Using A/B Split Testing to Optimize Your Email Campaign
How do you know if an email campaign is working?
Start with an email program that makes use of A/B testing, which will optimize your email campaign and convert prospects into subscribers by employing a more systemic approach.
When thinking about A/B testing – sometimes called split testing – the idea is to determine which subject lines, offers, layouts and designs work best to lure subscribers.
When implementing an A/B test, start with a goal, such as increasing the number of people who link to your landing page from 5 to 10 percent. Or perhaps your goal is to convince your recipients to subscribe to your offers and newsletters. Regardless, have a goal in mind before starting.
Planning an A/B Testing Campaign
To optimize your email campaign through A/B testing, start with G-Lock Software EasyMail7, a program that allows you to split and quarter recipient lists, deploy different subject lines and build HTML emails. The software allows you to time delivery to different days and time slots. A/B testing is relatively easy with EasyMail7.
Now, let's look at a few scenarios where A/B can help improve conversion rates:
Subject lines. Tinkering with the subject line makes the most sense because it requires little additional work to test. You could run a test of two offers – one for free shipping, another for a discount. You can add personalization directly into the subject line with the person's first name. Getting someone to open an email starts with an appealing subject line. Test your two best pitches to see what works.
Sender name. Subscribers are leery of emails from unfamiliar companies or names. Some people like to see a person's name and their organization. Others prefer just the organization's name. You can conduct tests to see what works best.
Timing. To test your timing, break up your lists and send your emails at different times and on different days. This way, you will get a sense of what timing scores the most interest. There may be no clear trend, or you may find that Tuesday afternoon seems to be the most attractive time period.
Content. This demands more work and design from your team, but you could break it up and have the same subject line and design on one set of emails, and a different one on a second test. The emails could use different fonts and images, for example. A bigger open rate on one of those combination subject line-content pieces could optimize your email campaign.
Subscriber lists. You want to make these tests as random as possible. Don't cherry-pick your lists. Split your list in half and send each one different pitches and see what happens.
Understanding the Results
Data isn't any good without understanding. You can monitor your A/B testing by the minute or hour to see who is opening emails with which subject lines. You'll also want to pay attention to how many people have clicked over to your website to sign up for a newsletter or learn more about a discount.
You will want to look at which email programs your recipients use and how the emails performed in those environments. You will also want to see how many recipients opened emails on mobile platforms, and you'll need to learn which days and times garner the best open rates.
Other metrics exist, of course, but these suggestions present a few starting points to help you begin A/B testing today.
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I have used several versions of EasyMail and recently upgraded my version to 7.0 and we bought several copies for the company I work for as well. The cost is very reasonable and the tech support is prompt. Updates arrive frequently.
I love the fact that my mass emails can be highly personalized and still look like regular emails, vs. emails from Constant Contact etc. I can also go into the HTML code and tweak things if they are not right. We use Amazon Web Service SES which is very affordable. A great product for those who have reasonable computer skills to set everything up.
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