Not so long ago my job was to interview potential recruits and to help me I was put on a short course. I was told to only ask questions that I already knew the answer to. Patently idiotic. Also, I have a hearing problem and was told that if I used the memory foam type of earplugs I’d be ale to hear clearer in certain situations. Obviously a silly idea.
Everyone has been given advice at one time or another which seemed, on the face of it, illogical and demonstrably wrong. Yet the person giving the advice obviously believed it would fulfill some function. If, as in the interviewing techniques lesson, the source is someone experienced then most of us would give it a go. In this specific case, I was surprised to find it worked.
A/B testing is both easy and essential in email marketing. We are in one of the most competitive of markets and a slight advantage can give a considerable increase in returns. A 1% advantage is a reason to rejoice.
Rules and advice as to what we should do flood the internet. You need to have a target. You need to have a reason for the alternation, a strategic hypothesis as to why you think B might give a measurable increase over A. Indeed you will find such advice on these pages. However using logic and reason has its disadvantages.
There is a mantra in email marketing; believe the data. That does not mean that gut instinct should be ignored. If you think that a certain change in, for instance, a landing page might give an advantage but have no logic to support that belief then do not ignore it.
Adverts used to be populated by beautiful people. Models willing to spend hours in make up are pictured with a device which otherwise lacks a certain presence to attract the eye. Other companies used the great and the good.
Imagine the scenario: the advertising team is sitting at a table, the revelation of the budget for the next TV advert killing all conversation. The nearest competitor has just signed up a film star. Then someone asks, “Why don’t we get Ethel from HR to show how easy our printer is to work. It could be a retirement present for her.”
I would assume that it would initially contribute to the gloom until it is suggested, “Well, let’s give it a go. What have we got to lose?”
Is there something that you’ve often thought might work, but you’ve not tried it as it is obviously ridiculous? If it has stayed in your mind then there’s a reason for it. Justification for a change is not always required.
With A/B testing the plunge into the unknown, whilst not being entirely risk free, keeps the possibility of damage very low. There is nothing to stop you going for something off the wall. Just the opposite is true. If you have an idea which everyone, including you, knows intuitively it will fail then give it a go. If it doesn’t work then it hasn’t cost much. If it does, just consider the advantage you will have.