Testing: Your Most Valuable Email
Marketing Tool — Part Two
Here are tips on how to get the most
out of your A/B testing.
If you’re looking for a recipe for the best email campaign,
keep looking. There is no one right answer to get the best results, but you
have tools in your toolbox to determine what works… testing.
In part one of this article, I preached about testing your emails — but this is a little
different. A better word that testing is to call it optimizing, as we’re
seeking optimal results on each and every campaign that is sent.
The tool that provides the most effective results is A/B
testing. This is simply presenting one option to a random segment of your
audience, and sending a different option to another segment.
From there, the segment that receives the best results is
used to send to the balance of the audience. Awesome, right?
So many times in life I wished I had known in advance what
the results of any decision I made would be. Can you imagine if our brains had
A/B testing? No more "what ifs.” While we don’t have that option available on a
human level, we do have it on a technical level and can apply it to email
It might seem a little daunting. Do
I test this or that? Where do I even begin? There are three main components to
the process of A/B testing:
- Set an objective.
- Determine how to execute the
- Make a decision based on
Think about what you want to achieve. Highest conversion
rates? Highest click-through rate? Which day or time will provide the best
results? Will the longer or shorter subject line be best?
Once you have determined what you want to achieve, what
variants will you use to test? There are so many options, but it’s best to test
only two variants at a time; then, wait a few days before sending the winning
campaign. Whether you’re making that decision manually or it is automated, the
results should prove fruitful.
Michelle Ashley is a 25-year marketing and advertising veteran specializing
in B2B, publishing, and nonprofit industries.