Your marketing strategy is never done. To see success, you periodically and continually need to look at your marketing campaigns and determine what’s working and what isn’t working, and then implement changes based on your results.
Even if you’re getting great results from your marketing campaigns, you should still look at them to determine what made those campaigns successful so you can apply similar techniques to your future marketing efforts.
At the end of the day, a great marketing plan is a continually changing one. To be successful, your marketing strategy should always be adapting and changing as well.
And that’s where variation testing can help.
Variation testing is the process of launching different versions of your marketing campaigns, and then analyzing them to determine which one performed better so you can apply what you’ve learned to future marketing campaigns.
Applying variation testing to your marketing efforts is a key part of building solid, continually improving marketing campaigns based on what worked and what didn’t work, by understanding what worked best and what contributed to the overall success.
Variation testing involves creating different versions of the same campaign, and then randomly showing each version to a segment of your audience.
The goal is to see which version performs better in terms of conversions, click-through rates, or any other metric you are trying to get.
Essentially, you can implement variation testing in any of your marketing campaigns, whether they’re print, digital, or a combination of both.
For example: if you’re running an advertising campaign, you could create multiple landing pages and multiple ads (each with different headlines, copy, and CTAs) to see which combination had the best interaction. Or if you’re sending out a direct mail campaign, you could create a few different versions of your print material (again, each with different headlines, copy, and CTAs) and see which one had a better response. In both of these examples, over time, you’d be able to determine which combination got the best result, and fine-tune your marketing accordingly.
★ Want to learn more about marketing strategy? Have a look at these posts and resources:
- Building a Real Estate Solutions-Based Marketing Messaging Strategy
- Building a Real Estate Marketing Stickiness Strategy
- How to Launch a Successful Real Estate Marketing Campaign
Variation testing has 4 main steps:
1. Define Your Goal: Before you begin variation testing, you need to define the overall goals of your test. For example, how do you define the success of your campaign? What are you trying you want to achieve with your test? Do you want to increase your conversions, click-through rates, or engagement? You need to make sure your goals are specific, measurable, and realistically achievable.
2. Create Your Variations: You’ll need to create different variations of your campaign deliverables. Depending on what type of campaign you’re running, between variations, you might want to change the images, headlines, copy, form fields, CTAs, or all of the above.
3. Run Your Campaign: If your campaign is digital, you’ll need to use an A/B testing tool to be able to split your traffic; if your campaign is physical, you’ll want to split it so there’s a mix between which versions your audience receives. In both examples, you’ll want to run the testing multiple times so you have enough information to determine what worked best (and what didn’t).
4. Analyze Your Results: Once your campaign is done, take a look at the results and determine which one met your goals; and pay attention to what the differences were. Was it a headline? A button label? Understanding what your audience responded to and what made your campaign successful will help you figure out what to apply to future campaigns.
Good marketers know that a marketing plan is never done. It should always be changing and adapting, and introducing variation testing into your marketing campaigns is a great way to ensure that your campaigns are being continually optimized so you get the best results in the future.
Want to plan your digital marketing strategy on your own, and set your business up for success? Download our workbook: ‘The Digital Marketing Planning Workbook’. It’s a self-guided, interactive workbook, where you answer questions about your marketing goals, brand and content strategy, lead generation plan, and a lot more, to get insight into the effectiveness of your overall digital marketing plan. And, it’s free to download.