A/B Testing

Illustration by Experience Solutions

Illustration by Experience Soluttions

Last week I attended a breakfast seminar on the topic of Web A/B testing , hosted by Increo. Here are some of the take aways from the event:

WHAT is A/B testing?
A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. You compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let’s call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins! ( Definition from: https://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/ab-testing/ )

WHY A/B testing?
A/B testing is an easy way to maximize your web results. Colors, placement, size, text and so on, can have a big impact the converting rate ( Conversion rate- how many of your visitors that complete the “goal” you’ve set for the web site devided by the total number of visitors – A conversion is a goal / purpose you set for your web page. It could e.g. be downloading a whitepaper, buying a product from your web shop, register for your newsletter or signing up for your event).

Useful tips to get started:

Baby steps

Test small differences (If you change everything, you won´t know what gave you the increased effect!)

Take your time

To get the most accurate results, a significant number of web visitors are needed, and you should spend 1 – 2 weeks to testing before evaluating the results.

Less is more
The Paretto Princippal ( or the 80/20 rule): 80 % of the content on your web page is unnecessary, while 20 % is crucial. Solutions: Limit the content – get better results. Use A/B testing to see what parts of the content you can/ should remove and what parts to keep.

Hick´s law:  More options increase the web visitors decision time, and also increase the risk of them leaving the page without completing their task. Solution: Try remove some of the options.

For instance, a customer of Increo removed a section showing similar products to the item the visitor just added to their shopping cart, and experienced a significant increase in the number of customers that completed their purchase.

Size matters
Fitt’s Law: Objects that are fare away from the center of the screen ( where the visitors eyes mostly points) get less clicks. And bigger objects (banners, buttons, fonts) get more clicks than others.

Solution: Try increasing the size of the content you want to highlight and place it at the center of the page.

Push my (red) buttons
The color red might trigger some assotiaons to “Stop”, “Danger” for some people (me included), but the fact of the matter is that a red “buy now” or “register here” button generates more click-actions than any other color (tested by Increo and their customers)!

Other colors that typically also trigger web visitors attention are blue and green

Useful tools to get you started: 


Google Analytics Content Experiment


Campaign Monitor (For A/ B testing of  Newsletter / eDM subject lines, sender, design. I´ve used this a lot – and love it! :-))

Visual Website Optimizer has a lot of great resources on A / B testing.



Email Marketing: How to Build a Strong Email List

Email marketing - how to build a strong list of newsletter subscribers?Picture from

Email marketing – how to build a strong list of newsletter subscribers? Picture from Free Digial Posters

This morning I attended a breakfast seminar on email marketing hosted by Apsis. Here are some of my take-aways from the event, and some of my own experiences regarding building a strong email list.

* Offer something in return

– Other than (of course) great content, offer the subscribers a special treat in exchange for signing up. The treat can be anything from a free whitepaper, a contest entry, a small gift, access to exclusive content and news first, and so on, but remember to keep it relevant to your brand and/or the product(s) you sell.

*Don’t be afraid to ask

– Ask your customers, prospects, and other you think might have value of your newsletter, to sign up. (and get your colleagues to ask their contacts too)

* Promote your newsletter

– Add a newsletter promotion banner to your signature, and remember to distribute it to your colleagues too.

– Pop-up promotion on your web page. Some might find it annoying, but it can pay of. Why not give it a go for a short period, and see what it gets you? (remember to watch the bounce rate at your web site carefully though)

*Don’t forget offline promotion

-Add a QR code (that works!) linked to the subscription form on your business card, marketing collaterals or on posters ( e.g. if you own a store, add a QR-code where people tend to & queue up).

*Make it easy and compelling to share

– And encourage subscribers to do so. Add “Click to Tweet” and buttons for sharing in social networks.

Your turn – What makes you sign up for a newsletter?

Social Media Spring Cleaning

Marianne Granum - Social Media Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, representing renewal and a fresh start – why not use this time of year to clean up your digital presence too?

Here are my 3-steps to a Social Media Spring Cleaning:

Review your strategy – what is working and what is not?
You can treat your social media activities like you treat your closet. Just like reviewing your closet from time to time and changing, adding or taking out cloths from the closet, you should from time to time also review your social media activities and campaigns, your goals, strategies and results. What worked out and what did not? What should be changed and what should you still be doing?

Explore new networks
Are there any new networks generating a lot of buzz now, or a network that is still under the radar that you happen to know about? Look into how these can benefit your personal or professional brand. My new favourites are Vine and Snapchat, which both present a lot of new opportunities and exciting use cases for your company and /or personal brand.

Update bio and “About me/ us”
Did you get a new job or more responsibilities, learned a new skill? Got a new cool hobby you want to share? Did your brand get a new feature, a new product or a new partner? A lot happens in a year, make sure others know about it. Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date too.

Your turn – what did I miss? What are your best tips for cleaning up your social media presence?

Vine Videos for Twitter – Make a Scene

Vine is a video-making app for iPhone and iPad app. It was recently acquired by Twitter and allows you to share videos right in your Twitter feed – no links to click, no need to leave your feed – Pretty great, huh? There is a catch though, just like Twitter, Vine wants to keep it brief, the videos can only be 6 seconds or less!

This obviously cause some challenges – how can you get your message through in 6 seconds? Is there really any use of a 6 second video? Sure there is, I think Vine can be used in multiple ways, for creating and sharing content such as:

* Create short tutorials
* Trailer / teasers of longer videos
* Present sneak-peaks of products
* Show behind-the-scene footage before or during an event
* Showcase highlights from a fashion show, trade show or conference
* Shoot short updates from your workplace
* Make a short-film
* Create an animations
* Show off your cooking skills and share your favorite receips

Have you tried Vine? What do you use it for?

Snapchat – the next big thing?

Snapchat is a fast and easy way to communicate with your friends through photos and videos taken with your Smartphone. Its user base is growing rapidly, and some even predict it to be the next Instagram.

Marianne Granum snapchat

I think some of the explanation for its fast growing popularity, is that it presents a more honest and real expression than most other social apps:

  • Real-time: You can only send pictures taken by the camera function within the Snapchat app, so all messages sent and received are in real-time.
  • Raw and filter-free: Snapchat doesn’t  have any built-in filters or editing functions ( other than adding colors using the simple built-in drawing functionality).


Snapchat for businesses – why not?

I believe Snapchat could be a useful tool for businesses, trying to Reach with their customers in new ways. A couple of examples:

*Imagine if there was an integration/ link between e.g. Foursquare and Snapchat, and whenever you checked-in at Starbucks (using Foursquare) you’d get a Snapchat-message from Starbucks letting you know their special offers of the day, or giving you special Snapchat deals?

*Or, H&M sending you a Snapchat showing their latest trends, their new sales items or their special offers that weekend?

Do you use Snapchat? How would you feel about getting deals and offers there (given that you first had to sign up for them of course 🙂 )?

Creative Ad Ideas

Like it or not, ads are everywhere. And so many of them are so simple, just stating the obvious sales pitch and not challenging the viewer in any way. Creating ads and running a lot of marketing campaigns myself, I know how hard it can be to come up with a unique idea. Therefore, I “collect” ads that surprise me, inspire me or in some other way leave an impression.

I’ve already shared a few on this blog, like the Expedia ads I just discovered: New Advertising Campaign Makes Clever Use of Airport Tags and the adorable, clever and funny “Can You Impress the Penguin?” ad from Penguin Press.

Another creative ad I really liked, is from the Norwegian high-end fashion store Høyer:
Marianne Granum - Creative Ad from Høyer
(Photo from Instagram: @MarianneNHs photo).

Høyer celebrated a new store opening by handing out “parking tickets”, unlike real parking tickets, getting this ticket resulted in a positive surprise: a free sweeter!

What kind of ads do you like? Please share your ” best finds”! 🙂

Social Technographic Tool From Forrester

The Social Technographic Tool from Forrester provides valuable data about the social media activity level of your target group(s). The tool rates activity level based on these categories:

*Creators – publish blogs, web pages, upload videos or audio or post articles or stories
*Critics – who post ratings / reviews of products or services, comment on another blog, contribute to online forums or contribute to or edit articles in a wiki
*Collectors – who use RSS feeds, vote for websites online or add tags to web pages or photos.
*Joiners – those that maintain a social network profile or visit social networking sites.
*Spectators – who read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch video from other users, read online forums, read customer ratings and reviews and read tweets.
*Inactives – none of the above and not involved in Social Media.

The tool lets you do searches based on age, gender and location. Click on the picture below to give it a try.

If Mad Men Did Social Media Marketing

It might look like this…

The State of Social Media 2012

The State of Social Media 2012 by The SEO Company
The State of Social Media 2012 by The SEO Company

What are your Social Media predictions for the rest of 2012?

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