@RizzoMB We should just host our own event. Me and you talking about marketing at a coffee shoppe.
June 5, 2012
“Trust Your Gut” – whether you’re adding a new service offering or building a new mobile app, as a small business owner it’s easy to rely on intuition to make decisions. But, unless you happen to possess psychic powers, there’s a pretty good chance intuition won’t be the best predictor of the future. If you want to create delightful products and services for your customers, you’ve got to put them to the test.
Frequently used by content marketers and web developers to optimize landing pages, A/B testing can also be an incredibly effective tool for collecting feedback from your small business customers. By establishing a baseline control sample and comparing it to different single-variable test samples, you can test and tweak your ideas before, during, and after they go to market.
When you strip away all of the statistical mumbo jumbo, what you’re really doing is testing different versions to see which ones resonate best with your customers given your specific business goals. Instead of taking a shot in the dark and making decisions based on what you think they’ll like, you can go straight to the source. Do they react to a call to action such as “Start a Free Trial” better than “Request a Demo”? Would they prefer that you provide an online tutorial about your latest product? Would they like the process to take 10 steps or two steps?
Using the A/B framework, you’re able to test different versions with different cohorts. That way, you’re able to differentiate between new customers and those with whom you’ve already done business. You can test five different options to see which ones are working better or worse and use that insight to make adjustments much quicker than if you were to rely on solely on your gut instinct.
“People are looking for much more personalized experiences right out of the gate” says Hugh Reynolds, CEO of Swrve—a San Francisco-based startup that creates tools to help non-programmers design and deploy A/B tests. “Businesses need to have their fingers on the pulse of their users much quicker and that means they’re ideas and products have to be tested.”
And although the bulk of A/B testing will typically occur before you go live, that doesn’t mean you’re finished once you flip the switch—that’s actually when you’re most likely to get the best data. You’re able to see real users and identify real patterns that are statistically significant (and who said that statistics class wasn’t going to come in handy?) and hone your offering accordingly.
What about you?
How do you think other small business owners could use A/B testing to delight their customers?
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Djun Kim]
Get Free Marketing Tips
Sign up to receive your very own small business nuggets, specially hand crafted and delivered fresh to your inbox.
Get the freshest content from Shawn’s Blog via RSS
December 4, 20136 Holiday Shopping Stats Every Small Business Should Know
December 3, 2013Attention Grabbing Small Business Signage [Example]
November 25, 2013Increasing Market Awareness On The Cheap [Quick Tip]
November 14, 2013How To Make The Most Of Small Business Saturday
November 13, 2013Why Small Businesses Still Need Old School Marketing Tactics
Hall of Fame
- How To Write Great About Us Page Content (28 comments)
- What Should Be On A Business Card For Small Businesses (18)
- Visual Interest: The Rise Of Photos In Online Marketing (18)
- 5 Affordable CRM Solutions for Small Business (14)
- The Golden Rule Of Successful Social Engagement (14)
- Why Business Cards Are Still Important In The Digital Age (13)
- Don’t Be An SEO Chaser (12)
- Using Holiday Cards To Deepen Customer Relationships (10)
- Is Going Viral An Effective Marketing Tactic? (10)
- 5 Highly Effective Email Newsletter Examples (8)
My Fast Company Blog
Creative fuel for intrapreneurs and chronic idea generators
- The Telecommuting Genie Isn't Going Back In The Bottle; Here's How To Strengthen Its Magic
- Why Invasive Marketing Will Come Back To Bite You
- Managing Customer Service In The Age Of Instant Gratification
- 5 Smart Sources For Finding The Best Startup Talent
- The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing
Sites I Like
- Get Your Own Badass Business Cards @Moo
- Build Ecommerce Stores That Exude Badassery @Shopify
- Make Your Phone System Simply Badass @Grasshopper
- Manage Your Social Media Badassery @Argyle Social