Email marketing is seemingly the most trusted way for forward-thinking organizations looking to make an impact.
However, the question is, how do you determine what’s working, when everyone else is doing the same thing?
Undoubtedly, the answer is A/B testing.
An email marketing course can teach you in-depth about A/B testing which primarily has to do with designing a marketing email and subsequently creating a copy of the same to send out to two different groups. The effectiveness is determined by the number of responses received from each group and the information made available by the recipients.
You see, just about anyone can send out an email, but not every email you send out can do the trick. In other words, landing up in someone’s inbox isn’t really the goal, what matters is, engagement.
In this post, we mull over nine best practices for A/B testing your email marketing efforts.
Revisiting all functional elements
When reviewing your practices for getting the best out of email marketing measures, the very first step is to break down your activities into multiple categories. This will help you find out what all can be put to test.
In other words, your functional elements should be open to changes as and how it is being interpreted by the recipients. This includes your subject lines, sender titles, opening headers, and graphics. Together, they will provide different results when pitted against each other and tested vigorously.
In doing so, the recommended approach is to consider one element after another and never several elements at one go. Or else you will have a truckload of data to tally and compare with and things can be pretty complex to comprehend what clicked with your audiences and what didn’t.
Consider relevant data and nothing else
A/B testing your email marketing efforts can often feel like shots fired in the dark.
Especially, when you stand clueless as to what you will be looking at specifically in a screen full of data. Take the subject line testing for instance. Here, email opening rate is the most relevant data that one needs to focus on for obvious reasons.:
- Knowing what percentage of recipients open your emails will help you determine which subject lines worked.
- Besides, the data from click rate tracking lets you how many people actually followed the links within the email.
- Also, it will help you gain an understanding of the links and ads that work better.
A/B testing of emails is indeed a tricky affair. And, when you are looking at wrong stats, it can dramatically impact the performance and work against your immediate goals.
Don’t ignore the sender name
Sender name is one thing that people look at when they receive an email and is often the determining factor that affects the opening rate.
Typically, it’s your personal and work emails that are dealt with on a priority, followed by advertisements and special offers. Thus, it helps if you can come up with a sender name that’s attention grabbing. For instance, if you are running a shop named “Organic Grocery”, you might as well get a little creative with the sender name and list it out as “Sam from Organic Grocery”
When in doubt, always sample size
When it comes to A/B testing your email marketing game, working with appropriately sized sample groups will help you fetch results with high accuracy.
Any digital marketing professional who’s done an email marketing course is aware, that sending way too many emails to people on the mailing list only provokes them to hit the Ünsubsribe button” for no good. Thus, when you are A/B testing things, you should be working with a smaller portion of recipients in your list– say 20% is a good call.
In such cases, only 10 percent get to receive the “A” emails while the other ten percent get the “B” emails. Depending on what worked better, you will be in a position to design emails to win over the remaining 80%.
Don’t ignore preview and subject lines
A large number of people open emails if they get a positive feeling by looking at the subject line. So, first impressions are definitely a critical point to consider in email marketing.
Easier said than done, just a single word or a phrase can significantly boost your email opening rates, no matter how good or shabby your body content is. Thus, it’s always a good idea to play around with the preview and subject lines and test which one stood out in the inbox.
It’s all about timing
While a lot of us have our push notifications enabled, some people still prefer to sync their inboxes manually. Hence, timing plays an essential role here.
Normally, people are quite used to checking their emails during the earlier part of the day. The habit wears out as the day progresses which is why A/B testing emails in the second half is not recommended. This is because you will always need to know the time difference between when it hit the inbox and when it was seen. Knowing the time gap will eventually help you understand when to time your emails right.
Personalization works every time
Personalization seems to play quite an effective role when A/B testing your emails. It doesn’t involve much–just simple doings, like addressing the recipient by his first name.
However, some recipients may feel their privacy is intervened with such a personalized approach. Hence, you will need to test out your emails by trying multiple addressing options so that you don’t lose out on your subscribers. No matter what you do, try to keep it as welcoming and comforting as possible within the introductory lines of your email.
Let your images do the talking
Graphics speak aloud. That is solely the reason why you might find several emails mostly built around using a single graphic.
In doing so, several elements come into play like fonts, colors, and composition which need to match the tone of your audience. Thus, never shy away from getting creative because as a creator you know way more than the recipient about the content. Nevertheless, whatever you choose to do, try and keep it as compact as possible.
Test, Test, Test
When A/B testing your emails, figures are the deciding factor.
Whether you should be continuing a particular format of emails is solely decided by the statistics it’s able to pull. However, before you finalize your marketing approach, know these pointers at the back of your mind:
- Not every email marketing testing tool works the same way.
- You can have matching responses figures from both Type A and Type B emails.
- Don’t let a landslide win from one type do away with the other approach completely.
Extensive testing is the only key before you draw any conclusions.
Email Marketing Tools
Yes to empower you more and to get better results there are many email marketing tools available that will help you to optimize your campaigns. We have listed few
- Mailchimp: It is one of the most popular email marketing platforms. It has an easy-to-use interface, drag and drop email builder, and powerful automation features.
- Constant Contact: Constant Contact is an email marketing tool with simple templates, list management, and event registration.
- ConvertKit: ConvertKit is an email marketing platform for creators and bloggers. It has powerful automation features, custom opt-in forms, and email sequences.
- AWeber: It is a reliable email marketing platform. It has features like drag-and-drop email build, automation workflows, and lots of integration options.
- GetResponse: An email marketing solution with advanced automation, responsive email templates, and landing page creation.
A/B testing emails is certainly no child’s play. However, to do it successfully, you will need a good amount of time on your side.
Quite interestingly put forward by the Institute of Digital & Content Marketing, the key is to design things like you have got it figured out already and then move on to optimizing stuff like everything you did was wrong. When you keep doing it, you will eventually reach a place where consistent figures show up. Only then, you will reach an endpoint, but hey, never stop experimenting.
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