There is a company, there is a Marketing department, and there are team members within that Marketing department.
Amy, Steve, and Miranda are all employees on this team.
They’re working on a landing page. What’s a landing page? It’s the page you see after you click on an ad.
The landing page needs to convince you to do something and it has to convince you to do it fast – before you click away.
For example, if you saw an ad for T-Shirts that said:
…you might click on it and land on a page that has more information about the shirt and a button you press if you want to buy it. That button is called a CTA (call to action).
Amy, Steve, and Miranda are working on such a page for one of their products.
Amy thinks the CTA should say, “Shop.”
Steve thinks the CTA should say, “Shop Now.”
Amy says that, “Shop,” looks cleaner, and people don’t need to know that they’re shopping now. The timing of said shopping is implicit.
Steve thinks “Shop Now,” will sound more urgent.
Amy and Steve fight about what the CTA should say. This may sound like a minor thing, but:
- People fight over minor things all the time, and
- Small changes like this on landing pages can add up to significant sales improvement.
Only one or the other can be displayed on the page. You have to pick one.
Steve and Amy go to Miranda and ask her which one of them she thinks is right. Which one do you think it is?
The A/B Test
The solution is that it doesn’t matter who you, or Miranda, thinks is right. In our scenario, Miranda shrugs and says, “I don’t know – let’s test it.”
They use A/B testing software to create two versions of the page. Each is exactly the same in every way, except that the CTA is changed. The two CTAs are:
- Shop Now
What the software does next is – every time someone lands on that page, it will show them either the first version or the second.
If more people click on the CTA in the first version, then “Shop” is better. If more people click on the CTA in the second version, then “Shop Now” is better.
This is similar to an A/B test that’s been done. I have to emphasize that the example scenario I used with “Amy,” “Steve,” and “Miranda,” was entirely made up for my purposes. I’m reasonably confident that’s not how this test actually played out.
We Can Fight All Day Long…
Amy and Steve could fight all day long about who was right and who’s wrong. They each had reasons to support their conclusions.
In the end, those reasons don’t matter. The world doesn’t work the way it ought, the world works the way it does.
The only way to know how the world does work, is to test it.
Somebody’s right and somebody’s wrong, but who’s who shouldn’t matter. The only thing that should matter is the truth.