5 Ways to Kickstart Your Email Marketing A/B Testing

Now that you’ve analyzed your year-end results, it’s time to make 2014 the best year ever for your email marketing programs. February is a great month to kickstart A/B testing. Here are five tests to get you started:

  1. From line testing. Who your message is coming from is one of the first things most email recipients see. And, there are a myriad of tests you can do for your from line. For example, does your organization name work better than a person in your organization? Is there a person’s name in your organization with more recognition vs. someone else’s name? Some sample tests:
    – Organization name vs. CEO / President
    – CEO / President vs. Vice President of Development
    – CEO / President’s full name vs. CEO / President’s first name
    – Executive name vs. Executive Name, Organization Name
  2. Subject line testing.  The types of messaging you can test on your subject line are almost as limitless as your imagination. Here are some examples:
    – Long vs. short
    – Personalized vs. non-personalized (Use of first name, first & last name, state of residence, and other personalized information)
    – Use of unicode characters such as ✪ ✔ ☁ (some email browsers, especially those on mobile, will automatically convert unicode characters into emoji — making them stand out even more)
  3. Callout image vs. larger image. We’ve all seen the standard email template — message on the left, which is wrapped around a callout box on the right with an image and a call-to-action link. You can test that layout vs. other layouts to see how they work for your audience.
    – Size of callout box / column. The standard width tends to be between 250-300 pixels wide, but try testing a wider column.
    – Instead of a callout box, test using an image that runs across the width of the email. In the past, this would have been seen as a big no-no, but with email servers like Gmail caching emails, the large image might work. One large image makes an easier target for people to click on mobile.
  4. Short copy vs. long copy. This one is self-explanatory, and if you’ve ever worked in direct mail this is certainly a test that you’ve done before. Email can be more sensitive and the difference between a two-paragraph email and a five-paragraph email could yield a huge shift in clickthrough rates.
  5. Number of call-to-action links. How many times do you link to your call-to-action in your email? Just in the callout box? Once in the callout box and again in the middle of the copy? Twice in the copy? Does adding more links increase or decrease your clickthrough rate?

Do you need help setting up a plan for A/B testing for your email marketing or implementing a plan that’s been created? The Engage Group can help. Contact us and we’ll get you started. 

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