Have you been testing intelligently or have you been guilty of slice-and-dice optimization?
Last column, I shared the following test, which I found "in the wild," and asked readers to identify the variables. Hoping that instead of testing all the variables, you could narrow it down to the most meaningful variables so that you minimize the time and resources needed to complete the test.
Depending on how you want to define your variables, these two pages have around a dozen changes.
Here is my list:
Most of the time, when I see such a list of variations, it would seem that the business is testing for variations first and impact second. Testing has to start with the "why" first. Why will this matter to my customer? Why will changing the layout from horizontal to vertical change their feeling about buying from us?
This goes back to what we all learned in elementary school. You start a test with a hypothesis first. Instead, most companies today throw variables at the wall, sometimes not even aware that they are changing variables and all they look for is what version gave them a lift. This is a great strategy when you have endless resources and time to wait for tests to complete, or when you have a page that is converting at around 70 percent-plus and you want to start fine-tuning it.
So what are the three variables I would test from these two landing pages?
Did you identify these as the big ideas to test first? Have you been testing intelligently or have you been guilty of slice-and-dice optimization? Testing these three variables first enables us to complete our test in 18 days versus 108, based on the number of variations that need to be tested.
What about testing the call to action button and other variables?
Sure, I would eventually want to test that, but the first goal should be to make sure our offer is viewed as relevant and valuable enough to our visitors to want to complete the call to action. Have you ever stopped yourself from clicking on a button because it was blue and not orange if you found the offer relevant and compelling?
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Bryan Eisenberg is co-founder and chief marketing officer (CMO) of IdealSpot. He is co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times best-selling books Call to Action, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?, and Always Be Testing, and Buyer Legends. Bryan is a keynote speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as Gultaggen, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others for the past 10 years. Bryan was named a winner of the Marketing Edge's Rising Stars Awards, recognized by eConsultancy members as one of the top 10 User Experience Gurus, selected as one of the inaugural iMedia Top 25 Marketers, and has been recognized as most influential in PPC, Social Selling, OmniChannel Retail. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of several venture capital backed companies such as Sightly, UserTesting, Monetate, ChatID, Nomi, and BazaarVoice. He works with his co-author and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
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