Testing is important. We have all been taught that we need to test every element of our campaigns. From the publishers we use to the size of the Submit button on our landing pages – every little nuance can affect conversions and must be optimized and then re-optimized.
But is there such a thing as too much testing?
Alas, no . . .
Even once you optimize an element and improve conversion, you can always improve more. What worked yesterday may not worked tomorrow. A new headline may perform wonderfully. A new hero shot may increase conversions. But, for some reason, when you combine the two, sales may plummet. You must test, re-test, and test again.
Is there another way?
While the only sure-fire way to know if users like YOUR red apples better than YOUR green apples is to test, there are ways to find out if users in general have a preference. Imagine the possibilities if you discovered that users in Russia prefer the red and users in Ireland like the green.
The way to do this is by monitoring your competitors and other key industry players.
Since we are not apple farmers, the elements we should monitor are not just colors (though isn’t it cool to find out that users respond better to a white background rather than a black one?).
And when you obtain the information on other players, you can better direct your own testing. For example, if you never thought of testing out flash banners because you always assumed GIFs work better, but then notice your competitor has started using mostly flash, you should test it out – it may just boost your conversion rate.
What should you compare?
Compare offers – which works better for others? Discounts? Specials? Promotions? Product announcements? Compare ad attractiveness and content – Messaging, colors, designs, and different file types (static banners, flash banners, pop-ups, take-overs).
Compare landing pages and websites – Learn from your competitors. Assess what works and duplicate their success. Understand what failed and avoid those mistakes.
Compare the audience – Should you narrow or broaden your target? Are you running in all the right geos?
Compare placements – industry-specific publishers or broad-range? Large publishers or small? What abount cost per placement?
For more information, read this white paper on the 6 Aspects to Test for Successful Display Campaigns
A/B Testing is a critical tool and you can never test too much…but A/B testing can be better directed with other tools in your arsenal. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if other players have already gone through the time and expense of testing different wheel colors and designs for you.
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The views expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily of Marketing Pilgrim.