Contrary to widespread practice, marknadsföringsanalys expands beyond email marketing and can be applied to practically every other inbound marketing tactic — social media, blogging, landing pages, lead generation, and lead nurturing. The possibilities for testing your marketing campaigns are virtually endless.
While we believe marketers should constantly be testing their marketing efforts, the first step is identifying the different marketing variables you can test. And because so many of these variables are applicable across channels, you’ll likely never run out of tests to run or experiments to try.
The following testing variables can reveal valuable opportunities to optimize and improve the performance of your marketing initiatives.
20 Marketing Variables to A/B Test
Test the layout within individual content items like blog posts, e-post marknadsföring messages, lead nurturing emails, and website pages like landing pages, your main website homepage, your blog homepage, etc. Move elements of your pages around, and test the performance of one layout vs. another.
An example of a layout done right is on Asana’s website. With this type of layout, you can adjust which side of the screen the image is placed on, where the header appears, and the order of the CTAs.
2. Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
CTAs offer several testing opportunities. For example, you can test the performance of different CTAs based on their placement on various pages of your website and within certain pieces of content like blog posts, ebooks, and webinars.
Hubspot offers tools that allow you to run an A/B test with multiple variants of your CTA. You can change the size, color, and text for the CTAs to narrow down exactly what works for your visitors.
3. Content Offers
Calls-to-actions are made up of different offers, such as an ebook, a webinar, a free trial, etc. Test calls-to-action in terms of varying content offer topics in your industry and various formats (video vs. webinar vs. ebook vs. free trial, etc.).
Do certain offers focused on a particular topic or in a specific format tend to resonate better with your audience? These types of tests can help you identify the wants and needs of your prospects and customers and help you create content your audience cares about.
Nethunt’s homepage is an excellent example of different content offers in action. The page features “Log In,” “Start here,” and “Watch Video,” CTAs. Ideally, you’d want your visitor to focus on one or two tasks when they reach your homepage. By running an A/B test on various content types, you can figure out which one converts best.
Test the color of the elements on your website. You can even test the overall color scheme of your website or blog. Do specific colors elicit a better response than others?
Take this case study as an example of how powerful colors can be. Performable, a marketing automation company acquired by HubSpot increased conversions by changing the color of their CTA button from green to red.
Sometimes, making a CTA button, an image, or a headline a few pixels bigger can make a huge difference. Maybe your headline isn’t prominent enough to catch the site visitor’s attention. Or maybe your call-to-action is too small to stand out. Test how well these elements are working by adjusting their size.
6. Email Subject Line
Test different versions of subject lines to determine which results in the best click-through rate in your email marketing and lead nurturing emails. Do you find that a more actionable or sensational subject line performs better than others?
I exemplet nedan, Teleflora simply used the recipient’s name in the cart abandoned email subject line. And it resulted in 3X more orders.
Similarly, do some testing and analysis of headlines. Do numbers in your headlines produce better results? Over time, do you notice a pattern of specific words that have consistently attracted lots of views?
CitiCliq enjoyed a 90% increase in CTR by tweaking the headline.
8. Email Sender
Test various versions of how you present your email sender. For example, does a stand-alone name of one of your employees work better than your company name? What about a combination of the two?
9. Pricing Scheme
Vendors might offer a freemium, free trial, or time-dependent money-back guarantee pricing scheme. If you’re a vendor, a/b testing your pricing model will help you determine the prices that work best for your business.
Acuity Schemaläggning increased paid signups by over 250% when it changed from a freemium software model to a 14-day free trial model.
10. Copy Length
Test the length of your landing page copy and forms (shorter forms may be better for your business than longer forms, or vice versa), your content (do your readers prefer shorter or longer blog posts with more copy?), your email messages, and social media updates like tweets, Facebook, and LinkedIn updates.
Till exempel, Conversion Rate Experts A/B tested Crazy Egg’s short-form landing page with a long-form challenger — which eventually outperformed the control by 30%.
11. Landing Page
Have you varied the way you designed your landing page? If you’re having problems with conversions, try a different landing page design and check for improvements.
Groove had one of its landing pages converting at 2.3%. Tweaking and testing a new landing page doubled their conversions to 4.7%.
Test different tones in your writing and positioning. Does a more serious approach work better than an edgier one? Be careful with this one, though — once you’ve done some testing and defined your most effective tone, stick with it. Your company should have a recognizable, consistent voice across all your messages and content.
In 2019, Slak changed its logo and tone to become clearer and more friendly. The consistent voice across all their channels — website, social media, emails, and app — has helped Slack remain one of the fastest-growing B2B startups.
Test how people respond to different types of images — in your blog posts, your email messages, your landing pages, your CTAs, etc.
ConstructConnect recorded a 35% increase in conversions by changing the background image on their landing page.
Do your tweets get retweeted more in the morning or the afternoon? Do certain days of the week make for better Facebook engagement? For example, perhaps your email marketing is more effective on Saturdays, and your blog posts generate more views during the middle of the week.
For example, a studie found out that tech industry Instagram posts performed better on Mondays while Sunday was the worst day for these companies to post content.
Is your particular audience receptive to more or fewer updates from you, whether it be via email, tweets, blog articles, Facebook posts, etc.? Test the frequency of your updates in various channels and take notice of what works best.
Return Path conducted a large-scale study on email campaign frequency and found that after five weekly emails, complaint rates rose substantially.
16. Video vs. Text Sales
While creating videos can be more complex and expensive, especially when compared with text-based copywriting, it might be just what your business needs to improve conversions and is worth a/b testing.
Dr. Muscle used a 1-minute professionally produced video to encourage visitors to check out more exercises in the manual and workouts. This video sales page increased the number of visitors that moved to the next sales funnel step by 46.1%.
A few changes to your form can improve your conversion rates measurably. A/B testing allows you to test form elements like buttons, design, length, and more against each other to see the best results.
Qualicorp tweaked several forms on its website and ran these through A/B testing. In the end, these new forms increased overall conversion rates.
18. Targeting and Personalization
Another variable you can test in paid search is audience targeting. You can test different targeting methods on your homepage, on your landing pages, in your email marketing and lead nurturing, etc.
Shopify helps business owners build online stores for their websites. Its homepage does a great job of meeting the site visitor’s intent.
19. Sales Copy
If you’re aren’t seeing enough conversions, your sales copy might be to blame. It might be bland, confusing, or daunting. A/B testing can help you to get the best sales copy version to use. You can even A/B test how the copy on your pricing page appears.
Lyyti redesigned its pricing page and observed over 90% more lead conversions.
20. Data Visualization
What’s the best way for you to present data? In a pie chart? A graph? An infographic? Try different ways to visualize your data, and see what works best!
So there you have it: 20 of the most essential A/B testing variables to help you measure marketing campaign success.
So examine your current marketing campaign to identify ways to improve it. Some of these tests might require a considerable amount of effort, but the improvements that happen after are usually worth it.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Stop Writer’s Block, Imposter Syndrome, and Other Content Fears
When writing for content marketing, the process becomes even more challenging. You have no time to sit and wait for inspiration or the muse to help you craft engaging text. You have content plans to follow and deadlines to meet.
That’s when fear arises.
Raise your hand if one of these whispers creeps into your mind when you try to write:
- “A better article exists already. My content is a pathetic copy.”
- “I’m not good enough. I can’t write better than [your guru’s name here].”
- “So much info! Can I structure all of it? I’ll miss something essential.”
- “What should I write?”
- “They won’t like it. I’ll get rejected.”
- “My draft sucks; it’s boring.”
- “Johnny writes 1,000 words every day. I’m too slow.”
Writing fears fall into two categories: doubts about your abilities or concern over others’ judgment of your work. You can tame blank-page syndrome, imposter syndrome, writer’s block, or whatever stops you from creating great content with these seven simple yet effective tricks.
1. Practice therapeutic writing
Therapeutic writing will help prevent blank-page syndrome – staring at the screen with no idea how to start a content piece. Some blame this on a lack of inspiration, while others use grimmer diagnoses like emotional burnout or even workplace depression. Skeptics are less euphemistic, calling it nothing but the fear of writing crap.
To beat it, develop a daily writing habit. You may have heard about Morning Pages – a system that has you write (in long hand) three pages of stream-of-consciousness text first thing in the morning. Following free-writing practices and keeping a diary also fall into this category. If these exercises work for you, great. If not, you can try therapeutic writing.
Keep a journal where you regularly write a letter to a chosen addressee, telling them about daily events that made you angry, sad, anxious, or happy. You may publish these as short sketches on social media.
In the post below, the author at handle @heyamberrae pens a letter to her followers about “experiencing the most extraordinary love” she’s ever known.
How can therapeutic writing help with professional content writing?
Practicing such reflective writing makes you less likely to freeze at that intimidating text cursor. You’ll beat the fear of an imperfect draft and use the “write-first, edit-later” rule we all know (but often forget).
2. Start a ‘clever-thoughts’ notebook
A notebook with clever thoughts is not a collection of quotes from writing gurus and influences, though that could be an inspiring practice.
A clever-thoughts notebook contains the ideas, sentences, and interesting facts you learn during the day from books, websites, etc. An average person has around 6,000 thoughts daily but forgets most by evening, so the notebook will help you remember your best ones. And that list will come in handy next time you need to write text but worry you have nothing to say.
3. Record your voice
Сreative content ideas, topics, and arguments may come to you when you’re nowhere near your laptop or a notebook. Haven’t we all had a brilliant idea caught in the dead of night, only to forget everything by morning?
Other times your thoughts flow freely – until you try to write them down. When you sit down to summon the right words, you forget what you wanted to say.
It’s like this meme, which I tweaked for content writing: You envisioned a real-life dog, but your writing only produces the socket puppet version.
To avoid writer’s block and still get your idea down, record your thoughts when they come to you. Then transcribe the recording or use the voice-typing feature in your writing app. You’ll be able to structure your dictated thoughts into content assets later.
4. Opine on opinions
This trick can help you beat the you’re-not-good-enough writing fear.
After reading an influencer’s thoughts and insights on a topic, think of supporting arguments or counterarguments. Then, write them down as if you were having a dialogue with that person.
The tactic helps you think critically, develop arguments, structure the facts, and manage your information priorities. It serves you in crafting more comprehensive content, whether you write about restaurants, create cause-related posts, or practice guest blogging to reach content marketing goals.
5. Mirror your favorite writer
It stands to reason that content creators read a lot. As my favorite author, Stephen King, says, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
And, as my second yet no less favorite writer Ernest Hemingway said, “There’s no friend as loyal as a book.” Not only can these loyal friends make your content better, but they can help smash the fear of rejection and not being good enough to write.
(Confession: I had both those fears before pitching my first article to the Content Marketing Institute.)
Who is your favorite writer, essayist, or blogger? Do you analyze their writing style while reading? Do you notice language tricks they use?
Mirroring a writer is among the most efficient techniques for developing a writing style. It helps enhance your vocabulary, add a few alternative writing tactics to your content creation toolkit, and conquer your fear of criticism.
(Confession: Once I learned that Stephen King got 30 rejections before his book Carrie was published, there was no room left for the “not good enough” fear.)
6. Read the news and niche resources
The daily habit of reading the news and niche blogs brings benefits for content writers. These include:
- Better cognitive skills and brain functioning
- Enriched vocabulary
- New ideas for content creation
- Writing style inspiration
But please note: This trick won’t work if you read everyone and everything. Make a list of professional resources that inspire and educate you at the same time.
(Confession: I learned the art of web writing from Ann Handley and Jon Morrow. And Henneke Duistermaat’s works help me feel the skönhet of English and make peace with my inner critic. Plus, her list of writing fears inspired me to create this article.)
This tweet from Henneke describes how she used to think of herself as a writing wimp and pondered why she couldn’t be as confident as others. But she discovered that writing fears are normal – the fear signals that you’re out of your comfort zone and writing something that matters.
I used to think I was a writing wimp.
Why couldn’t I be as confident as everyone else?
But I’ve discovered: Writing fears are normal.
Fears are sign you’re out of your comfort zone & you’re writing something that matters.
— Henneke Duistermaat (@HennekeD) 3 november 2022
Who is on your list of resources to follow?
7. Stay in a professional space
A great practice to smash fears and self-doubts for content writers is to stay in the professional space. Attend seminars, participate in conferences or webinars, visit local meetings, communicate with interesting people on social media, etc. These interactions can prevent you from hitting a plateau and enhance writing productivity.
Social participation can trigger happy chemicals in the brain to satisfy the need for excitement. This excitement acts as an inspiration to write more and “forget” the imposter syndrome and other writing fears for a while.
Ready to say goodbye to your writing fears?
Fears (of a blank page, failure, rejection, writing crap, or not being good enough) act like little beasts, gnawing at your writing ego and preventing you from enjoying the content creation process.
Once you name your beast, you can arm yourself with one or more of these tricks to help you smash them.
HANDPLOCKAT RELATERAT INNEHÅLL:
Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute
Stop Writer’s Block, Imposter Syndrome, and Other Content Fears
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