It’s time to face the music — acquiring new customers is getting more expensive with each passing day.
Roughly 57% of 118 retailers stated that rising customer acquisition costs (CAC) are a threat to their 2022 sales goals. Since CAC started increasing by 60% over the last several years, brands needed to incorporate various tactics and strategies to try to reduce these costs while still bringing in new business. Easier said than done — especially when one of the common strategies could actually be making the problem worse.
A/B testing, or split testing, is a tried-and-true method of testing which variation of an ad, landing page, or any other marketing asset for a campaign performs best for any given audience. But there’s a fine line marketers are walking when A/B testing their content. Here, we’ll dive into how A/B testing can help … but also hurt … your marketing campaigns, and how you can reap all of the benefits of this process, without the guesswork.
Let’s get into it.
A/B Testing Is The Key To Finding What Works
First, let’s kick things off with how A/B testing helps keep CAC down. To start, we need to understand the role that the acquisition funnel plays.
What Is The Acquisition Funnel?
- Awareness – People have to know who you are! Let new customers know what your business is and who you offer. How do you get the message out? Paid ads, affiliate marketing, sales efforts — you name it.
- Consideration – Once you’ve piqued the interest of your prospective customer, they’re likely to take some sort of action. Maybe that’s signing up for a newsletter, clicking on your commerce ad, reading a piece of content.
- Decision – Now it’s time to drive it home! If you were able to catch and keep the attention of your potential customer, then they might make a purchase, buy a subscription, upgrade their account — whatever the case may be.
How do we drive our prospective customers down the funnel? A/B testing. A/B testing gives you an efficient method of determining which piece of marketing copy turns the highest ROI. There’s a reason A/B testing is so popular among nearly all marketers and advertisers. A/B split testing your messages is an important step in bringing in more leads or conversions. But like anything in the marketing world, it’s not foolproof.
Common A/B Testing Mistakes
Running Too Many Split Tests At Once
If you are testing different elements on a landing page, it might seem like a good idea to run all of these tests at once — but it can actually be harmful. What you think saves you time can actually skew your results. Testing multiple assets on your landing page makes it difficult to determine where results are coming from. Did a headline boost performance? Or was it a different CTA? Not running a multivariate analysis makes this hard to discern.
Not Clearly Defining Your Metrics
In order for an A/B test to be effective, it’s important to clearly define the metric you want to measure. Are you looking at CTR? Conversion rates? Without knowing what you are looking for and keeping a control group with a baseline, it’s hard to tell the quality or effectiveness of your test. Plus, sometimes results can be affected by seasonality, the overall quality of your campaigns, and many other factors.
Not Running A Test For Long Enough
Results take time! And A/B tests don’t work overnight. You need to run an A/B test long enough to achieve the industry-standard 95% confidence rating (meaning that you feel confident that you are safe to make decisions based on the results of your test). The timing depends on what results you’re expecting to see, but the important thing is that you don’t cut your tests short. And it’s also important to note that in a high scale A/B test can reach status of being statistically significant in a week or so, while lower traffic tests can take a month or even more.
Testing Too Much Content At Once
The simpler your A/B test, the better. Have four different CTAs to test? Maybe cut it back to three. Why? The more variations you have, the bigger the sample size you’ll need to run the test. You’ll have to send more traffic to each variation to get results that you can actually make decisions from — which can get expensive.
And this common mistake brings us into the next part of this post: How A/B testing can kill your CAC.
Quantity Can Overpower Quality
It’s important to test more than one variation of an ad or piece of marketing copy, but is it possible to have too much of a good thing? In short: Yes. Testing too many different versions of content means that you’re bound to start pushing out copy alternatives that aren’t necessarily the most effective or high-performing. This not only slows down your tests, but it also can negatively impact the resulting data — as well as cause your CAC to spike.
First, with your data, running a lot of variations at once means you’ll need to drive more traffic to your content. And the result? You could be looking at a longer run time on your tests. But the challenges don’t stop there. Running a lot of different copy variations also puts you at risk of lowering your level of significance, meaning it would be more difficult to prove which piece of content (if any) made an impact on performance.
A/B Testing Takes Time … And Time Is Money
And what happens when you start promoting less effective copy? With so many different variations being tested at once, you might not notice that a few (or too many) subpar variations are taking up most of your budget — with little to show for it. Now you’ve wasted time, resources, and money on copy that isn’t going to help you bring in conversions or sales.
Customer acquisition is all about attracting high-quality customers that will want to stick around (and may even help you find new ones later down the line). And in order to do this, it’s important to make sure that any copy variation you push out passes some level of quality control. Only promote and test copy that you believe truly has a shot at being the winning variation. This helps weed out any options that may be less effective.
Kick Off Your Campaigns With The Right Variations
Avoid this far less than ideal situation by kicking off your campaigns with the right variations from the get go. How, you might ask? It’s simple: Anyword. Manual A/B testing takes a lot of work on your end and can result in inconclusive results. But Anyword Convert has already done the heavy lifting for you.
Anyword’s new and improved Website Targeted Messages analyzes the assets on your landing page to ultimately optimize your copy, as well as generate new copy, to maximize conversions. Using this feature, you can run an entire campaign for your landing page to analyze different marketing assets (headlines, CTAs, subheaders, etc.) and optimize your page in real time. Yes, really! Anyword shows your visitors different copy variations, learns what works, and improves them over time.
This means you can kiss the guessing game goodbye and feel confident that the right messages are reaching the right audience … every single time. Not only does this make building out your landing page a breeze, but it also means you can see the results from several different copy variations with little to no manual work on your part. Time, money, and a tension headache — all saved! Plus, because Anyword does the tricky part for you, you can feel more confident that you’re running the most effective copy, and thus potentially reducing your CAC. Sounds like a win-win situation to us, and if you feel the same, book a demo today to see what Anyword is all about.