6 min read

A/B Test Your Email Campaigns Like a Boss

Email marketing. It’s the most important channel for businesses and brands to continually get their names in front of past and present clients. It’s consistent, targeted, effective, and inexpensive. More than half of the world’s population depends on email marketing as a main source of revenue.

Dan Bowen

Dan Bowen

Founder + CEO
Published: September 18, 2015
Last Updated: May 16, 2024
(Digital Strategy/Digital Marketing)
A/B Split Test Your Email Campaigns Like a Boss

No matter the size of your business, understanding the behavior and preferences of your customers is crucial. A/B split testing, especially in the context of email marketing campaigns, can be an essential tool in your marketing toolbox. Below, we highlight some key facts about A/b split testing you might not have known:

Understanding A/B Split Testing in Email Marketing 

Delving into the world of email marketing may feel like venturing into the unknown, but there's a secret weapon you need to understand – A/B split testing. This tool is about comparing two versions (Version A and Version B) of an email to see which one performs better. 

Human Psychology

If A/B testing is the science of email marketing, then human psychology is the art. Marketers bombard consumers with hundreds of decisions on a regular basis – including by email. It’s nearly impossible for most consumers to read every email in their inbox. As an alternative, consumers skim and delete – focusing only on the messages that stand out. The open, click, or conversion often depends more on emotion and gut instinct than logic. Human psychology thus plays a major role in optimizing an email campaign. Ready to optimize your next email campaign for conversions? Here’s five ways to a/b test your email campaigns like a boss.

Why A/B Split Testing Is Essential 

A/B split testing is like having a dependable compass guiding your marketing campaign through the digital world. The goal is simple: to refine your emails for optimum performance. You wouldn't go on a journey without checking your map and this is essentially that – proper navigation through your email marketing campaign. 

5 Ways to A/B Split Test Your E-Mail Campaigns

1. The Subject Line

A great subject line could be the only thing standing between an email open and delete. The problem? Different subject lines resonate with different people. Knowing what someone wants or needs at an exact moment in time is tough to predict. But then again, you don’t have to – because you can A/B test. Use one subject line and it’s possible to stumble upon good fortune. But cycle through multiple subject lines and you take dumb luck out of the equation.

2. Delivery Time

Gone are the days when consumers opened emails strictly from home or work. Mobile technology made it possible to reach consumers on the train, at the beach, or lying in bed. It also means we are opening emails throughout the day – not just before and after work.

  • Are your biggest leads sifting through email messages on the train ride home?
  • Do your email marketing campaigns reach more people on weekdays or the weekend?
  • Is your most engaged user on a smartphone while watching Shark Tank on TV?

These questions are critical – and the only way to know is to test. Optimizing your email marketing campaign is often a matter of experimenting with delivery times around the clock.

3. Email Message Length

Not everyone shares the same perspective on marketing. Half your team might insist people have the attention span of a goldfish – and recommend short and sweet emails. The other half might believe modern consumers want valuable informative in length and detail – and suggest miniature essays. Nothing settles a marketing team argument like good old fashioned A/B testing. How can you find the optimal number of sentences, paragraph densities, and call-to-action placements? You could research email message length methodologies, choose one and hope for the best. Or you could A/B test short and long messages to optimize click-through-rates.

4. Urgency

FoMO – or fear of missing out – is human psychology marketing at its finest. Nothing encourages subscribers to take action like missing out on a valuable opportunity. Deadlines and “last chance” messages force consumers to make immediate judgment calls. Messages without urgency instead cause consumers to procrastinate and potentially forget about your email. “Yes” or “no” messages are ideal for communicating urgency. Let the consumer think too long or hard and you risk losing their attention. Keep it simple – and A/B test different deadline lengths to optimize email marketing transactions.

5. Format and Design

Obviously, your target audience prefers a full-length, company-branded newsletter over a short, plain-text message. Right? Not exactly. Actually, potential customers could prefer either one. A simple A/B test for different formats and designs eliminates the guessing game. Testing engagement helps you discover exactly the type of email your target audience wants. Track down the best format and design – and your marketing team can build around it.

Collecting and Analyzing Data 

Following implementation, the results will inform how you proceed. Using platforms like HubSpot, you can easily track the success of Version A versus Version B and see which performed better. This data isn't just about immediate metrics - it's about identifying trends and understanding what resonates with your audience. Once you get a clear picture, you can tweak the less successful elements of your marketing emails to align with what works. 

Repeat, Refine, and Improve 

Here comes the most important piece of advice - test often. This isn’t a one-time process; it’s a cycle of constant learning, adjusting, and improving. Incorporate regular A/B testing into your strategy for sustained growth and improved engagement.

In the end, A/B split testing is a trailblazer for a successful and impactful email marketing campaign. It navigates you through the complexity of the digital landscape, allowing you to forge a path to marketing success.

 And there you have it - your quick primer to the fascinating world of A/B split testing for email marketing campaigns, loaded with informative facts. As you continue reading, we'll delve into these facts in more detail, offering you a comprehensive understanding of this practice. Stick around!

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