In a nutshell, an A/B test is a controlled experiment that compares one version (A) of something to another version (B) to see which performs best, according to the user’s goals.
Running proper A/B tests on Cidewalk will give you the data you need to only run promotions that work effectively for your business, whether that is by increasing the number of walk-ins you have, or the number of visits to your website.
Step 1: Choose your goal
Testing your promotions’ value means nothing without a proper goal. Choose something measurable for the best result. Website visits, promotion Engagements/Actions, and redeemed coupons are all good options.
In our example A/B test, our goal is to increase the number of Engagements we get per 1,000 views.
Step 2: Choose one thing to test
In order to run a truly controlled experiment, choose one thing to test at a time. This is the most important part! When you A/B test, you are going to run two promotions at the same time, and they will differ in one way, and one way only. Time of day, day of the week, target city, promotion copy, and contact information are all variables you can change. if it’s tempting to test a few things at once to “speed up” the process, remember: the experiment has to be truly controlled in order for it to give you any proper data to work with!
In our example A/B test, we are going to test the promotion title copy.
Step 3: Run your test!
The Cidewalk Web App makes it easy to fly through the promotion creation process, so you can create promotions that run in the same town at nearly the same time of day.
For our experiment, we are going to run a promotion in the same town, at the same time (to do this, just create your second promotion as soon as your first one has gone live!). The only thing that will change is the promotion title. So let’s pretend that we run two promotions in San Diego, California at 12 noon on a Monday, keeping the date, time, and target town variables the same. Our two promotions will say:
"Free ice cream cone today!
Click here to get your printable coupon. Redeem at Main Street Ice Cream.
FREE ice cream cone today!
Click here to get your printable coupon. Redeem at Main Street Ice Cream."
Notice how the only change we made is to tweak the title just a little bit.
Step 4: Analyze
One of your promotions will probably do better than the other, making it easy to choose a winner. But if your promotions perform the same in terms of your goals, then try tweaking your promotion even more next time!
In our example A/B test, Promotion A got 4 Actions per 1,000 views, and Promotion B got 10 actions per 1,000 views. So Promotion B is the clear victor!
Step 5: Repeat
That’s right – keep testing! Remember that you will have to run a few tests, and test different variables, before you find what works best to promote your business effectively. Also, remember to keep testing throughout the year; different promotional copy, discounts, and target towns will naturally elicit a better response during different seasons.
Good luck, and happy promoting!