You know that A/B testing your digital marketing tactics is proven to increase conversions and boost your bottom line. However, if the tests don’t match your business goals, you may be wasting your time.
Here’s a quick guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your email A/B tests —and some inspiration for the future.First, Identify Friction Points
Unsure of what to test? Start at the friction points—or where your email subscribers fall off when interacting with your email. Is your open rate below industry average? Consider testing your subject line or preview text. Low click through rate? Test different offers or calls to action to see what entices your audience.
Run tests that solve for friction points and align with your business goals. For example, if you need to increase your open rate, you may consider testing:
- Subject Line
- Preview Text
- Personalization in Subject Line
To test click-through rate variables consider:
- Content types (single offer, roll up of blog posts, testimonials, etc.)
- Layout of the message (single column vs. two column, different placement for specific elements)
- Closing Text
Are your users clicking through but falling off once they hit your landing page? You can apply similar tests to your landing pages so that you can optimize your user experience for more conversions.
Keep it Simple
It is best to run one test at a time. That way, you know which specific variable is impacting your open rate, click through rate, and conversions. If you test multiple variables at once, you may not know what is responsible for the change in user behavior, and you’ll be back to making educated guesses.
How Many Email Subscribers Should I Test?
The larger the sample size, the more accurate the results. Test your entire list whenever possible. However, if you have to limit your pool, make sure to choose a random list of users to avoid skewing your results.
Most email service providers have built-in tools for A/B testing. We service our clients with Mailchimp, one of the most powerful email platforms available.
If your email campaign software doesn’t have specific support for A/B campaigns, you can set one up manually. Simply split your current list into two separate lists, and then send one version of your email campaign to one list and the other to the other list and track the results on spreadsheets.
The Bottom Line
Avoid conducting random tests—find the friction points and set up one test at a time to help you diagnose the problem.
Keep it simple. You don’t need to find all of the answers at once. Simple A/B tests can be done quickly, and you can iterate on small tests over time, rather than overhauling your email style guide every year, quarter, etc.
Need more inspiration for tests? Here's a list of 150+ possible A/B tests compiled by Email Monday to keep your email iterations moving forward.
Is your email marketing working for you? Download our guide to email lead nurturing to find out.