Before launching any marketing campaign, it’s preferable to carry out conversion rate optimization tests. One of the easiest and most common optimization tests is A / B testing. It involves testing a variable of marketing content against another, a green call-to-action and a red one, for example, to see which one is the most efficient.
For example, if you want to know if your homepage’s conversion rate increases when you move one of the CTAs from the side menu to the top of the page, create an alternate webpage that reflects the new CTA placement. The existing version, or control version, constitutes variation A, while variation B represents the alternative version.
How to Run Email Marketing A/B Testing
The A / B testing process is based on a problem, usually identified through data analysis. Then, recommendations or potential improvement points are defined to set up the comparison with the original version.
After the identification phase, you need clearly describe the problem to all participants of your A/B testing.
Set objectives and variables to test
To assess the effectiveness of a change, you need to isolate a single variable and measure its performance. If you choose more than one, you will not be able to determine which one is affecting performance. You can test more than one variable on a page or in an email, but you should make sure that you test only one at a time.
Study the different elements of your marketing resources and their possible design, wording, and presentation otpions. You can also test email subjects, sender names, and other personalization elements.
Even one image in an email or the wording of a call-to-action, can lead to significant improvements. In addition, the impact of these changes is often easier to measure than the impact of bigger ones.
To reinforce the relevance of the A / B test, focus on one indicator, even if you subsequently wish to rely on several ones per test. Set your primary indicator before setting up the second variant of the test.
Create Several Email Prototypes
The unmodified version of the item you are testing is the control version. If you choose to test the landing page of your email marketing, you should keep the layout and content that you use usually.
Once you have defined the control version, you can create an alternative variant you want to compare to your control version.
For example, if you want to know if embedding a customer testimonial on a landing page would bring different results, set up your checkout page without a testimonial. Then create your variant with a testimonial.
The timing of your test plays a crucial role in the results of your marketing campaign. If you were to test version A for one month and version B the following month, you would be unable to determine what factor is affecting the performance of the resource under test.
When performing A / B tests, you must test both variants simultaneously. Otherwise, your results will be unreliable.
The only exception to this rule is testing the timing itself, for example, to determine the best time to send an email. This variable is interesting because depending on what your company offers and your subscribers, the optimal time to elicit their engagement can vary significantly from one industry and one target market to another.
Improve Your Email Marketing with A/B Split Testing
In December 2021, Mobecls team hosted the eCommerce Tech Inspire Summit to discuss cutting-edge trends, new technologies, COVID impact, and other hot topics. During the summit, experienced eCommerce experts shared their insights, tips, best practices, and more. During the event, Jeanne Jennings, a recognized expert in email marketing, delivered an excellent speech on A/B Split Testing in email marketing.
Jeanne Jennings is a recognized expert in email marketing and a sought-after consultant, speaker, trainer, and author specializing in email marketing strategy, tactics, creative direction, and optimization. She helps organizations make their email marketing programs more effective and more profitable.
Jeanne is the Founder and CEO of Email Optimization Shop, a consultancy focused on optimizing bottom-line email marketing performance with strategic testing. She is also General Manager of the Only Influencers community of email industry professionals, Chair of the Email Innovations Summit conference, and an Adjunct Professor in the graduate school at Georgetown University.
- Learn why A/B split testing is critical to ongoing email marketing success
- View real-life email marketing A/B split tests – and see how your guesses
compare to actual results
- Understand the basics of scientific method for testing, including how to develop quality hypotheses
- Find out how to create your own successful A/B split testing plan to boost the performance of your email marketing program
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