A/B Testing in Marketing | Blog | Social Nucleus

Monday, August 9th, 2021

In the world of digital marketing, optimisation is key. Whether it’s audiences, content or copy, knowing which aspects to focus on and which to avoid is crucial in creating an effective campaign. Because of this, A/B testing is one of the best tools at your disposal when you need copy that leads to high conversions and results.

If you don’t carry out the proper testing, then your campaigns will be uninformed and nowhere near as effective as they could be. For that reason, you need to constantly test to find what works for your brand. In this blog, we’ll detail how you can successfully carry out A/B testing on ad copy.

What is A/B Testing?

Essentially, A/B testing involves testing specific aspects of an ad or campaign, making variants of it to see the individual performance of each part. To illustrate, let’s imagine you are running an ad with three main components: copy, creative and a CTA.

If the ad is underperforming, you will obviously want to know the reasons why and also seek to replace it with messaging that will perform better. However, if you switch up all of the elements at once, then you’re not actually solving anything.

While you may see an increase in conversions, it won’t be clear which element of the ad that you’ve changed is the cause of the change. To carry out true A/B testing and truly optimise campaigns, you need to run multiple versions of an ad, with one specific aspect change.

So for one campaign, you would have several ad texts running, but with the same creative and CTA in each. This will allow you to refine your campaigns and run only the ad copy which performs best.

This can be hugely beneficial for a number of reasons, the most obvious being it can provide a huge increase in terms of your conversion rate. However, it also helps keep your campaigns fresh and relevant for potential audiences. By consistently carrying out A/B ad testing, you’ll be able to avoid ad fatigue.

How to A/B test ad copy

When it comes to copy, A/B testing is quite simple. You just need to test every element of your copy. This includes headlines, CTAs, copy length etc. Essentially, you need to make sure your copies are distinct enough to make a real difference in the audience’s eye. By doing this, you’ll end up with a comprehensive set of high performing ads.

Another crucial aspect of this is testing your landing pages. Ultimately, this is where your ads will drive prospective customers to. If you’re landing pages aren’t up to scratch, then this will decrease the chance of those visitors making a conversion. While there are a few general tips for making effective landing pages, such as ensuring they align with the messaging shown in your ad copy, the best ones will only come as the result of repeated testing and optimisation.

How To Carry Out Effective A/B Testing

Measure your Metrics

Of course, the whole point of A/B testing is to boost results and understand the data that’s driving the increase. So, before you begin testing, you need to first decide which metrics to measure and how to monitor them.

Let’s take conversions for example. If you’re tracking these, then the first thing to do is determine what conversion rate is ‘good for the brand. Some industries will see a lot more conversions than others merely based on the back of what they are selling, so there is no universal conversion rate.

After that, you need to work out how much it is costing to generate each result and whether that is a sustainable level for your business. To put it simply, it doesn’t matter how many conversions you are generating if they are costing more than you can afford. Because of this, Ad spend and ROAS, or Return On Ad Spend, are things you need to consider.

Give Tests as Much Time and Resources As Possible

Sometimes, businesses can neglect A/B testing, as they don’t view it as a true campaign, even if they generate results. This isn’t helped by the fact that many brands have to be meticulously careful when it comes to their budgets, so some don’t see testing as a necessary expense when compared with other components of the business.

The biggest issues come when campaigns don’t immediately produce results and are paused as a result, or if they aren’t afforded the proper spend in the first place. For A/B testing to be successful, you need to run them for around two weeks, with a decent budget. Stopping a campaign early or not meeting the necessary spend will just waste resources.

Test CTAs

CTAs are often overlooked in copy, despite the fact they are potentially the most important part of any ad text. Those few words at the end of your ad could be the final motivator for a potential customer to make a purchase.

It might sound obvious, but your CTA should tell the reader exactly what to do once they’ve read the ad copy. For that reason, you should be as specific as possible, but also keep it short and snappy, as this is much more engaging for potential audiences. Testing different CTAs, in both the content and copy, should reveal which ones will resonate with your audience.

Structure your Pricing

While you can’t change the price of your products in copy, you can test the structure of those figures. The easiest way to do this is with finance options. If your brand offers the ability to split the cost of a purchase with a platform like Klarna, then instead of saying a product costs £75, you could instead write it as ‘three interest-free payments of £25’.The price remains the same, but the audience interprets it as a great deal because of the phrasing.

This can be extended to discounts, promos and other financial incentives too. For example, if you have a bundle that offers a significant saving on a collection of products, you can use pricing to highlight the saving, e.g ‘Order now and get £100 of luxury cosmetics for just £50!’ It’s a relatively simple thing, but one that could see your conversion rates increase immensely.

Find Messaging that Resonates with Your Audience

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to test certain words or phrases to see which ones perform the best in your ad copy. These are known as power words and are used to elicit certain emotional or psychological responses from audiences.

The ones to use will depend on the industry, audience and brand itself. While some generic ones work, the best will be specific to the people you want to market to. A great way to test these is by coming up with a decent batch before starting work on any campaigns. After that, test them in several ads, combining them as you see fit. After a while, you will be able to see which power words perform best.

Let the Experts Help

While A/B testing is incredibly important, it can a time-consuming, difficult task to do on your own. You not only need to run the campaigns and track them, but you’ll also have to supply the copy and content variants required to do this effectively.

If you need help with A/B testing in marketing, then Social Nucleus can help. We have dedicated account managers, who will constantly test and optimise your campaigns, ensuring the ads are seen by the right audiences. We also have an expert creative, with copywriters and graphic designers, who will make killer creatives to be used in ads.  Get in touch with us now and level up your ad campaigns!