5 Email Marketing A/B Tests to Get You Started

Testing your email marketing campaigns is so important. On individual campaigns, it helps you refine your content and get better results. And in the long term, A/B testing can help you identify the types of subject lines and content that your subscribers respond to best. And since your subscriber list is totally unique to your business, only your own A/B tests can achieve that.

Of course, you knew all that. But sometimes it’s so difficult to get started with A/B testing – where will you find the time? How will you know what to test?

That’s where this article comes in. We’ve put together five useful, simple A/B tests you can run on your campaigns right now. Now there’s no excuse for not testing. Your days of A/B procrastination are finally over!

A quick recap on A/B testing

If you’re brand new to A/B testing, you might want to read our “beginner’s guide“. In a nutshell though, A/B testing is where you create two different versions of an email message: Version A and Version B.

As in any good science experiment, Version A and Version B are completely identical except for one variable. Your variable could be the main image, the size of your buttons… anything you think could affect your response rate. When you change just one variable, you can be much surer about its effect on campaign performance.

And that’s it! That’s A/B testing. Now here are the five tests for you to try.

#1 Try a new subject line

The subject line is the first thing your subscribers see. So it’s safe to say it has the biggest impact on your open rates.

If your campaign performance is stalling, try something fresh in the subject line. Go friendlier, be more direct, or whatever you think could work.

Now send equal numbers of messages with your old subject line (Version A) and your new subject (Version B). It’s that easy – and the results will give you new insight into your subscribers’ tastes.

#2 Change the call to action

Your call to action is super-important. Readers need to see it. They need to understand it. And they need to want to click on it.

Change you CTA in a way that makes it more effective. Simplify the text. Make the button bigger, or brighter. Move it higher up the messages, so readers see it earlier. Whatever you think will work. Now send Versions A and B, and check out the results!

#3 Try a new delivery time or day

It’s impossible to know the best time of day to send your emails without testing. Not all of your subscribers will work a 9 to 5. Maybe not all of them are on the same time zone. You need to A/B test your delivery times to really get to know your subscribers!

Send Version A of your A/B test at your usual time (or weekday). Then send Version B an hour (or day) later. Who knows what could happen!

#4 Change your greeting

Do your subscribers prefer an informal “Hi” at the top of your emails? Or do they demand to be respectfully addressed as “Dear Sir”? Do they prefer “John” or “Mr Smith”? You’ll never know if you don’t A/B test!

If you’re not already personalising email greetings with your subscribers’ names, now’s a great time to test that out too!

#5 Try a new image

Email is a visual medium – that’s why so many campaigns place a big featured image with a headline right at the top.

A/B testing is the perfect way to find out if your featured images are working – or if it’s time to change (or start using them). Try something bolder, classier, more colourful… anything that could appeal more to your readers.

Greater email marketing success awaits you – good luck!

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