The ABC and XYZ of A/B Testing

Have you ever wondered which subject line will get you more opens or which hero image will help you get higher engagement? Well, this is exactly the purpose of A/B testing, and it’s a sure way to find out what your audience prefers.  

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is also sometimes referred to as split testing. It allows you to test versions of a part of your email campaign to find out which performs best with your audience. You can test any part of your campaign, from the subject line, the from name or even the email content. During an A/B test, a specific portion of your database will receive version A and another portion will receive version B. Based on the winning parameters the winning version will then be sent to the remainder of your database. 

The importance of A/B Testing

When it comes to finding out what your subscribers relate to and what gets them to engage, guessing isn’t an option. A/B testing gives you the opportunity to find out what is most effective in generating opens and clicks. By constantly testing, changing and refining your email marketing, you’ll always be getting new insights and you’ll be able to keep your marketing fresh, with campaigns and information your audience actually wants to receive and interact with. 

With A/B testing, you can test different parts of your email so you can continually learn and optimise your email marketing for the best results. 

Tips for successful A/B testing

  • Know why you’re testing and what you’re testing for – When it comes to A/B testing, you need to slow down and think about what you’re doing. Figure out exactly what you want to test, and what knowledge you hope to gain from testing.
    Just remember, you’re live testing with your current database, so take it slow. There are real people at the ends of these emails, after all.
  • Do A/B Tests one at a time – The golden rule here is to only test one thing at a time. For example, in one test, only test the difference between two types of subject lines. In another, test the difference between personalising your campaign and not. If you test both of those in one campaign, the results are going to be skewed. Be deliberate about what you want to find out and how you test to gain the right information, without annoying the receiver of the email. 
  • Have an action plan for your A/B Tests – Once you’ve run the tests you want to, and you have the results, you need to have an action plan in place on what you’re going to do with those results. If you’ve noticed using a particular colour button works best then start using it with your full database.
  • Keep Testing – A/B testing is a constant, slow, ongoing process and, as your subscriber base grows and changes, so you should grow and change with your testing as well. It’s the only way to keep current!

AB Test Results

How do I run an A/B Test?

AB Testing Checklist

So, get testing and see how you can keep your email marketing fresh and current. If you need any guidance for your next A/B test, get in touch with us.

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