The ABCs of Mobile A/B Testing

By the Editors

We’ve talked extensively about A/B testing. Just for a quick recap, A/B testing is a process where you compare two versions of a webpage, email, survey, or other piece of collateral to see which one performs or converts better. Most of the discussions that we’ve seen look at A/B testing from the perspective of traditional websites. Optimizing your site for mobile has more to do with making sure that your content renders properly across a range of devices. There’s also a big opportunity to attract more customers through this important medium. Here’s our quick guide to mobile A/B testing.

Pay attention to single elements: There are two ways to improve conversions. One is through A/B testing, where you change a single feature to see which performs better. Do people open your email more frequently with headline 1 or headline 2? Multivariate testing is where several elements may be different (your headline, color scheme, and layout) and you’re interested in seeing which combination of elements performs better. For everyone but the experts, A/B testing is usually the right choice. It allows your tests to be actionable, and enables you to increase the effectiveness of specific collateral over time. Keep your tests measurable and act on them.

Start with your headlines: If you’re anxious about where to start testing, headlines are always a smart launching point for A/B testing. Studies have shown your headlines have less than one second to entice people to open your email, read your report, or interact with you in a meaningful way. Make your headlines for your mobile content the strongest that they can be by strategically testing and improving them!

Pay attention to navigational elements: Navigational elements are especially critical for mobile content, websites, and surveys. Because we interact with mobile devices by tapping, our ability to quickly locate and effectively hit these tapping targets is key to a satisfying mobile user experience. How big and visible are your elements such as buttons, arrows, menus, and other navigational elements? Look at whether your colors can be more effective, larger sizes would help improve the experience, or other changes to your layout help mobile users stick around.

How visual is visual enough: Visuals and design are always important, but this is doubly true for mobile content. Your mobile content needs to strike the right balance between enough white space to optimize functionality while also making the most of limited screen space. Does changing the size of your brand’s logo, adding a picture, increasing borders, using smaller fonts, or integrating video change your conversion rates? Testing these key elements of any mobile design will help you develop more effective content.

Your mobile strategy will become much more effective if you take the time to test your content.