A/B Testing Whiz Jesse Willms Shares 5 Tips to Optimize Lead Generation

Over the past 17 years, Jesse Willms has established himself as an astoundingly prolific PPC marketer, selling well over $500m of health and wellness supplements through his marketing company, Terra Marketing group. 

As you can imagine, Jesse has seen it all when it comes to A/B testing, which is why he has decided to share his top five tips on how to implement it properly to optimize your lead generation results.

A/B split testing: The basics

In short, split (A/B) testing is the process of examining different variables within your marketing campaign to find the highest performing set up. For example, let’s say you want to improve the conversion rate of your landing page. 

You send 50% of the traffic to Version A of your landing page and the other 50% to Version B. The only difference between the two versions is the featured image on your page, yet you discover that Version B performs 20% better than Version A.  

Voila! With this new information in mind, you can send 100% of your traffic to Version B and enjoy an improved conversion rate. Simple, right? 

Well, not so much. In reality, it’s a little more tricky as there are plenty of mistakes to watch out for that could skew your results and leave you with inaccurate data that could harm your business. With that said, let’s take a look at Willm’s top five tips.

Tip 1 – Understand how to measure your results properly

Before you start, you need to decide which metrics to measure your results with. After all, there’s no use running a split testing campaign if you don’t know what to look for. As a digital marketer, there are several fundamental metrics you must use to track and monitor your lead gen campaigns. These are your click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, time to customer conversion, and your cost per customer.

When split testing you can measure just one, or all of these metrics simultaneously; just make the data you capture is relevant to the purpose of the test.

“To get the most out of your A/B testing, you need to measure carefully and always ask why you get the results you get. Don’t just take them at face value. Remember, the purpose of these tests is to establish facts about a certain element of your marketing strategy, and sometimes you have to read between the lines to find the most valuable information,” says Willms.

Tip 2 – Don’t cut your test short (Get the right sample size)

According to Shopify, the ideal time to run an A/B test is for two full business cycles. Why might you ask? Well, the answer is so you can attain a significant sample size that you can use to draw a reasonable conclusion from.

“Ending your split test too soon can yield unreliable results that lead you to draw incorrect conclusions. The shorter the test, the more exposed you are to the natural variance that arises when collecting data. If you’re wondering how long you should run your campaign to account for things like variance, use a calculator,” says Willms.

Tip 3 – Don’t split test too many things at once

One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to examine too many variables at once. It’s kind of like a doctor trying to diagnose an illness. If there are too many symptoms, it’s hard to figure out the cause of the issue.

“Be methodical and try to isolate each of the changes you make. Measure them carefully and objectively. In an ideal world, you should only test one thing at a time. This makes your results more reliable, which allows you to make more accurate presumptions based on the data you collect,” says Willms.

Tip 4 – Be mindful of external events

As we touched upon earlier, it’s crucial to account for variance. For a test to be considered reliable it must reach a state of statistical significance.

On that note, you must acknowledge any events that could impact your results, such as the holiday season and major world events (think Brexit /Covid-19). These events are what we refer to as external validity threats, and the more aware of them you are, the better.

“It’s within your best interest to pay close attention to your test results and question whether or not they are authentic. If you are experiencing extremely high conversion rates in December, chances are it’s because of the holiday season and not the font that you changed on your landing page.”

“External validity threats can be harmful to your business in several ways, but mainly because they lead you to draw false conclusions. This means you will run your future marketing campaigns using a flawed logic, which is far from ideal.”

“You cannot eliminate external events, as they are not under your control. However, by running your campaign for longer and being mindful of how such events affect your test, you can start to mitigate their effects,” says Willms.

Tip 5 – The best elements to split test

“Most people don’t have the time or the resources to test every component of their marketing campaign meticulously. Because of this, you must test wisely. Focus on the influential elements that contribute to conversions the most, such as:

  • The headline
  • Your copywriting
  • Number of form fields
  • Imagery
  • Your CTA (call to action)
  • The inclusion of social proof

“Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, so it really does just come down to trial and error. With that said, try and get in your target market’s shoes and think about what they would want to see and what might encourage them to convert.“
“Try to think of A/B testing as something to approach with precision, carefully choosing elements in a well thought out and deliberate manner, as opposed to a brute force, “test everything in sight” mentality,” says Willms.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.