Best A/B Testing Software in 2018

A/B Testing, also referred to as split testing, is an important component of business analytics. Using A/B Testing, businesses compare two different versions of their website, outreach emails, or other testable components for optimization purposes. Software in this segment analyzes conversion rates and other engagement factors of multiple versions and offers comparative analytics about each of them. You can decide which version works best for your campaign based on A/B test results. A/B Testing removes much of the guesswork when creating a marketing campaign or optimizing a website and provides quantifiable data based on which you can select the best course of action.  Read the full software guide...


A/B Testing Software Guide

What is A/B Testing Software?

A/B Testing software helps marketers compare two versions (A and B) of a marketing asset against each other to find out which version is more effective in achieving the desired goal.

For instance, your desired goal could be increasing the conversion rate on a landing page. In order to achieve the goal, you can use the software to run an A/B test on two variants of your landing page or on one particular element of the page, for example, the headline or color of the CTA button.

A/B testing software helps create a modified version of the page or element being tested, splits your website visitors into two groups, directs one visitor group to the original version and another group to the modified version of your page.

The software then measures the performance of each version, analyses the results and generates reports in the form of graphs and charts. This helps you identify the winner and make informed decisions based on statistical analysis.

More advanced products allow you to test more than two variables of a page or element. You’ll also find products capable of performing complex multi-page tests.


Types of A/B Testing Software

A/B testing software products can be segregated into a few different categories, depending on the testing options they provide, the technology they use and their area of focus. Some of the main types are as follows:

  1. Client-side – This type of A/B testing software creates and executes an A/B test on your website visitor’s browser. The software usually comes with a visual editor that allows you to make modifications more easily to the page being tested. However, what to display on a web browser is still controlled from the software vendor’s server. The JavaScript in your website calls back to the server to know which version of the page to display. Because pages are displayed by calling to the server, client-side products could be susceptible to IT security threats.
  2. Server-side – This type of software builds tests on a web server rather than on the client’s web browser, which means you need sound programming knowledge to design or code each modification to the page being tested. One benefit of using server-side tools is that they give you more control over what’s being displayed. They also have superior IT security standards.
  3. Specialized solutions – These products focus solely on one type of marketing asset. For instance, you’ll find products that specialize in conducting A/B tests on payment pages. You can use this type of A/B testing software when you have a narrow focus and need quick results.
  4. Multivariate testing – Products with multivariate testing capabilities allow you to test more than two variants of a page, with each variant having a unique combination of multiple modified elements. For instance, you can create two different versions of a headline, three versions of a CTA and five versions an image on a webpage. Then you can combine them to create 10 different versions of your webpage and test them at the same time to find out the winning combination.
  5. Multipage testing– These products allow you to test the funnel or flow of pages collectively. You can modify some selected pages or each page within a funnel. This helps create different variants of the funnel and conduct a multi-page test to find out which variant is the most effective one.
  6. Multi-armed bandit testing – Typically, A/B testing software splits website visitors in half, conducts the test, identifies the winner and finally releases 100 percent traffic to it. However, some tools are capable of using an adaptive algorithm to control the distribution of web traffic between the two versions of the page as the test results come out. For instance, once your A/B test shows version A as the winner, you can still allocate a small percentage of your traffic to version B for some time. The idea is to see if the lower performing version wins in the long run. This type of experiment is often referred to as multi-armed bandit testing.

How to Choose A/B Testing Software for Your Business

Some important things to consider when choosing A/B testing software include the level of traffic to your website, technical expertise of your team, types of tests you want to perform, and your budget. If you have a small budget but sound technical know-how, you may want to choose a self-service solution. If you need support from the vendor for building tests and analyzing the results, consider choosing a managed service.

Client-side products are ideal for non-technical users looking to create their own tests. These products usually come with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface that allows you to make the desired modifications to your webpage or mobile app on your own, without having to write a single line of code. For instance, you can change the color or positioning of your CTA button, hide certain elements, or modify the headline.

On the other hand, if you are looking for enhanced IT security and greater control on building a test, you should opt for a server-side tool. Remember, however, that this type of software presents a steep learning curve to non-coders.

Also, consider what types of tests you can conduct with the software. Some tools offer multiple testing options, including A/B tests, multivariate tests, multi-page tests, split URL tests, mobile-focused tests and multi-armed bandit tests. You’ll also find solutions that offer one or two of the above tests. Make sure you choose exactly what you need.

For instance, some vendors charge a higher subscription fee for multivariate testing. Also, you’ll need a high traffic flow to your website for conducting a multivariate test successfully. So if have a limited budget and traffic, you may want to leave out the multivariate testing option from your must-have list. However, if you are planning to test multiple variants of a page at once, you’ll need the multivariate testing option.

If you’re looking to test only one particular type of marketing asset, look for a specialized solution. For instance, A/B testing software focused solely on landing pages often comes with a library of customizable landing page templates, so you can create and test a new design quickly.

More advanced products feature customized segmentation and targeting functionalities. Using these tools, you can segment your visitors on the basis of their location, demographic, the type of device they use, etc. A/B tests help determine which variant of your page performs well with which visitor segment. For instance, version A may get an overall higher response rate, but version B may still get more responses from a particular customer segment, such as female customers. You can use this insight to drive the right segment of your traffic to the right variant of your webpage, for higher conversions.

Other key factors to consider include how the software integrates with other testing tools and data sources, its reporting capability and if it has an intuitive user interface.


Benefits of A/B Testing Software

  • Improves content – When you make changes to the content of your landing page or outreach email, A/B testing software helps you see the results of that change in a matter of hours. The whole process helps improve the quality of your content.

  • Fosters data-driven decision making – Using A/B testing software, you can create a modified version of your webpage and test it against the original version. The software helps you identify the winning version based on quantifiable data. This helps foster data-driven decision making and takes the guesswork out of conversion optimization.

  • Involves no risk – Before making any major changes to your website, you can run several A/B tests to predict the possible outcome of it. This helps you avoid unnecessary risks. Even if your test generates a negative result or no effect on user behavior, it does not affect your website’s performance.

Overall, A/B testing software is beneficial for any business looking to lower its bounce rates and increase its conversion rates.


Common Features of A/B Testing

A/B Testing Run split tests for websites, emails, ads and more by serving different versions of the content to different users.
Analytics Analyze and gain insights from data including web traffic, campaign conversions, sensoric output and more.
API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Bug Tracking Log and track issues to capture, report and monitor bugs for the purposes of software development and maintenance.
Conversion Tracking Track signups, purchases or user actions to measure the effectiveness of marketing or advertising campaigns. This is often used to optimize inbound or outbound marketing efforts and improve sales conversions through a range of online channels.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Multi-Site Support for several different websites in the same application.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Referral Tracking Track contact-, user- or visitor- referrals from advertising networks, other websites, business partners and other channels for intelligence, revenue sharing or similar purposes.
SEO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of producing content or optimizing and promoting webpages to improve their ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

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