Kyle Tonniges

Kyle Tonniges

Brand & Communications Strategist

Why A/B Testing Needs to Be Part of Your Email Program

February 22, 2017

You may or may not have a pretty good handle on optimizing your email marketing campaigns. If you’re managing unsubscribes, watching deliverability and using effective landing pages, you’re definitely on the right track. But could your email marketing be even better? Always yes.

A/B testing is a simple concept, but the possibilities are endless. You can (and should) test anything from a headline to a call-to-action to forms and more. Continuously testing and adjusting your content can uncover some pretty interesting insights about your subscribers and, if you optimize accordingly, will improve your email marketing efforts.

Here are four things to keep in mind when A/B testing your emails:

1. Test one thing at a time. It’s tempting to test multiple factors at once, particularly if you’re not sending out a large number of emails regularly. But you won’t know what worked if you have multiple variables. Was it the subject line? The photo? The landing page? Stick to one thing at a time so you can accurately measure your results.

2. Consider the time. Are you sending your emails on the same day at the same time? Changing it up can make a bigger difference than you think. If your audience is young professionals, you probably don’t want to schedule an email to go out at 9 a.m. on a Monday when they’re trying to catch up from the weekend. Use the timing of your email as a testing variable by sending the same email out at two different times.

3. Define success and measure your efforts. Three things you should take into account are your open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates. Which subject line led to a better open rate? Did email A or email B get more click-throughs? Did visitors take the desired steps once they got to your website?

4. Don’t forget the landing pages! Once you feel good about a particular email creative, try testing different landing pages. Does the position of the main image make a difference if it’s on the right or left side of the page? Are you using the right call to action? Do you have too much text? These are just a few items you can test.

Once you’ve got a plan in place, stick to it. Continue to test and refine as you learn more about your audience and watch your engagement rates rise!

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