Tips for A/B Email Testing

A/B Email Testing

A/B email testing is an essential feature of an email marketing strategy that can improve conversion rates and sales if done right. Implementing split testing can help determine what emails are resonating with your subscribers and getting them to take action. Here are 5 tips to help you get started:

1. Decide what variables you want to test. There are many variables within an email campaign that, if changed, can make a huge impact on your results. The following are just a few email campaign variables that you may want to test:

Calls to action (copy, color, location, size)
Fonts (colors, type, and sizes)

2. Test subject lines. Your subject line is what grabs the reader’s attention. It plays a huge role as to whether your email gets opened – the essential first steps in getting to the sale. Different subject line themes may generate different response rates. Test the following themes to see what resonates with your subscribers:

Curiosity: questions, riddles and unfinished thoughts
Fun: humor, puns, and plays on words
Direct: clear and to the point

3. Wait for your data. You shouldn’t be checking your stats every few hours after deployment as early responders are more likely to respond in a distinct manner than subscribers that may take some time to find and open your email. Always wait for at least 24-48 hours before analyzing your stats.

4. Test deployment times. Not all subscribers respond better to emails sent on Monday morning at 10am. Segments of your data may respond differently to emails sent on certain days, or maybe even certain times of the day. For example, if your list consists of retirees you may want to test various times of the day instead of specific days of the week. To better gauge the optimal time to send email you should test these variations:

Day of week
Time of day

5. Do decide how to measure success. You can measure the success of your email campaigns by your conversion rate, click through rate or open rate. When choosing the metrics for evaluating success, be sure to consider what results you’re interested in getting. For example, let’s say you’re testing two subject lines, and your primary goal is to determine which one derives the highest open rate. A few days after deployment, you check your stats and find that subject line A had an open rate of 15 percent, compared to an open rate of 23 percent for subject line B. Subject line A would be the winner and should be used for the remainder of subscribers.

A/B testing is a continual process and is never final. Constantly test your email marketing campaigns to ensure you’re improving your response rates.

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