The Answer to your Email Marketing Problems – A/B Split Testing

15 01 2010

A lot of people, including myself, have had problems with their email marketing. It could be that either their open rates aren’t living up to their expectations, or the click-through rates are poor. This is why I have written this post; to tell you about a method I tried which solved these problems for me.

This method is called A/B testing.

By the name, you can pretty much guess where I’m going with this!

The idea is that you split your emailing list into two, and then design two different emails, and monitor the results. Always keep one as your control, however, so that you have stats to compare.

The control should be the design that you have been using so far. It wouldn’t be as accurate if you used stats from the past, because as you know, the stats vary slightly, whether it’s because some of your list aren’t at the office, or because they haven’t checked their emails. So, for the purpose of this post, we will call your control email A.

So, let’s get on to what we should be changing in email B.

Firstly, subject lines. You should try two different formats of subject lines, depending on your industry; one formal, one informal (not too informal!). You will then get an idea of what subject lines trigger curiosity in your reader’s minds. You could also try using questions as your subject lines, but make sure that the subject line is always relative to the content inside the email; if it isn’t, you are breaking the law.

Next, we could change how you present your links. If you use normal links, try using pictures as links. Also, change the wording of your links. Is it a polite call to action, such as please click here, or is it a more direct one, such as for more info, click here?

Also, while we are talking about links, is it wrapped by text explaining why they should click on the link? If not, try it in B, and monitor your results.

Design. Try changing around your design a bit. Move a few things about, and see how the audience responds to this; did it improve your CTR? Also, move the links that you want them to click higher up in the email, but at the same time, repeat those links in your signature box. This way, you should get more people clicking these links, but if you want them to be targeted, then keep them at the bottom of your email only. The reason for this is that if someone has been interested enough to read all of your email, they are a lot more likely to be interested in finding out more about you.

As a last note, don’t forget that there is no limit to how many splits you can do; you could do 10, but it would be more difficult to analyze the results, which is why I suggest you start out just doing the A/B split, and not changing too much at one time.

I hope you found this helpful, and good luck improving your email stats!!

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5 responses

15 01 2010
Contractor timesheet

This post is very nice to see and very useful for all of us, because this site is giving very useful information to every one.

15 01 2010
keepersacc

Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you are enjoying the content

15 01 2010
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15 01 2010
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30 03 2010
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