How to use A/B testing to get the most out of mobile marketing

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Emily Schreiber, Senior Growth Strategist at Cro Metrics, offers advice on how companies can optimise their mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile optimisation through A/B testing is becoming increasingly important. Not just to see which variation of a page wins in terms of revenue generation, but also for broader insights that can help inform different teams outside of the testing or growth teams. 

The key is to understand how mobile audiences are engaging with your company holistically and where they are in their journey. Once you understand that, you can set up a comprehensive plan to engage those users at that stage.

In this article, we offer a few tips on how you may be able to engage with mobile users more effectively.

Understanding unique user needs
You can group mobile users into two key categories. Firstly, there are those who are in high exploration mode – perhaps on a train or drinking a coffee – who are simply passing time and looking to entertain themselves. 

Then there are those who have very high intent but only have a limited amount of time to find what they are looking for, perhaps because they forgot to do it before leaving the house or the office and are usually on the go. For these people, it’s important they find whatever it is they need to execute as quickly as possible. 

For companies, therefore, it’s important to create a balance between engaging mobile users when they want to be engaged, but not at the expense of blocking their access to key information or your primary CTA. 

Personalised content
Personalisation is another key area that continues to grow. Again, it’s about engaging users with content that is relevant to them. By using A/B testing, we can help companies deliver different types of personalisation, such as helping them to provide localised content. 

For example, in the US there are restrictions on the types of offers you can provide customers in certain states, such as California. However, there are different ways to develop personalisation beyond third party cookies. For example, account-based marketing campaigns allow for highly personalized content to be served to a user.

Use below the fold
At Cro Metrics we are constantly discovering new things about mobile users through testing which often challenges accepted best practices. 

For example, there’s a common misconception that users don’t scroll below the fold, so anything important has to be above the fold. However, we see that some users – especially those who have seen an ad on social media and clicked on a landing page – might start to engage with content that’s placed deeper on the page. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can simply cram everything on the page and hope they will engage. We do consistently see that, when it comes to mobile, less is most definitely more. When you show relevant and useful content, users are much more likely to engage.

Users like a seamless uninterrupted journey. What’s more, we know site speed is extremely important, so the longer a page takes to load, the more likely users are to bounce. 

Find the balance between web and app
Having a mobile first approach is now essential for most companies that want to maximise their online revenue and engagement with customers. But finding the balance between a mobile optimised website and an app is just as important. 

While some companies like to gently push users towards an app which can often provide a more robust experience, it’s important to understand that not everybody wants to put an app on their phone; they simply may not have the space or time to do so. However, as mobile phone technology becomes more advanced through advances such as 5G, it could open the door for more advanced strategies. 

Remove friction from the sales funnel
Making it easy for users to check out on mobile as well as on desktop is important to maximize sales. A recent UK study from Barclaycard Payments showed that commitment-shy shoppers had abandoned £39.4bn worth of items over the last 12 months in online ‘fantasy baskets’. 

In order to improve sales, it’s important to reduce the number of steps that customers need to take when checking out, such as automatically applying promo codes and avoiding redundant order confirmation steps. 

Use testimonials carefully
While customer testimonials can help improve a particular company’s credibility, they can also distract users from checking out. We’ve been testing customer testimonials on client websites recently, and every time we’ve done so, we’ve seen bounce rate go up and page engagement drop. 

What’s the reason for this? It may be that we’re sending readers off to other parts of the web to read customer testimonials because they’re intrigued with them and interested in what others have to say. We’re now testing with our client’s growth team to find a way they can add social proof without causing an increase in customer exits.

Improve user experience
Knowing your brand and aesthetic is very important, especially when we look at Millennial and Gen Z audiences who have grown up with apps such as Instagram and TikTok. There is something to be said for making sure that your site doesn’t look like it was designed in 2010 or earlier!

While images can help the mobile experience, they do need to be relevant. Stock photos are OK, but if you have actual images of your product, they are usually more compelling. It’s also important not to overlay text over the top of them, which simply makes it difficult to read. Just swapping out an image for a light colour background can make a world of difference. 

Video players on websites have also improved, so you don’t have to use a YouTube player any more. However, websites where the hero background is a video on a loop can take up a lot of bandwidth, making it difficult to load the page on a mobile. Also, video content is only really engaging if it’s pertinent to a website, such as a travel video on a travel website. 

Finally, it’s important to make sure your colour palette is accessible, especially for those who are colour blind or partially sighted, so users can distinguish the text properly. 

When it comes to optimising your website or app for mobile, Cro Metrics’ A/B testing solutions can be a massive help. Not only will they improve your ROI, but they can also help inform your strategy going forward. By knowing your customer and where they are in their journey, you can deliver a more engaging experience, which in turn will lead to greater loyalty and hopefully greater revenue. 

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