If you’re like most channel sales or marketing professionals, you know how hard it can be to get prospects and customers to open and engage with your emails. No matter how catchy your subject lines are or how relevant the information is, your emails still go unread.
Here’s the deal. Your email communication will never be effective without an insights-driven strategy behind it.
This is where “A/B” or “split testing” comes in handy. By A/B testing your email campaigns, you can increase overall readership, opens, click-through and conversion rates. Not to mention gain valuable insights into your audiences’ preferences and top performing content. Here’s what you need to know about leveraging A/B testing to improve email engagement:
The “ABC’s” of A/B Testing:
The idea is simple - A/B testing is the process of sending two different iterations of the same email to different segments of your contact list and analyzing the results. Like with any experiment, it’s important to ensure fairness and accuracy. The best way to do this is by creating emails that are nearly identical with only one variable changed. You’ll also want to ensure that your contact list is divided evenly and recipients are appropriate for comparison. Here are some ways to A/B test:
Subject Lines: Email engagement starts with open rates. Try sending the same email using two different subject lines to a small subset (think 10%) of your contact list. Then, send whichever version performs better to the remaining recipients!
Call-to-Action (CTA): Try including two different versions of your main call-to-action. For example, change up the copy or test whether a button vs. a simple hyperlink receives more clicks.
Day & Time: Having a set cadence for your emails can be an effective way to keep your audience engaged. But it could be time to update that cadence. Try sending an email to one segment of your contacts on a Tuesday morning, and send the other segment an identical email on Thursday afternoon. Then, optimize your email schedule from there!
Value & Benefits:
In a perfect world we’d know the exact information our prospects want, how they want it, and when. But unlike content where you can make changes to improve user experience like website or blog copy, email can’t be modified after clicking send. A/B testing takes the guesswork out of your email marketing and sales strategy. Understanding what resonates with your prospects and customers will help guide your overall approach to email, improve engagement, and boost conversions. It’s the closest thing you have to a crystal ball!
What good is an experiment if you can’t track the results and make informed decisions based on them? There are numerous ways to measure the success of your marketing and sales emails depending on your specific goals, but here are a few common key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider:
Open Rate - The percentage of email recipients who open a given email.
Click-Through Rate: The percentage of people who clicked a link in your email out of the people who opened your email.
Conversion Rate: Amount of new business ultimately received based on the number of clicks.
Of course, how you go about A/B testing your emails is based on your specific goals. Whatever your objective, figuring out what works best will help you uncover new areas of opportunity to grow your business.