Marketers of all kinds will tell you testing is a major part of running successful campaigns. If you want high ROI, you need to test your efforts. Measure results to see what’s working and what’s not. For email marketing, it’s a simple as running an A/B split test.
What’s A/B Testing?
An A/B test sends two versions of an email to contacts to see which is most effective. Version A is slightly different than version B. The results of the A/B test are used to tweak emails to impact deliverability and open rates.
With A/B testing, it is important to focus on a single change at a time. Like a science experiment, you should only change one variable at a time.
Test All The Things
Below, I’ve listed some ideas on what parts of your email you can change for an A/B test. Get your creative juices flowing so you can do some testing of your own.
• From Name and Sender Address
This is who the mailing was sent from. For example, Malika James at ITC is a from name, whereas email@example.com is the sender address.
You can test out different from names and email addresses to see which get the most opens. Some companies find emails with a person’s name work better than a generic Your Friends at... name.
• Subject Line
Subject lines are always worth testing. Of those polled, 64 percent of subscribers say the subject line is the first sign of whether they will open an email.
There are endless ways to change up your subject line. Try out differences in the length, using first names, or including relevant keywords.
• Calls to Action (CTAs)
You don’t send out emails just for fun, right? Your call to action should bring a contact toward your true goal of the email. Get a quote. Fill out a form. Take action. But, how well are your CTAs working?
Try changing the color of your CTA. Change where you put it in your email design. Adjust the size or shape of it and the words you’re using. Is your CTA a link or a button? What’s working best?
Content is important to converting your leads. Is the content of your email stimulating? Does it push contacts toward the end goal for your email?
Consider switching your content up and use that as your A/B test. Different fonts, font size, photos, and structure may lead to more conversions. You’ll only know if you test it out!
• Send Times
I can’t tell you the best time to send an email to your contacts. If anyone outside your organization claims they can, don’t believe them. The only way to figure it out is to test different send times.
Email marketing systems can learn when your contacts are most likely to open an email from you. Some, like AgencyBuzz, can even send emails based on the times best for your contacts.
Marketing trends vary, but some will be more effective with your audience than others.
First, don’t feel pressured to recreate the style of other companies’ emails! You can absolutely test to see how your contacts respond.
Try trends like gifs, plain text or html emails, and image-heavy content. It can be easy to get carried away with trendy email ideas. But, testing them can help you understand what is working best for your contacts.
What A/B tests have you run? Continue the discussion in the comments below.