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Ready, Set, Test!

Posted by Chris Winter on Oct 11, 2015 11:46:00 AM

AB Testing

As marketers we can often find ourselves falling into the same old routine, deploying similar messages to the same audience. However, we know that this can lead to fatigue in your email list and declining metrics.

One way to keep your messaging campaigns fresh and engaging is to continuously conduct A/B tests. There are many different ways you can incorporate an A/B test into your deployments that will provide insight on what is effective.   

Here are four quick A/B tests that can be conducted:

1. Subject line test

This is the fastest and simplest way to add an A/B test to your deployment. If you use the same subject line for each deployment (such as a newsletter), try testing it against a completely different subject line that gives a teaser for the content in the template. Testing a new subject line may attract new records to open the message that wouldn’t normally. A subject line test is also a great way to boost your open rate!

2. Copy test

Conducting a copy test is a great way to test how to present a call to action in the template. Copy is a big reason for making people click or even to drive them in-store. By testing different copy within a template it will allow you to see which copy has the most impact on your audience. 

3. Layout test

The layout of a template is very important because a good layout will lead the reader’s eye through your email, drawing them to the main Call to Action. If you have an email template that is complex with lots of copy you may want to conduct a test against a more simplified template with less copy.

4. Offer test

If your template includes an offer you may be interested in testing different types of offers. This could even be a test against a template without an offer. Surprisingly, past testing has proved that the template that did not include an offer performed better than the template that included an offer.

You can split your list to conduct your test anyway you would like. If your list is large enough you could do a pre-test by splitting 10% of your list between the control and test versions. Once you collect enough data to declare a winner you can deploy to the remaining 90% of your list with the winner. Keep in mind that not all treatments are one size fits all solutions.  When analyzing the results of your test to determine the winner, be sure to look at the performance of your key customer segments individually in order to identify any differing trends.


Have a Plan

A A/B test plan is a great way to plan future testing and track past results. This will allow you to keep track of what has worked and what did not which should be accounted for when planning future tests.  This is also great for setting your objective for the test upfront so you don’t lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. You should also plan how a winner will be selected before the test is started. For example, if you are doing a subject line test, the template that receives the highest number of opens will be declared the winner.

By including A/B tests in your deployment you will discover what is most effective for your audience. It may also encourage those inactives in your list to open or click on the message.  A/B Testing is something that should be conducted continuously to keep your deployments fresh and relevant for your audience.

Topics: A/B Testing, Email Marketing

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