Do You Need 100 Qualified Test Subjects For Your Next Marketing Test?

If you’re in marketing, there may have been a time when you needed to test the waters before taking a big leap. I know I’ve been there! When you’re ready to make that leap, your best bet is to conduct a test of your intended strategy with a handful of real-world people. 

The goal is for data from these experiments to inform your strategy, so that when it comes time for the big rollout, you can be confident in its success. But one of the most common questions we receive from marketing teams is “How many people do I need to find for my test?”

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Key Takeaways
1. Quality test subjects are essential for effective marketing tests.
2. Identifying and selecting the right participants can significantly impact test results.
3. The size of your test group should align with your specific objectives.
4. Ensuring test subjects meet qualification criteria enhances the validity of your findings.
5. Well-defined testing parameters contribute to accurate and actionable insights.

Test Subjects Don’t Have To Be Customers

Your existing customers are a great source of test subjects. But you don’t have to limit your pool of test subjects to customers, either. Your colleagues, friends, and family can also be great sources of quality feedback.

Even better: Test subjects don’t have to fit into any specific demographic or psychographic profile at all. They can be anyone who wants your product (or service). And if they’re not interested in what you’ve got? That’s fine too you want this test subject as well!

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Focus On Your Target Audience

Without a target audience, you’ll waste time and money testing a product that isn’t relevant to the people who would buy it. 

If you have too many customers in your sample group, then you’re losing out on valuable feedback from non-customers who can provide more detailed insights on what they like about the product and how they might use it more often in the future.

Don’t Forget Non-Customers When Recruiting Test Subjects

Don’t forget non-customers when recruiting test subjects. This can be a difficult concept to grasp because you’re so used to thinking of your customers as the only people who matter in the world of business. 

But if you’re trying to market a new product or at least one that no one has ever heard of before, then there are plenty of other people who need to be told about it and those people may not have come across your company before either. 

That’s why marketers and advertisers need to think outside their field and make sure they’re reaching out beyond their usual customer base and reaching out into new territory for information about what works (or doesn’t).

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Keep Your Test Subjects In The Loop About The Results

You might be surprised to learn that not everyone wants to know the results of marketing tests. Some people are happy to participate in a study and let you do your thing, and they’ll cross their fingers that you’re onto something good (or at least worth publishing). 

But others want regular updates on how things are going and just because they helped you out doesn’t mean they don’t deserve information about what happened with their input.

When it comes to getting feedback from test subjects, there are two important aspects: one for them and another for you. For starters, you must keep your participants updated on what’s happening as often as possible. 

This will help ensure that they stay interested in the process and give more input if needed; it’ll also motivate them further if positive results are being shared with them regularly!

As for why this is important for YOU specifically…well, simply put: without knowing what kinds of findings came out of a research project or experiment beforehand, how can anyone publish anything new? 

Someone needs access before all the dust settles just so they can write up some thoughts based on their original ideas/hypotheses versus whatever ended up happening during testing sessions after hours spent working through multiple rounds of data collection procedures.

While simultaneously trying both sides which might’ve taken weeks worth materializing into nothing…but now we’re here talking about this later anyway so maybe next time just think twice before assuming anything without actually asking someone directly!

Treat Your Test Subjects With Care And Respect

As a marketer, you know how important your test subjects are. They’ve helped you to create better products and better ads for the entire world.

Your test subjects are your most important partners in this process. They not only provide valuable feedback on what works (and what doesn’t), but they also give you their time and energy so that you can make better marketing decisions moving forward. 

Treating them with care and respect is essential if you want to build healthy relationships with those who help drive your company forward!

When it comes time for another round of testing, follow these tips to ensure that everyone involved in the process has a good experience:

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Don’t Use Gift Cards Or Cash As Bribes

Now that you know how to recruit subjects and what to offer them, let’s talk about what not to offer.

First of all, if your goal is to get people to complete an online survey, don’t use gift cards or cash as incentives. It’s frowned upon by marketing research professionals and the general public alike. 

It could even be illegal depending on where you live and who wants that kind of hassle? You’d be better off offering them a chance at winning something instead.

And if you want them to give feedback on their experience with your product or service once they’ve tried it out for themselves, then consider offering another chance at winning something instead of plain ol’ cash.

Of course, there are plenty more ways you can incentivize your test subjects without crossing any lines!

Make Sure You Know What Your Objectives Are Before Testing

Know what you want to achieve before you start.

This is the most important thing! Before you begin your testing, make sure that you know exactly what your objectives are. If there’s no clear goal in mind, then it’s impossible to measure how successful or unsuccessful the test was.

Know What You Are Testing

So many people get excited about running a marketing campaign and want to try everything at once but this can be overwhelming and confusing for consumers as well as testers (and even marketers). 

It’s better to focus on one or two changes at a time so that everyone involved can understand how they affect results and make informed decisions about future campaigns based on those results.

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Make Sure You Know Exactly How You Want To Execute Your Test Before You Ask Participants To Help

The first step in preparing for your test is to define the problem you want to solve. Defining the problem will help you determine what kind of solution you need and which metrics are important. 

It’s also important because it forces you to think about what your goals are, which can be a difficult thing to do if you’re used to focusing only on data. 

It may seem like a simple question, but investing time into defining this step is key it keeps the rest of your project on track and ensures that everyone involved knows exactly what they’re working toward.

A good metric should be specific enough that it can be tracked easily (and therefore measured) but flexible enough that it doesn’t limit the scope of what else could be learned from running an experiment. 

For example, The goal for a recent marketing test was “increase sales by 10%.” While this might seem like an achievable goal for some companies with strong brands or loyal customer bases.

It would have been unrealistic for a smaller company just to get started with e-commerce sales through Amazon Marketplace (and still wouldn’t necessarily guarantee success). 

On the other hand, if someone wanted their next marketing campaign’s main goal was “improve customer satisfaction,” then there would only ever be one way they could achieve success: to improve customer satisfaction!

Nothing Is More Important Than The Integrity Of The Test

Nothing is more important than the integrity of a test. The only way to get an accurate read on how effective your marketing campaign will be is to conduct it honestly and make sure that you don’t let any biases, outside influences, or assumptions affect the results.

You may think that people who are already interested in what you’re selling would automatically be better leads than those who aren’t. 

But this isn’t always true! Someone who has already expressed interest in your product might also be a huge pain in the neck because they won’t stop emailing you after hours demanding new features and updates that aren’t ready yet. 

When conducting these tests, it’s best not to make assumptions about what kind of results you’ll see based on how much someone likes or dislikes something because if someone likes something too much then they might not want anything else from another company; 

But if they dislike something too much then they may feel compelled to keep looking for options elsewhere anyway, which could mean lost revenue for both parties involved (even if there wasn’t any harm done).

No One Wants To Waste Their Time!

Before you start your next marketing test, remember the value of having a clear objective. If you don’t know what you want to learn from the test, then how will you know if it was successful?

When planning your next marketing test, make sure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. 

If there is any doubt about how things will proceed or who’s going to do what when people won’t feel comfortable taking part in it because they’ll worry they’re wasting their time. And nobody wants that!

Use Incentives That Tap Into Aspirational Branding, But Don’t Offer Anything That Can Be Bought Outright With Real Money

  • Don’t offer anything that can be bought with real money.
  • Don’t offer anything that can be bought with a gift card.
  • Don’t offer anything that can be bought with cash.
  • Don’t offer anything that can be bought with a coupon.
  • If you’re going to market a product, you need to make sure it’s going to sell before you spend the money making it

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Marketing Is A Risky Business

It’s not uncommon for brands to spend millions of dollars on advertising, only to discover that no one wants their product. This can be particularly frustrating when the ad campaign is so expensive that there’s no way to recover from it. 

The solution? Test your marketing ideas before you commit any more time or money to them, by gathering data from samples of potential customers.

You may already know how important it is to test your ads and landing pages before you send them out into the world but what about those who don’t? 

That’s why we’re here: To help you understand why testing is important, how much it costs, and how many tests are necessary before getting started with your next marketing project!


While it’s not strictly necessary to test with 100 qualified subjects, we hope this post has shown you that there are important advantages that come from testing your marketing materials on large sample size. 

The more people you have looking at and interacting with your content, the more reliable the results of their interactions will be. 

Having reliable data available is a powerful thing for marketers; we can use our data to optimize our efforts and make better decisions based on what it tells us about our audiences.

The real power in all this is that as long as you’re willing to keep learning and growing as a marketer, testing with a large sample size will help you stay on the cutting edge of marketing trends. 

You’ll never be left behind by new technology or developments in consumer behavior because your research will put you ahead of the curve!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on A/B testing and email marketing:

Adobe Experience League: A/B Testing Email Subject Lines Learn how to conduct A/B testing on email subject lines using Adobe Experience League’s comprehensive guide.

VWO: A/B Testing Guide VWO provides a detailed guide on A/B testing, offering insights into its benefits, methodology, and best practices.

WordStream: A/B Testing 101 Explore WordStream’s A/B Testing 101 to grasp the fundamentals of A/B testing and its application in marketing.


How does A/B testing work?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, involves comparing two versions of a webpage or content element to determine which performs better. Half of the audience sees version A, while the other half sees version B, and their interactions are analyzed to identify the more effective option.

What can I A/B test in email marketing?

In email marketing, you can A/B test various elements such as subject lines, email copy, call-to-action buttons, images, and sender names. These tests help optimize your emails for higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Is statistical significance important in A/B testing?

Yes, statistical significance is crucial in A/B testing. It ensures that the observed differences in performance between versions A and B are not due to chance. Statistical significance helps you make confident decisions based on reliable data.

How long should I run an A/B test?

The duration of an A/B test depends on factors like your audience size, traffic volume, and the desired level of statistical significance. Generally, it’s recommended to run tests until you gather a sufficient sample size to ensure the validity of the results.

Can A/B testing improve my conversion rates?

Absolutely. A/B testing allows you to identify which elements resonate better with your audience, leading to informed optimizations. By continually refining your content, you can enhance user experience and drive higher conversion rates over time.