I’m always encouraging my Absolute FB Ads crew to use their ads to test out different ideas. Instead of asking, “Which set of ad copy will work better?” or “Which image do you think people will respond to more?” you can let Facebook figure it out for you!
When you run more than one ad at the same time, Facebook pays attention to which ad performs better (e.g. which one gets a higher CTR, lower cost-per-conversion, etc.). When it sees that there’s a clear winner, Facebook stops showing all your ads but that one.
This is why I recommend that you don’t run more than 2 or 3 ads at the same time. You may have created an awesome ad that people respond well to, but it doesn’t get shown because another ad got more results more quickly.
(Check out my exact method for testing different copy and images in your ads in this post.)
Now that you know that your Facebook ad campaigns are automatically testing things for you, I want you to ask yourself this:
What other test can I set up today in my business?
Truth be told, every single new thing we do as entrepreneurs is a test: each strategy, product, service, and design is something we put out into the world to see if we can get equal or better results than the last thing.
But there are certain tests that can directly impact how much revenue your business brings in. And I like to do them in the most fantastically mathematical way possible: A/B testing (sometimes known as split testing).
“What do these tests measure, anyway?”
An A/B test will tell you which version of a landing page or sales page has a better conversion rate. When you can increase a conversion rate, it means you get more subscribers and more sales with the same amount of traffic.
“What’s the difference between A/B testing and split testing?”
It’s a technical difference. In an A/B test you only have one url but you use some testing software to create a second version of your page by making on-page edits (like in my landing page example below).
With a split test, you take two different pages you made with two distinct urls and divide the traffic between the two of them.
“Is there a way to do this without some special software? Can’t I just direct the traffic to different links myself and manually measure the results?”
I guess you could but that seems like a huge waste of your very precious time. Plus you’d be missing out on the coolest feature ever: that software will automatically detect when one of the versions wins the test.
Let me show you what I mean:
This is currently the landing page people see to opt into my free guide to Facebook ads.
Until a couple months ago, there was one minor thing missing: any mention of privacy or my unwillingness to share your email to anyone else.
This was a great thing to test out. I was almost certain adding a line about privacy would increase the conversion rate a little, but I admit to being skeptical. Would it really make that much of a difference?
I ran this test from July 6 to July 31 – 25 days. These pages got 103 visits in total and saw 54 conversions. Overall, a 52.43% rate.
But one landing page FAR outperformed the other:
Adding one line assuring the visitor that I wouldn’t share their email address increased my conversion rate by more than 48%.
Now this was a short test. I’m pretty sure if I had run it longer, the conversion rates of the two pages probably would have started to creep closer together (based on the conversion rate I had seen for months on the original version).
The important thing, though, is that the results were statistically significant. That means there was enough of a difference in conversion rate to call a winner based on the number of visitors to each page.
There’s some complex math involved in finding statistically significant results. With a tool like Visual Website Optimizer, however, you don’t have to worry about that. The software does the math for you and lets you know when a winner has been determined.
Quick plug for VWO – it’s one of the best tools in my business arsenal. You can set up tests in minutes and get additional info on where people clicked on your page with their automatic heat map function.
But most importantly, VWO provides much more accurate conversion tracking than Google Analytics. Even if I’m not testing something on a landing page, I always make sure I’m running a conversion tracking “test” in VWO.
VWO isn’t free, but there is a 30-day free trial for anyone interested in getting their feet wet with testing. If you want to continue using it after the trial ends,
email their team to ask about the unpublished $19 monthly plan you’re going to have to pony up at least $49 per month. (Sadly they got rid of their unpublished $19 monthly plan). But having tried out Google Analytic’s free testing tool and VWO competitor Optimizely, I can’t recommend VWO enough. It’s definitely one of those things I’m happy to pay for in my business.
Why Facebook Ads and A/B Testing Go Hand in Hand
In order to get those statistically significant results, you need to have a fair amount of traffic. You need visits to both of the pages being tested, and conversions from both versions as well.
If you have a highly trafficked site already, you may be fine. But if not, Facebook ads can be a good way to give you that push you need.
I’m currently running a test that compares my usual landing page (the one in the example above) with one I created with Leadpages (full disclose: that’s my affiliate link). Both versions have received almost 100 visits and 50+ conversions each. The average conversion rate at this time is about 56%, with one page converting at close to 59% and the other at 53%. Even though the better performing landing page has been winning for the duration of the test, the results still aren’t clear. So I’ll continue to run Facebook ads to these pages until I have a statistically significant result.
There you have it – a little look at how I’m using A/B testing to build my list even faster.
I’m looking forward to writing more about testing things in your business. I feel like it’s a topic people tend to shy away from because it can be tricky. Heck, it involves math – no wonder some people run for the hills!
I’d love to hear from you, though: are you testing anything in your business right now? How has it changed and/or improved things for you?
And if you’re not testing anything yet, what’s stopping you? Let me know by leaving a comment below!