A/B Split Testing for B2B is extremely important to ensure you get the most out of your B2B sales and marketing efforts.
When it comes to marketing, your intuition has tremendous value. Over time, as you keep experimenting with various platforms and marketing actions, your intuition inevitably gets stronger. It is evident that marketers will choose to follow their intuition, nine times out of ten. However, basing your campaigns and other outreach efforts on your intuition or gut feeling is detrimental. When marketers create email copies, landing pages, call-to-action buttons, advertisements, or other customer-facing communication, it is necessary to have a rough idea of what may work.
As opposed to relying on gut feelings and assumptions, it is better to rely on pure data-driven evidence. So, in this scenario, A/B split testing for B2B – also called B2B split testing – is a saviour.
What is A/B Split Testing for B2B?
B2B businesses want website visitors and prospects to take desirable action (get converted). After all, conversions are directly related to profits and organizational growth. The rate at which a website can drive conversions is called its conversion rate. This conversion rate is critical to tracking the success of a website.
In the simplest of words, A/B testing refers to the process of showing two variants of the same webpage to various groups of visitors at the same time. Afterwards, the results of both are compared to find which one drives higher conversion. Whichever one provides for easier conversion is the winner, and will be implemented. The deciding metrics for each A/B testing endeavour is different.
Depending on the industry that the B2B company belongs to, different parameters qualify as the most important of all. For some it may be the number of product sales, for others, it may depend on how many people signed up for a particular offer, so on and so forth.
The best thing about A/B testing is that it gives you the results that are exactly pertinent to your organization. The fact of the matter is that every audience group behaves differently. Consequently, this makes ‘best practices’ are mostly variable, instead of a staple. What is a so-called best practice according to experts may not apply to your organization? In this scenario, A/B testing is a saviour as it helps you discover what works best for your organization.
The Benefits of A/B Split Testing For B2B
As we said before, A/B testing is really great for finding out the unique traits of your audience’s buying behaviour and preferences. Additionally, A/B split testing for B2B is a low-cost investment that generates high rewards. Moreover, they have a multitude of other benefits to offer your B2B sales and marketing efforts.
Here are some of the most commonly observed benefits of A/B split testing for B2B companies.
A/B Split Testing for B2B – Top Four Benefits
Improves Rate of Conversion
With A/B split testing for B2B, you get to experiment. It helps you find the most useful variant of all the essential elements in your marketing and sales efforts. You can test out factors like locations, anchor text, advertisements, calls-to-action, or even colours, themes and content variations. By using this system of testing out different variants, your team eventually gathers accurate data to evaluate what works best for your unique audience. Ultimately, these practices help in discovering what drives most conversion. Needless to say, in the long run, this helps in improving conversion rates.
Reduces Cart Abandonment
B2B e-commerce businesses usually face cart abandonment problems. Since almost 40% to 75% of customers tend to leave B2B websites with pending items in their shopping cart, cart abandonment jeopardizes conversion rates. This phenomenon that is known as ‘abandonment of shopping carts’, however, reduces significantly with A/B split testing for B2B companies. By testing out different types of product photos, shipping cost offerings, offers, discounts, and even pay designs; you can figure out what customers respond to most favourably.
Increases Website Traffic
The number of people who visit your website daily is an integral part of deciding where to place your core outreach efforts. By testing out different types of blog content, articles, downloads, e-books etc., you’ll learn what combinations drive in the most traffic. Through A/B split testing for B2B marketing and sales, you will eventually see an increase in web traffic.
Decreases Bounce Rate
Often, you may receive website visitors who were attracted by your offer on some or the other platform. However, after visiting your website, they quickly leave or ‘bounce’ away from your intended target. So, to combat this A/B split testing for B2B can support your efforts. Feel free to experiment with the website content, landing pages, fonts, design, layout, colour schemes, blog posts, and even feature images to see what works best. Remember that you might not know your audience as well as you think you do.
How to Conduct A/B Testing
Now that you understand how A/B split testing for B2B works let dive into the process of implementing this methodology for your organization. Let’s look at how you must set up a test that will bring intangible results. We will also look at some examples below.
Pick the Test Variable
In the case of A/B split testing for B2B, it is necessary that you pick clear test variables. Sure, you may choose to test more than one variable at a time, but this is not very wise. If you decide to test multiple factors at the same time, it gets difficult to isolate precisely which variable worked effectively and generated higher returns. Ultimately, if you must test multiple variables, ensure not to do it all at the same time. This planning saves you from any confusion or false results.
Set Clear Goals
Look, nothing much in life happens without careful planning and clear goal-setting. This holds even in the case of A/B split testing for B2B.
Once you have picked the test variable, you must evaluate the first version. This means that if you were testing a landing page, the existing version of that landing page would be ‘Version A’. On the other hand, the alternative to this landing page is ‘Version B’. Before you actually launch into full-blown testing, have this distinction very clear.
‘Version A’, the unedited and existing version of what you’re testing is called the ‘control’ sample. It is the basis of comparison. ‘Version B’ is the challenger. This is the alternative to what already exists.
Set Up Sample Groups and Determine Sample Size
In the case of A/B split testing for B2B email marketing, you have a certain level of control over your audience. You can control when they receive your email and how you craft your communication, among other things. However, you must ensure that your sample groups are accurately picked and the sample size is correct.
If you are testing out two types of emails, you need to get yourself two sample customer or prospect groups that are very similar to each other. Without this similarity, you won’t be able to evaluate if a variable is a clear winner because of how you crafted it or because of who they were. Equality in your sample audiences for your ‘control’ and ‘challenger’ leads to conclusive results.
In case you’re undertaking A/B split testing for B2B webpages, your approach should be different. Web pages and other such variables don’t usually have limited audiences. In such scenarios, the duration of the test is crucial in determining the successful version. By letting the test run for a significant time, you get enough views to assess statistically significant differences between the control and challenger.
When you test out ad variants, limit the elements you test. If you’re changing the content on your blog, run the different options to the same audience to see which gets a better response. Alternatively, you may want to test out different audiences. In this scenario, run the same blog content to different sample groups. If you don’t do this, you may still get the results on what performed better, but pinpointing why it shone will be arduous.
Decide the Success Parameters
Again, having a clear idea of what you expect from the testing is crucial to your efforts. After you have all your test variables ready, evaluate the significance of the results you seek. Often, executives put so much effort into their testing efforts, that even a small sign of growth is considered a success. However, this is not ideal. Right from the beginning, have a goal idea of what you’ll term a success. The key factor that usually indicates success or failure is the conversion rate.
Test Both Variations Simultaneously
Using the right A/B testing tool is critical. However, based on your exact requirements, it is necessary to evaluate a solution that can accommodate your testing parameters and requirements. Moreover, remember that timing is very integral in determining the results of your marketing campaigns and outreach efforts. Right from the day of the week, the month of the year, time of the day, year or holidays all make a difference.
If you were to run ‘Version A’ of an email campaign A/B split test during this month, and the other version the next month, it would be disastrous. After all, in this scenario how would you evaluate the exact cause of one version performing better? For the least confusion, test out both variations simultaneously to reduce any outside factors affecting the outcome.
A/B Split Testing for B2B Takes Time – Be Patient
When it comes to A/B split testing, you have to be patient and give your experiment time to produce usable results and viable data. There is no instant fix. You have to ensure that your split tests run for long enough so that you eventually get a substantial sample size out of the mix. If you don’t do this, statistically determining the difference between the results of both the variations is very difficult, nearly impossible.
Getting split testing results that are statistically significant may take days, weeks, or even months. The key deciding factor in how much time it takes is the traffic you receive. So, if you receive a lot of ad traffic or response from email marketing campaigns, you will likely take a shorter time to obtain useful results. All in all, don’t put a limit on the time taken for result-gathering.
Ask For Constructive Criticism and Feedback
All in all, split testing results are a wealth of quantitative data. Numbers don’t lie, so this statistical data helps tremendously when it comes to understanding what to do for your marketing and sales efforts. However, in the quest of obtaining such data, there is no need to remain myopic. Why not also ask for qualitative feedback at the same time. After all, it’s better to kill two birds with one stone.
In this scenario, asking real users for feedback via polls or surveys is highly effective. Rather than just checking whether or not they responded favourably to your efforts, ask them instead. You can start by incorporating exit surveys on your site. Such studies directly ask the target why they did or didn’t respond to your variable – CTA, content changes etc. By gathering this information, you receive tremendous insight into why your audiences like or dislike your attempts.
Take Action Based on The Test Results
Once you evaluate the right variation or the one that works best, you must calculate and measure the results. In any case, this step is significant. By doing so, you are in a position to evaluate if the results of your test are substantial enough to warrant an overhaul. Are they good enough to justify the accompanying change?
The statistical significance of your experiment can be manually obtained. However, in this scenario, the complex numbers and calculations might lead to erroneous results. Instead, rely on a free A/B split test for the B2B calculator. Depending on the results of the calculation, pick the variation that is statistically better. Consequently, disable the alternative that saw more mediocre results.
In the case that none of the two variations has a significant difference, you’ll have an inconclusive test. While that may sound disappointing, don’t fret. Such tests help you understand what to stay away from. Even a failed test’s data can give you insights that assist you in the future.
The Bottom Line
Now that we’ve reached the end of this article, you’re surely better equipped to undertake A/B split testing for B2B sales and marketing. At the very least, your team is ready to launch and undertake basic experiments with a few variables. However, as is the case with other marketing activities, a robust database is central to ensuring success even in this scenario.
Most B2B companies that want to undertake split testing typically benefit from professional data solutions and services to back them up. The main reason for this is that most marketers don’t have the time to personally build a formidable database to centre their outreach efforts around. It is tedious for marketers to set up such data and information. Moreover, without such data, it is almost impossible to accurately receive results from any experimentation. Additionally, clean, verified data helps you stay ahead of data decay, increasing the general rate of conversion. If you are serious about gaining better results across all your marketing efforts, you can’t do without a data solutions company.
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