What are AB Testing Tools?
Also referred to as split testing, A/B testing is the process by which two versions of an a website page, an email, or any other marketing aspect are compared and their difference in performance is measured.
This is done while giving the two versions to different groups and then observing how each of the versions performs. You can think of it more like a competition in which two versions of your marketing asset are pit against each other to see which of them comes out victorious.
Knowing which version of your marketing assets works best can help you improve greatly when making future decisions when it comes to email copy, web content, or any other marketing factor for your enterprise.
To better understand how A/B testing works, we will take a look at one example; Imagine you have two competing designs for your landing page and you want to utilize the one with more appeal to your audience on your website. After your designs are complete, you hand the two versions to two different groups. Then wait to see how each landing page performs in metrics like clicks, traffic, and conversations.
There is a horde of AB testing tools currently available on the market, and the number will only increase in the future. It can be quite hectic to wade through the marketing rhetoric when evaluating which tool is the best fit for your marketing needs.
Our objective here is not necessarily to provide full reviews of each tool, but rather to help you identify the AB testing tools that are recommended by CRO experts.
Open Source AB Testing Tools
An open-source AB testing tool is one that allows the optimizer (you) to gain complete control of the code driving the engine that serves variations in traffic, creating reports, and collecting results that put you in a better position to boost imports KPIs for your web page.
Most open-source software solutions come with a promise of more customizations, better security, robust API, ease of deployment. All the delights that developers believe would look to dig deeper into amplifying the platform’s capabilities.
As the debate on open source vs. commercial 3rd party tools rages on across multiple disciplines and industries, open-source is consistently emerging as the popular alternative of the two. That’s essentially due to the lower entry into AB testing without being engaged in costly annual contracts.
When to Use an Open Source AB Testing Software Solution?
- If you have an organization that is big on flexibility and agility. Open source AB testing solutions do not rely on the features provided by a vendor. It is therefore possible to carry out custom development on the web page or application. You can also include additional features that your AB testing and optimization program requires. Open source also comes with the freedom to resolve issues in multiple ways, enabling a much greater chance of finding the solutions that really benefit your firm’s marketing campaign.
- If your firm has an extremely high test velocity. When your organization has complicated workflows and is constantly running hordes of tests every month, it would make sense to take up an open-source AB testing solution and develop it into software that helps support your scaling needs.
- Wisdom of the crowd. One of the core strengths of a proper AB testing software open source solution is being involved in an ever-growing community of people who are passionate about the tool, which adds to its potential on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Your brand can easily incorporate the tweaks and upgrades proposed in your community if they work hand-in-hand with your organization’s optimization needs.
- When you want to evade battles against sales reps and licenses. With open source AB testing platforms, you can begin deployment as soon as you find convenient. If you have the skills in your organization to customize the software, install it into your systems, and scale it accordingly, then there is no need to jump through hoops or get on long calls with sales reps or wade the murky waters of license management. Largely the initial cost of an AB testing open-source tool is considerably low.
How to tell if AB Testing Open Source Software is Worth it?
When you are looking to invest in an open-source AB testing tool, you have to keep in mind that nothing is entirely free. Most probably, you will spend a lot of hours installing and configuring the software to get it working the way your firm needs it to.
You do not want the community around your firm’s project to disappear or to disengage. It will take away most of the merits presented by the open-source format. It is essential to evaluate your firm’s projects based on the criteria below:
A robust premise may not provide the answers to all the testing woes at your firm, but it does help you (the optimizer) to prioritize on possible solutions and testing teams to pick on low hanging leads
- Funding: How stable is the source of funding for your project?
- Legacy: Has the project been around for long enough? A leads generation community that has been on for years is less likely to disengage than issues that sprouted a few weeks or months ago. However, this does not mean the only factor you should consider is longevity.
- Code Activity: It is also crucial to determine how well the source code is being maintained. Keep in the know of the updates that are being made in your firm and how frequently they are being made. Also it is also essential to keep tabs on where the releases logged.
- User Community: The user community is made up of the people who power open-source software. Investigate how many passionate and talented individuals are in your community and how often users are joining the cause. How dedicated are those individuals in keeping documentation clear and consistently updated?
AB testing tools for mobile apps
According to statistics, there were almost 1.8 million apps available on Google Play and 1.7 million on the Apple App Store by the end of 2016. It has become critical for firms to understand precisely what their customers are looking for.
For firms that are currently in the phase of developing a brand new mobile application, or have only recently launched their mobile apps in the market but still lag far behind other top-rated apps, it is probably time to try out AB testing for their mobile app.
AB testing allows you to carry out tests on your mobile app just as you would in a science project. AB testing also allows you to perform backups of your guesswork using real-world test data. In addition, it shows you the ROI (Return on Investment) of marketing strategies that you have developed. A majority of the market leaders invest heavily in AB tests to gain a reputation among customers.
AB Load Testing Tools
Load testing is a type of software testing that is conducted to properly understand an application’s behavior on the infrastructure used to host it. It us used to find out if the application can sustain the maximum load of users.
An AB load test lets us know how many simultaneous users an application can handle without any major performance issues. It also helps the optimizer identify the maximum operating capacity as well as how many bottlenecks the application can handle and identify the elements that are causing degradation. For instance, if the load of users rises by a certain number, how much more CPU or memory will be needed or what is the bandwidth and network response time.
AB load testing can be carried out in controlled lab conditions to compare their capabilities on different systems and on a single system. Load testing is different from stress testing in that the latter evaluates the extent to which a software keeps working when subjected to extreme user and work-loads or when the software has been compromised.
In most organizations, load testing is performed towards the end of their software development cycle while others do not perform load testing on their applications at all. This could result in the loss of revenue to your customers in case the application experiences any performance issues.
Common practices in load testing include
- Downloading large files in bulk from the internet
- Simultaneously running multiple applications on a server or computer
- Assigning a substantial load of jobs to a printer
- Allowing a large amount of traffic on a server
- Reading and writing data from and into a hard disk simultaneously
Varieties of Load Testing Tools
Load testing could be manual but could also be automated using an automation testing tool:
1. Manual Load testing
As the name suggests, this type of load testing is done manually and hence will not provide substantial stress on the application’s resources. It could also be very expensive to carry out manual load testing as it necessitates a lot of manpower.
2. Load testing tools developed by the firm
Any organization with the proper resources and experts could build its own proprietary load testing tools to perform tests on its applications. This is most common with large firms that have a large number of applications to test.
3. Open source load testing tools
These testing tools are available at no cost but they are not as sophisticated and varied as the licensed load testing tools. One of the most widely used open-source load testing tools is Jmeter.
4. Licensed load testing tools (Enterprise)
Licensed load testing tools can sometimes be expensive but they support multiple protocols and that way, load testing could be rendered across many different types of platforms such as CRM, Streaming Media, and so forth. They also boast the ability to mimic loads of virtual users. One of the most common licensed load testing tools is Loadrunner.
AB Testing Tool with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is considered one of the standard tools for any site owner since being able to directly access test data in your account is tremendously convenient. As you run tests, you can see each variation in Analytics, with experiment KPIs accessible right from your account.
Google Analytics helps you monitor on-site behavior of your different visitors. On the other hand, the paid version of Google Analytics, Google Optimize 360, lets you use data from Google Analytics to better target the right demographic. Audience targeting lets you optimize your experiments for key visitor segment depending on key metrics like on-site actions, number of site visits, and location.
If you are looking to maximize conversions from a particular group within your audience, it would be great to focus your tests on those users using Google Optimize 360. It also includes up to thirty-six combinations to carry out multivariate tests. It also features 10 preconfigured experiment objectives and the capability to simultaneously run 100 experiments and implementation services.
Google Optimize is highly recommended for enterprise-level firms that are looking to be serious with AB testing. However, the free version offers a horde of features that most small and medium enterprises could benefit from.
Server-side AB testing tools
Over the past decade or so, AB testing has grown into one of the most popular strategies for digital marketers, UX designers, and product managers alike. By enabling the optimizer to determine the best factors of critical webpages for their digital products, it empowers them to optimize the aspects and in turn, their conversion rates are based on consumer insights and deliver supercharged growth.
Server-side testing is a type of AB testing in which variations of a test are directly rendered from the webserver to the visitor’s device. Direct implementation from the web server allows you to undertake more complex tests that may otherwise deteriorate user experience if rendered from the client’s side.
Server-side testing enables a whole new world of experimentation possibilities by allowing the optimizer to test deep within his tech stack and conduct more sophisticated tests beyond the scope of cosmetic changes or UI. Since the server does all the heavy lifting in server-side testing, the user experience is significantly faster and smoother.
Even more importantly, server-side testing gives you a view beyond your website allowing you to optimize your products, mobile apps, and even your IoT device’s experience. That in turn empowers development and product marketing teams to build seamless and experience-optimized products.
6 Best AB Testing Tools
In the marketing space, experts are like village elders, mustering every useful trick and offering it to us so we can implement them and make our enterprises a tad better, or have similar results with a successful marketer.
However, with the constant changes in the marketing industry, experts often lack the ability to optimize your unique content. Every firm has a different set of customers. There is simply no one formula that fits all kinds of businesses. To craft the most compelling copy and design the most optimized website, you must first discover what your set of customers prefers.
To help you discover these factors, we have reviewed and discussed six of the best AB testing tools on the market that can help you optimize your website copy, design, product, and more importantly, help you figure out the solutions to the situation you are in.
Reviews of the 6 Best AB Testing Tools 2020
HubSpot & Kissmetrics’ A/B Testing Kit [Featured Tool]
HubSpot is not the ideal platform for your firm if you are simply looking for an AB testing tool. It is a full suite marketing software that is segmented into four critical products. First off, there is CRM segment used for safely handling customer data. Then the tool has Marketing Hub, which is a segment that boasts a range of tools for creation of content, managing leads, creating landing pages and running AB tests among a horde of other marketing operations.
- A/B testing
- Lead management
- Live chat
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
HubSpot also features a Sales Hub, which boasts a wide variety of specialist tools for automating and improving your firm’s sales processes. In addition, it features a Service Hub, which enables your marketing team to provide higher quality customer service.
All HubSpot software is industry-standard and therefore, you will not need to worry about efficiency and trustworthiness. To unlock the AB testing features on HubSpot, you will need to subscribe to the Professional plan on its Marketing Hub, which is going to cost you at least $800 every month for up to 1,000 CRM contacts, and an additional $3,000 onboarding fee. You will also have to pay an extra $50 per month for each additional 1,000 CRM contact. The annual fees on HubSpot could, therefore, quickly stack up.
HubSpot eventually works out to be one of the expensive options. However, you do get a lot of impressive marketing tools that have been built into a single system and this does mean you will spend less time moving from one software to another.
Optimizely is among the industry’s leading CRO and AB testing tools. It features a wide-ranging suite of CRO tools that if used correctly should be enough to cover you, irrespective of how much big your enterprise is.
Optimizely features a wide range of products but the main one is its Optimizely Web tool, which provides AB testing and other essential features for web page optimization. It allows you to expand on-page optimization with its Optimizely X Personalisation feature, which delivers custom personalized messages to your firm’s various audience segments. It also provides recommendations for any Amazon-style products on your online platform and content recommendations too.
- A/B testing
- Multi-page testing
- Advanced targeting & segmentation
- Visual editor (for building variations without deep knowledge of code)
- Full Stack (for mobile app and digital products optimization)
With Optimizely, you get some of the most powerful marketing tools in your hands. In addition, the tools are all easy to implement without necessitating any of the development skills you usually need to carry out the same operations via Google Analytics and Google Optimize.
Pricing is clear right from the application, but you will have to keep in mind that Optimizely is an enterprise-level system that operates at competitive pricing – do not expect any bargain bucket quotes from Optimizely. With this platform, you are looking at least a five-figure budget on your annual bill to get the services on the lower-to-mid plans.
Omniconvert features quite a number of software tools to provide lucrative growth strategies to digital brands and turn data into conversions. Omniconvert’s conversion optimization platform is referred to as Explore. Omniconvert calls the app “the CRO tool for developers,” the branding is justified by a few of its specialist features.
- A/B testing
- Personalization tools
- Stacked tests
- Overlays & popups
- CDN bypass
- Unlimited CSS & JS editor
- Advanced segmentation
- Split URL testing
- Experiment debugger
Of these features, you will likely first notice the unlimited CSS and JS editor. It provides you (the optimizer) full control over how your elements are coded. Developers do not only get complete control but can also optimize any of their code to consistently improve loading times to make them as fast as possible while optimization tests are running.
Ominiconvert’s Explore also boasts a CDN cache bypass. That means you can make sure all your tests run to live right away, in comparison to some of your users seeing older cached versions of your website, which is apparently bad news in reliable data marketing.
Another great feature boasted by Omniconvert is its stacked testing. Stacked testing sets the winning variations from the completed test as the default settings so that you can continue running the tests and collect more reliable data and ensure that all your results are reliable for your firm.
Omniconvert’s pricing starts at $167/month and features up to 50,000 tested visitors for every month and maxes out at $4,658/month with up to five million users to be tested per month. Omniconvert’s prices couldn’t be more candid and, moreover, their features are not limited in any of the given plans. You are simply required to pay based on the number of site visitors you test on your site per month.
Aside from AB testing, Omniconvert also features some advanced segmentation, excellent personalization features, web surveys, and triggered overlays. You also get the freedom to integrate your software with Omniconvert’s other for analytics tools, customer care, and automation.
Crazy Egg is among the most popular web optimization tool for AB testing, personalization tools heat mapping, and usability testing tools among other marketing and optimization features. The Crazy Egg AB testing tool enables you to test different versions of every page on your website by simply adding a snippet of code to all the pages you intend to carry out tests on.
- AB Testing
- Usability testing tools
- Heat mapping
- Personalization tools
You can also use Crazy Egg to test your landing pages and other essential areas of your website to marketing. The merit that comes with this approach is that the majority of your website’s traffic will be tunneled through the better variation by the Crazy Egg algorithm automatically, you, therefore, will not need to frequently check in on the test frequently or be concerned that the content your audience is currently accessing on your website is an outdated and less effective version.
Crazy Egg also enables your team to build AB tests without necessitating any coding experience. Crazy Egg automatically sends more traffic to the most optimized version of your test once it successfully recognizes it as the winner. This offers the optimizer intuitive conversion tracking and convenient reporting tools. If you are currently working in a small or medium enterprise, Crazy Egg is undeniably one of the tools you should put to consideration.
AB Tasty is also among the most popular software solutions for testing user engagements and for efficient content personalization tools. It was originally designed for expert marketers. Paul Rouke has quite a lot on the subject, so am not going to spend too much ink.
AB Tasty is the most reasonably priced AB testing tools, in my experience, deliver the most value in the long-term priced, allowing even startup firms to spend the greater portion of their budget on testing effectively and developing an efficient and effective testing process.
- AB Testing
- Multivariate Testing
- Funnel Testing
- Data Insights
- Content Personalization tools
In this regard, my favorite tool would have to be something like AB Tasty, which is not only priced sensibly but also boasts a powerful platform that effectively facilitates a wide range of testing. AB Tasty covers everything from simple interactive tests to innovative tests, together with strategic tests that if carried out efficiently, can help develop a business proposition and strengthen a firm’s market positioning.
I would mainly recommend the AB Tasty platform to the following types of companies:
1. Firms that are just starting to invest in conversion optimization: These firms are not looking to break the bank. AB Tasty won’t overwhelm your optimization team with add-ons you that are not helpful when your firm is just starting out. However, they do have the potential to match your firm’s progress as you continue to scale up your testing output.
2. Firms that have for a while been investing in conversion optimization but need to start investing a higher portion of their budgets on skills, people, processes and methodology in order to efficiently deliver a greater impact on ROI
3. Firms frustrated by significant investment of money in website and enterprise testing platforms that are not being used anywhere near their potential and are consistently taking away from the budget used to invest in skills, people and for developing intelligent processes for strategic website and application optimization
Created and run by Freshworks, Freshmarketer is the ultimate automation and CRO tool, which offers a full suite of marketing and sales tools in addition to AB testing in separate software products that seamlessly integrate with each other.
As an AB testing system, Freshmarketer offers a visual platform for designing AB tests with split URL tests via its WYSWYG editor and reporting interface. Despite the fact that this is not the most advanced AB testing tool available, it is easily one of the most straightforward to use and certainly among the most affordable.
- A/B testing
- Split testing
- Visual editor
- Dynamic heatmaps
- User feedback
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Integration with Freshworks apps
Freshmarketer also offers you heatmaps with session replays that will help you any diagnose UX issues and determine particular areas that actually need testing on your website. Freshmaketer’s Funnel analytics tool will help you track all your visitor drop-offs and identify precisely where conversions are cutting off too. That alone gives more than the basic tools you will require to identify problems on the website and consistently run experiments to figure out any potential solutions.
As an entry-level platform for conversion optimization, Freshmarketer is one of the best options for newcomers or any online business with a limited budget.
Freshmarketer also offers you some basic personalization features with software to capture customer feedback through triggered messages and polls. And, to top it all off, there are some solid automation features on the platform for you although you are required to synchronize the platform with Freshworks’ CRM (Freshsales) or any other customer supported relationship management software to get the most of them.
My name is Nate, a digital nomad and the founder of this blog, Nomads HQ. I am a SaaS expert with 4 digital nomad visas and 8 years of experience using 50+ different web tools ranging from podcast, web hosting, email marketing, and much more. I previously managed a team offering support services to a large conglomerate that utilized tens of software solutions. I now run this blog full-time and when I am not reviewing or testing software, I enjoy riding bikes and supporting my clients achieve internet success. You can reach me directly at email@example.com