In May we introduced a new series where Adobe experts provide “Quick tips” to our community related to a particular topic. May’s topic theme was “Test Everything” and you may have seen the tips we posted each week on our Facebook page. We’ve compiled each of our weekly tips from May alongside great testing-related articles and content from across the web, all in one place for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Adobe Quick Tips Test Everything

Week One: “As you set out to test everything remember that you don’t want to test it all at once. The companies that try to test it all now end up doing what we call random testing—they move from one area to the next and never see the large gains obtained by iterating. Test everything by not allowing any changes to happen on your site without testing first. Then as you make changes remember to iterate on those changes to truly learn and capture the full monetary value waiting for you.”

The first Quick Tip in our Test Everything series comes from Rhett Norton, a senior consultant and retail team lead at Adobe who works with top brands such as Redbox, Staples and Walgreens on their testing and optimization campaigns.

Week Two: “Prioritizing your efforts based on data is the first stage in building a successful testing program; this is the framework to a good testing methodology and process. Once you know where to focus your optimization effort, be sure to test multiple options – don’t just stop at A/B, but create an experience C, D, etc. as this will give you more data and help you understand where to iterate for your next test. Don’t forget to add segments so you can see in your reports how your various visitors reacted to the campaign – if they behave differently than your audience as a whole, start targeting that experience to them! There’s a crawl, walk, run process to optimization – be sure to have a method to the madness or else you may be stuck on all fours.”

Gina Casagrande is a content and conversion evangelist at Adobe and has also spent time as part of the company’s consulting solutions organization, working with top brands to optimize their conversion efforts and improve their marketing ROI.

Week Three: “Each test you run should have a hypothesis, not just an idea. The difference is, a hypothesis is something you can prove false through the results of your test. Hypotheses are the secrets to actionable insights, they help you understand the WHY behind the performance of your variants – they isolate the difference between variants, help you understand your users, and smooth the path to repeatable success. This keeps your site from looking like a ransom-note style hodgepodge of test winners that don’t hang together.”

Rachel Elkington is a Senior Consultant and Optimization Manager in Adobe’s Digital Marketing practice. She loves using testing and targeting to empower her clients to meet their goals through understanding and influencing user behavior.

Week Four: “Testing needs to work hand-in-hand with your creative process, rather than derailing it. Make sure you’ve built mini progress tests into your design or content development process, allowing for the testing of elements as they’re being created to better focus on the most effective content per customer segments. Iterative testing, or the continuous testing and optimization of your site experience, should not only be a technique for published material, but also a way of improving the relevance of your experimental content.

Methods for testing new material without interfering with your current site experience are:

1) Target the experiments to smaller subsets or groups of customers for a brief period, in higher traffic but not critical pages of your site

2) Identify the location of your tests on your site as experimental

3) Ask for feedback directly from your customers. Oftentimes, empowering your visitors to respond to new material can improve engagement and the social sharing of your material, providing quicker and broader results.”

Drew Burns is the senior product marketing manager for Adobe Test&Target and works to evangelize the practice of iterative testing and content targeting in the digital marketing world.

Week Five: “When starting out with your testing program dig into opportunities for user experience enhancements on lower funnel pages.  Increasing conversion within the checkout funnel will have an immediate impact on revenue and will also ensure that your testing efforts on upper funnel pages aren’t cannibalized by high drop-off rates deeper in the site.  Start from the bottom and work your way up to maximize customer throughput and quickly prove the value of your optimization program.”

Whitney Littlewood is a Team Lead on the Adobe Digital Consulting team who partners with clients to drive measurable return on their online marketing investment through the adoption of optimization best practices.

ARTICLES AND BLOG POSTS

CMO.com: Case Study: Adobe Puts Own Software To The Test
http://www.cmo.com/web-analytics/case-study-adobe-puts-own-software-test

Brooks Bell: The Golden Ticket of Testing: Understanding Confidence
http://brooksbell.com/blog/2012/05/the-golden-ticket-of-testing-understanding-confidence

Adobe Digital Marketing Blog: Hoarders – Website Edition
http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/analytics/hoarders-website-edition

Muddy Lemon: Introduction to A/B Testing for Landing Pages
http://muddylemon.com/2012/04/ab-multivariate-testing-for-landing-pages/

Brooks Bell: 5 Must-Read Optimization Posts for the Week of April 30
http://www.brooksbell.com/blog/2012/05/5-must-read-optimization-posts-for-the-week-of-april-30

Brooks Bell: The Golden Ticket of Testing: Understanding Confidence

http://brooksbell.com/blog/2012/05/the-golden-ticket-of-testing-understanding-confidence

Marketing Land: How to Convince Your Management Team to Test And Optimize Your Website
http://marketingland.com/how-to-convince-your-management-team-to-test-and-optimize-your-website-10710

GrowSmartBiz: 13 Helpful Guidelines for A/B Testing
http://www.networksolutions.com/smallbusiness/2012/05/13-helpful-guidelines-for-ab-testing/

Wired: The A/B Test Results Are In
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/05/the-ab-test-results-are-in/

Wired: Test Everything: Notes on the A/B Revolution
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/05/test-everything-notes-on-the-ab-revolution/

Adobe Digital Marketing Blog: BUYER BEWARE: No segment filtering in test results? Not an effective testing or targeting tool
http://adobe.ly/KiGlQc

Online-Behavior.com: Split Testing Framework
http://online-behavior.com/testing/split-testing-framework-549

Hope you enjoyed the compilation! In June 2012, we’re honing in on personalization-related topics and strategies; so keep checking the Adobe Digital Marketing Facebook page for new tips, and stay tuned for a similar round-up on personalization content at the end of this month. What other topics would you like to see us cover? Are there other types of content and resources that you’d like to see us aggregate here? Send us your thoughts.

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