Looking for more revenue, try A/B testing.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” is an common idiom, and it means that the bigger picture should always be your central focus – not the small things in life.
At Etix, we struggle keeping true to this mantra because we are always looking for ways to be better at what we do. Innovation is at the core of everything that we do; we invented print-at-home tickets, have processed some of the biggest on-sales in the world, and we’re a unique ticketing company that offers full-service in-house digital marketing services with Rockhouse Partners.
And about all of that small stuff: it adds up. That’s why A/B testing for every solution is a top priority for both Etix and Rockhouse Partners.
There are Three Big Reasons to A/B Test.
Potential Incremental Revenue
When you have a high volume of ticket sales, small changes can make big differences! And that could lead to big cost savings! You will be a amazed at how a small adjustment can lead to a 5.2% increase in conversions.
Fine-tuning to the Highest Degree
Always research the latest trends and tweak your marketing messages accordingly.
A/B testing allows you to tailor messages to specific audience segments. Whichever message proves the most effective can be sent out to the remaining wider audience.
What’s Best for Others Might Not be Best for You
Statistics are great, but not always useful. Every brand is different and deserves unique attention to detail. Reading “best practices” tips all day will never be as affective as as testing your audience for what actually works best.
Testing should always align first with your goals. Our goals were to drive sales, grow our audience, collect actionable data, and identify key customers through our website and email messages. We’ve got some great tips for getting the most out of A/B testing. Take a look at our top results at the link below.
CTAs: Find tickets vs. Buy tickets
Our first A/B test was on the Etix website and involved our main CTA. The main button read “Buy tickets” for many years, but we wanted to see if any other wording could boost sales. “Find tickets” proved to be the clear winner, increasing revenue by 2.4%.
Remove “Buy Tickets for Other Events” Link From Performance Search Page
We performed this test thinking that the link had been dragging people out of the purchase funnel. Guess what? We were wrong! Our tests showed that removing “Buy Tickets for Other Events” from our purchase funnel reduced revenue by 1.2%.
Norton logo at checkout
Including a Norton logo in your checkout process was a badge of security for many years. Consumers in the past have felt better about placing an order online if they saw it.
Well, the times have changed. When we removed the Norton logo from the Etix checkout page via Optimizely, we saw a huge 5.2% increase in sales. What used to reassure customers now seems to have the opposite effect. And this is another reason why you should always plan A/B tests.
Email send times matter, and we sought to find out the optimal send time for Etix and Rockhouse Partners client Headliner’s Music Hall, a hugely popular venue in Louisville, KY. In our test, we randomly split their list into three send times for a number of weeks: 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that 9 p.m. group got the most opens and clicks, emails sent at 3 p.m. generated 7.2% more revenue.
Without a doubt, the most frequently A/B tested aspect of email marketing is the subject line. Oftentimes, it’s an optimized subject line that ultimately matters in terms of email open rates. For example, one client saw an open rate of 17% from subject lines that begin with “Low Ticket Alert.” Another client saw 20% more opens when including a fan’s first name in the subject line. Personalization in subject lines can boost your email open rates.
You might find that testing doesn’t make a huge difference in some of your efforts. In fact, sometimes A/B testing shows very little difference. In some cases, clients maintain almost identical open rates despite varying subject lines, and we’ve seen site changes that made no difference in revenue.
Tips to Rocking Your A/B Tests
Test with Your Least Responsive Fans
This works best with email, but if you can, A/B test with your least responsive subscribers so that you won’t risk losing your most dedicated subscribers.
Make them Different
There is absolutely a test that’s too similar. Don’t create a split test that compares “Upcoming Shows” with “This Week’s Shows.” There’s no point in that.
Keep a Goal or Question in Mind
Be clear about your goals and what you’re trying to learn about your audience. If that means admitting that there’s not much you need to change, no worries! Not every test needs to seek majo change.
Take a Vacation
You do not have to split test everything, or at least not in the same way. Doing too much can muddy the results and could leave you frustrated.