Looking for a way to determine which marketing efforts are really paying off for your SaaS company? It's time to try A/B testing. This method simplifies optimizing for conversions by comparing two variables at a time. Since SaaS business is all about the customer experience, AB testing is a great way to ensure that you are listening to your customer and their needs.
For example, say you want to know the best way to word a call to action (CTA) to drive more free trial downloads for your services. Start by selecting two different CTAs to compare and don't change any other copy on the page in question. Then, randomly assign which CTA will appear for each visitor on your website. The one that churns more sign-ups for the free trial is your winner.
How A/B Testing Benefits SaaS Companies
This testing method holds several benefits for SaaS companies in particular. With the right execution and analysis, you’ll be able to:
- Find out which variable gets your visitors to share contact information
- Determine the variable that generates more paying customers
- Convert visitors into buyers (you’ve already done the hard part of obtaining traffic!)
- Narrow down the ideal variable for each situation, testing everything from images to opt-in forms
- Find out if your changes have a real impact
- Improve your key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Analyze the effects of seemingly tiny changes
Steps to Implement A/B Testing at Your Company
No test is going to produce results unless you put it into practice. If you’ve tried A/B testing before, you may have encountered some difficulties in getting your whole team onboard. There are eight specific steps you can take to make sure everyone, from sales to support, is on the same page.
Think of it this way: The less time you have to spend fighting for the methodology, the more time you can spend working on new tests. That means you and your team members will able to go further, faster.
1. Get the Company Behind It
Yes, everyone at the company must buy-in to make A/B testing work. (Click to Tweet!) This step is first for a reason. It’s nearly impossible to keep the ball rolling if you don’t have everyone’s support. If you’re struggling to convince or motivate a specific team, analyze and present the benefits of A/B testing from their perspective.
However, make sure to show the global benefits as well. You may find it beneficial to show how the results will create bridges between each department. For example, a snappier headline selected by your content team may lead to higher click-throughs on posts shared by your social media managers.
2. Put Some Skin In the Game
After explicitly going over the benefits for each department and interlinking them, get everyone to participate. Before a test, show the entire company the variables that are to be tested. Then have everyone vote or bet on the winners. (Click to Tweet!) Everyone will get a feel for how to accelerate growth consistently and it makes the process a lot more fun.
3. Make Reviews a Weekly Thing
Do an A/B testing review each week. Be sure to have representatives from each team there. Topics on the agenda should include: all the active A/B tests, current results, which ones are finished, final decisions, and what you learned from them. This is an excellent time to take in feedback as well.
4. Focus On the Learning Process
Spread these lessons out as much as possible. While we tend to be focused on results, the real magic of A/B testing happens while you’re learning from each test.
5. Talk Testing Growth Monthly
Have monthly A/B testing growth talks internally. You’ll want to include the rules for testing, why you A/B test, as well as the biggest wins. Be sure to go over predictions from old tests to show how hard it is to predict accurately ahead of time.
6. Take Newbies Under Your Wing
Integrate new hires as quickly as possible. Few people have been through the A/B testing grind and it takes some practice to get everyone up to speed. You might start by showing them some of your company’s most memorable tests, predictions, and results. If you’re just starting out, take some examples from other businesses to show how the process works visually.
7. Stay Creative
Take the time to brainstorm as a company at least monthly. Part of the fun of A/B testing is how creative you can be with it. Just about everything is testable and you may find yourself tweaking elements you wouldn’t have thought of before. (Click to Tweet!) Review all the current testing ideas in the pipeline while you’re at it.
EXTRA TIP: Seek Variety
Be as inclusive as possible when it comes to testing ideas. Take in as many sources as you can, whether it be from teammates or your favorite blog. As hard as it is to predict the big winners ahead of time, variety is key.
A/B testing is all about choosing to variables that lead to increased success for your SaaS company. Explain the methodology and hone in on the benefits first so it’ll be easier to get everyone to work.
Ready to get started A/B testing your website? Check out our free Bayesian A/B Test Calculator and start optimizing your site for more conversions today.