3 Things Getting Married Taught Me About Testing in Higher Education Marketing Campaigns

Best Practices to Apply to Your Marketing Efforts

In my late 20s, as many people do, I would hear friends and other singles around me talk about their dream wedding. What colors would be featured? How many people would be in attendance? Just what would the entire day look and feel like?


It’s a shame there wasn’t a way to “test” the process so they could get a better idea of what the entire day would look and feel like. Maybe that’s just how my mind works. I live in a world where testing is a part of my everyday work life. Where A/B splits on web pages, ad spots, emails and other marketing projects help determine a winner and not-as-much-a-winner.


Because, back to my single friends’ dilemmas, weddings can be winners and they can be not-as-much-winners. Which reminds me of my own recent wedding and the three lessons it taught me … about testing:


1. Churches, Destinations, Justice of the Peace, Oh MY!


Amid wedding planning, I went through so many options concerning where we should celebrate our union. Being from a sizeable family, I wanted to include as many people as possible but still be cost-effective. The same theory can be applied to testing efforts!


No matter how large or small your website, choosing the right tools is going to directly impact your success. This blog from Userzoom, 10 Things to Consider When Choosing Usability Testing Software, is a great place to get some insight into the kinds of questions you need to ask when you’re researching testing tools for your website. It looks at testing approaches … the channels you may want to use in your marketing efforts … and, yes, it also takes a look at space (data storage) needs.


2. That Dress Looks Great … on Someone Else

I was not the little girl who had been dreaming her whole life about her wedding, let alone the dress I would be marrying my forever love in. A-line, trumpet, ballgown, satin, beading and lace—I had no idea what I wanted. Or even where to start!


It’s understandable. Walking into a dress shop can be extremely overwhelming. I tried on a few dresses that looked great on the rack and I felt were pretty on me. But a few short weeks later, looking at the pictures, I found I was unrecognizable. It wasn’t me. Eventually, I saw the dress on another bride. And I thought, ‘Man, that looks great on her.”


As you’re doing competitive analysis or gathering information for your website to come up with some testing ideas to try, remember that what works on someone else’s website will not always be flattering on yours.


For inspiration, check out this blog from VentureHarbour, 12 Homepage AB Test Ideas Backed by UX Research.



3. The Wedding on Pinterest is Gorgeous, but It Doesn’t Have to Be Yours


Everyone has different styles, preferences and color schemes. What works for one individual’s vision may not work for you—and it doesn’t have to!


The beauty of your wedding is that it is yours. The same goes for the testing for your website. While resources—such as this blog from Adobe Creative Cloud, Best Practices for Usability Testing in UX Design—may suggest elements that can be tested, just remember there are a lot of different factors that can all play a part, from the amount of traffic coming to the site to the specific demographic data of your users.

Don’t let someone else’s non-relevant best practices get mixed up in your wedding … er, website testing strategy.


Aleisha Gilliam Olatunde, Inbound Marketing Strategist