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Get the Clear Picture

Suppose you have a website how do you find out if a particular graphic or an image is making the desired impact? asks Puneet Mehrotra.

business Updated: May 25, 2006 16:13 IST

Get the clear picture - split run testing

"Mirror mirror on the wall, should it be red or yellow, Or none at all"

The problem of choice. What works and what doesn't? Suppose you have a website how do you find out if a particular graphic or an image or a certain ad copy is making the desired impact? Are the consumers not buying product due to price or is the sales copy that's turning them off? Or is the product proving to be a deterrent in the purchase process?

The process to know all this and much more is called Split run testing.

Spilt Run Testing - the master tool

The way it works is you create different versions of a sales page to test its effectiveness. Also referred to as split-testing or A/B testing it is an advanced marketing principle used byprofessional webmasters to test different versions of a web page or website, in order to determine which one sells best, which part makes a visitor leave, which colours promote sales etc. When users enters your site, they're shown one version or the other. Once you do this enough times you can easily see which version converted visitors into buying customers.

The A/B testing

Split run testing can be used for anything from visitor retention test to customer conversion test to link test. It is also of great use in tracking:

Multiple Sales Letters
Different Ad Copy
Graphic Design Work
Different Price Points
Varying Guarantees
Entire Website Designs
Headlines
Varying Price
Colour schemes

Benefits of Split Testing

By doing split run testing you'll know categorically which marketing strategies are actually producing maximum results. For example without split testing you will never get to know what part of your sales copy causes most people to leave your site without buying your product; or the colours that encourage people to purchase and colours that hurt your sales.It also helps you find out if changes you recently added to your site does anything to increase your sales.

Specifically, split testing is beneficial for:

-Visitor Interest Retention Test

Testing different ad copies and designs to check which one holds the interest of the visitor for a longer period of time.

-Conversion to Sales Test

Different sets can help determine the "right price" the "right colours" and the "right price points" improving the customer conversion rate.

-Link Test

Different sets for testing the effectiveness of a particular link.

-Navigation Test

Different sets to determine the best navigation for the visitor.

Tools for split run testing

There are various tools starting from $25 to $200 available for split run testing. If you search Google for tools for split run testing you would be able to view multiple tools.

One of the tools I found was splittestgenerator priced at $29 this tool lets you run multiple split tests from the same script, tracks conversions on your ClickBank productsand sets a cookie on your visitors machine so that they always see the same version of the page. If you search Google you will probably be able to find better tools available.

Split run testing - a definite recommendation

If you are a webpreneur, split testing is a definite recommendation. Not only it increases sales but also lets go of unnecessary graphics and copy. A must for every serious website owner.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and editswww.thebusinessedition.comyou can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com

First Published: May 25, 2006 16:13 IST