Jacob Morrow

2024-06-18 16:19:02

2024 Views, 5 min read

In the competitive world of email marketing, understanding what resonates with your audience is crucial. A/B testing is a powerful technique that tries to answer this complex question and enhance your email marketing efforts. It’s not a coincidence that an A/B testing email marketing campaign leads to higher open rates, click-through rates, and even conversions. In this piece, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to this method so that you understand how it will benefit your marketing endeavors.

Part 1: What is A/B Testing in Email Marketing?

A/B Testing

A/B testing, or split testing, is a particular technique that involves sending two different versions of an email to a small segment of your audience.

With this email marking A/B testing, you discover which version performs better, highlighting your audience’s preferences. Therefore, you can identify which elements of your emails and newsletters are most effective, so that you can incorporate them in future campaigns.

To further understand why you need to make it a part of your marketing efforts, here are the main benefits of email A/B testing:

  • Data-Driven Decisions: One of the most significant reasons to try split testing is that it provides you with concrete data on what works and what doesn’t for your specific audience. This allows you to make informed decisions that will bring the desired results.
  • Higher Conversion Rate: Your email marketing efforts are aiming to raise awareness of your products or services and create sales. This is reflected in your conversion rate. By understanding what appeals to your audience, you will witness your conversion rates going higher, which in turn means an impressive ROI.
  • Improved Engagement: With this method, you won’t see just the conversion rate of your emails go up. In addition to this, you will also see increased open rates and click-through rates. This happens because you know which elements entice your audience and make them want to click and read your newsletters.
  • Reduced Unsubscribes: Ineffective emails will often lead to a high number of unsubscribes, which will affect your overall results. With an A/B testing email though, you can reduce this likelihood and keep your subscriber base intact.

Part 2: Things You Should Know Before You Start Email A/B Testing Marketing

Why Does A/B Testing Matter?

All of the benefits that we’ve already seen in the previous section are a great introduction to why A/B testing matters. In essence, this method takes the guesswork out of email marketing and brings you specific data on your audience.

A/B testing helps you make your campaigns eye-catching

You no longer need to rely on intuition, trends, or generalizations, as you can use an A/B testing email to find out which subject line brings the most opens and which text brings the most clicks. This evidence-based approach ensures that your marketing efforts are both efficient and effective.

How Do A/B Tests Work?

The next question after what is A/B testing in email marketing is how does this technique work? To better explain it, we will know to tell you the basic steps:

  • Select an element to test: select only one element to test at a time, such as the subject line or call-to-action. If you try it on multiple elements on the same email, you might get mixed results as you won’t know how to interpret the data.
  • Create variations: Split testing means that you will be sending two versions of the email. Therefore, create the variation by slightly changing only the element you’ve chosen in the previous step.
  • Split your audience: Separate your mailing list into smaller portions to send the different versions of the email.
  • Build a mailing list: Send the emails to the different sections of your mailing list.
  • Analyze Results: Measure the performance of each version based on the relevant metrics. For instance, if you are testing the subject line, you should focus on the open rate.
  • Implement Changes: Use the winning version as your template for future emails. You can keep using the email A/B testing to further optimize your emails.

Part 3: Things You Can Test in Email A/B Testing

In this section, we are going to explain which elements you can test with this method and give you some examples so that you get a full grasp of A/B testing.

#1 Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing recipients see. That’s why it is the most crucial elements that influence open rates. Therefore, you can use A/B testing to test different subject lines to see which one grabs the attention of your specific audience.


Things You Can Test in Email A/B Testing Subject Lines

Through this method, you can start testing what your audience likes. In this image, you can see that “Just Eat” uses emojis in the subject and always mentions some type of offer. Through your email marketing A/B testing, you might find that this also works for you. Below are two versions of the same subject line, which you can test on different audience segments:

Version A: "Enjoy more freebies this Friday!"

Version B: "Limited Time Offer: Get Your Friday Deals Now!"

#2 Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons

Another element that you can test is the call-to-action buttons in your emails. The CTA is an important element for driving clicks, and ultimately generating sales. With split testing, you can experiment with different wording, colors, and placements to find out which works best for you.


Things You Can Test in Email A/B Testing Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons

In this image, you can see that the CTA is placed within the body of the email. Moreover, it is a big yellow button that is hard to miss and the words are written in bold. In addition to this, the button motivates users to click on it with the right words. Other versions might include:

Version A: "Get the Deal" (red button)

Version B: "Buy& Get FREE Gift"(blue button)

#3 Email Content Layout

One more element you can test is the layout of your email. This directly affects how recipients navigate and digest your content. If there is too much text, users might not read until the CTA and if there isn’t enough information, they might be disinterested in what you are offering. That’s why it is important to test different layouts to see which one enhances user experience.


Things You Can Test in Email A/B Testing Email Content Layout

In this example, we are studying the "Slowly" app. As you can see in the image, the newsletter conveys all the information in a few lines, plus an eye-catching image. You can try a similar approach, or incorporate more text to convince your audience.

Version A: Single-column layout, focusing on a banner.

Version B: Two-column layout, focusing on text.

#4 Images

Images can be very engaging in a newsletter. However, the type and placement of images can influence their effectiveness. Therefore, you can test different styles of images to see which will resonate more with your audience.


Things You Can Test in Email A/B Testing Images

In this image, you can see that “Dribble” has used some graphics that are really on brand for the platform. Therefore, you can also try images that fit your image and test different approaches. For instance, you can use a product photo, or show your product while being used.

Version A: Image of a product being used by a model.

Version B: Image of the product alone, highlighting the price.

Go to EngageLab to use more templates for one-click editing.

Part 4: How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab

Now that you know what A/B testing in email marketing, it’s time to learn how to set up your split campaigns with EngageLab. Its intuitive platform allows you to perform all tasks quickly and easily. The great thing about it is that it has almost instant delivery to anywhere in the world. Therefore, it is exceptionally great for email A/B testing.

These are the steps for doing split testing in EngageLab:

  • Step 1: Log in to your EngageLab account to go to your dashboard.
  • How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab1
  • Step 2: Go to the Email Function.
  • How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab2
  • Step 3: Complete the basic configurations.
  • How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab3
  • Step 4: Find and expand the "Marketing" menu on the left. Click on "Campaigns".
  • How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab4
  • Step 5: Click the "Create" button.
  • How to Do Email Marketing A/B Testing in EngageLab5
  • Step 6: Select the "A/B Test Campaign" option.
  • Select the A/B Test Campaign
  • Step 7: Write your emails, keeping in mind to create two versions of the element you wish to test.
  • Select your audience segments
  • Step 8: Send your emails to your predetermined audience segment.
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Part 5: Tips for Setting up An Email A/B Testing

In the previous section, you show how easy it is to do an A/B test with the right tool. But before you start creating your campaigns, here are some tips to help you make the most out of this method:

  • Plan Your Tests Carefully – Define beforehand what you want to learn from each test.
  • Use a Sufficient Sample Size – The size of your audience segment is very important. To get statistically significant results, you have to send your emails to a large enough segment to represent your audience as a whole.
  • Test One Element at a Time – To get clear and accurate results, you should focus only on one element per A/B test.
  • Be Patient – Don’t rush to conclude. Perform the A/B test for some time to gather sufficient data for analysis.
  • Review and Optimize – After each test, analyze the results and make small changes that reflect them. This way, you are constantly optimizing your email marketing strategy.
  • Leverage Tools Like EngageLab – the right tool helps simplify A/B testing email marketing. EngageLab is a great solution that helps you save time and gain access to powerful analytics.

The Bottom Line

Email A/B testing is a great strategy for optimizing your email marketing efforts. By understanding what resonates with your audience, you can see improvement in most of your campaigns’ metrics. EngageLab provides a robust platform to simplify and streamline this process, making it easy to do it for your email marketing strategy. Sign up for EngageLab today to incorporate A/B testing and watch your results improve.