How to Use A/B and Multivariate Testing to Optimize Digital Marketing Campaigns

March 5, 2021 | 3 minute read
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The digital marketing campaign process tends to follow a pattern. Marketers create a campaign based on a theme or objective and available data about the audience and market. They edit and refine the campaign before it is finally launched. After the campaign launches, marketing teams look at the analytics to assess the campaign’s performance before creating the next one. 

However, the problem with this approach is that there are no steps taken to ensure the campaign will likely resonate. Insight into what will engage your recipients can help optimize your campaign’s success. 

Enter A/B and multivariate testing. These tools provide a way to better understand how well the campaign will do before launch, providing marketers with critical time to make improvements. 

What is A/B and multivariate testing?

A/B and multivariate testing are analysis methods designed to provide insights by testing different digital asset versions to see which one does the best. These methods are often used in product testing, but they also play a valuable role in digital assets like websites and marketing campaigns. In all cases, they deliver answers about user engagement that can help save a company time and money by getting it right the first time. 

A/B testing enables you to determine what changes need to be made before launch. Multivariate testing enables you to test multiple campaigns simultaneously and then see which combinations from each campaign might work well together to create the best overall campaign performance.

Gain a better understanding of your potential customer

When you effectively use A/B and multivariate testing with your target audience, you'll glean insight into messages they respond to, their preferences, and emotions that your marketing elicits from them. 

Since multiple users are part of this testing, you can also start to uncover patterns, which may provide clearer direction on the segmentation process to shape campaigns for various groups or demographics. For example, you can begin to identify customers likely to make repeat purchases. 

Get buy-in from the entire team (including sales)

Disagreements within marketing or between marketing and sales teams are often the result of different ideas about what will work in a campaign. From the graphics to the campaign content, arguments can slow a campaign launch's progress and potentially impact results. 

By putting the answer in the hands of a third-party like an A/B or multivariate testing tool, the statistics speak for themselves. The quantitative findings essentially settle those arguments and allow the right campaign to move forward. Everyone can feel more confident about the campaign composition and work together to push it out. 

Small tweaks make a big difference in digital marketing campaigns

Another significant benefit of using a method like A/B testing is that you can test different aspects of a campaign down to a component level. That means each aspect of a campaign can be tweaked based on the findings. 

Or, it could result in just one or two slight changes rather than having to redo the entire campaign. For example, A/B and multivariate testing can be used on the content, layout, subject line of an email, graphic design and format, promotional incentive, and/or call-to-action.

Diving even deeper, testing different campaign components can uncover insights you haven’t considered. For example, testing may prove that taking a graphic design element from one campaign and combining it with the content or a call to action (CTA) from another will result in an entirely new campaign that performs even better. Taking steps to optimize campaigns for each segment will provide even greater ROI.  

Time + effort = big payoff

The results of these testing methods can yield higher response rates to your CTA, driving more traffic to your website or landing page as well as converting more leads. While it may take longer to get the campaigns live, it’s better not to rush it and realize poor results. Instead, build time into your marketing campaign timeline to use A/B and multivariate testing. 


For more information about A/B and multivariate testing and optimization, check out:

John Rampton

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #3 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a blogging expert by Forbes.

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