The importance of testing your campaigns
Creativity is one of the most important contributors to a successful marketing campaign, but how do we know our creative will be a success? Using social media as a testing platform can give you a scale that no research agency can allow SMEs to compete with blue-chip companies. The importance of testing will be introduced and highlighted in the following section, with an emphasis on using social media as a testing platform. Agencies like Passion Communications are now harnessing the power of social to test creativity and prove to clients there is a method in this madness.
Why is testing important?
No business purposely intends to create an average and ineffective marketing campaign. Research tells that around 66% of ads are unsuccessful. Such a high probability and high costs associated with creating an ad, it would be highly irresponsible for businesses to invest such time and money into a campaign without the use of testing.
Smart marketing involves the continuous development of marketing material to enhance customer engagement. But how can marketers develop? Well first things first, understanding the importance of testing. While marketers think they have a great headline or content idea, their audience may not agree. Only one word can cause a campaign to flop, yet one word can also ensure the campaign is a success, this is something you won’t know until you test.
Testing is an essential part of any marketing efforts. That can enable marketers to better understand their audience, their market and assess their campaign before any time and money are wasted. The results can help businesses make smarter decisions, better connect with their target audience, attract new customers and achieve better results, helping to maximise ROI.
Understanding the needs of your audience can be problematic, and difficult to know exactly how they will respond to the messages you promote. Predicting how an individual will engage with your marketing material is next to impossible. However, testing can allow you to better predict what kind of response rate you will receive. If a 10% response rate with 100 customers is achieved, it is likely you will receive a similar response rate with 1000 customers.
To ensure an effective campaign is reached it is suggested that 20% of resources should be spent on testing, and about 80% of the marketing team’s resources (effort, budget, program types) on executions that you know will work. With the digital world rapidly changing businesses must frequently test their marketing campaigns to understand what still works and what is no longer effective.
Testing your creative will help to identify the best way to meet campaign objectives. As outlined, knowing what works or does not work will only save time and money. This will ensure material is developed based upon an effective creative concept which will engage with the target audience. Most importantly testing will help to identify the following:
- Any confusing words, phrases or ideas
- The favoured language of the intended audience
- Favoured visual styles
- Weak concepts
Ultimately, what do we want to know?
Once a creative concept has been developed we can test in order to identify the effectiveness of the delivery. And so, have the following been addressed…
Attention. Does the idea attract audience attention? This is often measured as a person’s ability to remember an idea, message or image.
Comprehension. The idea clearly understood?
Motivation. The idea inspired the audience to take the desired action?
Personal relevance. Can the audience connect with the idea? Does it take their point of view into consideration?
Cultural appropriateness. Idea consistent with the values, attitudes, beliefs, traditions and history shared by the intended audience?
Testing methods: Split testing
Briefly, split testing involves pitting multiple variants of something against each other, with the aim of finding out which of the variants perform best. The simplest form of a split test is an A/B test, this tests 2 versions of something against one another to see which attracts more audience. You can also add additional variants to the mix, this is known as multivariate testing. Theoretically, multivariate testing shouldn’t be any more complicated to execute than an A/B test. However, it is likely that problems may occur, the more variants tested, the more traffic required to send to each version in order to gather accurate and valuable data. This should be considered if your site only welcomes as few as a thousand visitors per month.
What should we look for in split testing? We are aiming to see large uplifts in data to ensure we are seeing real results and not just natural variance in user behaviour. With fewer visitors, larger uplifts must occur, in order for businesses to have confidence in what they’re seeing. Split testing must be run over a long enough period of time to gather enough information, to be certain, that the results have not occurred by chance. With tests that are cut too short, there is an increased risk of inaccurate results.
Split testing case study: Design Hill
Goal: 2.57% increase in Open Rates 5.84% Higher Click-through Rate (CTR) by Changing the Subject Line of an Email
Test carried out by One of the fastest-growing peer-to-peer crowdsourcing platforms that connect graphic artists with design seekers. They did an email blast a few days before Christmas to promote its content and increase the click-through rate.
Hypothesis: Just mentioning the title of the blog in the subject line of the email would get the majority of click-through rather than requesting recipients to review the post with the blog’s title.
Just writing “Top 10 Off-Page SEO Strategies for Startups in 2015” in the subject line of the email would get the majority of click-through rather than writing “Check out My Recent Post – Top 10 Off-Page SEO Strategies for Startups in 2015”.
Result: The company was able to score 5.84% higher CTR and 2.57% higher open rate by including just the title of the blog in the subject line.
What can be learned from this test:
What is the first thing that is seen by a recipient of your email address? That’s right, your subject line. It becomes extremely important to craft a subject line which will entice readers to open the mail and be made aware about your products and services, after all, your offering is invalid if your mail is not opened. Choose your words wisely! Your chosen subject line will have a higher impact on open rates and click-through. Do not be fooled by thinking once your subject line is intriguing readers you have been successful; you must also ensure that your logo design is laid out in a way that vital information pop-up.
For example, your logo design and contact details must be easily locatable. For another, CTAs and other links must be out of clutter.