to your target audience, you hope that you choose better on the next ad.

Split testing with online marketing is a smart way to make the most of a limited marketing budget. You may think you know what will speak to your prospective customers, but why guess? Let them tell you what is working and then double-down on the format that the market has already told you is working. I hope this helps you think about how you might be able to integrate split testing into your marketing program. Doing this will help save you money and get better results.

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