The Best A/B Testing Tools in 2016

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When considering 3rd party conversion tools like PriceWaiter, the best tool you have at your disposal is data.

As much data as you can manage to generate.

Bottom line, if you truly want to be sure that a SaaS platform is working for you, then you should A/B test said platform.If you generate better results with the platform than without, you’re in good shape.

Any platform worth its weight will encourage you to test and generate data.  If a company’s team pushes you away from testing, then that should be a red flag.  Why wouldn’t they want you to try their platform in comparison with the volume that you were already generating?

At PriceWaiter, we encourage A/B testing. In fact, we’re so used to it that we’ve ended up being the source of data for several platforms, many times over.

Here is a list of our top 3 favorite A/B testing platforms and why:

1. Google Analytics – Content Experiments

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We’ve listed GA as our number one recommendation for two main reasons: 1) It’s free, and 2) You likely are already using Google Analytics.

It doesn’t take much to explore the content experiments side of GA.

The Good:

  • It’s free!

Enough said.

  • Easy to implement

You’ve already got a GA account.  All you need to do is navigate to the experiments wizard to launch a new test.

  • Easy to launch an experiment

Once you’ve navigated to the wizard, simply choose your experiment objectives, choose your original and variable page, copy and paste a line of code to your site, and launch.

  • Ease and familiarity of reporting

You’ve already been looking at conversion tracking, traffic data, and referral data within GA. You know how their reporting, menus, and data are organized. Adding one more bit of functionality does not bring with it a steep learning curve.

The Bad:

  • Lacks a visual editor

The content you chose to edit has to be imported.  There is no way to make any changes from within the platform

  • Closed Universe

You’ll pull in data that is available directly from your site to Google. If you have other 3rd party tracking or data sources, that data is not importable

  • Raw Data

If you need help coming to conclusions, this might not be the best choice for you. GA will present you data, but will not summarize or analyze it for you.

2. Optimizely

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Optimizely is the elder statesman and go-to for entry to mid level A/B and multivariat testing. With affordable packages and powerful tools available should you graduate to them, they are a great option for people just entering the world of A/B testing.

The Good

  • Cost effective ($49/mo) 

Perfect for beginner-level site managers looking to test alternative landing pages

  • Industry standard reputation

Optimizely is arguably the most well known A/B testing platform on the market having been around since 2008

  • Bang for the Buck

Although their entry level plans are geared at small operations, don’t be fooled into thinking they don’t have some firepower when it comes to functionality.

The Bad

  • Closed Universe

As with Google Analytics, Optimizely doesn’t allow you to import data from other sources.

  • Multivariate testing becomes more expensive – $499/mo

Once you get into Optimizely’s more powerful tools, you’ll need to up your subscription to their Gold plan.

3. Unbounce

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The same price as Optimizely (for basic functionality), Unbounce is creator friendly and provides more integrations, as well as a focus on landing pages specifically.

The Good:

  • Over 80 template based options to help with design

Even if you don’t have a working knowledge of HTML, Unbounce can help you create special landing pages and test between them, quickly.

  • Integrations

Unbounce allows you to tether with other platforms to help drive data, such as Zoho, Salesforce, ConstantContact, and more.

  • Focus

Unbounce focuses on landing page optimization and nothing else.  While this could be seen as a negative by many users, they do landing page optimization very well.

The Bad

  • Focus

If you are looking for more functionality than simple A/B testing for landing pages, Unbounce isn’t for you.  We’d suggest something more along the lines of Optimizely.

  • If you have a design team, they may want more control

Visual editors and templates are great for a small operation that needs help in the design department. If you have a full time designer on staff who has at least some capacity to work on landing pages, they probably won’t be a fan of canned templates. If you have a full design department, expect scowls.

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