If you’re sending out emails but aren’t testing them, you’re missing out on actionable data to help you improve your campaigns. When you use marketing automation software for email marketing, you can send variances of the same email to different recipients. By testing, you can compare:
- Open rates
- Which elements of an email users are interacting with
- Which emails are sending users to your website
- Which emails are more likely to be shared
- Which emails are converting
An A/B test is effective for any type of digital marketing testing, because you isolate one single element and vary it in two versions. By keeping everything else the same, you can see how much of an impact say, a different subject line had, when open rates are drastically different.
As you test, you’ll get an idea of the strategies that work for your brand and can apply successful ones to emails, while continuing to test new elements and strategies. Here are 10 types of A/B email marketing tests to do for your brand.
1. Subject Line
This is the first impression you get to make on an email recipient. If they don’t open your email, the rest of the elements don’t even get a chance to matter. Ways to switch up a subject line include:
- Make it personal.
- Add urgency or the offer.
- Create intrigue with something creative.
- Get to the point, and be straightforward.
The open rate results for subject lines is a crucial place to start with email testing.
2. Email Headline
Now that people are opening, what is the first headline they see in the email? This is your lead – you might have a variety of content in the email, but what do you want to spotlight in the headline? It could be the theme of the email, or something that talks about a specific piece of content that’s in it.
3. Multimedia vs. Plain Text
Think back to some of the emails that have captured your attention, and chances are good not all of them have been photo- or video-heavy. Sensory overload could cause disengagement, or your users may love clicking on every photo in an email. Test it out.
4. Hero Image Choice
Just like the email headline sets the stage for the message, a hero image can also keep users engaged. When you test an image, try to make sure the images are strikingly different, so you’re able to identify the potential elements that mattered most to recipients.
5. Email Length
Short and sweet versus long and thorough: testing length can help your business find the sweet spot that enables you to create optimal emails that always keep user attention. When users come to expect the general length of your emails, they’ll be more likely to devote the time they need to engage with them in the future.
If you’re going to offer a discount or freebie in an email, test the offer. This gives you insight into the types of deals your users are most interested in and which ones are most likely to convert. The results from this type of test can inform your strategy in other marketing efforts, too.
7. Number of Images
Sometimes one fascinating image is more powerful than five. Having too many images in an email could lead to user frustration to get to the content they want. Or, users might enjoy seeing content paired with images, which gives them the context they need to take action. Test it. Email marketing software Campaign Monitor saw a 127% increase in clickthroughs by switching up their design.
8. Number of Hyperlinks
Similarly, an abundance of hyperlinks in your email text might overwhelm a user, whereas a single hyperlink may stand out and motivate more conversions. You might find that one hyperlink per paragraph is what works best for your business. Not everything in your email that can be linked needs to be, but only testing will help you discover the value.
Try an email that is formatted like a letter for a friend, compared to one that is formed like a blog post with spaces in-between every single sentence. You can also test formats by varying the number of columns or blocks of text you have.
10. Call to Action
Finally, the call to action that ends the email should be tested to see what type motivates action. You could end with an offer, a link to read a blog post, or a request to get in touch with you. Keep experimenting with calls to action, since appropriate ones will vary depending on the email message.
Bonus Test #1: Device
One A/B test you never have to plan for is analyzing how emails perform on various devices. As you see what devices your dominant audiences are using, your email strategy might shift, as well. Think shorter messages if your users are predominantly mobile, or more images if most of them open emails on desktop devices.
Bonus Test #2: Time of Day/Day of the Week
See which days of the week and times of day email recipients are most likely to open emails from you by varying the delivery schedule.
Want email marketing campaigns that deliver better insights through A/B testing? We can help. Get in touch.