How to A/B Test Email Marketing Campaigns for Better Results?

Email A/B testing — Gmail Window
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
  • What is A/B testing & Why you need it?
  • What can you test?
  • How to A/B test your emails?
  • What are some of the best practices you can follow?

What is A/B testing & Why you need it?

A/B testing example 01-Obama/Biden
Source: https://www.reliablesoft.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Obama-AB-Test.png

What can you test?

Subject lines

A/B testing subject length example 02-Topshop
Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/subjectline.jpg

Photos/Images

A/B testing image use example 03-SitePoint
Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/SitePoint-AB-test-email.jpg

Personalization

A/B testing personalization example 04-DropBox
Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Company-Personalization-in-Email-Copy.jpg

Choice of words

  • Use this voucher code to get up to 25% off your next purchase
  • Get up to 25% off your next purchase at Walmart

Call to action (CTA)

A/B testing CTA example 05-Sephora
Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Sephora-CTa-button-AB-test.jpg
  • Button vs. text
  • Button content

Layout

A/B testing layout example 06- Freshbooks-SmugMug
Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Freshbooks-SmugMug-Visuals.jpg
  • Length of your content: Some users like to read more, some like to read less.
  • Visual and graphics: Some users prefer visuals to explain, some like to rely on content.
  • Delivery time: What time of the week and day are your users free to interact.

How to A/B test your emails?

Step 1. Choose what you want to test

  • Subject line
  • CTA
  • Delivery time
  • Personalization
  • Why am I writing this email?
  • Who am I writing to?
  • What do I want users to do after reading my email?
  • What metric will I use to measure the results? (example: open rates)

Step 2. Determine how you’ll measure your success

Step 3. Choose your audience

What are some of the best practices you can follow?

Start with a game plan

  • We believe personalizing the email body with the user’s name will help our email stand out from the rest and increase the open rates.
  • We believe using an image instead of just text will engage the readers more efficiently and help them perform our desired action.

Pick your battles

  • Impact: How big of an impact will this change make?
  • Confidence: How confident are you that the change will be beneficial?
  • Ease: How easy is it to come up with the variations?

Keep a record

Final Words

  • Come up with a hypothesis for which areas you want to test
  • Prioritize what you want to test
  • Run tests on all critical elements of your email campaign
  • Use the right tools for an increased impact on your emails.

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I Design Stuff! — UX Designer & Writer

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Muhammad Ahmad

Muhammad Ahmad

I Design Stuff! — UX Designer & Writer

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