A/B Testing For E-mail Marketing: “It’s as Easy as A, B?

Everybody with an e-mail inbox is familiar with e-mail marketing campaigns. Every day, you open your inbox and find a fresh batch of alluring e-mail subject topics demanding for your attention. Which will you click? And which will you delete?

For anybody who utilises e-mail marketing, the questions are harder to answer. How can I improve the effectiveness of my e-mails, boost open rates and increase clicks rates? There must be some way to test e-mail campaigns, right?

Of course there is!

Introducing A/B Testing

A/B testing for e-mail marketing campaigns involves sending two e-mails to two different groups from your mailing list to monitor the success rate of each. The first group receives one e-mail: let’s call it version A. At the same time, the second group receives another e-mail: which is slightly difference from the first: version B.

You then monitor the success of both e-mails. The success rate can be measured by the amount of e-mails opened or the number of click-throughs. The most successful is then sent to the remaining contacts on your mailing list.

Sounds simple, right? It is. And it’s very effective. However, there are a few things that you can do to optimise your testing.

A. Test one thing at a time

To determine what works and what doesn’t you should test one thing at a time. You can test virtually any aspect of your campaign.

If you’re concerned about the number of people opening the e-mails, test something they will see without opening the e-mail. A perfect example would be the subject line or how the e-mail displays the “from” name.

If you want to find out how to improve click throughs, try different offers such as 10% off in version A and free delivery in version B. Try changing the format of the content. You can even try a linked image in one and linked text in the other.

Test as many aspects as you like – just make sure you test one at a time! If you test everything at once, you won’t know exactly what worked.

B. Make sure no subscriber receives copies of both e-mails

For the test to work, you need to send the e-mails to different groups of contacts. No subscriber should receive a copy of both e-mails. You’ll end up sending conflicting messages and overwhelming subscribers.

For the best measurement, each group should be made up of at least 100 names. Once you get the results, you can then send the best option to the remainder of your contact list.

C. Send both e-mails at the same time

Your test won’t be accurate if you send version A at a different time to e-mail B. As the posted time could be a contributing factor to the success or failure.

Having said that, this could be something you choose to test. By sending out the same e-mail on different days or at different times, you could discover the best timing for your e-mail campaigns. If you do choose to test this, you must remember point B above, and keep the other factors the same.

Can we help?

If your business needs a reliable source of new contacts, we can help at Selectabase. We provide local and national business and consumer mailing lists. Alternatively, you can find more information about Selectabase and read feedback about our service.