Study Claims Marketers Who Neglect A/B Split Testing Are Losing Millions

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Online marketers routinely leave large amounts of money on the table every time they launch Web and/or e-mail marketing programs because they rely on intuition instead of empirical testing.


That's the essence of the research found in the A/B Split Testing research brief issued yesterday by MarketingExperiments.com, Atlantic Beach, FL.


"Many of the best marketers in the world rely exclusively on their instincts," said Flint McGlaughlin, director of MEC Labs and editor of the online research journal MarketingExperiments.com, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, those instincts are often wrong."


The MEC Labs research brief, called "A/B Split Testing," found that some companies are losing millions of dollars by not testing new marketing campaigns, McGlaughlin said.


The research brief is currently available for free in The Marketing Experiments Journal (www.marketingexperiments.com).


A/B split testing evaluates the impact of a Web page, e-mail, letter or other promotional material by creating two or more alternatives of a specific message or product to determine which is more successful in maximizing conversion, click-through, sales completion or other measurable objectives.


Incoming traffic among the multiple versions is divided equally. Customers' behaviors, as seen through key performance metrics, are tracked to determine which version works the best.


This process may be repeated over and over until optimum performance is achieved, or a diminishing returns threshold is reached.


The research brief outlines three specific A/B split tests conducted by MEC and examines how the findings can be used to create more effective promotional materials. The results also show that the outcome of one test will tend to inspire questions that stimulate further testing and result in the best possible marketing efforts and materials.


In addition to its empirical findings, MEC's research brief also discusses proper testing protocol to help beginners get started with A/B split testing within their organizations.


"We all know businesses rely on effective marketing strategies to achieve long term success," McGlaughlin said. "That's why it is so imperative that promotional materials get the messaging right, and we know that the way to do this is through repeated testing. This is why our consistent message to marketing professionals is: Take the time to research and test. It is worth it."


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