7 Reasons for Split Testing Your Next Quiz

bigstock-ab-testing-101026496Who doesn’t love the opportunity to set up and run their own marketing experiments?

That’s ultimately what A/B testing, also called split testing, really is: an experiment. Except instead of growing plants under different colored light bulbs, you’re creating marketing materials and testing them to see which variation is most effective.

A/B testing is essential to almost any online marketing strategy, and that includes quizzes.

You may be sitting back and wondering why you haven’t tested your quizzes up to this point, and that’s okay because a lot of people don’t realize how much value split testing can create.

The graphic below by Receiptful lays out the concept of A/B testing in a simple manner and shows you how it works. Although it’s not specifically referring to a quiz, it is helpful for highlighting what we’re talking about here because you’ll see what’s key: the differences between version A and version B of the tested web page are actually very small.

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The central idea of both pages is the same, but the testing is just about formatting and layout. You would then measure the different conversion rates to see what’s working better.

That translates to quizzes as well. The changes you’re testing don’t have to be massive or hugely significant—even the smallest change to your quiz from version A to version B can have a big impact on your conversions, which is one of the many reasons testing is so valuable. As you’ll see later in this post, the difference made by changing just one word can be incredible.

Before we jump into the advantages of split testing your next quiz, we’ll do a quick rundown of what A/B testing is, to get you started.

The Core Concept of A/B Testing

When you’re implementing a new marketing strategy or campaign, including the introduction of a marketing quiz, it can be tough to figure out what’s going to work and what will fall flat.

You may have an idea of what will resonate with your targeted audience, but even the subtlest of nuances can mean the difference between a successful conversion… or not.

It takes a scientific approach to marketing because you’re giving yourself a foundation of data and statistics from which to work.

All you’re doing with an A/B test is creating one version of something, modifying it slightly, and creating a second version. Half your quiz takers will be shown one version of the quiz, the other half, the second version.

Take a look at this image from WordStream comparing two ads run by the insurance company Progressive. Everything is the same except for the background color, and that’s what was used to run an A/B test on this landing page:

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Simple, right?

There are a variety of ways you can make changes testable on a quiz. Just a few of these include social media images, the quiz titles, the way questions are worded, and the way results are presented.

With that in mind, consider these 7 advantages A/B testing can have for your next quiz campaign:

1) It’s Inexpensive

Creating quizzes is already an inexpensive and highly effective marketing tactic, and split testing can improve effectiveness even further, without big investments. You’re just making slight differences between your quizzes to see which resonates best with your audience, but that requires minimal time and money to implement.

It’s almost like getting the advantages of a focus group to come in and look at your quizzes, without the required investments.

The graph below from Optimizely shows the dramatic potential difference in marketing results when A/B testing is utilized, versus when it isn’t. It’s almost shocking what a huge difference something as simple as split testing can make on marketing campaigns.

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2) You’re Collecting Data

Big data is one of the phrases driving many current marketing tactics. Even small businesses have the opportunity to collect data on par with what was once reserved for multinational corporations with dedicated marketing and data departments.

Software and even social media platforms like Facebook are breaking down preexisting barriers to data collection, and it’s transforming the way marketers operate.

We mentioned the idea of A/B testing being somewhat like a science experiment at the start of this post, and the following graphic (another awesome one from Optimizely) really highlights that idea, as it shows the experimental process behind A/B testing, with steps that lead you toward the collection of data.

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Data is invaluable not only to your marketing but also to your business as a whole, so it’s important to remember when you’re A/B testing your next lead quiz, you’re also collecting potentially essential data that you may use in the future.

3) You’re Getting To Know Your Audience

In so many of our blog posts about creating the perfect marketing quiz, we speak to the importance of knowing your audience. While that is critical to the process, you may scratch your head and wonder how you’re supposed to do that.

One easy way is through A/B testing of your quizzes.

This type of testing lets you drill down the specifics of your audience and allows you to get to know the smallest details of what they like and dislike. That kind of knowledge can be used not only for the creation of future quizzes, but also for other marketing and advertising materials.

4) Improve Your Chances of Going Viral

We talk about going viral a lot because that’s the goal many marketers have for their online quizzes.

We’ve looked at those ever-popular viral Buzzfeed quizzes that gain millions of clicks, and we’ve explored what it is about them that makes them so appealing.

If you want to improve your chances at obtaining those kinds of results, you really need to include A/B testing as part of your quiz creation. It’s a great stepping stone toward a viral quiz because each test you conduct puts you that much closer to widespread clicks on your quiz.

What we’d like to point out here is that you can even split test your next lead quiz using Facebook.

That’s right; the social media platform has built-in tools available so you can split your audience when you’re running ads and campaigns, and see how each performs.

With social media testing on Facebook you can even look at performance by targeting demographics like specific ages and genders.

It’s as simple as going to the Facebook Power Editor and choosing the Manage Ads options. It will then walk you through splitting your ad set and dividing your audience.

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When you’re testing your quizzes for viral potential and using tools like Facebook’s Split Ad Set, you’re not just considering what people are going to click on.

You can also look at what they’re going to want to share. What is it about one quiz element over another that makes it more shareable from the perspective of your audience? These are important things to know when you’re working to achieve viral quiz status.

Below you’ll see a Facebook split test set up by online marketer Luke Moulton to test three different versions of the same quiz:

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This is what is split testing results looked like for the campaign. Pretty simple, right? If you’re just testing your quiz on Facebook, the site does almost all the work for you.

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These highly specific audience targeting options are excellent for not just helping you grow your list, but for customizing future quizzes so you can appeal to more segmented audiences with each quiz you create.

5) You’re Measuring Real Behavior

When you’re in the stage of creating your quizzes, it can be tough to guess how the public is going to actually react to your content.

Most other means of exploring real behaviors of your audience can be complicated, expensive and in many cases, simply out of the question.

With A/B testing you’re getting that powerful glimpse into real behaviors happening from real people, so rather than trying to guess how your targeted audience is going to react to your quizzes, you can see it directly.

For example, are you questioning one call-t0-action over another? You’ll have no way of knowing which is going to drive the most actual action without using A/B testing. What about the headline that is going to compel the most Facebook users to click on your quiz and take it? Well, that’s something you’re not going to find out through a prediction, but you can with testing.

Amazing what you can learn about what drives behaviors, just by utilizing some simple testing.

6) Improve Lead Quality

We talk a lot about generating leads, but for those leads to be valuable, they need to be quality leads.

Your quizzes need to generate the kind of leads that can eventually become customers.

Employing some split testing can help you determine not just how to get the most views or clicks for your quiz, but which elements of your quiz design and content are going to generate the most high-quality leads.

That’s crucial for ensuring you’re getting the results you want from marketing.

So think of it this way—a simple change in the wording of your CTA could mean the difference between getting qualified leads or simply having quiz takers who fill out your form with false information.

To get a visual of this, take a look at the testing of the forms below, a real experiment conducted by iProspect and Iron Mountain:

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Just by changing the headline and how the fields were labeled, the variation form was able to increase qualified leads by 140% according to this case study from Optimizely.

7) Use Testing to Develop Long Term Strategies

As we wrap up our list of seven reasons split testing your quizzes can mean significant returns, we’d like to highlight a final advantage.

When you take the time to do split testing you’re giving yourself the opportunity not just to improve one quiz, but really to create a larger, more tailored, and more efficient marketing strategy.

You can make incremental changes over time that produce more conversions, and each bit of insight and data you gather during this process can be used to hone and refine your marketing strategy.

So there you have it — our reasons why you need to consider split testing your next quiz.

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