How to do A/B Testing in Email Marketing

For Email Marketing, email open rate and click rate are two important metrics that lead to successful results. So how to improve these 2 indicators?

One of the popular ways is to do A/B testing (A/B testing) elements of Email Marketing.

After you get the information you need from running your tests, you can tweak or alter another tactic to make sure you’re sending your customers what they really need, instead of guessing.

What is A/B Testing? How is the application in email marketing?

It sounds complicated, but A/B testing is simply testing 2 different versions in the same environment (Example 2 different subject lines of the same email).

The end goal is to check which version is more efficient.

A/b testing helps to find the most effective version
A/b testing helps to find the most effective version

You can perform A/B testing from something as simple as sending an email with different subject lines, to complex A/B testing like a completely different template.

Sometimes a small change can make a huge difference.

Here are some components you can do A/B Testing

  • Title
  • Personalized
  • Sender’s name
  • Pictures, Videos, Graphics
  • Content
  • Call to action (CTA)
  • Link
  • Sending time

With those small changes, you can absolutely see the growth of important metrics like email open rates, link clicks or even purchases.

Title is one of the most prominent elements of Email Marketing because it is the first line seen in the Inbox. You can test the length, the order of the sentences, or the prominent content in the title.

Personalized is an effective factor. Adding the recipient’s name in the email subject line attracts more attention, making the recipient feel closer.

Sender’s name can also make a difference. See if recipients respond faster to emails coming from a person’s name or from your company’s name.

Pictures, videos and graphics very powerful in email marketing. Not everyone likes to read full text emails.

So you can attach images, videos, graphics to attract attention and make the email more diverse and colorful.

Test customer reviews with video versus text to see if it works. Or test the short version infographic chart against the long version.

Stock images can also affect A/B testing results.

For example, your email with an image of a person pointing at the CTA button will easily capture the attention of the viewer.

People process images much faster than words, so use more images for your email marketing to convey your message more effectively.

Email content is the main part of your interaction with your target customers.

But unfortunately, users are paying less and less attention to the text in emails.

So keep it short and concise. If you can’t introduce the product quickly and succinctly, it will be difficult to get more clicks from customers.

To determine what is effective content, perform A/B testing! Experience shows that always being positive in the message will lead to victory.

Call to Action (CTA) is one of the most important elements in email marketing campaigns.

CTA helps to dramatically increase click-through rate by helping readers know exactly what to do after reading the email. You can test between button and link.

CTA content is also a factor worth testing.

Whether you are using a button or a link, consider the content on it carefully, because the reader will look through it before deciding to click.

Using clear, action-oriented content such as "Get Quote" is often better than a generic "Click Here"

Sending time is a factor that should be taken into account. Research the times when recipients are most likely to open emails, schedule them in advance, and send emails to all recipients at once.

What to keep in mind when doing A/B testing

AB Testing Avoid

Always remember that when doing A/B testing, only change 1 element at a time. Because if you change many elements at once, like the title, content, CTA button and find it more effective, you will not know what is effective in the end.

It may take a lot of effort and time to test all elements, but still only test 1 element for 1 test.

Clearly define goals

Before you send your first email, you need to have a clear picture of the goals you need to achieve.

It could be email open rates, click rates, signups, or sales.

Email open rate shows the percentage of emails opened out of total emails sent. Click-through rate shows the percentage of ad clicks out of the total number of ad impressions in the email.

Click-through rate helps you understand more about reader trends, but it’s not obvious, unless it’s a CTA button.

Maybe your open rate is too low and you want to improve? Or you want to increase your email sales by 5%?

These are the goals you can measure after performing A/B testing.

Send to whom?

Let’s say you have an email list of 5,000 contacts. Don’t send all 5,000 contacts at once because you won’t be able to test anything.

Instead, choose a few, like 1000 contacts. Then break it down further, email A to these 500 contacts, and email B to the remaining 500.

Once you know the "winning email" – the email that gets you more open rates, more clicks or more sales – send it to the remaining 4,000 contacts on your email list.

At least there is reason to believe that “winning email” will bring good results for a larger number of contacts.

Use Your Test Results

After getting results from each email you send out, it’s time to evaluate its effectiveness and apply it.

Let’s say Email B is identical to Email A, except that the call-to-action button is red instead of green.

You see a 10% increase in the number of people clicking the button. That’s a good result! So, for your primary email campaign, it’s absolutely a good idea to use the red button.

You can also use this result for future email campaigns. Every time you need a button in a similar context, use red.

A/B testing takes the guesswork out of Email Marketing.

And since email remains one of the best ways to connect with past, present, and future customers, it’s worth taking the time to find out what your target customers respond best to.

Most Email Marketing tools have built-in A/B Testing features, making it easier for you to test.

Here are things to remember about A/B testing of your emails:

  • Define goals to improve Email Marketing campaigns
  • Test all the important factors
  • Use appropriate auxiliary tools to improve efficiency

A/B testing is one of the most effective ways to find out how to do email marketing most effectively. Let’s do it today!


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