cPanel® Blog

What the duck? A/B Testing at #cPConf 2017

You know that feeling of relief you get when you finish a big marketing project? You did everything right, the bosses seem satisfied, and you feel like you can kick back and relax. I remember that feeling, as it lulled me into a false sense of security. Everything seemed great, I had sorted out all of our problems, and everyone treated me like I was the company rock star.

Until six months later…

The honeymoon phase had ended. Suddenly, management no longer felt satisfied. All those feelings of relief suddenly turn into sensations of dread.

What happened?

Has this ever happened to you? It all starts with the purpose of the project in the first place. Did you ask the team about the project’s purpose? I mean, really ask what they really want? Let’s say, for example, that the site’s purpose had to do with selling more products. You might know that management wants to sell more products, but do you know what “more” actually means to them? You see, unless you can point to a quantifiable number that defines success, you have doomed your project to failure from the start.

Alas, if you have experienced this, then you know that we did not do that research before we launched our sites. Six months passed and we found ourselves in this uncomfortable situation. What do we do? You could scrap everything and start again, but that amounts to an enormous loss of time, effort, and money. Not to mention the fact that it virtually admits to management that you didn’t completely understand their goals when you started. Honestly, though, unless you completely missed the mark (unlikely if you’ve made it a few months without too much commotion), you probably have a pretty decent work product that just needs a little tweaking.

In this situation, you probably just need to make a few iterative changes to bring the campaign more closely into alignment with what management envisioned. A/B testing, or “split testing” as it’s sometimes referred to in our industry, provides one of the best solutions to accomplish that goal. A/B testing refers to trying different variations on a single controlled site (or piece of a site) and seeing which variant creates the best reaction.

Unfortunately, A/B testing offers its own unique challenges. For those that haven’t tried it before, an A/B test [without the proper process] may go something like this:

  1. Change six things
  2. Results go up or down
  3. You don’t know why
  4. Change six more things
  5. Result go up or down
  6. You have no idea why
  7. Rinse, repeat

Learn more at cPanel Conference 2017

Want to avoid this kind of confusion and frustration? Then I highly suggest you check out my talk during the cPanel Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The talk, entitled “A/B testing: Which Way Does Your Duck Face?” will look at the basics of A/B testing, how and why A/B testing can generate revenues, and some crazy (but successful) A/B testing methods I guarantee you have not tried. We will also look at unique situations we face in the hosting industry, and how you can apply these concepts to those particular circumstances. At the end of our talk, you will have a much better idea how to make management happy again by running successful A/B tests, and how to keep yourself out of these situations in the future.

If you want to make your marketing more successful, efficient, or streamlined, please check out my session during the 2017 cPanel Conference in 20 short days.