Firstly, we will start with, what IS A/B testing? An A/B test or a split test is when you show a segment of your audience one version of something, and another segment of a different version and then allow the test to determine a “winner” and send the rest of the list/audience the winning combination. There are huge opportunities within web pages, email marketing, and other advertising strategies to use A/B tests to ensure optimum results.
Well, you might choose to A/B test your email newsletters based on click rate or open rate. It depends on the goal of this particular email. Do you want to drive traffic, increase awareness and recognition or something else? Keep in mind which is most important for you and remember, if no one opens it, then no one has the option to click! But also, you don’t want to spend all of that time optimising to only have them not engage with the material. Nonetheless, open rate is a good one to start with, focusing on A/B testing subject lines to get the most user impressions. Most importantly,
A/B testing your subject line
Most email campaign software will allow you to A/B test subject lines. For example, you might want to compare “10% off today only for 2018 couples!” with “VIPs receive 10% off today”. You may even want to add a third subject line to test. Yes, that’s right, you can A/B/C test too! Testing your subject lines and getting a good idea of what works for your audience is really important, as you want your email list to see what you are sending out to them and potentially click through to your website or reply with an enquiry to that you can convert them.
A/B testing your content
This is a very important one that you may want to test! If you are torn between two types of newsletter styles, maybe between a new template or sticking with the same consistent style, then why not see which one converts more? Maybe you want to trial two different email offers? You can do so with this A/B test. Remember though, it’s best to only test one element at a time so that you can get a clear result and a better understanding of what the data is telling you about your audience. So even if you change the look of your template for an A/B test, all of the content should remain the same.
A/B testing your from name
Maybe you want to try out adding some personalisation to your business? You could try “Lucy from Easy Weddings” against “Easy Weddings” or try testing a couple of different staff members names to see which resonates with your audience. Just don’t take it personally if your name doesn’t win!
A/B testing your send time
You could test between sending at 9am or at 11am or whichever times you find that your email campaigns are opened the most. If your business is newer or you don’t have a lot of data on your send times, it makes a lot of sense to test this as well.
Let some time pass before judging, because the first 30 mins of the A/B test may produce vastly different results to the results three days later. Remember that not everyone is waiting around looking at their email! Give your audience time to engage with the content.