A/B Testing is Like a Gym Membership

Lessons from the world of exercise

May 24, 2016

It is common knowledge that gym memberships spike in January, when people sign up to fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions. It doesn’t take long before many of them stop attending. There’s a similar pattern with A/B testing; like exercise, people know it’s an important thing they should be doing, but often aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to do it well.

 Paying for a gym membership isn’t going to get you in better shape. Exercise will.

Like with a gym membership, simply purchasing an A/B testing software license isn’t going to improve the KPIs you care about at your business. That said, if used properly, it provides a toolset to make your quest for business dominance much more efficient and likely to succeed.

Here are four tips borrowed from the exercise world to ensure you’re getting the most out of your testing software:

1. You can only improve what you can measure

Whatever your A/B testing goals are, you need to measure your baseline performance and regularly track the impact of your testing. For example, if you want to improve clickthrough rate on your images, the first step is to measure performance before running your tests so that you have something to compare it to.

2. Get on a regular schedule

It’s too easy to fall off the wagon if you don’t hold yourself accountable. Set an attainable goal, whether that’s 1 test per day when you’re just starting out or 100 tests per week at scale, and stick to it.

3. Only compete with yourself

Don’t be overly distracted by other people around you. While it’s useful to use competitors as benchmarks, remember that you’re ultimately only responsible for your own performance.

4. Don’t expect change overnight

Like your workout plan, A/B testing takes time to show its impact on your overall business. Whether you’re looking to increase visibility, improve conversions, or maximize some other KPI, strong results require a well planned strategy executed consistently over time.