How an email marketing agency sets up A/B testing
When you launch a new email campaign, you likely want to make sure it’s successful. So you’ll likely invest a lot of time in perfecting your copywriting skills, picking an eye-catching template, and building a robust list. And all of that is necessary and good! However, email marketing success doesn’t end there.
You also need to set up A/B testing for every step of your campaign, from the email subject line to the call-to-action. And if you’re not sure how to do that, or don’t have the time, you’re in luck: that’s precisely what we’ll be discussing here today.
Read on to learn:
- What A/B testing is and why it’s essential
- How to go about setting up effective A/B testing yourself
- How an email marketing agency makes the most out of campaigns through A/B testing
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of comparing two email versions against each other to see which performs better. The email with the better performance is then sent to the rest of your list.
It’s a simple concept, but one that can make a big difference in your email marketing results. After all, even the tiniest changes can have a significant impact when multiplied by a large list.
For example, let’s say you’re testing two email subject lines. One performs slightly better than the other, resulting in a 0.5% increase in open rates. But because your list is 100,000 subscribers strong, that 0.5% increase translates to 500 more people opening your email.
A/B testing can be used for any email element, from the subject line and preheader text to the call-to-action and even the email sender name. However, it’s important to note that you should only test one element at a time. This way, you can be sure that any improvements in performance are due to the change you made, and not something else.
Why is A/B testing important?
A/B testing is essential for email marketing success because it allows you to fine-tune your campaigns for maximum results. By constantly testing and improving upon different email elements, you can gradually increase your open and click-through rates, leading to more conversions and sales.
What’s more, A/B testing gives you valuable insights into your subscribers’ preferences and behaviour. Over time, you’ll learn what works best for your audience, making it easier to create high-performing email campaigns.
How to set up A/B testing
Now that we’ve gone over what A/B testing is and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to set up your own tests. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it might seem at first. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to run your own A/B tests like a pro in no time.
There are several aspects of your email campaign you can subject to A/B testing. Here are a few of the most popular items to test:
- Subject line: This type of test is used to find the best email subject line for your campaign. To do this, you simply create two (or more) different subject lines and send them out to a small portion of your list. The email with the better open rate is then sent to the rest of your subscribers.
- Content: With content testing, you create two (or more) different versions of your email and send them out. The email with the better performing content is then sent to your subscribers at large.
- Sender name: As you might suspect, for this test you create multiple variations of the sender name.
- Call-to-action: With call-to-action testing, you create at least two versions of your CTA to see which performs best. The email with the better click-through rate – and the better conversion rate – is sent to the remainder of your list.
There are many different types of A/B tests you can run with your email campaigns. Which one you choose will depend on your goals and what element you want to test.
To get started, all you need is an email marketing tool that offers A/B testing capabilities (like Marketo or Pardot).
What are the best practices for A/B testing?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few general best practices you should keep in mind when conducting A/B tests. These include:
- Test one element at a time: As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to only test one element at a time. This way, you can be sure that any improvements in performance are due to the change you made, and not something else.
- Start with email subject lines: Subject lines are often the most important element of your email, so they’re a great place to start with A/B testing.
- Test your most important email campaigns first: Not all email campaigns are as vital for your company’s success. Some are more important than others, so it makes sense to test these first. This way, you can make the biggest impact on your bottom line.
- Test different email types: In addition to testing different elements of your email, you should also test different email types. This includes things like welcome emails, promotional emails, and transactional emails to see which resonates best with your subscribers.
- Be patient: A/B testing takes time. It’s important to run your tests for long enough to get reliable results. In general, you should give each test at least a week to run.
By following these best practices, you can be sure that your A/B tests are as effective as possible.
How an email marketing agency can help
While A/B testing is a powerful tool for email marketing success, it can be time-consuming and challenging to do on your own. This is where an email marketing agency comes in.
An email marketing agency will have the experience and expertise to set up and run effective A/B tests for you, saving you valuable time and energy. They’ll also be able to provide valuable insights and recommendations based on the results of your tests.
If you’re serious about email marketing, working with an agency is a smart investment. They can help you take your campaigns to the next level and achieve the best possible results. And thankfully, we know what we’re talking about. At virtualROI, we’re email marketing experts. We can help you fine-tune your campaigns for maximum ROI. Contact us today to learn more about our services.