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Why You Should Consider A/B Testing

By February 5, 2015 Marketing No Comments
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Looking for more revenue? Try A/B testing.

At Etix, we are always looking for ways to help our clients sell more tickets. Innovation is at the core of everything that we do; we invented print-at-home tickets, have processed some of the biggest on-sales in the world, and offer full-service in-house digital marketing services with Rockhouse Partners.

That’s why our teams at Etix and Rockhouse Partners A/B test every solution. We continually test everything from our checkout process to email subject lines and use data to determine what is working and what is not. This data-driven process ensures that we are always focused in increasing your ROI and bottom line.

There are Three Big Reasons to A/B Test.

  • Potential Incremental Revenue

When you have a high volume of ticket sales, small changes can make big differences. You will be a amazed at how a small adjustment can lead to a 5.2% increase in conversions.

  • Fine-tuning to the Highest Degree

Always research the latest trends and tweak your marketing messages accordingly. Using data, these adjustments will help you improve your messaging.

buyVsFindTickets

A/B testing allows you to tailor messages to specific audience segments. Whichever message proves the most effective can be sent out to the remaining wider audience.

  • What’s Best for Others Might Not be Best for You

Statistics are great, but not always useful. Every brand is different and deserves unique attention to detail. Reading “best practices” tips all day will never be as affective as as testing your audience for what actually works best.

Our Results

Testing should always align first with your goals. Our goals were to drive sales, grow our audience, collect actionable data and identify key customers through our website and email messages. We’ve got some great tips for getting the most out of A/B testing. Take a look at our top results at the link below.

Website

  • CTAs: Find tickets vs. Buy tickets

Our first A/B test was on the Etix website and involved our main CTA. The main button read “Buy tickets” for many years, but we wanted to see if any other wording could boost sales. “Find tickets” proved to be the clear winner, increasing revenue by 2.4%.

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  • Remove “Buy Tickets for Other Events” Link From Performance Search Page

We performed this test thinking that the link had been dragging people out of the purchase funnel. Guess what? We were wrong! Our tests showed that removing “Buy Tickets for Other Events” from our purchase funnel reduced revenue by 1.2%.

  • Norton logo at checkout

Including a Norton logo in your checkout process was a badge of security for many years. Consumers in the past have felt better about placing an order online if they saw it.

Well, the times have changed. When we removed the Norton logo from the Etix checkout page via Optimizely, we saw a huge 5.2% increase in sales. What used to reassure customers now seems to have the opposite effect. And this is another reason why you should always plan A/B tests.

Email

  • Send Times

Email send times matter, and we sought to find out the optimal send time for Etix and Rockhouse Partners client Headliner’s Music Hall, a hugely popular venue in Louisville, KY. In our test, we randomly split their list into three send times for a number of weeks: 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that 9 p.m. group got the most opens and clicks, emails sent at 3 p.m. generated 7.2% more revenue.

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  • Subject Lines

Without a doubt, the most frequently A/B tested aspect of email marketing is the subject line. Oftentimes, it’s an optimized subject line that ultimately matters in terms of email open rates. For example, one client saw an open rate of 17% from subject lines that begin with “Low Ticket Alert.” Another client saw 20% more opens when including a fan’s first name in the subject line. Personalization in subject lines can boost your email open rates.

  • No Change?

You might find that testing doesn’t make a huge difference in some of your efforts. In fact, sometimes A/B testing shows very little difference. In some cases, clients maintain almost identical open rates despite varying subject lines, and we’ve seen site changes that made no difference in revenue.

Tips to Rocking Your A/B Tests

  • Test with Your Least Responsive Fans

This works best with email, but if you can, A/B test with your least responsive subscribers so that you won’t risk losing your most dedicated subscribers.

  • Make them Different

Don’t create a split test that compares “Upcoming Shows” with “This Week’s Shows.” There’s no point in that.

  • Keep a Goal or Question in Mind

Be clear about your goals and what you’re trying to learn about your audience. If that means admitting that there’s not much you need to change, no worries! Not every test needs to seek majo change.

  • Take a Vacation

You do not have to split test everything, or at least not in the same way. Doing too much can muddy the results and could leave you frustrated.

>>CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE ABOUT A/B TESTING