Year after year, studies show that email marketing has stood the test of time as the most profitable tool digital marketers have to produce conversions. According to Snovio Labs, the average return on investment on email campaigns is 4200%, meaning you gain 42 dollars for every dollar spent.
That is the type of result that every entrepreneur wants to see, but it is not a given. In order to have an effective email marketing strategy, you need to test out different email campaigns and learn what your audience responds to. This is where A/B testing comes into play.
A/B testing is the act of verifying which one of two email campaigns performs better on your audience. It uses two lists of randomly generated subscribers to test out two variations of an element that can result in different open rates, click-through rates, and even conversion rates. A popular example is sending out the same email campaign with different subject lines to see which one prompts more opens.
If you are a small company in the early stages of email marketing, then you need tom test your complete list to get relevant data. The more subscribers you test your campaign on, the more you can trust the results of your testing.
Using A/B testing every single time you send out a campaign will gain you enough empirical data to determine what kind of content and offers your subscribers enjoy best, ultimately resulting in a lower unsubscribe rate too.
What is key to remember when implementing this method into your strategy is that A/B testing focuses on one element at a time. The point is to get objective data on what your readers like best and leave nothing to the imagination. If you test out two completely distinct campaigns, it will be impossible to determine what element made the difference in gaining you more leads.
It might seem bothersome to take it one item at a time. However, after a few months of using this approach, you will have invaluable information about the best performing elements in a campaign. Considering that this is a simple procedure that can be done right in your email marketing software, there is no reason not to put it into action.
What Can You Check Through A/B Testing?
Essentially, you can test everything and anything. A/B testing is a versatile tool that you can use to verify the efficiency of any item, from the length of your email to the images you use.
That being said, when you are first starting out, you want to focus on the most vital factors that affect your KPIs (key performance indicators). Below you will find a list of the top 5 elements to test out that can produce a drastic change in your email strategy success.
The first thing that subscribers see when you send out a campaign is the subject line. This piece of copy needs to spark curiosity and persuade your audience to click on the email to learn more. The results of this A/B testing effort will be easily seen in your open rates for the two emails sent.
If your reader is intrigued by the subject line but not enough to click, they will immediately look at the preview text to get more information about the contents. This is your second chance of obtaining that open. Therefore, testing out the preview text is another good way of improving your open rates.
If your open rate is above average, but you see a problem with your click-through rate, then the next element to test out is your call to action. This is the phrase or button that entices your subscriber to visit your website and take advantage of your offer.
For example, you can send out the same campaign with two different CTAs: “Sign up for free” and “Claim your free trial now.” These two phrases might not seem so different, but they can show you what type of wording your audience responds to. To see the efficiency of this test, check the click-through rate.
Your email marketing campaign needs to create a cohesive experience for the subscriber, from the moment they read your subject line to the moment they make their purchase.
A first step in testing your landing page is checking if your lead converts on your products page or a dedicated page for your specific offer. In time, you can test out each element on your landing page, much like A/B testing for your email campaigns. To check results, look at the conversion rate of your campaign.
Last but not least, you can check what type of offer your subscribers prefer. Start this test on a relevant fraction of your email list, then send the winning email campaign to the rest of your audience. An example is to test out free shipping versus a 10% discount code. To see which offer takes the cake, look at open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate.
Other examples of elements you can test out are time of delivery, personalization, body text, headline, social proof, and email design.
A/B testing is a simple way to discover the preferences of your audience, improve engagement, and ultimately increase leads. Chances are your competition already is implementing it, so do not fall behind!