‘Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3’- Email A/B Testing Best Practices

3 min read · 7 years ago


Have you recently seen your email open rates going down? Are you wondering where to go next? It’s all about A/B split testing.

Read on to learn all you need to know and start being proud of your email campaigns.

To perform A/B split testing, you must:

1) Assess engagement levels from your email

2) Make just one change to your email e.g. the subject title, the day you send your emails

Once you have judged whether one version works better than the other, hey presto you can move on to testing something else. If not, try another variation until you reach a level of engagement you are happy with.

Yes, it really is that easy!

So what tests can you conduct?

  • Day to send: Generally speaking Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday appear to be the preferred days to send emails, generating the best open rates. This is because, the Monday blues have disappeared and people tend to be more focussed, getting on with their weeks tasks.
  • Time: This is a funny one. If you are sending emails on a Thursday, send between 8-9am, however on a Tuesday and Wednesday, whatever you do, do not send between 8-10am as they appear to only have a 5% click through rate. But why listen to me, test first and see what time works well for you.
  • Subject line: For the best results, ensure this is not too long and that it is clear. Misleading subject lines are a no-no as they will annoy your subscribers, affecting future engagement. Variations could include; positive subject lines, rhetorical questions, amusing phrasing, varying lengths of subject title, brand in the subject title, localised phrasing and word order of content.
  • The design: Font, background colour and images used may also be worth testing, encouraging an aesthetically appealing template to be created. If content is displayed attractively, you may find this will increase engagement for your business.
  • Tone of voice: Ensure your message is direct, clear and perceived in a way that suits your business. You could try being friendly, formal, localised, factual or funny.
  • Length of email: Test the length of your emails. Too long and you risk boring your subscribers, too short and they may wonder why they bothered opening your email in the first place.
  • Personalised emails: 94% of companies agree that personalisation is king, but what is the best way to achieve this? Do you write ‘Dear Mrs Smith’ or do your send generic emails to everyone? This may make a huge difference, try it.
  • Call to action: Try varying the text in which you apply a link to, known as an ‘Anchor Text’, by using different keywords. See how this affects subscribers clicking on the link.

REMEMBER, what works for one company does not necessarily work for another. You need to carefully consider what works for your target market.  Some Social Media platforms allow you to target your messages to your audience, be they your customers, channel partners or employees. Your audience will receive just the specific news they want, when they want it… not more spamming!!!

Yes it can be time consuming to create the perfect email, but once you have you will wreak the benefits. Well worth a test I’d say.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: ‘Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3’- Email A/B Testing Best Practices

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