You’ve heard from us on many occasions that A/B testing is a great tool to optimize your landing pages. We’ve told you that for each test you run, you learn something new about your audience – something that helps you reach them more effectively.
You’ve learned what it takes to meet their needs while improving your conversion rate optimization.
The same holds true for email marketing – A/B testing is a good thing. It’s the key to your email conversion rate.
So, today, we tell you why you should be conducting A/B testing on your email marketing and some best tips for doing it.
What is AB Testing?
Just the mention of A/B testing might sound complicated and quite daunting. But, we’re here to tell you that it’s not as hard as it sounds.
A/B testing is the method you use to test your best guess about human behavior. In other words, you are testing what you think they’ll respond to.
Using your email platform, you can perform these “split” tests quite easily testing things such as headlines, send times, content and images.
Let’s simplify A/B testing. For example, you’ve written a blog post, you’re ready to send it out through email, and you’ve chosen two images. You want to know which image is more compelling for people, so you set your split test with the same content but two different images.
In your email app, you set your A/B test to learn which one garners more opens. The app chooses a winner, and your winning email is off to the rest of your list. It’s just that easy.
You’ve just used an A variant and a B variant as a split test to gauge the response of various headlines, calls to action or images.
If you’ve ever wondered what the best open times are for your emails, you can also test send times.
The best part of email A/B testing is it requires very little effort on your part. You pick the one item you want to test, set it up, choose how much of your list you want for test subjects, and then you let the program do the heavy lifting for you in determining which test is the winner.
A/B Testing Best Practices
As easy as A/B testing is using various email platforms, there are few general best practices to guide you through the process.
First, you want to have a reason behind what you’re testing. Don’t just test for the sake of testing. Ask yourself what you’d like to improve. Is it open rate or click through rate?
Why are you testing? Do you want to learn what subject lines engage your audience? How about personalization? Do you want to know if the personal touch gets more opens? Does your audience respond to images with people, landscapes or humorous images? Does your audience respond better in the morning or evening? Should you use numbers in your subjects?
These are just some ideas when it comes to the purpose of your A/B test. You can pick any, just be sure to pick one reason why.
Next, you want to be purposeful in your test. Make sure that the item you’re testing is bold. For example:
- Test an image of a woman and an image of a man.
- Test a red call to action button against a blue one.
- Test a subject line that is personal against one that includes stats.
When you are very deliberate with the items you are testing, you can use a smaller sample size. In addition, we recommend only testing two variants. Some programs will allow you to choose more, but two gives you better results.
Here are some ideas of things you can test:
- Call to action
- Subject line
- Testimonials – included or not included
- Layout of email
- Body Text
- Your Offer – for example, you might offer free shipping in one email and 20% off in another.
- Send time (change hour or even day)
Before acting on future emails from the result of your last A/B test, make sure your results are statistically significant.
What do we mean? Well, if test A nets 2535 opens while test B nets 2756 opens, that’s not much of a difference. Be careful here when making a decision on test results.
While your program chose a “winner,” a small statistical difference doesn’t necessarily mean one is that much better than the other. Keep testing until you get results that statistically meaningful.
Once you’ve done the test, it can be easy to forget about it. Some marketers test the email and leave it at that. But, what if you learned that your email subscribers preferred images of women in your A/B test, yet in subsequent emails you used images of men?
That isn’t a good use of your testing data. If they preferred images of women in one email, continue to test this theory for a few more emails. If women win out, use images of women in future emails.
A/B testing is the key to emails that convert. Improving your conversion rates is after all one of the main goals of your email marketing.
A/B testing gives you the ability to improve not only the email you are testing, but the performance of all future emails.
It’s the best way to make measurable improvements with your email marketing. A/B testing gives you statistical data on the tactics that work with your chosen audience.
Keep track of your testing results and make a list so you can continue to test to see if you get the same results.
Your email A/B testing lets you reach your marketing goals while improving your email open rate, click through rate and conversion rate.
Each time you get statistically significant data, and act on it, you are one step closer to your goals.
It is important to continue testing on an ongoing basis. People and their needs change daily, so it’s important to test and keep track of your results.
One great strategy to use with your email marketing is linking email articles to your website. Are you ready to handle the traffic with optimized landing pages?
If you are ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by using email marketing to skyrocket growth among your current customers, that’s great! We’re here to help you optimize your landing pages to increase email conversions. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.
With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.
If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.
We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.
Image: Lachlan Donald