You’ve created the perfect email, and now you’re ready to send it to your customers. You’ve checked the message, made sure the links work and proofread it several times. While many people hit the send button at this point, there is one more step you should do first: A/B testing.
What is A/B testing?
It’s a testing method that allows you to compare components of an email to see which one customers respond to. How does it work? You send an email to two small groups, but change one aspect like the subject line or image. Everything else remains the same.
In the example below, the images are being tested. One group receives Version A and one group receives Version B. After it’s sent, you keep an eye on your metrics and see which one gets higher engagement rates.
What can you test?
You can test just about every aspect of an email campaign through A/B testing. While subject lines are the most commonly tested, you can also test:
- Call to action button
- Location of call to action button
- Location or size of images
- Email design
- Color scheme
Juvlon offers A/B testing features that make the process a breeze.
Why is A/B testing important?
A/B testing, or split testing, as it is sometimes called, provides statistics that you can use to improve your email campaigns. If you’re sending emails without testing, you’re making a lot of assumptions about what your customers want. By testing, you can make decisions based on real evidence. Once a winning aspect is identified, you can tweak your campaign before sending it to the rest of your contacts.
Bottom line: A/B testing improves your engagement rates.
What you should do after the test?
After you send the test email to two different groups, you should watch your metrics. See which email has higher open, click and click-through rates. Tweak your email campaign to include the winning aspects of the email. At this point, you can test another aspect of your email or send it.
Be sure to keep notes on the tests that you complete and use them to shape the campaigns that you create in the future.
What mistakes can be avoided?
To make sure you get the most out of each test, avoid these common pitfalls:
- Changing more than one aspect at a time. If you change too many things you won’t know what customers are actually reacting to.
- Not trusting the data. Sometimes email marketers trust their gut over metrics. It’s a mistake. You’re running tests for reason – trust them.
- Not testing frequently. Testing a campaign here and there won’t improve your overall engagement rates. Test often to tailor your emails to meet customer expectations.
- Testing too small of a group. You can’t send a test to two people and expect the results to be accurate. You need a reliable sample size. Send the test to roughly 20 percent of your contacts to get good results.
- Not giving the test enough time. Give the test four or five days before calling a winner. If you use the results after a few hours or a day, you could make decisions based on incomplete data.
By A/B testing, you’ll take your email campaigns to the next level. Once you start testing, it will become second nature and you’ll incorporate the results quickly and efficiently.